Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our House!!!

We have finally gotten all the boxes unpacked, stuff put away, and photos taken of our house!  Hooray!!  So, obviously this first one is the front of our house.  It's a one story single family house in a newer suburb called Gunghalin (emphasis on the 2nd syllable.  That confused us for nearly the first month.)  The bay windows in the front of our house look into the master bedroom.  It's a little strange to have a bedroom in the front of the house, but it does mean we have incentive to make our bed every day.

Our garage!  That's right, we have a garage - grown-up stuff.  All those boxes on the left are nearly everything we had to unpack before we could take these pictures.  That's why it's taken this long.

This is the view from our front door.  The interior of our house is very white.  We'd planned on painting , but didn't get approval to do so until the day before the movers were coming.  Since unpacking, we have lost our enthusiasm for painting.  We will probably just add color with our furniture and artwork.  We definatly hope to pick up a few new art pieces while we're here.

But back to the photos.  The door to the right leads to the master bedroom.  To the left (which you can't see) is the door to the garage.  Straight ahead is our very open kitchen/dining/living room.

The master bedroom!  I discovered it's almost imposible to get the whole room in one shot no matter where you stand in the room.  Oh well, you get the gist.  The door to the right is our bathroom.

And here's what our bathroom looks like!  Yes i know, not too exciting, but you're getting the FULL tour.  It's very neutral, but quite nice - full floor-to-ceiling tile walls and floors.  Also we have sliding doors all over the place - bathrooms, closets, hall.  We were surprised as first but actually it's really nice.

Yep, this is a view of the shower in our master bath.  I did tell you it was the full tour.

Ok, if you if keep walking down the hall it leads you to our open kitchen/dining/living room.  It's basically just one big rectangle and spaces are defined by furniture layouts.  We weren't so sure how this was going to work at first, but we really like it now that we have all our stuff.  This is the kitchen portion.

The dining room!

Library???  The chair in the corner will be replaced by some sort of lounge chair at some point.  It's a work in progress.

Living room!

And if you keep walking past the living room you enter our patio.  The patio furniture and bbq were generously provided by the Embassy.

Me enjoying our patio in my big, floppy hat.  The weather's getting really nice now - sunny and hot - so I expect we'll be spending a lot more time out on our patio.  It will be weird being able to comfortable grill out during Christmas.

Our bbq!  It's giant!!  Greg is trying it out tonight.  We're grilling chicken, potatoes, and veggies.  It should be delicious!  Mmmm I'm hungry now.

  Moving on.  This is the rest of our tiny yard and our clothes line in action.  Clothes lines seem to be very popular here.  People still have dryers, but they often opt for the clothes line if the weather is nice enough.  I guess Australians must be more energy conscious than most Americans.  It seemed strange at first, but it is a nice option to have. Oh also, that big cylindrical thing to the left is our rainwater collector.  The water collected is used for our toilets and outdoor taps, so that you can minimize your water usage.  Australia has been in a drought for the last 10 years so a lot of homes have these installed.

Back inside!  To the left of our living room is the 2nd half of our house.  It can be divided off by the sliding door shown.  That is it could be if our kitties hadn't figured out how to open sliding doors.  This can be quite the surprise when you're in the bathroom.  Kitties do not like closed doors.

This is the guest bedroom.  There was no way to get a decent picture of this room, but it's pretty basic anyway.  We're hoping to but a bedframe soon so that we may trash the cheap metal frame and boxspring that came free with the bed.  Kitties also hate boxsprings.  You probably can't tell but it has been shredded at every corner.  Apparently corners are the worst parts and invoke their most destructive desires.

 This is the guest bathroom, emphasis on bath as there is no toilet.

HERE's the toilet.  That's right, it's in a separate room.  I guess it's meant for convience so that one person can't completely take over the bathroom.  I saw this in Finland as well when I studied abraod back in college so it must be a European thing.  I like the convenience, but I still think there should be a sink anywhere there's a toilet.  But maybe that's just me.

This is our laundry room.  I have to say, it is really awesome to have a laundry room, as in a dedicated space not just a closet.  Very convenient.  The door leads out to our clothes line so you don't have to walk through the whole house.  Also very convenient.

This would (and will) be another guest room, but we don't have furniture yet.  For now it is kitty sanctuary.  We probably won't change it until we have plans for people to visit who will need this room.  It's actually used quite a lot as is.

This would be another bedroom, but we are using it as our study.  It would be a pretty small bedroom, but works perfectly for a study.  This is a shot of Greg's desk.

And this is my desk/bookshelf.

And that's it!  Thanks for taking the tour with us.  Hopefully some of you will be able to visit in the next 3 years and will have the chance to see our new home for yourselves.  We miss you!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


We've had several big thunderstorms over the last week.  The nice thing is they're generally over pretty quickly and mean no more water shortages anytime soon.  I was finally able to get some pictures after the one last Monday.  These are taken right outside our house as the sun is setting.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! . . . 11 days later.  We've been remiss in updating the blog, I know, but we've been crazy busy the last week and a half. Our stuff arrived last Wednesday (finally!) so its been all boxes and unpacking for us as of late. We also learned that apparently there is some crucial difference between the television signal here and in the States, so our TV is useless here. It powers up just fine, but just displays blackness like it's getting no signal. Which means we now have a new Australian TV, and our old one will be taking up space in our closet for the next three years. Awesome.

But we digress- Halloween! It's a pretty low key affair in Australia, they don't really celebrate it. Some of the Australians at Greg's work even seem to resent it existing- its just a stupid American export slowly invading the country. Those at Laurel's work were more intruiged or looking forward to an excuse to carve vegetables.  So we didn't do much, no parties no costumes, but we did buy a pumpkin! We didn't bother to check the price in the grocery store so we only found out that it cost over $20 when we were checking out. Oh well, a small price to pay for a little piece of home. Before we get to the pumpkin though, remember, it's always wise to stay away from black cats on Halloween. Unfortunately, we own one.  Check out that crazy face!

Now to the main event- Mr. Jack-o-lantern. Our pumpkin had a pretty big gash running through the face, so Laurel decided to make use of it as a design element. We imagine that our pumpkin got in a fight a long time ago and got slashed pretty badly across the face. Now he has a battle scar that partially closes his left eye. We think he turned out pretty well.

Also, and this is Greg's favorite part, we roasted the pumpkin seeds. So delicious.

Instead of staying home and waiting in vain for trick or treaters we went to a movie. Running for two weeks, right across Halloween, is the Canberra International Film Festival. A lot of the movies looked really interesting, so we added a bunch to our Netflix list, but one in particular we just had to see in theatres. It's a Finnish film called "Rare Exports." The poster is below, and if you can't read it the tagline is "This year, everyone will believe in Santa Clause." Its about archaeologists in Lapland, Finland who dig a little too deep and awaken an ancient evil- Santa. Really. It's pretty awesome and I highly recommend it.

When we got back from the movie it was now properly dark and prime Jack-o-lantern time. Below is our pumpkin in all his majesty. I think we did a pretty good job.

And there is shot using only ambient light. Oooooooooh, spooky!

Apparently, magpies really like pumpkin. But not fresh pumpkin, it needs to really start decomposing first. They ignored it for about a week, depriving us of our much sought after Jack-o-lantern + magpies piciture. After it was good and ripe though they couldn't get enough, as you can tell by all of the bird crap around the pumpkin. We watched one almost fall in trying to peck farther and farther into it. Silly 'pies!