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I’m afraid we didn’t get out an awful lot again this week as my work schedule was still a bit crazy (should start settling down now), but still have some fun tidbits to share with you.

First, we’re hearing a new frog lately! We haven’t seen him yet, but based on the warbling sound he makes in the evening, we’ve determined that he’s a Peron’s Tree Frog. In contrast to the loud barking of the Green Tree Frog, the Peron’s Tree Frog has a soothing warbling sound. Unfortunately, the damn green tree frogs have returned to our downspouts and they love barking when it rains, which recently has coincided with evening Netflix watching time. Hugh is now using the wheeled base of his shop vac as the luxury transportation service he offers to the frogs, taking them down the road to where we hope they will be happier. However, the damn things seem quite happy in our downspouts and just keep coming back – they even have the nerve to hop past Hugh back up our driveway after he’s dumped them out of their luxury carriage. I think they’re mocking us at this point.

We haven’t seen many birds at our bird bath lately. We’re not sure why, we can only postulate that because we’re in the rainy season, there is plenty of water naturally occurring everywhere so they don’t need us. I really miss seeing them though! This morning a Kookaburra hung out watching us for awhile and we saw my favourite songbird, the Pied Butcherbird, on our fence for a few minutes. Hopefully they’ll come back. The good news is that we also don’t have any crows to deal with, no idea where they went but happy to not deal with their insolence for awhile. This video from San Diego is a perfect portrayal of how the crows demonstrate their superiority to humans:


I don’t recall ever noticing this with crows at home, but if they figure this stuff out in California and in Australia, they must be smart in Canada too and I just never paid attention.

I report intermittently on the different food tastes here. I’m sure at some point I’ve mentioned that Aussies seem to put beetroot on EVERYTHING. Well, we almost had a national crisis here last week. Read this article about the beetroot shortage. There aren’t many foods I don’t like but beetroot is one of them, yuck. I’m hoping the shortage lasts awhile and they can stop sneaking the stuff into an otherwise good salad.

While on the topic of food, the sour cream here is SUPER thick. Check this out:

I decided to read the label more closely and it’s 35%! I think regular sour cream at home is 14%? There’s also beef gelatin in it. That sounds totally disgusting but I’m guessing it contributes to the viscosity. For my SLP friends, will have to do some IDDSI testing on this stuff, I’m sure it’s off the scale 🙂

Yesterday, Hugh joined skipper Kevin and experienced crew Rod and Sarah on the catamaran, Vivacious. Just a week ago, Hugh and I had wondered if races proceeded rain or shine. The answer is yes. Yesterday’s race was in VERY challenging conditions – high winds, 2 metre swells, rain squalls, and some boat drivers that perhaps need to learn a lesson or two on right of way. Fortunately, Vivacious prevailed and won in her class, but other boats weren’t so lucky. One had a man go overboard (he was rescued and they continued in the race) and a couple had ripped sails. Here are a couple photos to give you a feel for what this 3-hour tour was like (I have a video from Hugh showing the boat going way up and way down with each wave, but for some reason it’s not uploading properly):

This morning we went down to Emu Park for their monthly farmer/crafter market. Saw this cool thing in the playground area – part sculpture and part rock-climbing wall, what a great idea!

After the market, we stopped at Mulambin Beach to watch some of the Australian Open Blokart Championships. Vivacious skipper Kevin also participated in some of these races. Here he is waiting for his race to start:


In practice runs, Kev said he was getting 60-65 kph on the straightaways – wild! There is another class of races where they have aerodynamic carts and they really fly.

This big Blokart race weekend was on the cover of a local newspaper this week:

Inside the paper was an article on pickleball and Hugh made it into the photo! Well, he was present for the photo, but when Blake put his paddle up last minute, there went Hugh’s chance for local fame 🙂

I was excited to get back into pickleball last week but while making a rather spectacular shot on Wed night, I strained a muscle in my right shoulder and I’m now on the injured list this week 🙁  The upside is, I’ve had to do everything left handed and that’s probably good exercise for the right side of my brain. But man, does it ever slow me down on the computer when I’m having use the mouse left-handed! As I’m writing this blog, I’ve just tonight moved the mouse back to the right because I now have enough movement in my right shoulder to manage the mouse without too much pain.

Cockroaches are pretty common in the tropics, well in any warm climate really. Here you get your house sprayed once per year to keep them out. Our house was sprayed in June and we were skeptical that it would work (because the condo we stayed in when we first arrived would have nightly arrivals of cockroaches once the neighbouring unit started doing renovations), but it did seem to work, we didn’t see any bugs. However, since our ensuite bathroom has been ripped up and it’s open to the attic and the drains are all open, we have found a few cockroaches sneaking in. Most of them have been dead when we found them. But last night, I was going to bed and THANK GOODNESS a glint of light made me notice this massive fellow on our bed’s headboard:

I estimated him to be 3.5 cm! It doesn’t look that way in the photo, but in real life he was the exact same colour as our bedroom furniture and there’s no way we would have noticed him if the light hadn’t just caught him at the right moment. I looked him up and he’s an Australian Cockroach. Well, he was. He is no longer. Thank you, Sweetie. This bathroom reno better get done soon!!!

We continue to have fun seeing which plants grow well and which don’t. This one, called Elephant Ears, was about 4-5″ tall just a few months ago, now each leaf is about 18″ long:

We had anticipated when moving here that things would grow well in the moderate temperatures of the winter and would stagnate in the high temps of the summer. We were wrong! Summer is still the main growing season, probably because of the rain. It was crazy flying back from Melbourne in late January and looking down at this region – it was a blanket of green. For the first 7 months we lived here, the landscape away from the coast was largely brown. Incredible how everything springs to life instantly with even a small amount of rain. But we don’t often get small amounts of rain here. It comes down in BUCKETS and then moves on. We seem to be in a sweet spot in Yeppoon – further north and further south has had massive flooding this summer because the buckets of rains didn’t move on, they hovered. One day this week, an area near Brisbane (about 8 hours south of here) had 18 cm (that’s more than 7 inches) of rain and an area near Mackay (about 4 hours north of here) had 15 cm. Up in Cairns, after Cyclone Jasper went through, they got drenched with 1-2 metres (yes, METRES) of rain in a few days. In Canada, we’d freak out with 1-2 m of snow – can you imagine rain?? But, just like Canada is built to manage snow, here is built to manage rain. Obviously not 1-2 m of rain, but it is surprising how much rain can fall without massive flooding. What is nice here, though, is that the rain doesn’t last – you mostly get intermittent cells passing through that only last a matter of minutes and then there’s blue sky before the next one arrives. Yesterday was a rare day that was grey most of the day. I actually had to hang my laundry up on a rack on the patio instead of the usual laundry line out in the open!

A quick update on my mom – she graduated to rehab about 10 days ago! And boy, has she been a trooper. After being in bed for 2 months with some mystery infection ravaging every organ, here she is walking with a walker with standby assist, doing a few stairs with standby assist, just incredible. My uncle Keith spent a week with her to cheer her on and my sister is back with her now. Andrea took mom outside today – first fresh air in 2 months, I’m sure that will have done her the world of good. Very hopeful that mom and Andrea will be able to come visit later this year!

And finally, a shoutout to our friend Lorraine back home – she gave us the great tip that TSN has a YouTube channel for people outside of Canada where we can watch curling live! We’ve been watching some events on YouTube anytime the host club has done some amateur video of the events, but it’s so great being able to watch the Scotties with the great commentators on TSN! Off to catch up on the Saturday games now.

Have a terrific week, everyone!

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