Wednesday, September 10, 2014
13 years ago, I was still living in Australia. I had just gotten out of the shower, when my friend Einid called me, and told me that a plane had crashed into a building in the US - and she insisted that I turn the telly on.
I didn't think too much of it, thinking it was an air show crash or something, but I turned the TV on, and dropped straight to my knees. I swear I didn't move from that spot for what literally turned out to be hours.
My first thought was my son Josh... and I tried frantically calling the US, while still kneeling there on the floor watching the TV.... but I couldn't get through.
I didn't know where Josh was, and although I knew somewhere in the deep reaches of my mind, that he wasn't in NY, my heart was still frozen with dread. All I wanted, was to hear my son's voice - and to know that he was okay.
It took 3 days before I could finally get a call through to my Dad, and once he had assured me that my son was okay, I could finally start to process the horror that we, as Americans, had gone through.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
I had every intention of keeping this blog going, and sharing all the new "I've finally moved back home" adventures with you all, but truth to tell, once I got back, my new life didn't slowly "unfurl" gently and peacefully before my eyes.
Too much has happened to even begin to explain everything fully... so I'll just gloss over most of it, and just hit the high points for now.
The house that was supposed to be ready and waiting for me - the house that I had sent my kids the money for - to both purchase outright, and to do approximately $40k of renovations with - was still here... only it was in foreclosure, due to non-payment. And since I still don't completely understand what happened or didn't happen, or why it happened or didn't happen, there's no point in going into the very few details that I do understand. It's enough to say that I managed to get the house out of foreclosure, the payments caught up, and I paid off the final balloon payment in June of 2013.
I can finally say that I now own my own home - but the cost - both emotional and financial - isn't as easy to accept.
But easier to understand, and to explain, was the now non-relationship with the Old Guy.
Before I even left Australia, the relationship with the Old Guy had well and truly unraveled as well.
He had decided that he didn't want a commitment ceremony before I left... because he figured that that would in some way make him legally and financially responsible for me. And the 3 or 4 trips a year to come see me in the States had been whittled down to maybe once or twice a year.... because he said that it costs money to put his pets in a boarding kennel - and he wasn't made of money. The kicker was when I was getting ready to do a change of address so my mail would go to his house - and then he could either send it on to me, or pay any possibly outstanding bills with the money I had set aside for him. Because in his eyes, he thought that by allowing my mail to be inserted in his mail box, it would somehow mean that there was /could be/ might be, a financial commitment on his part...and that he would therefore be responsible for not only me, but he would be responsible for my bills as well.
And we certainly couldn't have that, now could we?.
So instead.... I had the mail forwarded to my friend Jenny, and she dealt with it all.
Oh believe me, I did a bit of crying over the Old Guy, and I got some flak for "dumping" him... but the friends that knew me well, and the friends who personally had watched the day-in-and-day-out "real" relationship between the Old Guy and myself, were only surprised that it had taken me so long to wake up to his almost obsessive "non-involvement" and empty promises.
Then two months after returning "home", my son introduced me to the "boy next door" and things changed for the better...and in so many ways.
But that's a story for another time
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I'm now down to 11 days until I move out of this house, and these last 49 days have honestly, been the hardest of my life! Sorting, tossing, packing, repacking, endless phone calls and hassles and worry and stress... And even though I know that I'm well and truly down to the final days at this point, I honestly don't feel that I've accomplished much - other than spinning my wheels, that is.
And then I found out yesterday, that I LOT of what I have accomplished has been in vain. Complete and utter vain.
My wheels have done been spun.
See, moving "internationally" - especially when you're short on $$'s - is no walk in the park. It's not like you can call a moving company to come pick up your
You know what I mean?
So instead, I've had yard sales, I've sold my stuff to friends, I've donated and sorted and pared stuff down to the bare minimum - and here at the end, I've actually been forcing stuff on friends - whilst using guilt and incredibly sad looks.
"Oh Lee-Ann, that 3 piece outdoor lounge setting would look just perfect on your patio!" When your husband builds it that is... Now am I right, or what? And besides, every time you look at it, you'll be reminded of all the good conversations and endless cuppas we shared together."
"Corry, oh honey, I want you to have some things that will remind you of me... so here's 18 and 1/2 pairs of shoes - and I'm sure that at your age, your feet will start shrinking soon! The purple Crocs will look just great with your green parrot t-shirt! Really!!"
So, I've managed to get my "what I'm taking" stuff down to 3 large-ish boxes and 3 smaller ones, as well as 3 large suitcases, and I gave up a LOT of important (to me, anyway) treasures and memories in the process. Okay, so the suitcases don't cost a thing when we fly, but the boxes were another story entirely. $224 per large 20 kilo box (20 kilograms = 44.092 452 437 pounds) So it was going to run me close to $850.+... just to ship those boxes through the post office.
Then last Thursday, the real estate agent came by with a little "courtesy" packet of "now that you've sold your home" info.
Outlining stuff like when to notify the utilities to shut off power, how to re-direct your mail, etc. And amongst all the stuff, was a little flyer about a local company that sells freight boxes for moving purposes.
Hmmm... freight boxes? Maybe those would be better than the flimsy, taped and re-taped old things I'm currently using?
So I looked them up on-line, just to get an idea of how much some good 'heavy-weight' boxes would actually cost me.
And found out something that had my heart sinking like a stone.
Not only do they sell boxes... but they ship as well. And for FAR less! 8 large boxes, shipped on a pallet (and probably on the same damn ship that Australia Post ships by) will cost me $550. That means that for $300 less, I can take MORE stuff than I actually have left (and not have to lug 3 large suitcases through the airport!) The best I can figure at this point is almost 3 large boxes more!
So you know what I did? I started calling up people and asking for my stuff back. I have to admit that I felt funny doing it, but it was killing me to know that I had given stuff away that meant something to me. Things that I well and truly treasured. Of course I didn't ask for the stuff I had sold, because a deal is a deal... right?
But those things like cast iron skillets and antique pie plates and silverware. Books and Cd's and DVDs and heaps of other stuff that had just been "given" away... Well butter my butt, and call me an Indian giver. Because if the shoe fits, sometimes ya just gotta wear it - you know?
And in actual fact, those purple Crocs probably would have looked like poop on Corry anyway...
So now on to the news that you've been waiting for...
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
It was so good, and so funny, that I layed there chuckling my head off... until I fell asleep.
With a big goofy smile on my face.
But this morning; It's gone. Not one teeny weeney iota of that post remains. I can't remember what I was thinking about... or why I even thought it was so funny.
Friday, August 3, 2012
I've got a LOT of catching up to do with my blogging, reading and writing etc, but I think that once I get home for good, that things will start to settle down. I hope so anyway, because I've been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off (interesting image, eh?) for far too long.
Anyway, the house here in Oz is now SOLD, and it'a just a matter of weeks before I'm out of here - and back home where I belong! But getting ready to go? Man 'o man.. this isn't a typical "throw all your junk in boxes, load it onto a truck, or have some nice studly moving men do it for you, and then deal with the mess again on the other end.
Oh no... nothing like that at ALL!
I'm having to go through everything, and sort, toss, sell, give-away, or set aside so I can go back in a day or two and say "what in the heck was I thinking.... I'm not packing that crap!" Yeas, I love those Pyrex dishes, but they do have Pyrex in the US. I love that CD, but I haven't listened to it in yonks, so if I miss it too much, I'll buy another - cheaper - copy in California.
My aim is to fit everything I want to keep into 3 large suitcases, (and maybe ship a box or two by mail) but everything else GOES!
And after almost 16 years, I've got more stuff, than a porcupine's got quills.
The way this house sold amazes me, but then again, it doesn't.
See... I put the house on the market and we had ONE open house. There were several potential buyers, but most of them wanted to dicker on the price, or ask for terms (like 30 day close) that I didn't want to agree to.
So I put it in God's hands.
Lord, I'm getting frazzled here, so I'm giving it to you... let THY will, not my will, be done.
Then last Tuesday, I had a candle party (Lord knows why, because I've got about as much need of candles at this point in time, as a fish has need of a bicycle)... with about a dozen women milling around. As one of the women was leaving at about 9:30, she was approached by a man who asked if she was the owner of this house. She sent him in to me, and he asked me if he could have a quick look through the house because he was out of town over the weekend when we had the open house.. Now, for some reason - even though it was late - I agreed - and I took him on a quick tour. He started asking questions about price, terms, etc, but I referred him to my agent, and gave him the agents business card... so he could contact the agent himself.
I have to admit that I was slightly creeped out, even though the guy was nice enough. He was just so eager... you know what I mean?
Anyway, the next morning, I got an early call from the agent, saying that this man had called him at 10:30 the night before, and that he was requesting a showing at around noon.
Sure... no problem. I know the drill. Vacate the house for approximately 30 minutes, until the agent gives me a phone call telling me the coast is clear again - and I can come back home.
We decided to drive over to a friends house to kill time... but before we even got there, the agent rang me and asked how soon I could get back, because the guy had made an offer - an offer I was gonna LOVE!
And man... DID I!
He offered almost my full price, with my terms of a 60 day close, and in addition, he wanted to buy the fridge, washing machine, TV, VCR and other assorted stuff - that I was seriously dreading the thought of trying to get rid of!!
So all-in-all, I ended up making several thousand more than I was actually asking - and now I don't have to worry about selling or disposing of a lot of the larger items!!
Check 'er out!
Classic 60's Weatherboard
That means MY HOUSE! I'm coming home!!
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Cost of Living comparison Between Sacramento,California USA, and Melbourne Victoria AU
Consumer Prices in Melbourne are 51.12% higher than in Sacramento, CA
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Melbourne are 56.42% higher than in Sacramento, CA
Rent Prices in Melbourne are 77.17% higher than in Sacramento, CA
Restaurant Prices in Melbourne are 67.23% higher than in Sacramento, CA
Groceries Prices in Melbourne are 28.48% higher than in Sacramento, CA
Meal at an Inexpensive Restaurant, CA - $9.33 ... Australia - $15.35
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course CA - $35.00 ... Australia $67.01
Combo Meal at McDonalds or Similar CA -$5.60 ... Australia - $7.67 $
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) CA - $3.38 ... Australia $6.78
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) CA - $1.34 ... Australia $2.88
Water (0.33 liter bottle) CA - $1.20 ... Australia $2.47
Clothing and Shoes
1 Pair of Levis 501 (Or Equivalent) CA - $38.75 ... Australia $90.11
1 Summer Dress / Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) CA - $33.33 ... Australia $84.42
1 Pair of Nike Shoes CA - $69.75 ... Australia $141.84
1 Pair of Men Leather Shoes CA- $65.00 ... Australia $172.18
Potatoes (1kg) CA -$1.55 ... Australia $2.47
Lettuce (1 head) CA - $1.95 ... Australia $2.46
So, when I saw Arugula greens in the grocery store for almost 5 bucks a bunch, a light bulb went off in my head.
greens have become so popular nowadays, that many grocery stores and greengrocers now stock cultivated varieties. I think it's probably because it's less labor-intensive than running around and digging up peoples yards. And chances are, if you've ever had an Arugula Salad in some high-priced fancy-schmancy restaurant... you were actually eating dandelions and didn't even know it.
This one is Purslane - or known by some people as "little hogweed" It's tart and lemony, with a slight peppery kick... and the Old Guy loves it fresh, although you can cook 'er up too.
I throughly investigated it before even trying it,( I recommend investigating anything out in the wild - or in your yard... before putting it in your mouth or on your plate) so I had to laugh at this description:
Known formally as portulaca oleracea, and informally as little hogweed, purslane
is a succulent herb that looks, as one Baltimore chef put it, like a miniature
jade plant. A more colorful description can be found in seed catalogs, which
note that in Malawi, the name for the fleshy, round-leafed plant translates to
"the buttocks of the wife of a chief."
Now the Old Guy has trouble remembering the name purslane or even "the buttocks of the wife of a chief", so he simply calls it "Chiefs Arse".