Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time Flies...

Time flies when you're having fun... and I'm here to tell you that it also flies when you're NOT having fun!

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 shite "treasures" and move them from one location to the other... and you're basically all moved in but the unpackin'.
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...

I'll be home for good, on October 2nd!! Yeeeee Haw!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And pffttt... it's gone!

Last night while lying in bed, I wrote a "funny as" blog post in my head.
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.

I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

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


I've been battling with Blogger for days now, and I keep losing posts, I can't find "saved" posts and photos are disappearing on me.

So rather than another long-winded and "somewhat" engaging post that might just decide to fly off into the ether, leaving me even more confused than I already am, I'll just leave you with this :

That means MY HOUSE!  I'm coming home!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cutting costly corners - and cutting weeds!

An American friend living here in Oz, (it seems like we're everywhere!) recently sent me this information - comparing prices from one city to another, or I think you can even do it "country to country". (but since prices can vary from one city in a country to another, what's high in one city, may be lower just a few miles away)
I mean, I knew that things were much more expensive here where I live... but I sure as heck didn't realize by just how much!

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
+64.41 % higher
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course CA - $35.00 ... Australia $67.01
+91.45 % higher
Combo Meal at McDonalds or Similar CA -$5.60 ... Australia - $7.67 $
+36.94 % higher
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) CA - $2.62 - Australia - $5.71
+117.36 % higher
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) CA - $3.38 ... Australia $6.78
+101.00 % higher
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) CA - $1.34 ... Australia $2.88
+115.32 % higher
Water (0.33 liter bottle) CA - $1.20 ... Australia $2.47
+105.66 % higher

Clothing and Shoes

1 Pair of Levis 501 (Or Equivalent) CA - $38.75 ... Australia $90.11
+132.54 % higher
1 Summer Dress / Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) CA - $33.33 ... Australia $84.42
+153.26 % higher
1 Pair of Nike Shoes CA - $69.75 ... Australia $141.84
+103.36 % higher
1 Pair of Men Leather Shoes CA- $65.00 ... Australia $172.18
+164.89 % higher

Eggs (12) CA - $2.62 ... Australia $3.85
+46.57 % higher
Potatoes (1kg) CA -$1.55 ... Australia $2.47
+58.70 % higher
Lettuce (1 head) CA - $1.95 ... Australia $2.46
+26.14 % higher

So, when I saw Arugula greens in the grocery store for almost 5 bucks a bunch, a light bulb went off in my head.
I decided to go for the much cheaper option, and to simply go out and weed my yard. Unfortunately, we're only eating one plant at a time, but at the rate we're going we'll will eventually get 'er done!
This way, I can live high off the hog... and at the same time, I'm saving bucket-loads of money!
Which kind of leaves my yard looking like an overgrown jungle, but hey... in the end, it's all good eats!!
Now you may think that dandelions are just your pesky garden-variety weed, but dandelion
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".

Honey? Can we eat some of the Chiefs Arse tonight?
Sure dear, go cut some off...

Necessity is the mother of invention...

I have 2 freezers still partially full of food, so I figure that if the stuff in there doesn't get eaten by the time I leave for good... well hell, it will just go to waste. And I sure as heck didn't want that to happen.

So tonight's dinner is going to consist of Stagg canned Chili, Glicks frozen "bake and eat" Bagels and a lovely Sara Lee Cheesecake for dessert.

I know that "bagels and chili" kind of sound like a strange combination, but I think that they'll go surprisingly well together.
You know... Bagels and cream cheese / chili and sour cream?
I mean, why not mix it up a little bit? And serve chili and bagels with sour cream? At least the freezer's will be cleared out a little bit more, and the stacks of canned goods will be getting used up too.
And that's a win / win in my book!!

Even if it gives me The Old Guy wind!

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Packing my bags...

Ayup... I'm packing my bags here, because I"M COMING HOME!! Well, not for good at this 'exact' point in time, but we are going 'home' for a few short weeks in May, to get details and finances sorted out, prior to me getting home for good - hopefully by mid-to late summer.
The house here is ready to put on the market (except for replacing that damn vomit-pink pedestal sink in the bathroom) and all the mess and clutter from months of carpentry and painting is well and truly done and dusted.
My stuff has been (mostly) sorted through, tossed out, set aside for the Salvation Army, given away to friends or sold... and I'm kind of enjoying this 'clutter-free' existence!

In the past, when we've gone home we've only worried about taking a small-ish carry on bag each... but this time we're taking the small bags plus two huge 70 lb bags as well. Stuffed with things that I want to keep and think at this point, that can't live without... but Lord knows what the airport security people are going to think of some of it!
Wind chimes and photos, bird feeders and linens & laces, and even a couple of ancient and well-loved cast iron skillets.
Oh... and a book or two that I just can't bear to part with.
And my cookbooks...
And that cool vegetable peeler that's shaped like a carrot... the one with the cushy orange handle.
And... and... well heck... whatever else I can fit in the suitcases!

I thought at one point that I would find a moving company to move most of my stuff, but as my son pointed out, with the exhorbitant cost of shipping, I can buy "new furniture" cheaper over there, and then fill in the gaps with garage and yard sale finds.. And that will also give me the pleasure of picking out 'new stuff' as well - something I haven't been able to afford to do, in all the years I've been here!

I just want to get this all over and done with, so I can settle down and start living my life again... instead of feeling like I'm on a never ending roller coaster. Leaving The Old Guy is going to be one of the hardest things about it all, but I have his sworn promise that he'll be coming over a couple of times a year for a month or two at a time.

And if he doesn't, I'll be coming back to whoop his arse...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Baby Steps...

Okay folks.... I'm just letting you know that I'm still counted among the living here, and I am doing my darnedest to write a semi-legible blog post. A blog post that will get you semi-caught up on what's been going on in my life - even though you've probably all but forgotten my name by now. Which is fair enough.... considering my extreme slackness. But I do have an excuse. Really I do...

So hold on to yer hats, because there's Good Stuff to come ... ie: I'm coming HOME baby! In just a matter of months!!

There's Bad Stuff ... The Lad is no longer here, which is technically "good" stuff, considering the hell he put me through last November. And I'll fill you in on the the thieving and aggravated assaulting that he did... And you know what? I might even think about changing the name "The Lad" for something a little far more descriptive.
IF I can think of something that doesn't involve swear words and the entire top row of the keyboard, that is.

And then there's the Ugly Stuff... because I'm looking at some serious surgery - not too far down the road... to repair the damage that "The Lad" did to me.
He's got a court date set for March 28th that I wouldn't miss for the life of me... even if Sam Elliot rode up on a horse - nekkid as the day he was born!
Which I guess if you take out the surgery part, it would really be considered to be "good stuff".
The court date, as well as the thought of a birthday-suited Sam... Ahhhhh!!!
Well, to tell you the honest truth, the thought of both of those things really get me grinnin' like a possum eatin' briars!


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