Thursday, December 18, 2008

it's summer (again)

It's almost 11pm, and I'm awake with not much to do so I thought I'd write. The dog (Cody) is sleeping next to me. He's generally ready to go to bed around 9 but won't go to the bedroom unless I'm there. I'm not sure if it's good training or unquestioning devotion but this dog won't leave my eyeshot. When I take him to the dog park, he'll only run if I'm moving too. If I sit down on bench, he'll come over and wander circles around me. After growing up with a dog like Tillie (who used to jump 6 foot fences with her pal Oliver just to escape the backyard), I'm amazed by Cody.

The cats, on the other hand, are a different story. Can I just say that I miss Chicken?! I always knew she was special, but having been my only cat I didn't realize quite how special she was. Pita and Nana (the cats here) are not my favorites... sorry to anyone reading this who knows and loves them. Maybe they're different with you? One of them I rarely see. The other has gotten into the habit of crawling all over me and then headbutting me while purring really loudly. And she doesn't stop until I've pushed her off the bed a couple times. After that, she just stands on the nightstand and purrs into my ear. In the morning, at around 7am (this morning it was actually closer to 6:30), she jumps on me and taps me on the head until I get out of bed and feed her. The dog generally picks up on this and starts jumping on me too. Sigh. I hate to admit that after I feed them, I lock them all outside and go back to bed for another few hours. Good thing it's summer and they all like the outdoors.

The past few days have been hot and humid. I'm still trying to train for ocean swims. There's nothing like swimming in an outdoor Olympic pool under the Sydney Harbor Bridge (North Sydney pool), or looking out at the naval shipyards (Boy Charleton), or amongst the rocks on the side of the beach (Bondi Icebergs.) This is the reason I moved to Sydney: My goal is to do a 1k Ocean Swim in the beginning of February. I'm still finding it difficult to swim that far in a pool, so I'm a little unsure what of my ability will be to do it in the surf (while also avoiding sharks.) I'll let you know.

The rest of my days here consist of dog walking, drinking coffee, and meeting up with friend's friends. Thank you all who have passed on names and numbers. It's good to feel like I have a bit of a social life again (or at least the potential for one.)

On Sunday I head up to Queensland to see Becca, Brisbane, and the beach.

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas everyone.

Miss you and love you.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Some things never change

There's a cat in my bed and other photos can be found at

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Good Life

Greetings from Rose Bay.  As many of you know, I'm house-sitting for the month of December.  Actually, I'm really dog and cat-sitting, and the house and car just gets thrown in as extras.  The place is gorgeous- you walk through a tall small purple fence, nestled between shops, and walk through a little alley to the back and you get to the house.  Perfectly private and still right on a main road.  The dog is Cody and the cats are Pita and Nana.  All well behaved.  Cody is wonderful off leash which makes things easy for me.  It is a good reminder, though, of the work it takes to own a dog.  For the foreseeable future, I will be sticking to cats.  Or to my housemates owning pets (any kind, actually).  

The internet is a bit faster here so I will try to take some photos and post them so you can all get a bit more of a feel for life in Sydney.  

Time is flying by.  I don't do much more than the crossword (quick and cryptic) and the sudoku (i'm hooked thanks to my cousin) and a little bit of work thrown in there, but somehow it's already the middle of December!  In less than two weeks, I head off for vacation with the rest of the Sydney Siders.  I'm going up to Queensland to see my friend Becca and then we're going to Stradbroke Island to have a beach holiday and meet up with my cousins.  That lasts a week before she comes back with me to Sydney for New Years.  By the time she leaves, my house-sitting gig will be over and it'll be the second week of January!  Anyone know of a house share in Sydney?  Preferably starting that second week of Jan?  And in the Paddington/Surry Hills area?  Or the inner west?  No, huh....  Thanks for trying.

It's rainy today, not much like summer.  I'm thinking of going to see a movie or taking some time to explore a nearby neighborhood.  This part of the city is fairly foreign to me.  I seem to get lost every time I walk out the door (I know, that's not unusual for me... but it's at it's height now...).  Last night it took me 20 minutes to do a 5 minute drive to pick up Indian food.  Sigh.  By the time I leave here, I'll finally have gotten it down.

Hope you're all having a good day.  Miss you!

Love, Tamara

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Since I haven't posted any photos (or really taken any, actually), I thought I'd provide a link to my cousin Molly's. My second week here (way back in October), Molly and her husband Jeff came to visit. The first half of her photos have tons of me, Molly, Jeff, Grandpa, and Sadhana (my aunt; she's the one who looks a lot like my mother...)

Scroll through... After the Australia ones, there are photos from Molly and Jeff's trip to NZ. There are some beauties of the south island.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Me? Cook a Turkey?

So about my second week here I got this crazy idea that i would cook Thanksgiving dinner for Rob and Ellie and the kids and anyone else that wanted to come.  Crazy because my cooking skills venture to the lazy side.  I wouldn't say I'm a terrible cook, just not a very adventurous one.  

Well, Thursday came, and I still hadn't done any shopping.  I had decided on chicken, instead of turkey (because we had one in freezer), plenty of veggies, and stuffing and pumpkin pie.  My idea was packaged stuffing and canned pumpkin pie.  I had lunch plans already with a cousin in a neighboring suburb.  We were supposed to meet at this giant shopping center with a giant parking lot.  It took me 30 minutes to find parking!  I swear, you would have thought it was thanksgiving here too and everyone was on the hunt for that missing cranberry sauce!  On the way home I decided to stop at the supermarket and do my shopping.  Again, 15 minutes to find a park and when they got in the store they didn't have a THING I needed.  No pumpkin- fresh, canned or frozen (and I wasn't even actually looking for pumpkin because they don't have it here; i was looking for butternut squash which they call pumpkin.)  No stuffing of any variety.  Nothing.  I finally got home and spent an hour doing the crossword, getting up the energy to go to yet another shopping mall.  Which I did, at around 4 oclock, after calling the guests (Sadhana and Grandpa) and asking them to come a bit later than I had planned.

When I got to the store and they didn't have any stuffing or frozen/canned pumpkin and no non-dairy creamer (meat meal- wanted a non-dairy desert for the more kosher members of the family), I called Ellie ready to give up.  She convinced me to get a fresh pumpkin, dairy ingredients, and forget the instant stuffing (we'd figure it out with the ingredients we had at home).  So I did.  And I have to say, Ellie and I made a kick-ass meal.  The pumpkin pie was a little overcooked but still good (especially with the ice cream and fruit salad that Sadhana and Gpa brought.)  The stuffed chicken was delish.  Onions and potoatoes and yams all very good.  And everyone had a great time.  Thanksgiving definitely travels well to other countries...  Especially since a few days later (yesterday) I was off swimming in an ocean pool instead of putting snow tires on my cars. 

Hope all the rest of you had very happy thanksgivings! 

Lots of love,