Here’s a whole bunch of things we did in May and June 2019, non-chronologically.

Made a bunch of ugly dumplings. They tasted good but the filling in the chicken and prawn dumps was too runny so I was having a hard time forming them. Scott’s pork ones looked a bit better. After this Scott signed us up for a dumpling class for June #SMAJ, which was fun but we didn’t really learn anything new besides how to make the dough, which I’m not sure I would bother doing.

I learned how to make no knead bread. IT’S SO EASY!!!

Just wanted to show off this tasty sandwich on homemade bread.

Myles being adorable at family dinner.

House hunt update: not much. This was us at an auction, ready to bid. But it ended up going for more than our budget. Shrug. The place had spongey floors anyway. There hasn’t been a lot posted lately. We’ve gone to see a few places but none of them have been really speaking to us. We’ll just keep being patient and waiting.

This is the window in our toilet. It has glass slats but it’s just open to the outside, for ventilation?? This is ok in the summer, but in winter it goes down to like 3 degrees!! It made using the bathroom miserable and even with the door shut it still made that end of the house very cold.

I asked for help on Facebook and we figured out I could remove the slats and seal up the window. I used a pillow at first until we could get to Bunnings to get a piece of styrofoam. That beige buddy is wedged in there so well we’ll have to break it to get it out I think. It’s helped A LOT.

Crocheting for warmth.

A fun quick crochet project. Scott thinks I should have left a head hole in the middle.

There was a nurse at work who loves to braid hair. Lucky me! I got so many compliments on these ones at the gym. I think they added 5 kg to all of my lifts.

Auntie Hsi mailed me a quilt! It is extremely bright. It’s very well made and the perfect size and shape to use while sitting down because it covers all the way to your feet. She actually sent another one a couple weeks later too but I haven’t taken a picture of it yet. It’s purple and geometric and really pretty. Thank you so much Hsi!!

I got to go to a dinner meeting with the company that makes the radioactive spheres treatment I help with at work. It was at the Sofitel, which if you have visited me in Melbourne I have probably taken you there, because they have the best bathroom. The view was great and the food was super fancy! I got to try freeze dried mandarin! Not bad for a free dinner and a couple hours of CPD! :)

It’s not all blood, sweat, and tears at the gym.

I had a good comp last month. I made 5 out of 6 lifts. I missed my second snatch attempt which was really frustrating because I had done that weight several times fairly easily before in training. I got it on the third attempt but I wished I had made it on the second attempt so I could have tried something heavier after. Still a 1 kg competition PB though. And then I got all three of my clean and jerks, the last one being a 2 kg PB. Not bad considering I had only been doing power jerks in training for weeks and only switched back to split jerks the two light sessions before the comp. I’m up to a 95 kg total. I really want to get a 100 kg total!!

These monthly updates seem to be the easiest way for me to semi keep up to date with blogging so I think I’ll just keep making them.

We have officially started looking for a house to buy. We went to a mortgage broker and have been watching auctions for practice. We went and looked at one place but it wasn’t quite right. I’m a bit picky, I want a bath tub, ducted heating, a garage, and hopefully still walking/biking distance to work. We are trying to stay calm and be patient. There’s another one posted right now that gets an 11/10 on location scale, but we haven’t seen it in person yet.

We saw Tom Gleeson at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. We’d only just seen his TV show Hard Quiz for the first time a week or two before but found it quite amusing, so when I opened the comedy festival brochure and saw his show ad it seemed like a good one to go to. It was good. I wish I could think of the right things to say as quick as he can.

Twinsies! Volunteering at the Victorian Championships. I did the computer job, which is typing in the weights that the coaches/athletes want for their attempts and then marking them good or no lift. They can increase the number several times per attempt so you have to stay alert. It’s a good job though because you can see everything. My big goal is to qualify for this comp next year. I hope they don’t change the qualifying totals.

Was cleaning up my platform one night and realized I used every single change plate possible in one training session, hahahahaha.

I went to the footy three times and watched Melbourne lose three times. Depressing. At least the Melbourne v St Kilda game was kinda fun because we met up with my friend and sat right behind the interchange where we could see all the players up close.

And the Anzac Day Eve game was cool too when they did the lights out ceremony thing. Then we found out we were sitting in the wrong spot and had to move up to the real general admission which at that point was very full so we had to sit in the second last row. Much nosebleed.

After that game I decided I was going to stop paying to watch Melbourne lose. (I would still go if it was free of course, haha). Then they won the following two games! I don’t think they look very good as a team this year though.

We played a few new games. First pictured: Puerto Rico. I got a good deal on this on Facebook Marketplace. One of the other couples in our game group loves the game so we got them to teach it to us. It seems fun, not as complicated as Agricola, some depth. I like that you’re constantly doing something, even when it’s not your actual turn. But it needs 3+ players so we haven’t played it again yet.

Second was Terraforming Mars. We played this once before with Other Scott, but over Easter we played it a couple times on our own. It’s complicated and hard to be strategic/offensive, but really fun to just play because there’s lots of stuff to do. I would like to play this more.

And lastly, Camel Up. My coworker raved about this game, and it delivered. It’s quick and silly and probably 50+% luck, but very exciting and fun. It’s been a hit with every group we’ve played with. Da Boys caught on quickly and liked it too. The dice rolling pyramid thingy is 100% gimmick but it does legitimately make it more fun, haha.

We had a very relaxed Easter. Watched a lot of TV and movies and caught up on chores. We didn’t go anywhere this year. But two of Scott’s uncles came to visit which was exciting. I hadn’t met either of them before. Pat was so excited for bro time.

Approx $1K worth of Lune croissants. :’) They made a special ANZAC day kouign amann, which was (unsurprisingly) delicious. Everything they make is amazing.

My old trivia group finally coordinated a reunion trivia night and then as usual everyone bailed one by one except three of us. UGH. At least once Game of Thrones is finished the more reliable trusty trivia sub-group will restart.

Scott’s Monthly Activity Jaunt (#SMAJ – hashtag still in development) for April was going up Eureka Tower, but I think I’ll make that its own post because this is getting long enough already.

We had a good March. Many activities. Yet didn’t get burnt out. Success.

Visitors! Jess and Michael came to visit, at different times. And Jonno, Scott’s friend from school who lives in Scotland, came to visit. We met up with him on the floating bar Arbory. I took no people pictures, whoops.

Weightlifting! It feels like ages ago now, but I had a pretty good comp last month. It was at a new location with my new coach, which added a little extra stress, but it went well. I snatched 38 kg, 41 kg (equal PB) and then nearly nearly snatched 43 kg. I did all the hard part! Got under it, and even stood half way up but then dropped it behind me. Bummer, that would have been an excellent PB. Then I clean and jerked 48 kg, 51 kg (2 kg PB), but couldn’t even clean 53 kg. Ah well. 2 kg PB C&J and total is good.

I don’t have another comp for a while. That’s ok. I’m on week 3 of 4 of a new training block right now and it’s going so well! I think I’m actually getting stronger!

Bouldering! I channeled my inner-Rosemarie and joined my coworkers for a climb. It’s been ages since I last went. Was fun. I think I would like to do this more often.

Gains! From Sundae School Ice Creamery. I had mango lassi. It 100% tasted like mango lassi. Scott had raspberry rhubarb sorbet.

Crafts! I finally finished test stitching a new cross stitch pattern: I Love Board Games. I had a lot of fun designing and stitching this pattern. I tried to squeeze in all of my favourite games, like Azul, 7 Wonders, Carcassonne, and plenty more. Recognize any obscure ones?

Footy! It’s back!! My Melbourne Demons are doing real bad. They appear to have forgotten how to catch the ball. Or kick to another person. Or do anything. Scott’s Brisbane Lions are doing great! We went to a game last week and Scott finally got to hear them play the victory song for the first time in ages.

Our trip to Vancouver was hectic AF. We had checklists, Google documents, Facebook events, a detailed calendar, and group chats just to fit everything we wanted to do (and eat! #nomealleftbehind) on the trip. It worked though, the trip was very successful.

Second meal of the trip: poutine. (First meal was perogies at Rosemarie’s house.) #nomealleftbehind

We tried to see as many as people as we could right away (and beat jetlag) by booking a big table at Steamworks for the first night. Scott’s whole old work team showed up, plus the whole Ryan Ryan and Brian group, and good old Liz and Rob, and Rose and Lauren of course. It was fun.

The next day we headed to Salt Spring Island, and Seattle as well, which I’ll save for separate blog posts.

Scott’s friend Hannah from London just happened to be visiting Vancouver for one overlapping day. We met them for porchetta at Meat & Bread (#nomealleftbehind) and Scott walked all around the seawall with them while I took off to visit my old work and pick up some Darn Tough socks for all my poor Australian friends who I’ve convinced they are the best socks ever and can’t get them here. Sorry, sort of.

The next day dad arrived. We picked him up and made him tag along to the hockey store where Scott got a whole kit. So much cheaper than Australia.

It was a beautiful day so we drove up to the top of Mount Seymour to do a short hike (Dog Mountain). It was harder than I expected because it was so rooty, but we made it. The view from the end was very nice. It was a little hazy but you could still see the whole city.

The next day dad went for a big bike ride, Scott went to visit his old work, and I had training. I managed to keep up with all my weightlifting training while I was gone which was so good because I have a competition coming up next week. Rose actually lives within walking distance of the old gym I used to go to when we lived there and Al was very nice to make space for me. It was so confusing training in pounds again.

That evening we went to the SFU observatory where lots of space nerds showed us stuff with their telescopes. We could see Saturn’s rings!! It was pretty cool. Rose gave us a tour of her old uni and then we had some late night ice cream, yum yum.

Saturday was an insanely busy day. We squeezed in three different events with three different groups.

1. Dimsum with Rosemarie’s friends. Scott is so creative with his panoramas. Can you guess how he took this one?

2. We got the old game gang back together and had a games day like the old days! We played Mysterium, a space dice game, Sushi Go/Sushi No (where you try to get as few points as possible), ate nachos and Smartfood popcorn (#nomealleftbehind), and caught up on all the gossip. Was great.

3. Dinner and games with Lesley and Jean Pierre (not pictured). She made really delicious tacos, and we played Settlers (of course!!). We also played Monopoly Go. I miss having a friend like Lesley around.

Finally the last day of Scott’s trip we trekked out to UBC for one of our favourite Vancouver events, the apple festival. Rose, Lauren and dad had never been! (It was Scott and my fifth time, haha). We tasted all the apples, ate apple pie, drank apple cider, and learned all about plant medicines. I forget what my favourite apple was, but of course it was something kinda mushy. The sales area was completely wiped out so we couldn’t buy anything.

Then we dropped Scott off at the airport. We all wish he could have stayed longer.

OK no more footy talk for six months. What else have we been up to?

I did another weightlifting competition at the end of August. My back wasn’t great at the time so my coach and I were being pretty conservative. I wasn’t expecting any PBs because I was powering everything, but I went 6/6 and still got a 2 kg PB in snatch and 1 kg PB in clean and jerk! I have another comp coming up in November and it will be interesting to see what I can do if I do full movements.

We got these pretty carrots from Costco. I roasted them whole for about 30 minutes. Then mixed up a 3:2 ratio of balsamic vinegar and honey with a bit of thyme, drizzled the mixture over and broiled them for another 10 minutes, then sprinkled with salt. They turned out like salty-sweet-tangy candy vegetables. So yummy. I especially liked the crispy tips.

Also the Pinch of Yum freezer wild rice soup recipe is magical. I still can’t understand how a recipe can be so easy at prep time and at cook time and still turn out so good! All of herĀ freezer meals are so intriguing. Basically they’re a whole bunch of recipes where you cut up and freeze a bunch of uncooked stuff, and then later pop them straight into your pressure cooker frozen and voila 30 minutes later you have dinner. PS I doubled the recipe and split it into three dinner packs. Also I used brown rice instead of wild rice because wild rice doesn’t exist here. Scott said it tasted like the inside of a chicken pot pie. I will 100% be trying more of these recipes.

This is our new house btw. It’s pretty great other than the lack of insulation. I want to buy one.

The other morning we went to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival with Scott’s mum and aunt. It was alright. They must be making bank because it was very busy and it’s not cheap. I think it would be better if they planted the flowers into cool designs like in Ottawa, but perhaps my standards are a bit high, haha.

I am very pleased to report that my allergies are not a problem any more. I just have to use antihistamine eye drops, antihistamine nasal spray, and a daily antihistamine tablet. Is that too much? I hope not because this is the first spring in like 8 years that I have felt like a normal human.

I trekked out to ALTONA NORTH to go to my old coworkers 30th birthday party. It was nice to catch up with them, I do miss my old EH work pals. Also wow Melbourne is so big it’s like the West and the North could be entirely different cities… I never go there!!

I went on a work wine tour in the Mornington Peninsula with a bunch of techs and nurses and receptionists from medical imaging at my current job. It was very fun and silly. Now I see familiar faces if I have to go to MRI or CT and stuff which is nice.

Myles turned 1 and had a birthday party with 9 trillion kids. He is v cute.

A little while ago Scott’s dad won a gigantic charcoal bbq and several boxes of wine and a bbq lunch party from a liquor store contest that he didn’t even know he entered. They had the lunch on Saturday. A lady came and cooked up like ten different kinds of meat for us, and served it and cleaned up afterwards. What a treat for Scott’s parents. The most hilarious part though? The lady used the regular bbq to cook it, not the prize one hahahahhaa.

This Friday we’re going to Canada!! Just to Vancouver to visit Rosemarie and all our old friends. I can’t wait! I have a very long list of foods I want to eat: Macintosh apples, Jamaican patties, perogies, poutine, yam rolls, Blenz hot chocolate, Smartfood popcorn etc etc. I have to be so strategic about my meals. NO EATING FOODS I CAN GET IN AUSTRALIA.

All for now.