What is wilson silverleaf? We're organitarians; it's best for our bodies and the planet. We cloth diapered Nina for the same reason. We drive a hybrid car & wish we could afford solar panels on our house. I'm a strong advocate for homebirth, full-time mom, & also a movie junkie. We don't have a tv though; we watch dvds on our computer. We love contradancing. I garden & knit; Larry's a puzzle lover & plays fantasy football.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The economy of paperbackswap.com

I just joined paperbackswap.com. You post books you own that you're willing to send out and can have other people send you their books. I wanted to do it to get some use out of some old books we've had sitting around the house.

The economy of the web page is interesting. When you join and post 10 books, you are given two credits. For every book swap, the requester is charged 1 credit and the sender receives 1 credit. So, the economy activity of the web site generates no wealth; all transactions are even. The only way wealth is created is when a new person joins. I never took even one economics course, but that sounds like trouble to me.

The obvious first fear is hoarders. It would be simple for lots of the credits to pile up with people who aren't requesting books, maybe because they just don't use the site anymore. That drains the money supply. A tight money supply makes people less willing to spend money (here, request books). So, you'd see very little swapping.

I'm planning to check out the forums and see if people are discussing the economy and if there are any signs that the tight monetary policy is having a negative effect.

By the way, I posted 16 pretty random books and I've already had 6 requests. So, my anecdotal evidence is that the economy hasn't stagnated. My current fear is that there is some reason to make a bunch of requests of newcomers.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

CBDC in the news again...

That's Chicago Barn Dance Company, where I used to be a very regular dancer. It's hands down the best dance community I've ever belonged to (and has spawned more than a few couples).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

mostly dead (it just feels that way)

Blog friends, if I still have any out there after I have ignored you so badly:
I have been sickitty sick. Like the kind of sick where sitting in a chair and staring at the walls takes too much effort. Sleeping for long parts of the day sick. Taking one step forward on the list and 5 steps back (which is especially frustrating because I was starting to win, and even though my head feels like it's stuffed with spaghetti, I'm still with it enough to know I've now got further to go than when I started). But not with it enough to type a coherent sentence, apparently.

Anyway, I coincidentally have a dr's appointment tomorrow anyway, so I will have him listen to my lungs (though I'm not sure they're there anymore, as I have been working hard to cough them up all day). And much to my mother's dismay said doctor will not likely want to test me for H1N1.

Also, a big shoutout to my sister, who cleaned the kitchen today--I've been managing to do some of the cooking still, and driving Nina to school, but not much else unless you count moving laundry to and from the washer and dryer but not actually folding any of it. The mere thought is exhausting. Now excuse me while I go pass out, I didn't manage to have a nap today and my head weighs approximately 800lbs. That's a lot of spaghetti.

Monday, September 21, 2009

realization about the list

I really need to get the house neat before I tackle any of the other projects. This is going to be a monumental task because of the aforementioned clutter, but so be it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It's nothing I'm ready to talk about (and I may never be) but I received some news tonight. It was news I have been expecting for a very long time but was still surprised by. I don't know how I feel yet or what I'll do. I feel very blessed to have friends and family to help me figure it out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the list

So, now that Nina is in school full time* (and I got laid off by the CSA I was working for) I can really focus on some projects that have been put on the back burner for far too long.

So here's the list (it will probably grow some before it gets smaller)

  • get rid of all clutter rallying points in the house (and by get rid of I don't mean move to another spot)--this may require a trip to the container store
  • clean and organize the garage (maybe enough to fit a car in there?)
  • make the back yard pretty
  • put together Nina's doll house
  • finish the kitchen (backsplash, painting, window dressing
  • baseboards and transitions in rooms with cork
  • sewing projects galore (hmmm, maybe I need to come up with specifics and list them)
*I will blog about Nina's first day of school, my mom has all the pics on her camera.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

clean coal--as seen by the coen brothers

I really love these guys. And now they're weighing in on clean coal--as a rebuttal to the "clean coal" ads that have been airing on tv.

Also? Even if it burns "cleanly" there is still the environmental impact of getting it out of the earth--flattened mountains and buried streams.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

iron in my soul

This blog post about the transformation most people experience when they become parents for the first time really hit a nerve--I hope you enjoy it too. As you know if you have a child, there is a mother bear lurking inside who comes out when we need her to protect our dearest ones.

what we don't tell you about parenting

Because we often talk about how hard it is. But more often than not it's also unbelievably funny. Overheard in the car with a friend:

"Ok, I'm a hat pirate and you're a lady with lots of hats."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

speaking of om...

Look what I found on top of my espresso yesterday morning...

I think it looks like an om...and I'm taking it as a sign from the universe that I should continue to drink coffee.

making it happen

I love it when people talk about starting a business that can make the world better--and then actually do it. Which is why I really couldn't be happier to tell you about Om Goods, which is a San Diego based business selling a wonderful variety of stainless steel goods. They have 2, 3, and 4 tier tiffins, gorgeous carry bags and matching napkins for the tiffins, childrens' dinner sets, and more.

So, here's the situation: I like to feed Nina three meals a day, but if you know kids, and especially my kid, you know that they are always asking for food, all times of the day. I did set up a snack cabinet for Nina but it's in one of the kitchen cabinets so the variety of foods is restricted to non-refrigerated foods. And then I saw this on the Om Goods site. It's made for spices, but from the first time I laid eyes on it, I knew it would be perfect for little snacks that a child could help themselves to, without being waited on hand and foot.

Here's what I came up with the first time I filled it: beef salami, mixed nuts, cheese, almonds, grapes, dried bananas, and in the middle, raisins and dried mango. I keep it in the fridge, and when I hear "I'm hungry" any time of the day, I feel comfortable telling Nina to go and help herself. And she loves having a little more independence.

It went over pretty well, I think. I'm really glad to have it and I'm even more glad this company is out there.

If you're local you can check them out every other Sunday at the Hillcrest farmer's market.

Monday, August 10, 2009

happiness is a warm (hot, actually) iron

If you're my friend on Facebook, you know that I really enjoy ironing. This was not always the case, however. What tipped the scales for me was getting an easy to use ironing board. I have one that goes over the door of my office and only comes down from the back of the door when I'm using it. No hauling it out of a closet and trying to find a place for it--it's just always there and easy to use. However, I have used it so much that I wore a hole in the cover, which means that I had to buy a new one. I know, I know, boring subject for a blog post--why would you even bother reading it? Well, all I know is that I'm really enjoying my new ironing board cover with its cheerful blue circles.

6 loads of laundry folded today, everything that needed to be ironed has been--now to put it all away, my least favorite part.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

why I love my job

I love CSAs. Have loved them ever since I heard about the idea for the first time over 10 years ago.

So, how thrilled was I that the lovely Elaine suggested me for a job with the one she works for--Garden of Eden.

Sometimes I pack boxes, sometimes I work at the pickups. Either way, I love it.

What could be better than being surrounded by lovely organic produce?

It gets hot sometimes, but it's worth it.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

wherein the little one chooses her own bed

Nina didn't sleep well last night, which of course meant that we didn't either. And she has been going to school until 3 on her two days a week there. Apparently the combo makes a little girl tired.

After I picked her up I decided to do some gardening, which she opted out of to play in a box I left in the kitchen. I have to admit I was skeptical when she asked if she could get some blankets and pillows from her room to take a nap in the box. When I came in a half an hour later, though, there she was still and silent in the box. Even then I was still suspicious, being familiar as I have become to her possum-like ways when it comes to sleep. Then I saw the drool and realized that possum sleep had turned into real sleep.

So,what did I do? Grabbed the camera, of course! I absolutely had to preserve for posterity and share these adorable pics of her stuffed into a little box asleep.

Larry came home eventually and we decided to let her sleep and delay dinner.

Then half an hour before bedtime I decided to try to move her to bed.

That was an hour and a half ago, she seems to be out. She smiled when I kissed her goodnight and told her that I love her, but we haven't heard from her yet.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

what have I gotten myself into?

Nina has been wanting a dollhouse for a while--my mom got her a nice one but it wasn't realistic enough for her--it was a lot like this, really nice. So we gave it to a friend and I recently bought a kit for a real victorian dollhouse on Craig's List. And now I have to figure out how to make this:

look like this:

Only I'll make some more interesting choices with the colors (this is one someone is selling online for 400$).

The one problem (besides the fact that I'm pretty scared to screw it up or that I won't get it done in time for her 5th birthday in November) is that I don't really have a place to work on it where she won't see it. Oh, and I'll be asking for advice on colors to paint the trim soon.

Friday, June 26, 2009

the second, longer leg

Here's a map so far, which I will keep updating as internet connection allows.

View Larger Map

the first leg of our trip...

Here's a complete accounting of the northeastern portion of our trip:

View Larger Map
I have many pictures to post and stories to tell, but haven't had enough time with a good internet connection--maybe this evening.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Hike

I took a guided hike this morning at the Sycamore Canyon County Open Space Preserve. Somehow, when I offer Nina a hike as the thing we'll do for the morning, she doesn't pick that option, so it was nice to go. A photographer for the local paper was there at the beginning of the hike; it's actually the second time in a week I had my picture taken to possibly be in a newspaper. On Wednesday, I went to the Princeton contra dance and there was a photographer there too. I don't think it was because a handful of graduating high school seniors are regular dancers, but that's what I would write about.

Here's hoping the budget problems don't cause all of the state and county parks to be closed!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

mommy in training

I made a strawberry pie last night--super simple, I took some organic smoothie mix I had bought a long time ago (strawberry, kiwi, and banana), heated and pureed it, then added a little cornstarch. Then I sliced a bunch of strawberries into a cooked pie crust and covered them with the puree. Super simple, no sugar added. I then whipped some cream and added vanilla and granulated maple syrup, and ate a slice of pie with whipped cream. It was heavenly. So much so that I had some for breakfast and put the remaining whipped cream into my coffee.

When I packed lunch for Nina today for school, I decided that a slice of pie would be fine since it had no added sugar. When I picked her up I asked her if she had liked the pie. Imagine my surprise when she told me she hadn't eaten it. And when I asked her why, she told me that they had ice cream at school and if she had eaten the pie it would have been too much sugar.

Can someone explain this to me?

Monday, June 01, 2009

organization...oh the joy

Though my home is not always well organized and tidy, I am happiest when it is. I really love when everything has a place and is in it. Really good organizational tools are invaluable, so when I saw this at a local discount store I ogled and lingered over it but didn't buy it. Then I found myself obsessing about it and made a special trip to get it, hoping all the time it was still there.

It was...

It's a charging station for our phones, mp3 player, bluetooth, and camera. And a cork board. And slot for incoming mail. And finally, something I had been looking for--a whiteboard for keeping track of food in the fridge. I made three columns, one for produce, one for leftovers, and one for a grocery list. When anything is put in the fridge, it's written on the board, when it's used, it's erased. And when I've entered the grocery list into my Palm, it gets erased as well.

It's the little things, truly.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

how to take a rest

When your mom works at the farmer's market--carefully remove your shoes, find a blanket and a makeshift pillow, and curl up in the car.

Unfortunately, a fewminutes after I took this picture, Theo arrived to play with her and she didn't actually nap, but the scene was just so sweet.


The first year after I planted our pomegranate it made amazing flowers but no fruit. Last year lots of flowers again and just two fruit. This year lots of flowers and already at least 4 fruit coming. But inevitably there will still be some flowers that just fall off; I decided to cut one open to see what they look like on the inside. You can see the seeds forming on the inside.

Of course, right after I bought it, I discovered that eating pomegranate hurts my mouth. But last year our first two fruit were ripening I waited impatiently and mailed them off to some friends who were having trouble conceiving. And recently they welcomed a fantastically cute set of twins. Pomegranates are amazing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

the bounty of the backyard

I don't love where I live. The neighborhood is fine, but it's not as walkable as I'd like. And it's far away from almost everyone I really like spending time with and everything I like to do. We have talked about moving but one big thing holds me back--I have fallen in love with my back yard. It's nice and big, my flower bed is finally established, and a friend gave me the cutest Japanese maple. Oh, and it gives me fruit every so often.

We also love to eat dinner out there (and I often drink my coffee there). It was lovely to have my mother over for a delicious dinner and then pick blueberries for dinner (we also had cherries from the farmer's market, which you can see in the background).

These were all picked yesterday evening.

So beautiful and delicious.

enchanted afternoon

Nina and I had a date for lunch this afternoon with some friends who live at the beach. We had a nice, leisurely lunch of quesadillas and salad, then it was beach time!

What I love about taking Nina to the beach is that she just plays in the sand contentedly. Little did I know that having Theo along would mean that they would run down to the water together to fill up buckets and play so well together. We're talking about Nina here--to her, the water is way too cold and the waves way too scary. Yet with Theo there the waves were fun, something to run away from giggling instead of shrieking in fright. And she got all her clothes wet but never complained of the cold. Score!

I wish I had gotten pics of them running to the water together with buckets, wearing only their droopy underwear and sodden t-shirts. It was soooo precious. I'll have to settle for the memory and the pictures I took after we got them hosed off and dry.

He is a fantastically gorgeous child.

I feel like this pic is so representative of how much these two enjoy each other.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

kookaburra song

kookaburra song, originally uploaded by loriensilverleaf.

I love the Kookaburra* song--I have been singing it to Nina all her life. So of course I bought her a little stuffed kookaburra in Australia, which is what she's holding while she is singing.

*a kookaburra is an Australian bird that looks and acts quite a bit like a kingfisher, but is a bit larger.

ideas wanted

Nina, mom, and I will be driving cross country at the end of June--any must see places between Florida and Southern California? We think we will try to avoid Texas, even though it may take us out of the way. Since we have no set plans, that's not really a problem.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

budding multimedia artist

Nina often disappears for long periods of time and when I come looking for her I discover that she's been busy making masterpieces. I never knew why, but I have been saving back copies of National Geographic for years. I finally decided to give them to Nina and tell her she could cut and rip them up for her art.

One day she brought me this--I couldn't believe how great it is. Little pieces of yarn curled up and glued to the paper, two separate images from a magazine, glued thoughtfully onto construction paper and then accented with crayon.

fabulous mother's day gift!

Larry and Nina got me this gorgeous ring for Mother's day. I wanted something with stones all around and no diamonds--very hard to find but they did a fantastic job, I think!

Here's another view of it.

The stones are topaz, which just happens to be my birthstone. Bonus; I would have loved it anyway.

nina & theo playing

nina & theo playing, originally uploaded by loriensilverleaf.

I have been working farmer's markets for a few months now--selling walnuts grown in Northern California. The woman who knows the farmer and acts as a middleperson between the farmer and me has three children, one of whom Nina has formed a wonderful friendship with. The two of them just really love hanging out together. The Tuesday market I do is in the afternoon, so I take Nina with me. Here's a short video of Nina and her friend playing together. They are so cute! Oh, and the Tuesday market is in Coronado, right on the ocean, so the noise you hear is a ship going by.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Nina told me that today is the most special day ever because it's Mother's Day. That would make her the most special person ever. I am so blessed that she made me a mother.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

a little bragging is to be expected, right?

I have had this rayon yarn for years, and have started several projects, first a strappy little tank for me (which I abandoned because I gained some weight and decided it wouldn't look good on me. Then I started a dress for Nina but had to modify the pattern and didn't write down what I had done and forgot after putting it down for a while. Then as soon as I started this pattern, I worked on it nearly nonstop until it was done.

She put it on immediately and has worn it several times since. Good thing because it's super frustrating when you make something for a kid and they won't wear it!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

almost famous...

I am blessed to have the creator of The Shape of a Mother in my life, she is funny, creative, snarky, beautiful, just all around fabulous. So when she asked for people to be part of a documentary that featured The Shape of a Mother, I said yes...with trepidation. You see, the catch is that we were to do it in our swimsuits, and if that were not bad enough, it was set to film in January. Yes, this is Southern California, but January is still a bit chilly. It ended up being an amazing day, with amazing women talking honestly about body image.
The very first bit is a surgery, which is pretty gory. If you want to skip it, just fast forward the first 2 minutes.

Louise Redknapp was so lovely, nice, and cute as a button. Funny and honest, too, as you can see in the clip above.
Here are a couple of pics from the filming

I was really really sick that day, so didn't feel like taking many pics.

The wonderful folks who make Tomberlies were generous enough to host and provide their delicious ice cream for us to gorge on. RDF, who made the film, provided us with a fabulous spread from Organic to Go.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

miscellaneous cuteness

On Earth Day we did a lot of gardening, mostly with purchases from the nursery, this little parlor maple was in the super sad but cheap area, so we decided to give it a good home. Then Nina decided that the fenced in area we gave it to protect it from the dogs would be a great spot for her garden.

Which to her means that she picks flowers and arranges them artfully. She loves it and adds new ones periodically.

I love that she is learning to do so many interesting things in circus class--here she is on the tightwire.

We went roller skating with some friends; I wish I had gotten video of Nina scooting along carefully. She was so pleased with herself to get all the way around the rink on the rug that she even got adventurous and did it on the wooden floor (mostly holding a hand but some by herself). I was able to rent roller blades so felt pretty comfortable. It was super fun.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

new specs

Arwyn helped me pick them out at Costco before she left town, then I had to wait for an exam appointment and then for them to come in. I think they were worth the wait.

I have been calling them "the last glasses" like in A Little Princess when Sara Crewe calls the doll her father buys her "the last doll." Barring something unforeseen, Larry will include the cost of laser surgery in next year's flexible spending account.

I have no idea why my eyes are pointing in different directions in the pic--are they always like that?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

we were right

The wedding gift ended up being as lovely as we thought it would be--here's a pic taken by the recipients:

awesome wedding gift

Because we went to Australia we had to miss Larry's cousin's wedding, which we were a bit bummed about. They had a registry but we decided to see if we could find them something special in Australia. I think we succeeded, I really love these tea light holders.

They're made from banksia cones, which I have taken lots of pics of, since they're so interesting looking.

It was hard to part with them--I really liked them.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

passover cake

Mom and Rochelle had a non-traditional Passover seder with lots of friends; I brought my favorite grain-free cake, recipe here.

I went a little nuts with the flower decorations.

All of it's edible, though...

Mint leaves on a chocolate cake are fab, though.

I love ganache...

Monday, March 30, 2009

spotty internet

I have lots to tell...but no wifi or internet connection in either place we have stayed. I will finish the tale of the fantastic Australia trip when I get home (probably Wednesday).

Friday, March 27, 2009


On the way to hear the carillon, we passed a flock of cockatoos, which I took too many pictures of. But I couldn't help myself, they are both beautiful and comical.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

kangaroo hunting

There are a bunch of kangaroos living on the hill behind the war memorial in Canberra, which the boys all went to see the night before I arrived. We decided to go to the top of the hill and hike down on the paved path down. It was gorgeous, beautiful sunset and views. And we got to see some 'roos at the bottom. Most of my pics didn't come out very well, but if you want to see all of them click here.

The last pic is of my dinner from Banana Leaf restaurant, which had fabulous food, with all the meals that could be made gluten free noted on the menu. Everyone's food was really delicious and visually appealing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

glassworks video...finally

Sorry, I uploaded the wrong one...here's the right one.


Today we hit up the Canberra Glassworks, where we got to see some fantastic glass artwork. We also got to see a team of glassworkers, one of whom was obviously an assistant or apprentice. They were making gorgeous bottles; we watched them make three, pretty much from start to finish, one right after the other. I took a few videos, which I will post at some other time, as they will take way too long to upload. Then my camera battery died. We poked around some shops, then caught the bus back. We parted ways so P could skype her kids and I shopped at a health food store and a grocery store.

I decided to then take the afternoon to rest, as I've been passing out at around 9 and I really want to be awake to try to see the kangaroos tonight. Wish me luck!

national gallery of australia

After we got back from the botanical gardens, we decided to head out to the National Gallery of Australia, which has a fabulous collection, especially of impressionists, which are some of my favorites. It also has an amazing Aboriginal Memorial, which you can read about here, but it seems like it is verboten to make images of it. There were amazing paintings and 200 painted tree trunks representing log coffins and different aboriginal groups. You can see a small picture of it here. The building itself is also very visually interesting on the inside, with twists and turns, windows in unexpected places, and views like alleys through the building. The gift shop was disappointing, though...

After a thoroughly enjoyable time, we went to the cafe at the National Portrait Gallery and I got an iced coffee. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had no ice in it, rather it had a layer of ice cream frozen into the bottom of the glass and a generous serving of whipped cream on top. Refreshing!

Just a few steps towards Lake Burley Griffin we found a part of Reconciliation Place, pictures of which you can see in this slide show:

I think P and I were both really moved by it (you can read more about it here). We then proceeded through a sandstone tunnel to the lake, which is part of Commonwealth Place, in addition to the constellation paving in the slideshow above. It was, apparently, a gift from Canada.

We then proceeded to the Australians of the Year walk, which was actually very interesting. We had heard of a few of them, but most of them were unknown to us.

After a little rest, we all (there are six of us from San Diego here right now, two wives and four mathematicians) decided to go out for dinner and ended up at Gus's. We had no idea it was of any historical significance, just that it was good.

botanic gardens

We decided to go to the Australian National Botanic Gardens on Wednesday, which was fantastic. It was free, as was the guided tour we took. Unfortunately, the abundant orchids were not in bloom, but it was very rewarding for a plant geek.

And you may notice, if you decide to subject yourself to the full slide show, that I took pictures of the pastry case in the cafe. They had many gluten free options, which I felt obligated to record for posterity. And I had a chocolate mud cookie--delicious.


By the time we got back to the hotel we were both tired an sweaty (and my legs were sore from wearing my FitFlops for the first time in months). I took a shower and waited for Larry to get back, then we went to Three Mothers Thai restaurant, which was very good.

national museum of australia

It was really nice, with lots of history, and really a perfect afternoon. I like the name of the cafe

And both P and I were enamored of this couch

The outside of this museum is really amazing too--here is this loop thingy--it seems like you should be able to walk all the way around it.

More of the outside. P said she had read that all the braille on the outside is words in the Aboriginal language.

And we both really liked these big wooden benches (I don't really know why).

a travel buddy

One of Larry's co-workers' wife decided to come along sans kids as well, and she was set to arrive on Tuesday. We weren't sure if she would arrive on the same bus that I had taken, or an earlier one, so I planned to go to the bus station at both arrival times just in case. When I didn't see her get off of the first, I hung around the area where the bus station is, poking around shops, and also a "Supa" IGA (supa because it had liquor, I think). It had a decent amount of both gluten free and organic stuff. I also decided to check out a convenience store to see if I could find a drink. As I was almost done perusing the aisles, the man behind the counter asked me if he could help me. I said no, and he said that I had to leave, that he didn't have time for me to just be looking in his store. I don't think I've ever been kicked out of a store before, but it makes me want to go browse many times a day and never buy anything.

Anyway, I went back at the later time and still no P. When I got back to the hotel I found that she had somehow gotten by me at the earlier time and she had showered and was ready to go out. We agreed that the National Museum of Australia would be a perfect afternoon jaunt and headed out.

It turned out to be a bit more of a walk than we had bargained on, but nice and mostly by the lake, where we ran into some lovely swans.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

no roos

After a lovely dinner at Sammy's, we decided to trek up to where Larry had seen kangaroos the night before. It was about a half hour walk to the Australian War Memorial, passing the basket handles and many war memorials (Korean, Boer, etc) on the way.

We waited and waited, but I was too tired to wait until full night time (about 9pm) for the kangaroos to come out. We did see lots of suphur crested cockatoos, and one or two more varieties of parrots (probably lorikeets and something else).

They were really everywhere.

Monday, March 23, 2009

looong flight

As you may or may not know, Larry has been planning to attend a conference in Australia for some time now. I hadn't planned to tag along, for various reasons, but in the last month I changed my mind and also decided not to bring Nina (too long a flight, too expensive). Which worked out great because Arwyn has been staying with us and agreed to take care of Nina (with help from friends and Mima). I booked a comparatively inexpensive flight with Qantas out of Los Angeles, which is a little inconvenient, but the tickets to LA were upwards of 500$...

When I got to LA, just for kicks, I asked how much it would be to upgrade (I meant business class, but I think the agent thought I meant first) and when he told me, I almost fainted--8 thousand american dollars. Seriously. Coach it was, then. And it was fine, I ended up having three seats to myself and slept some of the time. I also started (but couldn't continue past the first half hour) the movie Australia. I did watch, in its entirety, Changeling with Angelina Jolie. She gave a good performance, I thought, and though the movie was super sad, I enjoyed it. All in all, I had a great experience with Qantas (especially the Cadbury's hot chocolate).

When I got to Sydney at 8:20 am, I just had time to clear immigration and customs, use the bathroom, and hit an ATM. Then it was off to catch my 9:30 Greyhound to Canberra, and it was good that I bought the ticket ahead, because the seats are assigned. I tried to stay awake, camera at the ready, but I kept waking up, which means I had fallen asleep, sometimes for big chunks of the 3 hour ride. The bus station was about a 15 minute, easy walk from the hotel, where I took a shower, busted open some nuts from the mini-bar, and set out again in search of coffee. The hotel is at one end of a pedestrian shopping area, so that wasn't hard. I hit Target and some grocery stores (I love to go to grocery stores in other countries). Then I went back to the hotel and waited for Larry to be done with work.

new hairs

We had Arwyn's (and now my) friend Ryan staying with us for about a week. In addition to being a lovely person and a delightful house guest, she is also a talented hair dresser. Of course we all had her do our hair (even Nina, I will post about her first haircut later).

She did a fantastic job.

And we were all really, super sad to see her go.