Monday, April 30
Not that long ago we were at said petshop watching said rodents, when a young lad sidles up behind us as says "you don't want a couple of hamsters do you?". We immediately thought of illicit backyard breeding programs and extra pocket money and attempted to quietly extract ourselves from the situation. Our lad looked pretty nervous, about 18, and a little bit punk - he also looked genuine. Before we'd extracted ourselves fully his flatmate came in for backup and they explained that they were going away, that the hamsters were going to be given to one of their mums (poor mum) and that they'd been a recent impulse purchase. At that point we were wavering, but the killing blow came when they mentioned that they were a pair of robos... All over, we were sold. The lads were at the petstore to buy bedding and a new water feeder, so we offered to get them while they ducked home to get the beasts (you'll be pleased to note that not even free hamsters could lure us to some lad's apartment). Standing outside in the full light of a (hot) San Antonio day, we suddenly wondered if we were now the butt of some highly complex joke, and realised that if they didn't come back we'd be forced to go out and buy ourselves some hamsters! But our lads did return, with a well kept and very clean cage and the two most gorgeous hamsters you've ever seen!
We never found out the names of our benefactors, and we didn't get to say much more than "are you sure?" and "thankyou!", but I hope they know what a brilliant gift that was! Similarly, we never found out the pre-existing names of the beasts, but in true Jo and Jac style they are now known as Lump (mine) and Busy (Jo's). They are real characters and lots of fun to watch. We moved them from their little travel cage into a larger glass tank, and bought them a silent wheel (the original one drove us BATTY), and now they pretty much replace the TV in terms of night time entertainment. I've attached a few pics for now, but watch this space...HAMSTER CAM COMING SOON!
Monday, April 23
Not only is there a "Toilet Map Helpline" but if you are having trouble finding what you need you can "visit other sites about continence"...and I have no idea what the "my toilet map" option does.
Who comes up with these things? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall as this one was pitched. Yay for tax dollars. I love Australia!
Wednesday, April 18
Enough talk, I'll let these pics speak for me for now...
Photos from our trip to Fredericksburg and the Wildseed Farms wildflower farm (the same one Kath and I went to last May...very different this year!)
These "Blue Bonnets" are the national flower of Texas, a kind of tiny lupin.
The mixed poppies are my favorite
No clue what the yellow ones are...
It was lovely to see California poppies again because we accidentally grew so many of them when we lived in Sandy Bay!
Woot, you made it to the end!
The second example is Jo's valentine's day present... They're called ugli fruits, for good reason! They seem to be a delicacy here, although I didn't like them much! Lucky for me Jo did. They're like a grapefruit, but with more pith and less flavor, but the insides break into segments more like a mandarin. The fruit itself also feels like a mandarin, but tastes a little like a watered down lemon. So really, an odd collection of bits from a wide range of citrus, non of them particularly striking except for the look! Ugli...
Egg dying for Easter is a big thing here. Chocolate eggs are not. You can get some solid chocolate eggs but not the big eggs full of X. The tradition here is to have little plastic eggs that you pop open and fill with various types of candy, but mostly jelly beans. I guess it's a little less messy to hunt for them on a hot Easter morning than finding the slick that was Mr Rabbit... Hot cross buns are also non-existent, which means that we are STILL totally craving them. I think I'm going to have to be brave and attempt to make some, so if anyone had a foolproof recipe feel free to fling it my way.
On the night of Easter Sunday we went to our friend Lorena's house for yummy dinner. She's vego so we had an amazing meatless spread. Jo's favorite was of course the green bean casserole which we mentioned in the Thanksgiving entry. It's basically green beans, mushroom soup and crunchy fried onion bits on top but it is very tasty and Lorena makes it with a good hit of chili. My favorite were the tamales, a Mexican tradition where corn meal paste (basically polenta) is spread over a corn husk, and topped with various fillings (usually meat) but in this case black beans, then it's all wrapped up and cooked. You pop the middle out of the corn skin and it's very tasty! A must have if you make it to San Antonio. I'm thinking I should learn how to make them.
Lorena set us up to do some egg dyeing, so I thought I'd snap the carnage!
Many an egg was dyed...
My eggs...one of them is supposed to be a dino's head... (I was tired ok!)