The kids have been here just about 3 weeks and we are settling in to some sort of routine.  The days are filled with me going off and coming home tired, often sleeping poorly due to some nasty hot flashes and a busy brain.  The rest of them are either gone to look for work, working out, sleeping and keeping the crew in order (that would be Leon).  But come evening, there seems to be a competition going as to who will be the next greatest chef in our new home in Bendigo.  Earl has expressed an interest in taking culinary arts at Algonquin in 2 years, so I am happy to nurture that side of his creativity.  Ariane and Nick are just trying to be helpful.  And I like to cook, at any time.  So each evening, we take turns making a nice meal for the family, followed by a session of watching our favourite show – Master Chef.  It’s a local reality show where contestants are made to compete in the kitchen.  Fun ideas and challenges!

Last night, after a very long week, we had a pizza buffet where all of us made our own pizzas with whatever ingredients I could put out – ham, fried up onions, peppers (known as capsicum here), mushrooms, olives, pineapple bits, cheese of course.  We made our pizzas and then settled down in front of the tv for a 2 hour episode of our show.  You can’t say we don’t have an exciting time here in Australia!!

Today was a gorgeous day – 19C and sunny.  I decided I needed some retail therapy with my daughter, so we went off to see a couple vintage shops for the heck of it.  We didn’t buy anything and thanks to the short business hours (stores often close at noon on Saturdays here), we didn’t shop at more than 2 stores.  Oh well, it was nice to do a girly thing together.

I am presently cooking up a storm – bbq chicken, bbq chicken thighs marinated in wine, chicken, roasted garlic and cheese sausages, scalloped potatoes and coleslaw are on the menu for tonight.  After that, Leon and I are going to a fundraising Trivia night at my school.  That should be fun!

This week, I was asked to contribute a small article for my union newsletter about our exchange.  I was rather flattered to be asked and now I am looking forward to more similar opportunities.  Writing this blog allows me to express my creativity in a new way.  Thanks for reading.

In the days to come, the routine will change again as the older 2 are moving on to Mt. Isa, in Queensland, in hopes of finding work and adventure.  Earl will stay with me until August when he returns to Canada.  And now Leon is looking to return to Canada for 2 weeks to sort out his house renos and get some action on the sale of his house.  It will sure be quiet around here…