Sunday, April 30, 2006

Prawns on the barbie

Yesterday, the boys (Craig and Michael) decided that they would try their hands at opening up a coconut or two. So with tools from the garage, they each tackled a coconut each. Craig remembered a demonstration we attended at Dunk Island on how to dehusk a coconut and how to extract the coconut milk. So it wasn't too long before there was a sample of fresh coconut milk to be tasted by all. Marlee had fun playing with another new toy.

That night we had a seafood banquet which we ate on our outdoor dining table. We put a huge Red Emperor fish in the oven; on the bbq we had Moreton Bay Bugs with chilli and coriander, chilli prawns, and a crayfish salad. The seafood was quite reasonably priced in Cairns, and the fish monger threw in the cray for free and gave us double our order of a dozen prawns. Very nice of him, and ensures that we will go back to him next time we need seafood up here.

Today, Michael and Veronica left us to go back to Melbourne and later tonight Cameron and Di will be arriving. Marlee will have new people to look after!

Friday, April 28, 2006

End of week one

Our first guests have arrived for the weekend, Michael and Veronica. We showed them the Cairns waterfront and drove through Palm Cove on the way to Port D. Some of us went for a swim in the pool while others felt it was too cold. It has been overcast and a bit drizzly, but tomorrow should see us enjoy some sunshine. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Anzac Day

Not much doing today. Made some nice lunch on the bbq, watched a bit of footy, had an afternoon nap (all three of us!). Then we went to the beach for a stroll with the dog. No running off lead for Marlee unfortunately, although she would have loved it. There were a few dogs there that she could have played with.
Then it was a quick evening dip in the pool before preparing to go out for dinner at La Cucina (formerly Sassi). Mmmm... nice food. I tried some local caught reef fish called Nanagai, and Craig had Duck Pappadelle. Disappointingly, they no longer have chocolate souffle on the menu. It was just as well really: we couldn't have fitted it in anyhow!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sunshine at last!

Finally we had full sunshine!We woke early as the cable guy came to install the Austar box (7am-Craig wanted to call Bill, just because he thought that Bill was probably at work already).However we spent the afternoon swimming in the pool. We found some li-los in the garage and we blew them up so we could laze on them. We three floated around the pool until the sun was no longer on us (and we had lightly pickled ourselves in the water).

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Drying up

Today it only took us 30 minutes to walk the beach at a brisker pace. The sand is still extremely saturated, but still compact enough to cycle on (we saw tire tracks). No swimming in the sea yet, as there is still the presence of stingers. The cyclone has really whipped up the currents. They had to remove the stinger nets because of the rough waves. But the water feels so inviting...
Today the sun finally shone through the clouds. It had been desperately trying the past couple of days. Its amazing the difference it made to the garden; all the greenery just came to life.
Marlee discovered a coconut. At first she was petrified, not sure what the heck it was. But once she saw that it wouldn't harm her, she hoed right into it with much gusto. The ultimate doggie toy! We need to get a couple for home!
The weather has really warmed up with the sun shining... I might even jump in the pool. Tomorrow Marlee will be allowed to go for a swim too (now that we have removed the last of her stitches).
And great news: the cable guy is coming to hook up the cable tomorrow and to fix the aerial (we have had static tv). So that means the Footy Channel for Craig, and all the Lifestyle, Discovery and Animal Planet I can watch! We have watched 5 of our dvds thus far, but if the sun keeps shining, we'll have to bring the remainder home with us.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Still drizzling

It was still drizzling when we woke up this morning. But we decided to walk to town anyway. It was that kind of drizzle where it was just enough to be annoying. Anyway, we walked up Four Mile Beach to Port Douglas town, and it took us about 40 minutes (including wading through 2 instant ponds) to get to the beach and 2 temporary estuararies.
Not many people in Port at the moment. We were in town last night (Friday night) and it was pretty quiet. Even the pub was only a quarter full. Its all a bit wet for the tourists I think.
Still, at least its warm.
Marlee seems to be coping ok (thanks in part to Rescue Remedy). But she is being left behind more than usual. She would have loved the walk this morning. Alas. We'll take her stitches out this weekend, and then she can jump in the pool. I've cut back her food even more, as she is doing minimal exercise. I think she's down to her ideal weight, at least she looks leaner than before. No more Fat Dog taunts!
Well it stopped raining for our walk back. But looks like "seasonal showers" for another 48 hours according to the forecasters. I don't mind. We can only relax more. A bit of sun wouldn't hurt though!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Tropical North Queensland

We arrived in Cairns to a very wet and humid welcome. We watched Marlee being unloaded from the cargo hold; satisfied that there were signs of life, we proceeded to collect our luggage and the hire car.
It had been raining non-stop since cyclone Monica crossed land yesterday so parts of the Captain Cook Highway was blocked from flood waters. But a small detour saw us on our way to Port Douglas. We crossed many a swollen creek, numerous spontaneous waterfalls down the cliff faces, and watched the turbulent Coral Sea lash at the coastline.
The house on Solander Boulevard is very nice. We have a saltwater pool, our own private path to the beach (that's currently knee deep in water!), spacious open plan living, and a fruit basket with red wine waiting for us. However, it was still raining. But its warm at least!
After a shop at the closest grocery store we hunkered down for the evening. It was still raining. Craig explored the path to the beach, gingerly wading his way through the small lake that has formed, hoping not to encounter any crocodiles or other wee creatures that may bite.
Sleeping was comfortable, with the occasional wake up call from both bush turkeys and the resident geckos. The trickling of the pool waterfall is actually quite relaxing.
This morning, its drizzling. Not sure what we're doing today... whatever takes our fancy I guess.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Notts off to Far North Queensland

Yes: we depart cold, wet Melbourne tomorrow for warm, wet Port Douglas. We have books, dvds, there's a pool, the beach, and the dog is coming too. Nothing but relaxation. And hopefully some nice food too. Ahhhh...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Marlee: Recovering from knee surgery

Marlee is home and recuperating. She was fairly docile for the first day, but after the drugs wore off, she has been back to her old self and raring to go. Unfortunately for Marlee, she is not allowed to run, chase any balls, go up or down stairs, and definitely no couch jumping.

But she is a Jack Russell Terrier (often called Jack Russell Terrors). She won't sit still. She wants to play, she wants to run, she wants to go out for a walk. No, no and no! She is not happy, and its been a challenge to stop her from running (hopping) around. We're supposed to keep her quiet and confined for up to two months. Yeah, right! Easier said than done. We'll just have to do our best...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Marlee in for surgery

We went to see the small animal surgeon this morning.
We left there with $650 less deposit and no Marlee Mu Mu!
She's having surgery today on her dinky right knee and will stay overnight at the vets.
Two months recovery! No running, no stairs, no couch jumping. Eeek, she's going to drive us nuts! She'll even have to be on the leash when she goes out to do her business!!
The surgeon said we shouldn't wait until after our holiday, as her condition will probably get worse, and the chances of a better outcome are better the sooner its done. So she went straight in. That way she'll have 9 days at home to recover before we fly off to Cairns next week.
No running on sand! Craig and I had grand ideas about jogging on the beach with our dog. Now it'll just be the two of us. Marlee will have to be confined at the holiday house. Poor munchkin. However, after her stitches come out, she will be allowed to swim in the pool - good rehab for her. She'll just have to be carried everyhwere else! Que sera, sera.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Marlee Health Update

Last week, we met some nice people at "Marlee's Oval" with their two little pups. The woman said that Marlee was very cute, and that she "had quite a girth on her". Girth? Linda and Phil came over for lunch the next day; and Linda said that Marlee has "filled out". Our dog is FAT.
Last weekend Marlee started limping after chasing her tennis ball. Over the next two days, she would hold her back leg up after running, sometimes just walking. She even yelped a couple of times, then 30 seconds later, she would be ok - walking on it like nothing happened.
So off to the vets we go. Seems like she may have luxating patellas. Dislocating knee-caps. Options? Surgery. Or worsening arthritis in the joints if we don't do anything. Bummer. More surgery and she's only 9 months old!! So we'll meet the "small animal surgeon" and see how we can tackle this. She'll probably need both knees done. Marlee's not going to like it one bit.
Oh... and the vet said that she is a little bit overweight!!! Eeeek. So we have to switch her to adult dog food, and take the skin off the raw chicken wings she gets. Hmmm and those yoghurt and carob dog treats... we may just have to cut back on those too.
In two weeks, we three are going up to Far North Queensland for a few weeks in the tropics. It will be Marlee's first plane journey. We will have some fun on the beach and in the pool, before she comes home for surgery.
Does she look fat to you??