Tuesday, June 15, 2010

fifty plus one

Me thinks I am showing some signs of homesickness. If you're going to be sick, I guess this is a good one as no kleenex are needed, it is not contagious, no aching joints, and your face doesn't get splotchy. I know I am homesick because recently every other person  looks like somebody at home. I went to the grocery and oh look there's Kim! (no) Hey, look that looks like Pete! (nope) Isn't that....? (no again) So this too will pass,  it's all part of the experience. If I didn't miss home something would be wrong. Arcata is dear to us in so many ways......but we do feel special we missed out on a REALLY wet winter and spring.

Thank you  everyone for the birthday wishes.  I am now officially 51 it seems. I am continually grateful I know so many superb women (and men!) ahead of me in the *collect the years* game. I have nothing to fear but more wrinkles and gray hair. Oh goody. I'm still sticking to the same story, I have earned every one of these wrinkles.

To celebrate the big day, Tom and I enjoyed an early morning jog on the beach, followed by a cuppa (one of my favorite aussie expressions)  then we were off like a herd of turtles to Brisbane. We took in the Ron Mueck exhibit at the Queensland Modern Art Museum. He's the guy who makes Big People (not to be confused with the other big things of Australia) I had seen his work some years back in Washington D.C and was quite impressed/bemused. He is Australian born and currently living in London. His work is phenomenally life like. One in this exhibit is a newborn baby that's bigger than a baby sperm whale.

Following a particularly gastronomic heavenly event known by the common name dinner,we skidded over to play we had booked. It was billed as a comedy but the plot had gone missing and no one in the audience laughed. Thankfully it was over in 75 minutes! Sunday morning Melissa and I attempted to take the train to yet another dance competition her studio was participating in. Didn't quite work out as we were on the train for a little too long before I realized we were headed in the wrong direction.  Stressed is not quite a strong enough word to describe the ensuing emotions. In the end we made it to the appointed theatre with we thought  about three minutes to spare, but she ended up not going on stage for another hour.  It would have been a very long day for all of us had she missed her performance!

Sunday afternoon was a rugby league game at Suncorp Stadium. (capacity over 50,000)  The Brisbane Broncos pummeled the Rabbitohs, a South Sydney team. We ended up sitting mostly among the Sydneysiders, near a rather loud fan screaming "Go Bunnies!!!!"  The cheers when the Broncos scored were deafening.  My how those 250 pound guys with thighs like fire hydrants smash into each other. We watched some poor soul  dragged down the field several yards as he hung onto an opponent's shirt. As we were leaving our seats a woman approached Tom and said " don't I  know you?" he said no, she said " are you sure? from the movies? T.V.?" He missed his chance to impersonate a famous actor. Must be his new sevelt figger.

Monday was a holiday.  Happy birthday Lizzie!  (Queen Elizabeth that is) We drove to the glass house mountains, not far from here, and hiked around admiring these lava plugs, cores of ancient volcanoes. They have been here awhile, about 25 million years.  Named by Captain Cook in the 1770's, he thought they looked like glass furnaces.

Here is a photo of my favorite piece from the fused glass workshop I attended last week, a couple of shots at a magnificent place called the Buderim Forest Park, and, courtesy of Melissa Ryan, a photo of the scoreboard at the Giants' game in San Fransisco over Memorial Day Weekend. (which she arranged) I'm sure it was a bitter sweet occasion for her friends and family to be together there without LuAnn, watching the team she loved. I miss her. We are so excited Scott, Cindy, Conner and Jaycee will be here in less than two weeks!!


  1. I can't get over all the things you are doing. You certainly are making your year one very packed and wonderful experience! That is soooooo neat. Your glass piece is beautiful. Would you think of teaching a workshop when you return? Take care and continue to cram it all in. You and your family are definitely having a once in a lifetime experience. Enjoy. Katy

  2. Sharon Porchia-Vollmers commented on her photo album:

    "Life is great. just spent the weekend with my 5 month old grandson who is the most beautiful baby in the world. i'm in love. Business is crazy busy. who'd of guessed..Life in the downunder sounds totally amazing and i'm so jealous because i will probablly never get to experience the world as you and your family. Miss you thou. It seems like forever that you have been gone. As you can see i'm not so good at communication. but my thoughts are with you and i live by the blog. talk again soon . Sharon"

  3. Oh dear, dear Stephanie,
    As always your blogs bring a smile to my face and a chuckle to my heart. I've always wondered what witchie grubs look like, ever since I began reading about them in my impressionable college-anthro-class days. I figured they can't taste that bad if so many folks eat them. Don't know if I'd be more game to eat a crispy one or a gooey one.

    Loved the costumes those ladies sported. for that alone I'd join up. And I love Melissa's dress, especially since you sewed it up. Takes me back to my days her age. Looks a lot like a dress my mom made me in 1962.

  4. What happy times. You will have memories for ever. Love seeing your life and dreaming a little about the climate. Sun just came out and it is a hot 62.


  5. Steph,

    I haven't been very good at writing back. You have been the perfect
    traveler as I feel like I've been to Australia just reading your blogs.
    It's been facinating!

  6. We have loved reading your blogs! Sounds like you are all having a grand time traveling and exploring your new home.

  7. Hi...you know, I read your blogs and I'm always sorry when they end. They are delightful.

  8. Oh damn, I missed your birthday!!!

    Happy 51 you dear girl!!!

    I am so entertained by your blogs...you really are a good writer, you
    know! And glass artist - lovely, cool, watery plate!

    I'm homesick for you, too! I think of you often, and just the other
    day driving down G Street Ai Li piped up and said, "Where is Melissa, I
    haven't seen her in sooo long," When I reminded her of where you were
    she said, "STILL!? Can't she come back to play this summer?" Please
    tell Melissa that her absence has been duly noted.

  9. Hmmmmmmmmmm. I think it was just your birthday. I think I forgot to email an ENORMOUS birthday greeting to you. I think I’m getting senile........
    I’ll find out how your weekend was in the blog, I’m sure......but I lost my wireless connection (neighbor moved away), and it is tooo slow with dial-up, so I’ll wait until I’m in Arizona on Friday with a highspeed connection to read it. Maybe I’ll even catch up on my own....
    You’re half way through your year. Hasn’t it flown by!!!? I know mine has.
    Gotta dash away
    Madness takes its toll...........

  10. "Hi Steph! I read your blog. Loved the photos and hearing about everything. Sorry I missed your B-day. I am glad to hear that it was a good one.

    Please tell Melissa that I wore the scarf she gave me to the Bier babies' birthday party. It looked really good on my new shirt. I wore it as a belt as scarf belts are really in! Wow! am I in?

    Lots of love and "hi" to all!"

  11. happy belated birthday Step! Sounds like you had a good birthday.......It will be great to have Scottie and family over there..................so much to see and do! I would love to have that museum close by so I could see those fabulous statues.............They are great! Will you put a brick on your kid's head!! He just keeps getting taller and taller!

  12. Hi Stephanie,

    I just read another of your superbly witty and wonderful blogs and am totally missing you and your family. Are we halfway through yet? Another 6 months feels entirely too long.