Saturday, June 26, 2010

Witchety grubs , flat whites, and a new Prime Minister

This witchety grub (moth larvae) was groovin' in a potted plant right outside our front door.  Looks nice and meaty, don't you think? Eaten raw or slightly cooked they are  high protein bush tucker for aboriginal women and children, which leads to the question, why don't the men eat them?? We opted not to cook it up, but reportedly it tastes like scrambled eggs with peanut butter, or almonds, and when toasted the outside is like crispy chicken skin. Yum-yum.

Coffee house culture rivals California, with Australian brands like Gloria Jean's and Coffee Club dominating. Recently I read 61 of the 85 Starbucks in Australia have closed. Lattes and cappuccinos are popular, with a lessor focus on all the fru-fru syrupy concoctions that have become so popular stateside. A flat white is almost like a latte, just a little less milk. If you'd like an ordinary cup of joe you're going to have to make that at home, as the baristas only serve up espresso.  I thought folks around here would follow the English tradition of tea but the cuppa of choice seems to be the bean.  At school the break around 11 is called morning tea, but no one drinks tea.

Tom and I ventured onto another kind of surfboard this week, SUPS (Stand Up Paddle Surf). It would be imaginative to call it surfing as we were in the river on quite flat water, definitely a prerequisite to maneuvering one of these honkers in the salty water. Our wetsuits were handy only when it started raining as we actually stayed upright for the entire hour plus! Heaps o' fun, good exercise, and a nice way to do some sightseeing on the river. We're planning to get up to the Noosa everglades someday (a crocodile-less beautiful stretch of river up the road a bit) and we can rent these boards and take them there. Alternatively we could go in a canoe but then we would miss the adrenaline rush of an ever possible spontaneous swim.

So Oz is in the news again, as the first ever woman prime minister took office this last week. Politics are politics in lots of ways (haggling over new tax schemes, will we ever get out of the war in Afghanistan, issues regarding refugees, rising utility costs, etc, etc......) BUT Australia has quite a different way of handling how the party in power (presently Labour)deals with sinking popularity of the person holding the highest office. Just a few days ago, Kevin Rudd "stood down."  This means he didn't object when the caucus voted to replace him with Julia Gilliard, the Deputy Prime Minister. So, in a blink, Kevin is out and Julia is in. Parallel situation in America would mean the upper echelon of the Dem's could vote to replace Obama with Biden. Can you imagine? ! The fact that Obama's popularity is in the toilet partly because he hasn't fixed the huge travesty in the gulf is a mystery to me. Is he an elected leader or do people think a fairy godmother can grant him supernatural powers??

Saturday I helped out at our local Cancer Council of Queensland Walk 4 Cancer event registration. Around 700 of us walked some 20 kms along our beautiful coastline. I was thinking of my dear departed friend LuAnn, sister in law Katie, and mother in law Julie, who all recently lost their hard fought battles to this horrible disease. You might notice I am not either one of the people in this photo as I'm not a costume queen, but I can appreciate those who are....

Here's Eli and his mate Jakob, an international student from Germany. Eli's trying to talk him into coming to Arcata High next year.They have gotten on well and spent a lot of time surfing together. Unfortunately Jakob is headed back to Germany next week. Coolum High has an influx of 16 new internationals this next term, and Sunshine High will have 49, including Melissa! We have her new uniform all ready to go for the first day, July 13. She has predictable trepidation about being the new kid (again!) but is looking forward to being in their orchestra. The Ar-Mac orchestra at home is just around the corner and she has her sights set on being in that number.

Here's Melissa's 13th birthday dress we made last weekend, and the best looking of the tomato plants on the back deck. We are in the process of giving the house and yard a much needed scrub.....our visitors will be here in a matter of hours!
We are all QUITE excited...we'll  be taking in the local sights this next week and then July 5 we are all headed to............................................................................FIJI!!!!!


  1. Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you so much for writing to me and sending me your blog link. I dreamed about you last night. Guess I knew you were pushing the send button. Life is good, as hectic as ever. I'm rushing off to run life drawing and prepare for yet another weekend of Open Studios hoping to sell some art... will write more later. I love the photos of your beautiful family. Wow.

    love Joyce

  2. thanks for all the grand news! Mel is 13? No way! That surfing looks like I could even do it! So much fun!

  3. Yum, and you didn't want to eat the grubs!! In China, they were served in the food courts (but no, I wasn't brave enough either).

    You made Melissa's dress?! It looks great. I'm very impressed. I never got much past sewing Pocahontas costumes for the girls for Halloween.

  4. 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