keepin’ it local

tonight sam and i had take away from another neighborhood restaurant.  hinlay curry house.  this cozy restaurant is really just a hop skip and a jump from our house.

IMG_1473 IMG_1474

which is super handy when i don’t feel like cooking (which is most nights) or being embarrassed by the delivery driver arriving at our gate one more time.


tonight sam and i tried a variety of the curries.  we also had the yellow rice and some garlic roti.

IMG_1483 IMG_1482

my food photography skills and my lack of a non yellow/brown plate to serve yellow/brown food on sort of fail me here.  but what you see moving clock wise is -

  • yellow rice
  • mutton dopiaza – delicious pakistani mutton curry with twice as much onion and aromatic spices as the other dishes.  this curry has a thick, tangy sauce with lots of taste.  delightful!
  • pumpkin curry – southern indian-style pumpkin curry.  Mushy, with pieces of tender pumpkin soaked in mild spiced sauce.  the pumpkin gives it a mild sweet flavor.
  • chicken tikka masala – recognized as a “british national” dish nowadays, it is cooked in masala and cream sauce and has a delightful flavor of its own.  best choice when you don’t know what to choose.
  • shrimp masala – shrimps cooked in masala and cream sauce.  has a delightful flavor.

and on the second plate -

  • garlic naan

the descriptions are straight off their menu and all are pretty accurate.  i don’t think you can go wrong with anything, at least all the dishes we tried this evening were very good.  sam’s favorite is the shrimp masala and i am a big fan of the pumpkin curry.


8 weeks

Tomorrow will mark 8 weeks post-op.  which is amazing.  it feels like it’s been forever, but it also feels like my surgery was just yesterday.

i spent week 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 down with an ear infection.  it required me to take some pain killers.  i generally don’t mind living with some discomfort or even a minimum amount of pain (living with is probably not what i mean, temporarily tolerating is more like it.)  when i was asked pre-surgery what level of pain i could deal with i said 4 out of 10.  if we could keep the pain at a 4 i’d be happy.  i think it’s important that i feel at least discomfort and i don’t think pain is a bad thing, as long as it isn’t interfering with my daily life.  the pain reminds me that i’m recovering.  to not push myself.  when i’ve had enough.  so, i haven’t taken much pain killer since my eyebrow stitches incident and i discovered something amazing.  400mg of advil and i was pain free.  like nothing was wrong.  and in a very short amount of time it seemed i forgot i needed to be careful.  i knew not to go crazy – i didn’t start running or lifting or tackling the daily WOD, but i did push my range of motion a little further than i might should have doing my rehab exercises and i was up on my feet a lot.  once i quit taking the pain killers i was hit with a new fatigue and soreness that i hadn’t experienced since before the surgery.  no worries, it wasn’t anything like the pain i’d had pre-surgery, but i could definitely tell i’d done too much.

in order to recover from this i cancelled a few PT sessions.  I did my exercises, but i was much more careful about what i was doing and how i was doing it.  i did my stretches and i was much more conscientious about doing them.  i tend to be lazy when it comes to stretching and mobility work.  which is a little funny because it’s all i seem to do now.  i’m going to meet with a pilates instructor who attends one of my crossfit classes tomorrow.  she’s going to work with me on my core and my alignment and how to get the most out of the rehab i’m doing.  i’m excited about this because pilates is one of the things that has been recommended once i’m cleared to work out.

so, my 8 week report is (for the most part) good.  i’ve tried not to hassle my doctor in the states too much.  i have had a few question for his PA and he’s been good about responding.  the biggest thing i’m guilty of is forgetting this was major surgery.  sometimes the fact that i don’t have a massive scar causes me to believe i just had a little work done.  that shaving bones and repairing the labrum is no big thang.  i’m not considered healed until the 3 month mark (august 29).  that’s when i can begin the real work, because healed is not the same thing as fully recovered.  it’s just when the recovery can really begin – if i’ve done a good job on the rehab that is.

what’s cookin’?

sam and i spent the day taking a thai cooking course.  he’s never done one before, but i have.  you might have read about one of them here or here or possibly here.  there are tons of cooking schools in chiang mai and my experience so far says they are probably all pretty good.  i imagine they all try to do something unique to set them apart, but in the end you’re going to visit a local market to get up close and personal with the ingredients you’ll be using and you’re going to end up cooking lots of thai food and eating it.  today we went to siam rice cooking.  i picked it because sam wanted to learn to make khao soi and they don’t all offer that.


cooking schools also provide a ride to and from their location.  we were the first picked up followed by 2 more families – a family of 5 from israel and a family of 4 from holland.  there’s been no kids at any of my previous cooking school experiences and it was kind of nice to have 6 teenagers in the group.

when we arrived at the cooking school we were greeted by our teacher for the day, aim.  she had us sit down and pick what we wanted to cook.  there were 7 categories and at least 4 dishes to choose from in each category.  sam and i decided to divide and conquer.  we never chose the same dish because we wanted the opportunity to make and try as many of the dishes as we could.

the first course was the soup course.  sam made hot and creamy soup and i went with chicken coconut soup.  both good choices.


next up were the noodle dishes.  i made fried big noodles (pad sii ew) and sam took on the drunken noodles which provided some cooking excitement.  (no worries, no eyebrows were damaged.)




by now i’m pretty sure i’m full, but also very aware we’re no where near done.  i manage to soldier on to the curry dishes.  sam chose khao soi – no surprise.  i went with green curry.  it’s one of my favorite thai dishes, but i always think it could be just a little big spicier.  our first task was to make curry paste (curry paste was the third dish).  this was my chance to bring the spice.  i thought 8 peppers was brave, but sam goaded me into 10.  once we had the paste made we were ready for the curry.  (curry was the fourth dish.)



khao soi on the left. green curry on the right.

after the curry round we had a bit of a rest.  just a few moments to let things digest and prepare ourselves to tackle more food.

after our rest we knocked out dishes number 5, 6, and 7.  number 5 was the appetizer dish.  (i know, it seems a little late to be taking on the appetizers.)  sam made spring rolls.


i made papaya salad.  which went into a to-go bag.  i couldn’t bring myself to eat anymore.


dish number 6 was the stir fried options.  cashew chicken was my choice.  sam’s was sweet and sour vegetables.


after my cashew chicken made it into a to-go bag we still had to tackle dessert.  the final course.  sam made mango sticky rice and i made sticky rice with young coconut.  which i ate.


then we graduated.





we’re really doing this thing

2nd restaurant down.  both sam and i have eaten here before so weren’t sure about putting it on our foodcation list.  however, we figure we can justify it because it was recommended on my officially unofficial facebook request for suggestions.

tonight was arcobaleno.  and also the second restaurant we showed up too early for service (if you are keeping count that makes us 2 for 2.)  totally our my fault.  apparently i would do well with the senior citizen crowd – dinner at 5pm seems pretty reasonable.  so, once again we got to take a few moments and chat, but only about 20 minutes this time.  once they unlocked the doors we were the first only ones in, but a car did pull up about the same time.  So even though it looks like we have the restaurant to ourselves there is a family of three just out of the shot.


i feel like when you eat italian you are obligated to have a glass (or two) of wine.  and since eating is our vacation/job this summer i figured i should do whatever’s required.  i’m sure you feel my pain.

we started with a baked crab dish for our appetizer.  i’m pretty sure not remembering the name of the dish is a food blogging rookie mistake, but it’s on the appetizer list and it’s cheesy and crabby.  also, i took a picture.


sam really likes this dish.  i do, too.  i would call it sort of fancy comfort food.  i googled the restaurant and found the name of the dish.  it’s called crab meat au gratin, pretty sure that’s enough to keep food blogger rep intact.

next up were the mains.  sam ordered rigatoni formaggio.


it was creamy and cheesy.  sam summed the dish up pretty well when he said, “anything that involves more than two types of cheese, well…  you really can’t go wrong with that.”

i had the gnocchi malfatti.  IMG_1445

that’s spinach and ricotta cheese gnocchi in a cream sauce.  you can get it with red sauce, but i don’t really like red sauce, so the cream sauce seemed the better choice for me.  second restaurant i’ve ordered a spinach dish and it was good.  as you would expect with the cream and the cheese it was also a bit heavy.  sam found the gnocchi “interesting”.  he wasn’t too fond of the texture, but he liked the flavor.  i don’t think that’s the fault of the restaurant, just a preference on his part.

and we finished off with desert.   i let sam choose, and he went for the tiramisu.


i wasn’t sure about this, but didn’t want to discourage him from trying something new.  he liked it okay.  but he’s not a fan of coffee, which is a big flavor in this desert and i wasn’t sure how he would like the wet cake texture.  i, on the other hand, am a big fan of coffee and have no problem at all with the wet cake texture.  the only thing i would change is i’d turn that chocolate flower into a whole bouquet of chocolate flowers – maybe even a field of flowers.

thinking that tiramisu might not be his thing i went ahead and ordered the panna cotta with strawberry sauce.


he liked this one much better.  the panna cotta was sort of a perfect mash up of pudding and jello with a very nice strawberry sauce on top – it was just the right amount of sweet and tart.

i would have no problem recommending arcobaleno to someone looking for good italian food.  i’m not the biggest fan of italian food, but the atmosphere is lovely, the service is great, and the food was really good.

so far this summer vacation eat-athon seems to be working out pretty good for us.


a good start


restaurant number 1 in the line up – 9 moo 9.  and it was good.  the only negative was my fault.  we had to wait an hour to eat, because we got there an hour before they served lunch.  but they owners were very accommodating and it turned to be a good thing, i enjoyed some french press coffee and we both enjoyed a nice, relaxed chat.


for our starter we shared a soup.  cream of broccoli & stilton soup with crusty bread.  it was as good as it sounds. nice and creamy, but not too heavy.


then onto the mains.  sam ordered the home-made pork and leak sausages, green salad, & potato salad.


it was good.  the sausage was very flavorful.  i tend to find that sausage here is either bland or just seasoned with heat.  not the case with this sausage.  the potato salad was also good.  sam said that the potato salad “exceeded his expectations.” (for those of you not fluent in sam speak that is very high praise.)  i agree it was very nicely balanced and had great texture.

i ordered the spinach and pine nut filo tart & green salad.


this too was good.  sometimes i find spinach can be a bit bitter and a little too earthy, but not this spinach.  it had a very fresh flavor and made a dish that i think could have been too rich nice and vibrant.  we both agreed the green salad was good with a light and flavorful dressing.

and since we’ve set out to eat our vacation, you know since the rest of the family is in america and we’re here, we ordered desert, too.  we shared a lemon syllabub.


syllabub is a british thing.  we both agreed that it falls into the pudding/custard/mousse family.  it was delicious.  light and zesty.  not too sweet.  a very nice finish to a lovely meal.

the grounds of the restaurant are beautiful.  they also have a bed and breakfast, which i can only imagine is quite nice, too.  the owners, tony and his wife, siripan, were very gracious.  they were attentive and friendly.


i would highly recommend 9 moo 9.  it was very quaint and charming.  the menu alone was worth it, but the property made it feel special.  it was a fair distance for us to drive, but well worth it.

**note – they are open thursday to sunday 10am – 5p.  they began serving lunch at 11:30.


summer with sam

*i was gonna name this post “summer of sam, the reboot”  but i am worried that i have the wrong idea about what reboot means.*

sam and i are spending the next few weeks hanging out.  the rest of the family is in the good ol u.s. of a doing things like college campus tours for aly and volunteering at camp for all of them.  so sam and i are taking the opportunity to become temporary and totally unqualified food bloggers.  (i’ve reassessed and i think maybe we are qualified to be food bloggers, we eat food and I have a blog.  i also have an instagram account.  maybe that last one makes us overqualified?)

i’ve very casually asked friends on facebook for restaurant recommendations.   i’ve been given a handful of suggestions and today we tackled the first one.  we’ll give our impressions of it in the next post.  i’m going to try to get at least one quote from sam about each restaurant.  he’s not exactly a willing participant, but he does know we’re doing this.  or i’m doing this and including him. he’ll thank me later.


5 weeks

i’m 5 weeks post op. that’s crazy. but when i look at the recovery time ahead of me it also feels like no time at all. i’m doing my best to only look at the FAI success stories online. that would be so much easier if folks didn’t post their not so successful stories, but that’s the nature of the google, right? so i’ve tightened up my belt because i hear that i’ve got a 6-8 week slump/depression headed my way. i refuse to research this more. and i’m hoping that my stocking up of chocolate and dark chocolate is all i’ll need to weather this storm.

i moved off the crutches this week. spent almost the entire week crutch free. but today i’m back to one. i think this is normal. i returned to work this week, i’ve got 2 hours 3 times a week of PT going on, and another 2 hours a day of exercise/rehab stuff that i do on my own plus just daily life. added up that makes for one fatigued hip. not to mention my angry, angry adductor. and my glutes that aren’t keen to turn on.  i think that all means i’m right on track.  

speaking of PT.  one of my favorite/not favorite things is her tendency to remark how weak i am.  how very, very weak i am.  how surprisingly weak i am.  she says it a lot.  and she laughs.  and then she giggles.  i think it’s meant to be empathetic/encouraging.  but I’m not sure about that.  however, the 1 hour of heat packs and massage i get totally make it worth it.  she is awesome at delivering the hurts so good pain.  

totally off topic, we’ve just started watching The Sopranos.  we’re only 15 years late to this.  

shaving and stitches

surgery was last thursday.  it seems to have gone well.  i was worried about pain. i normally handle pain pretty well, but the pain i’d been experiencing before the surgery was making me think my pain tolerance had diminished.  thankfully, the pain is less than it was before the surgery.  and the lower back pain/tightness that i’d been experiencing for quite a while is gone.  i’m super impressed by that.  what did they do?  shaved some bone and repaired the labrum.  i have lots of pictures, but i’ll spare you from most of them.  (i know not everybody is a fan of surgical pictures.)   this one seems safe, it’s the bone shaving they did.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 1.40.46 AM

i left the clinic with instructions to start physical therapy on monday (today), but i was given a pretty tough workout regimen to keep up with until then.  this is a workout for time and i’m supposed to do it three times a day.  it looks like this.


5 – 10 minutes three times a day i’m supposed to lay on my stomach with my feet hanging off the bed.  it’s meant to help with adhesions.  and i’ve only missed one of these strenuous workouts.  because i was doing this instead.

IMG_1252i managed to pass out while on my crutches.  i have this cup they sent home from the surgical clinic with me.  it says, “always call.  never fall.”  turns out they mean to call before you are feeling like you’re going to pass out, because once you feel like it’s going to happen it’s too late to do much more than draw someone’s attention so they can see you falling.  i hit my head on the knob of a cabinet on my way down.  it doesn’t appear that i injured my leg – i’m really, really, really hoping i didn’t.  but i did get to go to the e.r.  and i did get to get some stitches.  and it’s possible i’ll get a scar.  they did lab work and gave me some i.v. fluids.  the e.r. doctor suspects i was dehydrated and that the dehydration on top of my body trying to recover from surgery was just too much.  i’ve felt fine since i left the hospital.  i do worry a bit that it will happen again, but i’m drinking plenty of fluids and my parents are being a little more watchful when i’m up.

here’s hoping the rest of the recovery is easier.

2nd opinion done and jet lag

i made it to america.  while not my favorite flight it was much better than i thought it would be, partly because the pain wasn’t as intense and i am able to stand fully upright and partly because i had an awesome seat.  not upgrade awesome, but more you can leave your seat back the entire flight awesome.

i saw the doctor friday morning.  he took some more x-rays and reviewed my MRI.  he could see the labrum tear in the MRI, so I don’t really need an MRA.  he did say it could provide more diagnostic information, but that it wouldn’t change the treatment.  which is arthroscopic surgery.  dr #1 said i had a pincer impingement and suspected a tear.  dr #2 says i have a pincer impingement, a cam impingement and a labrum tear.  i’ve been scheduled for surgery at the end of this month.  he’ll go in and reshape the hip bone, reshape the femur head, and repair the labrum.  i’ll be on crutches 2 or 3 weeks and he’ll clear me to fly home 3 weeks after surgery.  my surgery is scheduled for the end of this month, but i’m on the waiting list for a cancelation and it would be really, really great if i got in earlier.

the pain continues to get better.  it’s still constant, but it’s much more low grade with some peaks to medium strength if i try to pivot or bend or have to stand or sit.  but that is so much better than it was and so much more tolerable.

and the jet lag.  it’s currently 2:30 in the morning and i am wide awake.  this doesn’t bode well for tomorrow.

something or (with any luck at all) nothing new to document

my hip hurts.  it really, really hurts.  and by that i mean it really, really, really hurts.   but the really, really, really hurt has only been going on for the past two weeks.  before that it was only annoying with an occasional flair up of the maybe there’s really a problem variety.  i’d blamed it on turning 40 (you know, a few years ago) and one of the costs of leading a sedentary life for most of my 20s and 30s.  on occasion i had to make some adaptations, but they were temporary. this pain escalation caused me to go have it looked at.

one of the impressive things about medical care here is the lack of red tape.  i went to the orthopedic walk in clinic at the local hospital, the doctor there came highly recommended.  i waited about half an hour.  saw the doctor.  had an X-ray, the doctor consulted the X-ray and i was done in 45 minutes tops.  the X-ray showed a bone spur on my right hip.  this didn’t concern the doctor, but the pain and limited mobility did so he sent me for an MRI.

(funny X-ray story.  the tech had to consult a chart to determine where to set the dials on the X-ray machine.  then he consulted a book to find out what position i should be place in.)

i called the MRI clinic at 7pm.  they had me come in at 9pm.  i had my MRI, it included having my feet masking taped together, and was home by 11pm.  i went back to the doctor the next night, yes, within 24 hours, and he read the MRI report.  turns out the bone spur was an issue.  maybe the issue.  he diagnosed me with something called FAI - Femoroacetabular Impingement.  the MRI report also said suspect torn anterolateral labrum.  but they can’t confirm that here.  and i’ve been advised that it’s best to not have it treated here. so in a few days i’m going to fly to america for a second opinion.

i’m not looking forward to the flight.  the normal discomfort of tight seats and close neighbors and forever up in the air seems even less appealing when filtered through the really, really, really hurt and the inability to stand up straight.