cat got my tongue

or something.  i’ve lost it.  my blogging ability.  it used to come so easy and i had so much to say about absolutely nothing and i enjoyed saying so much about absolutely nothing.  but now it doesn’t come easy at all.  it’s hard work, but i miss it.  so i figure it’s time to get back on the horse and give it another try.  my next few posts might seem stilted, they might be painful to read, but i figure i’ve got to start somewhere.  and maybe i’ll get my mojo back.

cottage industry

last year our mâe bâan and her husband  put us to work making pony bead keychains. they were wholesaling them somewhere, but we never got the complete story.  and then around loi krathong they went into the fried meat on a stick business.  i don’t know how well that one went.  there were lots of people selling fried meat on a stick  and it took some capital up front that we fear they might not have recouped.  but now.  now i think they might be on to something.  and the only investment it required was killing our koi.

seems that when there are no fish in a pond frogs take over.  not the one or two that we’ve always had around.  we’ve now got a dozen or so laying their eggs in our pond.  and we seem to have a surival rate of like 110%.  it’s tadpole central out there.

they’re actually doing better than surviving.  they’re thriving.  p’jim and p’khao have started a nursery of sorts.

they’ve begun separating the no longer tadpoles from the still tadpoles.  and today they were telling me that the cute little frogs taste good.  they’re gonna collect them and sell them.  i don’t know how you prepare itty bitty frogs for sale and i probably don’t want to. but i do wish them lots of luck.

i heart tiger balm

since moving to thailand and discovering tiger balm i just can’t get enough of it.  it’s great for mosquito bites, muscle aches and pains, congestion, headaches, etc., etc.  it’s basically a wonder cure!

i usually keep at least one jar in my purse, you just never know when it might be useful.

my go to formulas are the red or the white.  but at the store the other day i discovered soft.  and on the packaging for soft i saw a use for tiger balm i didn’t know about.

it says it’s effective against flatulance.  and that you just have to apply it gently on the affected areas.  the only thing to figure out is just what the affected area is when it comes to flatulance.  the best i can come up with is that maybe you should rub it under the nose of everyone else in the vacinity when you are suffereing from flatulance.  or maybe the noses wouldn’t be affected – instead they would be effected.

and i’m still in a quandry over where to put it.

and just to be clear – i didn’t buy it for me. but i think you know that.

unpacked – almost

i could say completely unpacked, but the kids still have boxes in their rooms.  still, we’re pretty close.  

we did manage to find the costume.  an hour and 15 minutes before it was needed.  it was discovered on a shelf.  not in a box.  after we’d tossed the contents of all the boxes onto the floor.  not a recommended unpacking technique.

internet is coming to our house in the next few days.  

c15 finishes finals today and that means he’s done until jan 4.  a12 & s10 both finish friday.  

the stockings are hung by the chimney with care by the front window.  and this weekend we will be in search of something local to use for our christmas tree.

things i’m learning

1)  this might contradict what i thought 20 or more years ago, but it is far more difficult to raise a teen than to be one.*

2) when my youngest tells me, “wow, you’ve cooked almost every night lately, good going!”  and i’ve really only cooked two nights in a row – that’s probably not something to be proud of.  or to blog about.

3) i should never, ever, ever, never even look at a shirt that i might be interested in purchasing unless i am 100% (or more) certain that it will fit.  or be too big.  because vendors here have no problem with smiling, shaking their head and patting my belly while saying, “oh, too fat.” 

*clarification – my teen and tween are both great kids. wonderful. lovely.  amazing.  but the minefield that seems to be teenage-dom?  it’s treacherous.

the great interview experience

i’ve been searching high and low for how to get my blog mojo back.  i signed up for nablopomo, for the 3rd year in a row – so far, so good.  but also so far, many somewhat forced posts.  so the other day while clicking links i came across citizen of the month‘s the great interview experience and i thought maybe that’s the answer.  so i left a comment.  and then waited to see who i was gonna be interveiwing.

neil (the man behind citizen of the month) connected me with tamukhunter.  so here’s the interview.   or how i avoided all the tricky stuff and stuck to the fluff.  the tricky stuff i avoided all has to do with the fact that tamukhunter is a druid.  and the super-majority of his blog is about druidism.  so i looked high and low to find enough stuff to enable me to only ask fluff questions.  this may have been a disappointment for tamukhunter, but we managed an interview anyway.  my questions are in black non-italics and  tamukhunter’s answers are in green italics.

interviewing someone is only 1/2 of the great interview experience.  to get the full great interview experience i was also interviewed.  my interview was done by sremmus.  it’s over here.


in preparation for this interview i read every single post in your blog.  including your guest post.  and now i think i’m ready.

Wow.  I’m impressed.  I would have been okay with the tricky stuff, too, just so you know.  ;)

1.  you said you can only update your blog at work – why is that?

I don’t have an internet connection – or even much of a computer – in my home.
2.  was your daughter’s spider costume, complete with spider bum, the best one ever, or have you guys managed to top it?

It was certainly the funniest.  This year my wife made a beautiful mermaid costume, based on Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” but it didn’t have the comedic points to go along with it, I’m afraid.

3.  in your post “what it means to be a man” you mention starting a men’s group.  have you done that?  if you have, how’s it going?

I haven’t actually gotten around to doing so, I’m afraid.  It’s something on my “’round tuit” list, perhaps at some point when I get more free time.

4.  i can’t get pork sausage here and when i read you didn’t eat pork – by choice – i got really light headed.  but, in one of your more recent posts you mention that perhaps you might change your stance on not eating pork.  have you made a decision?

No, at this point I am still pork free.  I suspect that I will be for a good long time to come, despite the occasional “slip,” here and there.  I figure that an oath taken in good faith should not be lightly rescinded, and not without consequence.  Plus, I’m fairly happy with the lifestyle.

5.  you mentioned maybe scheduling in the odd family skate in your post “skating”, have you?  how are your daughter’s ice skating lessons going?

She’s doing quite well, actually.  We get the odd skate time in here and there, but not a lot.  I’m hoping to do more of it this year, and buy my own pair of skates as well.  The rentals pinch.

6.  your wife asked you to not share too much, do you find that limiting or did you sort of plan from the beginning for your blog to not be too family heavy?

the initial point of my blog was actually to help document my Dedicant Program Studies.  It became a lot more when I was trying to help my friend Jasmine through her breakup with her husband last year, and now it’s a spot where I just like to write.

7.  has discovering your boss reads your blog caused you to rethink any of your posts?

A little at first.  I rune everyhting through a filter of “I’m showing this to the world.  It had better not be anything too damning,” as it is.  The posts about Oakstone were the trickiest that way.

8.  how has your health been?  any more issues with chest pain?

No more chest issues.  It was definitely a false alarm.  Otherwise, all good, health-wise.  Thank you for asking.

nablopomo – 2009

so once again, i’m gonna do it.  try to post every day for a month.  because it’s nablopomo (national blog posting month) and i’m up for a challenge.  maybe it’s just what i need to get me going again.  or maybe it’s just what i need to shut the whole thing down.


nablopomo starts november one.  that’s today.  so i guess this is post numbero uno.  i’m trying not to set the bar too high.  i think i’ve succeeded.

alien invasion

last night i was home alone.  normally i love to be home alone.  to have the house all to myself. no one around to ask me to help them do something or to just do it for them.  but last night i wasn’t cherishing every moment.  i was a little freaked out.  we’d planned to go to the movie yesterday, but, because of continued gutter hanging work, someone had to stay home.  it felt a little unsafe to leave the house unguarded and in this condition.

IMG_7155 IMG_7154

the last thing the workers did before the rains started yesterday was to put up the scaffolding.  which, to me, looked sort of like an open invitation for anyone to shimmy on up and come right in.  so the rest of the family headed out to the movies – night at the museum 2 – and i stayed behind to serve as the last line of defense.  (and, yes, the mom is the logical choice to stay behind.  all that women and children first stuff is a bunch of hooey.)

i spent the evening roaming the house, making sure to turn the lights on and off and shout out the occasional festive sound so it sounded like a party was happening here – and i’m certain i was convincing.  but i was also careful to leave all the upstairs lights off – hoping the darkness would camaflouge the vulnarable spots in our home security.

all was going quite well until i wandered upstairs into the pitch black and discovered a ufo (yes, an unidentified flying object) hovering in the breezeway.  i stopped dead in my tracks, my heart stopped beating and i was rendered mute – totally unable to scream for my life.  it took me few moments to come to my senses and make my way into the bedroom and find the camera so i could capture some photographic evidence.


i think that’s at least as convincing as crop circles.  maybe not of ufos, but certainly of something.  like lightening bugs.  which are very, very scary.