so close

again, i failed.  the day before the last day and i miss posting.  oh well.  1 out of 3 years isn’t too bad, right?

this morning i was reminded that the sidewalks in chiang mai are all wonky.  no more walking around with my head in the clouds – that only makes for swollen and scraped knees and a bruised ego.  but a british fellow came to my rescue – helped me up, saw that all my limbs still functioned and no blood was dripping anywhere and then he asked if i’d do it again – so he could get a picture for his blog.  ha!

i’d post pictures of the disasters that are my knees, but michael has my – and our family’s only – camera in pakistan.  he gets back saturday.  hopefully there will be nothing left of the bruising that’s picture worthy by then.

burglar bars

upon returning home from a family outing to see a christmas carol (which i was so excited about because it has both robin wright penn and carey elwes in it and the first time i saw them in the same movie was the princess bride - which is movie magic.  but even they couldn’t save a christmas carol for me.  i think that fancy digital animation stuff is creepy)  we found this…

some folks in our neighborhood have been setting off fireworks.  they totally freak wăan out.  and apparently he was trying to escape – into the house.

who knows how long he’d been stuck like that or if he’s tried it successfully before.  he didn’t seem unhappy, just really excited to see us.

thanksgiving – year 2

today, we celebrated our second thanksgiving in thailand.  and i had a thanksgiving crisis. i’ve totally lost my family cook book. can’t find it anywhere. i’m sure it will turn up in the house shift. but it meant that i couldn’t make the banana pudding i was supposed to be making – the one that i always make.  the same one that has been part of special meals since before i was born.  i still took banana pudding, i found a recipe online.  it was substandard.  so very disappointing.  i was also put in charge of sweet potatoes and broccoli salad.  and for both i tried brand new recipes.  the broccoli salad was okay – which is saying alot, because i don’t much care for broccoli salad.  and the sweet potatoes.  well, they’re now my new favorite sweet potatoes

but even with out the banana pudding we still managed to share a lovely meal with friends. 

due to space contraints there was no kids’ table.  they were kicked out of the house.  and yes, there was a kid shortage.  one of ours went to the mall with friends.  very unthanksgivingly like.  two other kids were running around somewhere.  hunting for swimsuits i believe, because they preferred the idea of a thanksgiving swim over thanksgiving dinner. 

and s10 found the best seat in the yard.  i was a little jealous.

this evening we have to do one of those just-doesn’t-feel-right things that happens occasionally here in thailand.  we’ve got to get homework done and kids to bed, because tomorrow’s a school day.

grown up

tonight we had a guest for dinner.  a coworker of michaels from uganda.  and i prepared a real grown up meal.  complete with two vegetable dishes.  something i haven’t done in quite a while and i owe most of my inspiration for this meal to the internet.

a few weeks ago i saw the recipe for noble pig’s tangy-sweet plum-spiced chicken over at 4ever mom.  it’s a new favorite.  everyone liked it.

and, while hunting down a recipe for something new to try for thanksgiving, i came across this one for glazed carrots.  i picked it because it calls for ranch dressing salad mix.  something i happen to have a lot of.  because this summer i found it in a mondo container at sam’s and new i needed it.  when what i really needed was italian seasons dressing mix.  which i didn’t realize until i was already back in thailand.  these will go on my make again list, too.

our other vegetable dish was for haricots verts*.  i discovered the recipe while going through my recipe box.  i have no idea where it came from or when.  and we all liked these, too.  michael’s even requested i make them again.

but i’ve not titled this post grown up because of the grown up dinner i prepared.  i’ve done it because of the grown up kid that ate with us.  c15.  and not only because he didn’t ask to be excused during the adult conversation – s10 fell asleep in his chair and a12 needed to go do something – he actually participated and in a thoughtful way.  and i was amazed. and impressed.  and i’m now very aware that i need to come to grips with the fact that he is growing up.  and i’m not so sure i’m ready to do that.

*haricots verts are french green beans.  and here’s the recipe.

  • 1 pound haricots verts or regular green beans
  • 2 tspns fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tspns finely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves (wash and dry before chopping)
  • 1 tspn freshly grated lemon zest
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

trim regular green beans if using and in a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook beans until crisp-tender (2 minutes for haricots verts or 3 – 4 minutes fro regular green beans) and drain in a colander.  in a bowl, toss beans with lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper.

gender identification issues

i feel the need to reintroduce s’mores.  and do it correctly this time.  i mean i did a pretty good job the first time.  but i missed something, pretty major.  he is a she.

how’d every single member of our family get that wrong?

well, the place michael,s10 and a12 got s’mores from said she was a he and we believed them.  it wasn’t until today – at the school – when another family had their very cute labrador boy puppy – who loved having his tummy rubbed – that i noticed their puppy was different.  at least different from our thought to be a boy puppy.  so i came home, did a quick anatomy check and spent the next 1/2 hour convincing michael, s10 and a12 that he was a she.  s10 was the easiest to sway.  one of the girls in his class had already told him that s’mores was most obviously a she.  so, he was already a bit suspicious.  and i have no idea why he didn’t share that suspicion with the rest of us.

i’m just glad we straightened this situation out before i went in and asked for  him her to be neutered.  because that would make that conversation even more difficult than last time.

c15 wasn’t home for the first round of gender correction, but when i did finally get around to telling c15 that s’mores was a girl, he said, “i was wondering where he got those udders from.”  and that reply makes me feel like it’s perfectly fine for me to out him as the one who thought a bindi was a birthmark.

thanksgiving oh-eight

*today’s post is a bit of a rabbit trail.  i’d planned to do a post about this year’s thanksgiving.  the coming up one, but then discovered i’d neglected last years…

we’re hot on the heels of our second thanksgiving in thailand.  i thought i’d check out how last year went, but when i went back to the posts from november of oh-eight there was no thanksgiving post.  not even a before thanksgiving planning post or an after thanksgiving wrap up post.  it’s like it didn’t happen.  but it did.  i have memories of it.  we spent the day with some friends – and fellow americans – brett and shelly.  and i think it’s imperative that i do the recap now.  almost a year later.

i went early in the day to help with preparations.  preparations included sampling the adult beverages.  at 10 in the morning.  and they also included watching pride and prejudice, the one with keira knightley.  and cooking.  and seeing as how we’re in thailand and not america, our husbands had to work and our kids had to go to school – meaning someone had to pick them up and it probably shouldn’t be the ladies who started sampling the adult beverages at 10 in the morning.

the kids having school meant it was around 4ish when the actual eating happened.  there was turkey and sides and desserts and it was good.  but not the kind of over the top enough to feed a small country set up we used to have in america.  with all our favorites.  made in our favorite ways.  while we did miss all of that, we also didn’t miss it.  what we had was wonderful for where we were.  (i was gonna say are, but then i decided not to – because of the alliteration.)  it was good food and good friends.  and all part of the life we’re experiencing here.  wouldn’t change a thing about it.

tomorrow:  what we’re doing this year.

brrr… time to break out the uggs

the past few days have been noticeably cooler.  i’m hoping that means it’s really cold season.  but it did this a few weeks ago, got cool for a few days, and then turned hot again.  wonder if that was sort of an indian hot season – you know, like indian summer in the states.  but maybe you wouldn’t call it that here.

and in case you’re wondering what i mean by cooler here are some pics from today.

so, just how cold is it here?

orange text is fahrenheit

yep, in the 80s.  that’s cold enough to break out the uggs!

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.