the carnage

the great chicken massacre of 2011.  that’s what we’ll remember it as.  we might also remember it as the time everyone was really, really thankful i was too stunned to run for the camera.

it all started with the rose apple tree.  it’s currently loaded with rose apples.  no one in our family is a big fan of this fruit.  some of us will eat it, but none of us are crazy about it.  which made the harvesting of the rose apples a perfect opportunity for our mâe bâan and her husband to make a little more money.  but the bats were hindering their efforts.  it seems that bats love rose apples.  and they love to take one bite out of a rose apple and then move along.  so p’khao put up some plastic netting to protect the rose apples from the bats.  turns out it’s also the perfect size to trap bats.  and one bat got so caught he injured himself.  so p’khao rescued him.  and put him in a cage.  on my dining table.  (a14 tells me that bats carry japanese encephalitis.)  turns out this bat was so injured that he didn’t recover.  luckily (for us, not the bat), p’khao returned to take care of the necessary arrangements for the bat.  he then told us not to worry about the bat, that he had something else for us.

the something else turned out to be chickens.  2 of them.  2 very sad looking chickens. 2 very sad, pathetic looking chickens that he assured us would taste yummy.  and he’d even been so thoughtful that he’d named them.  after our two youngest children.  which meant we could look forward to the culinary delight that would be the eating of a14 and s11.  somehow it wasn’t very appetizing.

the chickens went into the aviary.  the aviary that hasn’t been used since we don’t know when.  and the dogs were to stay outside the aviary.  which got the dogs barking.  non-stop.  i’m sure that stressed the chickens to no end.  if they were meant to be egg laying chickens there was no way they were gonna lay any eggs at all.  and if they were meant to fatten up for eating time that wasn’t going to happen, either.  i wasn’t sure how this was going to end, but i didn’t have to wait long to find out.

it happened during a14’s harp lesson.  everything got quiet.  the incessant barking ceased.  and i was so happy to have some peace and quiet that i didn’t even think about why it was suddenly so peaceful.  it took me a good 40 minutes to worry.  and when i went to check it out i was greeted by a scene right out of a horror movie.  s’mores had silenced the chickens.  in a not so nice way.  she was covered in black feathers – which was a difficult feat in itself, seeing as how the chickens had so few feathers.  and she was covered in gore.  she’d also ingested a pretty good amount of gore.  if it’s labeled on this diagram she ate it.

i thought quickly enough to keep a14 and s11 from coming outside to see what had happened.  c16 was fast on his feet and offered to clean up the mess.  and actually did clean up the mess.  it’s now a little difficult to look at s’mores without seeing her as a blood thirsty beast masquerading as a cute dog and, since i haven’t noticed reinforcements around the aviary, i’m pretty certain we’re out of the chicken business.

brings back memories

i am enthralled with the puppies.  i’m trying really hard not to warm up to them, but it’s not working.  i think it’s because we have something in common.  they are fraternal twins just like me and my brother.

and they have puppy breath.  just like my brother.

shoot me now

i give up.  i will never attempt to speak thai again.  it just gets me in one mess after another.

maybe you remember a while ago, when our mâe bâan and her husband took it upon themselves to get us a dog.  cuz they just knew we needed three.  well, i haven’t told you the ending to that story.  according to them, that dog was bad.  she had a bad heart.  and they meant the kind of bad that may or may not be repairable with an exorcism so they took her away.  we didn’t put up much of an argument.  because she truly was trouble.  and he assured me she would be okay, he was taking her back to where he got her and she wouldn’t be killed.  p’khao and p’jim felt so bad about this dog that they really, really wanted to get us another dog.  but i nipped that talk in the bud.  i told them that two dogs was enough for us.  no need to worry about .  that we were happy, happy, happy with two.

harry & ginny*

it appears that the only part of the conversation that was understood was the part about the 2 dogs.

*ginny’s on the left and harry’s on the right.

alive and kicking

i am alive and i am well. i’m not taking a personal summer break. the comments and emails asking about me made me feel good. and missed. and that’s a really nice feeling. so thank you everyone who inquired. thanks bunches and bunches.

so, what has been up with me? not much. no good excuse for the absence other than i feel sort of like she looks –

she’s looking miserable because she was spayed today. i don’t have any such excuse.

what’s caused me to take this little dip into the summer doldrums? well, i haven’t put this into words, because i’m really, really, really trying to be okay with it. but michael and c16 are headed to the states this summer – for a month. the rest of us are staying here. in thailand. the place where we can’t buy bras or shoes – both of which i’m in desperate need. (thank God for the internet and the man’s willingness to haul my intimate wear back with him.) i’ve planned a beach vacay for the rest of us – where i’m sure we’ll have a great time, but this little get away doesn’t happen until the very last week that the men are in the states. so it’s still a long haul between now and then. thankfully, the man is in town until they leave. he’ll be doing some work for the thai office, but he’ll be home every night and weekend (all 2 of them – which is better than none.)

and it seems the rainy season is trying really hard to become official. we’ve had several days of rain and some lovely cool nights. (75 degrees – that’s frigid!) i’ve actually been sleeping with a blanket. it’s very possible that a few nights of not going to bed in wet pajamas will make me a much happier camper.

it’s the thought that counts?

but i’m not so sure about the thought.

michael received a gift today –  from our mâe bâan and her husband.  p’khao and p’jim were very proud to present this gift.

p’khao explained to me that this puppy is luk kreung (1/2 thai and 1/2 farang (western)).  i’m not sure how he knows this, but he thinks it’s a perfect mix for us.  since we already have one thai dog and one farang dog.  i think that’s just nuts.  that one thai dog and one farang dog is all the dog we need.

and someone else in our family isn’t too big of a fan.

"get out of my house"

"and stay out!"

"do not sit down! i said move it!!"

"listen to me!"

"waan, tell her. tell her who is boss!"

"don't try to ignore me."

and this conversation went on and on in a very high pitched, very loud bark.  with the occasional nip to the leg thrown in for good measure.

of course, the reception when the kids got home was totally different.  they already “love, love, love” her.  she is so amazing.  p’khao and p’jim are so amazing.  it’s all just amazing.

however, housebreaking is not amazing…

rabies are always better when you can get them with a friend

or daughter…

so the dog – yes, the very same dog that bit me – took a bite out of a13’s leg.  and, it’s a pretty nasty bite.  has her on crutches…

what to do about the dog has been the talk of the neighborhood.  the restaurant owner a few doors down has filed a report with the tessabaan – which is the local government.  the guy from across the street has said that he filed one a while ago – back when one of the tenants in his townhomes got bit – and nothing came of it.  the husband of our mâe bâan has offered to take her – the dog that is – out.  in a permanent way.  another neighbor down the street is busy feeding the dog – she believes she’s making merit – and isn’t too keen for anything bad to happen to the dog.

that leaves us waiting, and getting shots.  we haven’t seen the dog for a few days, but it also went into hiding for several days after it took a nip of my toe.  maybe the dog is gone for good.  maybe it will reappear.  maybe the city will step in and do something. but for now when we leave the house we’ll just have to walk softly and carry a big stick.

circle, circle, dot, dot, gotta get a rabies shot

we have 2 soi dogs on our soi.  (a soi is a street)  they’re both a bit skittish so we tend to give them a wide berth.  one has been no problem at all.  he avoids us as much as we avoid him.  but the other.  she’s followed the kids, tried to nip at c15 while he was riding a bike, and has generally been a tad menacing.  but not overly threatening.  so last night, when i had to walk past miss not-as-nice, i did so carefully.  but once i was passed her i sort of zoned.  and while i was zoning she snuck out from her hiding place and took a bite of my toe.  what kind of dog bites someone on the toe?  and draws blood?

i cleaned the bite.  put some antibiotic cream on it.  and figured that was enough.  a few hours later i posted that i’d been bit on facebook.  a friend immediately responded that i should get a rabies shot.  i’d thought i wouldn’t because i’ve seen this dog everyday for over a month and figured it’s probably not got rabies.  but another friend had a valid argument for at least going to the hospital to get some oral antibiotics.  while at the hospital, the doctor was able to convince me that it might be for the best if i were to go ahead and start the series of 5 rabies shots.  he suggested that i might not want to take such a risk when i was only sure the dog was probably okay.  you know the whole better safe than sorry thing.  especially when sorry in this case could equal dead.   so i got the first shot last night.  i get another on monday and the third on friday.  the next one is meant to be february 5.  and the final shot is scheduled for february 21. but if the dog is alive and well on february 5 i won’t have to have #4 or #5.  and i don’t have to spend the next little while worrying that every little symptom might be rabies.  it will be a better world for all of us.

last night i went to mckormick hospital.  normally we use ram 1.  it’s a fancier hospital.  but mckormick is just around the corner from our house – it took me 2 minutes to get there.  mckormick seems to be under construction, but that could just be the way they’ve decorated – or rather not decorated.  i went in, registered and realized i’d forgotten my passport, but they were willing to overlook that, then i sat and waited for the doctor.  he was very efficient and very convincing.  from his office i headed up to the pharmacy and to check out – this is conveniently located at the same desk – but it’s entirely possible that that could just be their after hours set up.  they gave me some super duper large and effective antibiotics and a bag.  in the bag was my rabies injection that i was to cart to the emergency room.  maybe not having someone who has the job of making sure injections make it from point a to point b is a good money saver.  because my total bill was 1100฿  ($33.35).  and 880฿ ($26.68) of that was medication – including the rabies shot.  the kids were very disappointed to hear that the rabies injection wasn’t some mondo needle inserted into my belly.  i was not disappointed by this.  i was back home within 20 minutes of leaving the house.  i’m a fan of hospitals in thailand.

of course, i returned home to discover we had no internet.  or phone.  maybe that dog cut our line…