catch up by photo dump

i’ve discovered how to move photos from my phone to my computer without email – which means i can quickly do a photo essay catch up of the very recent future.  go me.  it’s possible that parts of the very recent future aren’t all that interesting.

starting with – sometime in late march/very early april i ate something bigger than my hand.  and my hand looks old.

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april 3 my parents came to visit.  these pics aren’t of my parents, but they are of the folks who are getting ready to do a super special cultural welcome for some arriving passengers – also not my parents.

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my mom did a few crossfit workouts with me.   that’s her swinging the kettle bell – with the red shirt on.

2013-04-05 09.51.23we went for some mookata.  that’s thai barbecue where you cook your own meat.  it’s all you can eat and we can eat a lot.

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out with my mom one day we came across these guys performing high wire events working on the electric wires.  we’re pretty sure this behaviour is not osha approved.

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april 30 my parents were supposed to board a plane and fly home.  but instead my dad had surgery.  on his leg.  just in case you weren’t sure which bandage was covering up the most serious injury.

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and we’re caught up.  my parents flew last night.


they should be home in the next few hours.  my dad is still recovering and will be recovering for a little while longer.  but i’m pretty sure he’s ready to be home.  i think most people find recovering in your own bed to be preferable to not recovering in your own bed.

i haven’t killed them

and here’s the proof.

this is my dad and p’khao.  p’khao thinks anything my dad does or is gonna do is brilliant.  and he also thinks that my dad will surely need his help.  it’s cross-cultural male bonding.  don’t they look bonded?

here’s a photo of my mom partaking of the fish spa.  that’s sheer joy on her face.

and the fish partaking of my mom.

random stuff and a mom updated

i’ll start with the update.

this picture was taken this morning.  that makes that bruise 8 days old and pretty – but not as pretty as she is.  look how optimistic she looks.   we went back to the hospital yesterday.  all is good and she’s to follow up with her doctor in the states.  they are pretty sure the bruising is so bad because of the baby aspirin my mom takes took daily.  she’s temporarily given up the baby aspirin.  cold turkey – cuz she’s like that.

have you been wondering what the accommodations are like at โรงแรม (hotel) kientz?  well, nothing says we love company more than putting out the best.  and in this case best means you have to clean out your own room (and clean out your own room might involve getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing – a lot), buy your own bed and sleep lucy and desi style.  and if you need to go potty during the night?  it’s squatty potty or a path that’s not so easy when you’re bleary eyed.


i don’t have a before picture, but it was bad. really, really bad.

path to the bathroom

when you’re sleepy that wall isn’t so easy to clear.

but other than that it’s all 5 star here.

and then there’s this.  this morning, i caught a glimpse of this and it took me a while to figure out just what it was.  can you see it?

right here…

it’s a teeny tiny ape.  not a real one, of course.  but i someone might have thought it was one for just a brief moment and been a just a tad scared.  for just a second.  a nano-second, really.  surely you have heard of the pygmy apes of thailand?  they’re real and they’re dangerous.  google it.


so, i was gonna tell you all about my parents second day here.  and the getting up way too early to go do the run for relief for burma.  there’s this flip flop division that i thought might interest you – it’s so you can get an idea of what it’s like to run in flip flops – since that’s what many of the burmese do when they are fleeing for their lives.  we didn’t participate in the flip flop division.  but my dad got the picture of one girl who did.

or at least he got a picture of her feet.  after running a 5k.  on a pretty even surface.  but that’s not what this post is gonna end up being about.

it’s been pre-empted.

pre-empted by the tale of my mom’s black eye and her hospital visit…

i think i should start this story out by saying she’s just fine now.

it begins on monday.  my mom and i head out with the sole goal of making travel arrangements for my parents to go to cambodia and vietnam.  we get to the travel agency about 10:30 in the morning, but the travel agent we need won’t be in until sometime after lunch.  so we decide to do a little window shopping and to grab a bite of lunch and to then head back to the travel agent.  and we did just that.  of course, lunch might have included a wee little pitcher of margaritas.  and then we head back to the meet the travel agent.  we successfully booked my parents trip.  and headed to the market to look for some fabric.  up until now we’ve walked, but we decided we’ve done enough walking and perhaps a tuk tuk is deserved.  while shopping for fabric my mom says she’s not feeling so good.  luckily, we’ve already gotten the fabric we needed – so we head back to the house.  once at the house, my mom gets out of the tuk tuk and heads inside.  i pay the driver and turn around just in time to see my mom stumble into the glass windows on the front porch.  she doesn’t hit them hard and sort of just slides right down them.  face first.  i get her up and we head inside.  she’s alert, but feeling not so great.  she needs to go to the bathroom.  so i help her get there and let go of her arm for just one little second.  and that’s all it takes for her to do a head plant.  right onto the tile floor.  with nothing to break her fall – except for the sink and the toilet.  she was out for maybe 30 seconds.

we get her up and into bed with a fan and a cold, wet rag.  we – my dad and i – diagnose her as having had a heat related episode.  and since i had a heat stroke 20+ years ago, i feel like i’m qualified to make this diagnosis.  a few hours later she develops some other symptoms.  i’m not gonna tell what they were, but suffice it to say that i’ve never heard of anyone hitting their head hard enough for them to happen.  these symptoms are still around the next day and in the spirit of better safe than sorry, we head to the hospital.

this is what she looked like when we walked into the hospital

where within a few hours she ends up having a colonoscopy.  (that’s sort of a hint to the unnamed symptoms).  the gastro dr. decides that perhaps a heart doctor should be seen and a neurologist.  and that she should be kept in the hospital at least 2 nights…

and that’s where she is now.  she’s seen the cardiologist – he did an ecg last night and it was fine.  the neurologist was supposed to come by this evening, but i haven’t heard anything, yet.  however, i don’t think they’re gonna find anything different.

a hospital room in thailand.  pretty spiffy, eh?  and check out that 3 day old shiner!

we’re hoping she’s gonna be released tomorrow.  i think she’s working on an escape route, just in case the dr. doesn’t go along with the get out tomorrow thing.

oh, and as a public service announcement to any and all who might find themselves in a thai hospital.  when the 25 year old male nurse comes around and asks you if you would like your body clean – you should know he means to do it himself.  and he means to be very thorough!

it didn’t suck

but the international day post i wrote got lost. so i’ll give you the highlights, if they don’t make sense it’s wordpresses fault.

  • mom & dad arrived.  locked keys in house
  • parade – went well
  • lunch – ran out of tickets, recovered after mucho worry and conversation
  • activities – enjoyed by all
  • entrance was gained to house and we all passed out

flight of the gibbons

we saw no gibbons.  not one.  but if we had, i don’t think they could possibly have flown as well as we did.  we were awesome.

started out bright and early.  we met the bus at 6:30am for our one hour drive up really steep and really windy and really bumpy roads.  we sat in the very, very, very back of the bus.  and bounced and winded and rocked and swayed until a12 said, “i think i’m going to be sick.”  and she was.  and maybe two milliseconds later the driver said,  “we’re here.”  and we were.

first job – signing waivers.  then we were off to get harnessed up.

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then a quick trip by van (a few of us started turning green at the mention of getting back in the van) and we were ready to go.

we had an introductory talk/safety lecture from one of the spotters.  the only one who’s name i cannot remember.


one of the things he explained to us was the brake system for zip lines.  it’s very, um, low tech.  but it did seem to work, when we could actually remember to use it.


bamboo brakes.

and then we were ready for our first zip line.  i have to do a little bragging on my kids here – they deserve it.  we’d spent quite a bit of time talking to and at the kids about how expensive this little outing is and how very, very nice it was of grandad and nanny to pay for it and how once we signed up and paid the money there would be no. backing. out.  and i fully expected to have to push at least one kid off a platform.  maybe all the platforms.  but other than a few nervous jitters and the initial “i don’t want to go first, you do it, so we can see if you survive” moment they were totally psyched and all systems go!  not one time did anyone mention being scared or not wanting to go or even needing a few moments to gather their strength.  nope, they were amazing!

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as we progressed through the ziplines they held onto their harnesses much, much looser and their smiles became much, much broader.

after the first zip line s9 became adamant that he go first.  always.  he finally acquiesced to letting the spotter go ahead of him.  but he really did not want to.

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next was the first sky bridge.  i’ve got no problem admitting it was a little bit unsettling.  i might have been the only one who felt that way, but i didn’t let it show!


then we really started flying – the confidence was building so the whole gripping the harness thing became unnecessary.

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a few times we were lowered from one platform to another so we could continue our journey.

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and we even zipped in tandem once.  but since there are 5 of us, one had to go it alone.

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a12 & s9 applying their brakes.  c15 & i almost mastered the brakes, almost.

it ended well before we wanted it to be over, but we were ready to get out of those harnesses.  two hours is along time to be so bound up.


thanks nanny and grandad!

we took many, many more pictures.  if you want to see them head on over to my flickr page.