Friday, September 21, 2007

What's the hold up?!

Today, Court and I were heading home after work and sat in quite a bit of traffic for a while. We were creeping along and finally saw a cop cruise up on his motor bike. He starts riding through directing traffic, blowing his whistle, and driving at the same time. He was desperately trying to keep traffic moving and not disturb what was holding up everything. Is it a protest? Is it somebody famous? Is it a big sale on dried shrimp? Well, we get closer to the source, we hear blarring trumpets, sliding trombones, and cheerful clarinets. It was definitely a small parade of some sort. Oh wait! They're pushing buggies from the grocery store. Then, here comes a guy to our car window and throws in a bottle of water and a coupon book. We busted out laughing....this small band of enthusiasts are walking the streets in sweltering weather to announce the grand opening of a new International Tops Market grocery store. Who knew that a parade of 20 people celebrating the opening of a grocery store could back up traffic for miles!?!? Gotta love it!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Soup Beans 'n Cornbread

Ever since leaving the motherland of northeast Tennessee, my tummy has growled for soup beans and cornbread. This is one of my all-time fave meals! Mammy (my grandmother) makes the BEST soup beans in the entire world! She knows how to do 'em right! Anyways...a few months ago, we received a fun package from a friend, aka Richmond Memaw. It was stuffed with a bag of dried beans, a packet of cornbread mix, 2 PayDay candy bars and oh yeah...a package of smoked ham! When was the last time YOU got ham in the mail!?!?!? My mouth watered thinking about the spread this was gonna make! I quickly set the menu in my head: soup beans, cut up onions to sprinkle on top, slaw, cornbread, fried taters, and a full bottle of ketchup! Mercy! I'm tellin' you...I didn't know how quick I could get to the market to find everything I needed. The beans soaked overnight, the crockpot got fired up, and they slowly but surely turned into a mouthwatering taste of home! The cornbread in the oven filled the house with the smell of hot country goodness. And the fried taters....well, they'd have made your eyes roll back in your head!!!! I love cooking and I love eating. But there's nothing like cooking, eating, and thinking of everyone back home. Hope y'all are doing great!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hookt on Fonix...

After almost 5 months of Thai language lessons, we're getting to the reading and writing! So far, we have learned everything phonetically. But now, it's time to step it up and learn the Thai alphabet! It's crazy but tons of fun!! I really, really am diggin' it! It's really clicking in my head being able to visualize the words that I've been learning! First, we started out by memorizing the alphabet--learning the names of each consonant and vowel, learning how to write each of them, and then learning how to recognize them when we see them. There's also 5 tones and 3 classes of consonants to figure out too! It was madly confusing at first, but oddly enough, it's starting to make sense! I love it!!!! I'm so grateful for our uber patient teacher, Panida. She's awesome! She does an awesome job teaching us and making it fun ALL the time! I can't wait to start being able to read quicker. Right now, it takes a few seconds of inspecting each consonant and vowel and tone, then figuring out which class it's in (low, middle, or high) and then sounding it out. In my lesson on Friday, we pretty much threw a party for every word that we could sound out! Hey, it's the simple things, ok?!

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