Monday, July 7, 2008

"There's a snake in my boot!"

Ok, Ok....there's not really a snake in my boot (like Woody from Toy Story exclaims)--this story involves no snake nor do I own boots. What I do have is a striped lizard and my jeans! Let me explain...

A couple of days ago, I was getting ready for the day. Carrie, Court's younger sister, is here visiting for a while and so the bathroom can get a little crowded while 3 of us girls are drying hair, lathering deodorant, putting in contacts, etc. So, I wet my toothbrush, lined the bristles with a thick squirt of toothpaste and slipped out to sit on my bed to get outta the way while I brushed my teeth. Moo, the world's cutest Chihuahua, was lounging on the bed, so I went to sit next to her. The minute I sit down, I see a long squiggly tail shoot out from under a pile of clean clothes (I had yet to fold them) and slither down my bed spread and under my bed. I hollered because at that point I couldn't tell if it was a lizard (I knew it wasn't a gecko) OR a snake! Moo saw it and was shaking in help at all.

Me, Court, and Carrie go into hunter-mode and try to find it. Well, let me rephrase that--Carrie and I tried to find it while Court stood on the bed holding Moo. With a flashlight in hand, Carrie and I looked around and finally found it blending in with the dark base boards. We could really only see its stripes and shiny exterior. OK, so it was a baby lizard--dark brown with a snake-like head, but its tail was longer than its body. Ugh.

We devised a plan to get rid of it. I didn't want a mess to clean up, so I thought I could smack it with a rolled-up newspaper just enough to disorient it and then I'd scoop it up in a plastic bag and release it outside. Good plan, huh? Well, I swatted at it and all that did was make it squirm away faster. We chased it under my desk, then under my bed. At this point, it was hopeless. What could we do now? We resigned and went to the mall. I didn't see it again that evening, so I slept in my bed--pretty much with one eye open the entire night! All went well.

The next day, Court and Carrie left for the beach, so it's just me and Moo left to take care of the removal of this unwanted guest. No sign of the striped stranger. So, my morning went on as usual. When I got out of the shower, I reached for my jeans and stepped one leg in. As I went to step into the other leg, out squiggled that revolting reptile! It dropped right outta my britches and slithered under my bed! Oh mercy! Moo and I got bold and tried to get it out with a broom with no success. Again, I retreated and hoped to have another shot at it later. And of course, I did.

Yesterday evening...went to the bathroom, flipped on the light switch, reached to open the door and down drops the lizard! I feel like I've got him cornered! As I strategize, neither one of us makes a move and our eyes are fixed on the other. I make a smooth escape downstairs to get the bug spray! This is high-powered stuff and I'll just get it with the spray! Genius! When I return with the can, it was gone. But the can remained on the sink for easy access our next encounter!

A few minutes ago, I went to the bathroom to check on its current whereabouts. There it is. That slithery snake-like body is coming out from under the bathroom rug. I grab the can and spray before it knew what hit it. It took off running under the bathroom door. I fling open the door and chase it with a direct line of spray! It slows, coughs, spits, throws its hands up in the air, waves a white flag, and surrenders. Well, something like that. I let it alone, closed the door and hope that when I return its taken its last breath.

Mission accomplished. I now can return to my living space with confidence that there is not a lizard in my bed or in my clothes! Life in Thailand--ya gotta love it!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day of Prayer for Tibet

Take a minute to lift up the people of Tibet. This has been a quite a year for them. I pray they'll come to know where TRUE PEACE is found.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pai, Sabai

Court, her younger sister--Carrie, and I have taken a 3 hour road trip from Chiang Mai to a town called Pai. The drive to Pai is super famous because from Chiang Mai there are exactly 762 curves in the road. I loaded up on Dramamine as soon as we got off the main road. It rained a little, there was a water buffalo crossing, we used a squatty potty on the side of the road that was covered in bugs, and then we finally made it to our cute little air conditioned hut situated in the middle of a rice field, safely surrounded by mountains. It's absolutely beautiful here!

This is a super chill town. In the title of this post is the word "sabai". It's a Thai word used to describe something very relaxing and laid back and chill. Well, that perfectly details the vibe of this place! I bought a magnet that has some mountains on it and the text: "a little town in a big valley". I LOVE THIS PLACE!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Jackfruit, Schmackfruit

One of my fave Thai fruits is jackfruit!! It's an odd, spikey, football-shaped mass that hangs from jackfruit trees. Some are so heavy and full of fruit, that peeps will construct creative support systems just to keep the thing from falling off the tree! Not only is it noted for its unique exterior, but inside is a bright yellow, strong smelling fruit. You've really gotta like it to be nose first into it cutting it up! (It's in the same family as durian.) You wouldn't believe me unless you tried it, but it really does taste like strawberries and banana!!!! I promise!

Well, my friend, Lah, has a bunch of jackfruit trees at her house. So, she wanted to share her jackfruit harvest with us! We gladly took it off her hands. She dropped it off on our porch and we came home to find it! I was so excited. But, I had to call her and tell her I had no idea what to do with it! She laughed and apologized and said she forgot about that part! The next morning, she came over and taught me how to cut it up and pull out the fruit! I needed newspaper, a big knife, and rubber gloves. Once we got into pulling the fruit out, it was the stickiest mess I'd ever seen! It was so sticky that after we cut everything up, the knife looked like glue had been dumped on it. I used some soybean oil to clean it off. Powerful sticky stuff!

After about an hour of cutting and pulling, it was rewarding to enjoy the fruits of my labor!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Buh-bye, Sulu!

After 12 of some of the funnest days I've had in a long time, my 'lil baby cuz went back home! We had a blast! I think that's the longest time we've gotten to spend together since back in the day when we would go out to New Mexico to help out at Elim Haven Mission.

It's been so awesome to watch Sulu enjoy some of the things here in Thailand that I love. One of the bigger surprises was her takin' a likin' to khao soy! She admits that her food preferences are not very broad, but she really went out on a limb to try food here. I appreciate all the effort she put into trying almost anything!

Sulu, thanks so much for spending part of your summer break from PA school to travel a million hours away to hang out with your crazy cuz! I love you and am so glad to have you as my 'lil baby cuz and especially as my friend!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day Trippin'

Yesterday, we took a day trip up to the Golden Triangle. Our day started with our and a cream cheese oreo!

Court and her mad navigational skillz got us where we needed to be! We stopped in for lunch at Charin garden.

Then, we made an appearance at the White Temple in Chiang Rai. They were doing a lot of construction so we couldn't see some of the cool parts. But, it was still fun to see! It's so weird!

The rain held off for us to hang out at the Golden Triangle for a bit. You can stand and see Burma, Laos, and Thailand. It's super cool! There's so many things to stand at and bust a pose! Just like this one...

After that, we headed over to the Opium Museum on our way back. Interesting. After we left the Opium Museum, we all had a sudden case of the munchies...hmmmm....

Along the way back, we stopped to look at a hot spring. It was crazy and it was stinky!!!!

I hope Sulu has come to learn as I have--every day in Thailand is an adventure!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cuz, coffee, cream cheese oreos

Today was another great day with my 'lil baby cuz! It's awesome to have Sulu here! It's rainy season here, so we've been very flexible with our activity schedule...and yes, I DO have an activity schedule! Yesterday, we did a tour of Warrorot Market and then stopped in to Starbucks for an afternoon rain break--coffee and a cream cheese oreo. So far, this has been a daily thing!

Today, again, it rained and again, we went to Starbucks for coffee and a cream cheese oreo. We ran last night, so we feel ok about indulging. After that, we went up the mountain to Doi Suthep. This was Sulu's first time to visit a Buddhist Temple. It was not crazy crowded, so it was a very nice time to be up there. The view was awesome! It was cool to show Sulu around!

Tomorrow, we head to the Golden Triangle. This is my millionth time going, but I really do like going! I think Sulu's gonna enjoy it, too! We're having a blast and I'm definitely loving spending all this time with my 'lil baby cuz! I'm super glad she's here!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Welcome, Cuz!!

This afternoon, I picked up my 'lil baby cuz from the airport! She's not actually a baby...she's just younger than me and that's what I've always called her! Anyways...we're gonna be kickin' it here in Chiang Mai for the next couple of weeks! I'm so happy to have her here!

Welcome, Cuz!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

On the Road Cambodia!

The first time I went to Cambodia, I saw so many tee shirts that said "I survived in Cambodia!" I truly understand this feeling! While we were gone, the staff at work decided that the trip we all need to take together would be to Cambodia! What?!?!! Before we left, we had decided on Laos. But while we were gone they got excited about Cambodia and that's what the final decision was. So... about 6 days after Court and I returned from our first trip there, we packed up our bags AGAIN and this time instead of flying, we hit the road!

Over 24 hours of driving ahead of us, a fully charged iPod, and snackages (like dried fruit, nuts, Pocky, etc.) we started out on a journey that none of us will EVER forget! For most of my friends and coworkers going on this trip, this was their first time to leave Thailand. I was so grateful to share this experience with them!

Click here for the rest of the photos from this totally insane trip!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rachel, we miss you!!!

Recently, one of our team members and friend, went back to the States. Rachel is definitely missed around here. She is a seasoned Chiang Mai veteran after living here for over 3 years! She's now rockin' it in the same city that my sister lives in and so, that's cool that they can hang out.

Rachel, we miss you bucketloads and are praying that the Lord continues to bless you as you follow Him!

Here are some photos from Rachel's "Peace Out" lunch at Ginger Cafe.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Catchin' Up

OK....I acknowledge that a good bit of time has passed since I made my last post, but tons has happened. I'll get straight to it!

The time rolled around for me to renew my Thai visa, so I got to pick a place to go to take care of that. So...where do I wanna go? I chose Cambodia! I can't imagine what other time I'd get to go, so I was up for the adventure! It's no fun to do trips like that alone, so Court came with me. We flew into Phnom Penh and it was one crazy city! As you can see, it was busting at the seams with excitement!

Court and I both agreed that we experienced some culture shock. I'd say maybe it was more of culture jolt. Like, the out-of-controlness, so many people, loudness, honking bumper-to-bumper traffic, and the smell, was all enough to give us a good jolt! A few minutes later, we took a deep breath (of their serious pollution!) and then navigated the streets in tuk-tuks like pros! We were really hungry when we first got to our hotel, and lo and behold, if there wasn't a familiar face on the side of the hotel lobby wall! It was THE COLONEL! Kentucky Fried Chicken was connected to the lobby of our hotel! So, in a moment of desperation, we went and ate a KFC "snack plate"--2 chicken legs, mashed taters, and slaw. We were surprised to find that they wanted US Dollars! Everything on the menu was in USD. We came to find out, nobody wanted Cambodian Riel, they wanted US Dollars!

Anyways...once we got rollin', the first order of business was to take care of my visa. Check! That was done. Then, we rode a local bus for about 7 hours to Siem Reap to see the famous Angkor Wat! This was the weirdest ride ever! On the way there, we HIT A COW in the middle of the road. I wouldn't have believed it, but I saw the cow go flying to the side of the bus with my own eyes. The young, embarassed, and uncertain driver wasn't sure what to do but argue with the passengers on the front row about it. He finally pulled over. About 10 men get off the bus and they all walk to the front of the vehicle. They all cross their arms, stand in silence, and look at the "leftovers" on the front of the bus, shake their heads, and got back on the bus. Then, the driver went on like nothing ever happened. He was more cautious for the rest of the trip! For that I was grateful!

We finally reached Siem Reap and go see Angkor Wat(Google it!)! It was amazing! Very old and historical and dusty and well....important! I'm glad I had the opportunity to go see it! Siem Reap was a chill town with coffee shops, a market, and great places to eat and hang out! Shout outs to The Ivy for dinner (best Khmer curry!), Dragon Soup for another dinner (We were ready for pizza!), and the Blue Pumpkin ice cream shop! We had a great time!

Check out the photos here:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Cruisin' Convoy

On the way to take Moo to the vet, we come to a major intersection near our house and all the traffic is stopped. There were about 4 cops making every vehicle stop and they were telling peeps on motor bikes to get off and stand. I couldn't believe everyone stopping and standing. Our best guess was that somebody from the Royal Family was gonna be breezing through any minute. Well, we were hoping it would be any minute. It was more like almost 15 minutes and all those motor bike riders waited patiently.

After we got to the vet and back to work, we asked our friends if something special was going on today? We explained how we sat an intersection forever waiting on a bunch of cars to blow right through our intersection at killer speeds. They were excited to inform us that one of the Princesses was in town. It didn't really seem to be anything way outta the ordinary for the peeps around here to get off motor bikes and stand in the middle of the road in honor of the princess. But, for me...well, this was a first!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Party on Wayne, Party on Garth

Birthday festivities continued on Saturday. Pam invited Court and I over to her house for a delish lunch of grilled chicken, som tam (papaya salad), and sticky rice. This is a typical Thai meal when at a waterfall or picnic. And this just happens to be one of my all time fave meals! So, me, Pam, Court, and Stephanie chowed down before going to Bua Tong waterfall.

It's located about 30 minutes outside of town. On the way there, we passed a truck this was loaded down with a pile of pigs. No, I'm serious. It was a pile of pigs!

So, after about an hour, we made it to the falls. It was absolutely gorgeous! We had great weather! Since Pam had been there before, she was our tour guide. She did great! Here's what makes Bua Tong so special...the waterfalls are really steep. And when Pam said "Ok, just climb up!" I couldn't figure out in my brain how this was gonna work? How in the world was I gonna walk up this without slipping and bustin' my booty!? Well, after I stepped on the rocks, I understood. It was grippy and scratchy just like a those scrubby-pumice stone things that I use as part of my footcare regimen. was NOT slick at all! It really plays tricks on your brain though! It was awesome!

After all that fun at the falls, we went back to Pam's house for cake, ice cream, and chips. It was a great day!

Click here to check out photos:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

28 years ago...

Today is my birthday. It's been awesome. A lot of peeps have made a real effort to make today special. My day started with the phone ringing bright and early! I got to talk to some of my peeps and then I checked email and had tons of well wishes and then I had a load of shout outs on facebook. I went in to work for a while today and got to go to Miguel's (Mexican) for lunch. Then...this evening for dinner, Court and I went to Carrefour ( our local Wal-Mart type place) and ate at the food court! Ya know, if I was in Richmond, I would've wanted to go to Thai Diner, so, since I'm here in THAILAND, I wanted to have thai food here! We ate bowls of kwiteaw as well as gyoza. It was oh so tastey! Aroy maak!! Then, we came home and I opened some gifts! Among some of the cool things I got were...a magnet of Elvis, "Home to Big Stone Gap" by Adriana Trigiani, word searches, a bottle of Cheerwine, camo party plates, napkins, etc, and a cool picture frame. Thanks everybody!!! You were so thoughtful and sweet! Thank y'all so much for making today a special day for me!

This Saturday, my friend Pam, is taking Court and I up to her fave waterfalls for the day. We're planning on having a typical "waterfall lunch" of chicken, som tam, and sticky rice! This is one of my fave thai meals!!!! Check back and I'll post photos of that merriment as well.

I got a call from Momma and Daddy and heard the annual story "well, on this day many years ago, I had 3 hours of tightening contractions, my water broke, I didn't take any pain meds, and you fell right out." Now, didn't you just tilt your head to the side, bat your eyelashes, and sigh!? Even though this year, I was celebrating in a different country, far away from all my peeps, eating different food, etc., y'all still made me feel loved. I'm glad that's something that didn't change!

Check out photos from my birfday!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Moo's Winter Coat

The weather has gotten down to some chilly temps in the mornings (yes, I'd say the 60's are chilly temps!). Chihuahuas are infamous for their shaking when they get cold or excited. Moo was quaking from the cold this morning. So, it was time to get out her leopard print winter coat! Go ahead, roll your eyes, and laugh! Bless her heart. She's a good sport!

Check out these photos!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy 2008!

New Year's Eve was laid back and Jan. 1 was even more chill. Ice cream at Bud's sure was a great way to start the year!

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