Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This And That

Here it is Wednesday already!  Kevin is in Hong Kong for a few days so the kids and I are on our own.  Not always such a bad thing.  I did not get to go to the Ambassador's reception Monday evening as there was too much homework & studying to be done with the kids.  Kevin did go and said the official residence is amazing.  Oh well, next time I will go for sure! 

We are still waiting on a delivery date for our HHE.  Long story short, the woman who has spoken with and/or emailed Kevin at least every other day for the past three weeks neglected to tell us until last Thursday that we needed to provide them with a copy of our HHE inventory before they could even begin to process our shipment (which has been in-country since August 28th)  through Customs.  It is a good thing Kevin is communicating with them as you can only imagine my reaction.  As a friend (in a similar situation) said to me this morning, "every day here is a day of school."  So, the wait continues.

This week started off slow in terms of social activities so a friend and I did a little more exploring of the local shops and stores.  On Monday, we found a great plant nursery (and I use that term quite loosely) nearby.  There were several stalls offering beautiful plants, pottery, fish (water gardens are very popular here) and all kinds of gardening supplies.  We went back again yesterday and I bought some things for our front entrance patio.  I cannot believe what a difference just these few things made.  Take a look....

Photo below - I think that is a lime tree in the pot (couldn't understand what the vendor was telling me).  Whatever it is, it is loaded with little fruits!
Photo below - This plant is actually some type of water lily (the pot is filled with water).  There were a lot more varieties of water plants but I liked this one because it was so tall and could fill up more space.
I have no idea what the plant below is but wanted something to hang here and the area gets too much sun for an orchid.  I think this plant will have vines that grow up and out to fill in that open space a bit. 
I am going to go back either this afternoon or tomorrow to pick up another one of the potted lime trees so I have two to flank the entrance to the door.  We have a side patio where we plan to put our grill and patio furniture and I would like to put some sort of a fountain with fish out there but need to look around a bit more to find exactly what I have in mind.

I knew that I would have a lot of "free" time on my hands once we arrived in Bangkok and I wanted to set some goals to accomplish a few things during our time here.  A few of my goals are simple and really go hand in hand with our moving here and our lifestyle.  Obviously, we want to travel around Thailand and Southeast Asia and experience as much of this part of the world as possible.  I would like to learn to cook Thai food and to learn a bit of the language and about the culture as well. 

There were a few other things I have wanted to do for some time and I resolved to finally act on them while we are here.  My first "goal" was to sort through and organize all of my recipes.  My sister-in-law, Janice, is an excellent cook and has a great system for keeping her recipes in order.  She sometimes writes comments on the recipe with special notes/observations to consider the next time she makes it.  While we were visiting them this summer, I looked through her system and began to plan mine.  As of last weekend, I have sorted through and organized all of my recipes so a big "CHECK" to that goal being accomplished.  I won't bore you with the details but I threw away a lot of recipes for dishes that I never got around to making (and probably would never make) and organized everything pretty specifically.  The only bummer was that going through all of the recipes really gave me an itch to cook and, well, given our lack of HHE and the difficulty in getting some of the ingredients I would need, that just ain't gonna happen. 

My next goal is to organize all of my photos (from the last 6 years) by year on to flashdrives and then catalog them so I can remember all of the who/what/when & wheres.  I am putting this goal on the back burner for now for two reasons.  The first reason is that I am pretty much all organized out after finishing the recipe project and the photo project will require more planning and thought.  The second reason has to do with another goal of mine...

For some time, I have really wanted to take a few on-line classes (of some relevance - not basket weaving 101).  My first preference, obviously, would have been to take classes through American University, UVA or VA Tech but the tuition was too expensive for me to take a class just for "fun".  I found out the University of Maryland has an online program offered through the Embassy so I applied, registered and selected my classes.  My first class began Monday and I have been busy trying to get back into "student" mode.  I am taking "Modern East Asia" for the entire semester and will add a six week class, "People and Cultures of Southeast Asia", at the end of October.  I really know nothing about Asia and since we are going to be living and traveling here for a while, I thought I should learn some of the history and get an understanding of this region.  The classes are a mix of on-line lectures and reading as well as A LOT of writing.  I chose to take the classes for a grade (rather than audit) so I will receive credits that I can apply to other programs when we return to the US.  I try to do my reading/lecture participation during the day and then sit with the kids (at the kitchen table) and do my homework while they do theirs.  Of course, they can't understand why I would willingly go to school...

I need to close this and go run a few quick errands before I meet our neighborhood "group" for our weekly get together.

1 comment:

Ellen aka EMG said...

I hope you get your house hold goods soon!! I also, can't understand why you would voluntarily be in school, but it must be because I am SO ready to be DONE with law school!