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Kluay Buat Chee

Coral Island, Phuket, Thailand

About this time a year ago today, I was sitting on a train platform with Tyson in Thailand, waiting to board a train for a 5 hour train ride to Hua Hin.

 Phuket, Thailand

{ which you may recall as being my favorite place in the world. }
 { well, besides my bed }

Hua Hin, Thailand

Time has passed so quickly; I would have sworn we were only there a month or two ago. I woke up early this morning (something I of course never do), and laid in bed for an hour before it was time for Ty to get up. I thought about our trip, all of the amazing things we saw and did, the amazing food, the smells, and how cranky I am after I fly (sorry Captain Awesome).

I thought about how generous and sincere most of the people we met were. They had barely anything, and were the happiest people I've ever met. I am reminded again and again that I have SO much to be grateful for.

Coral Island, Phuket, Thailand
I promised Ty when we left that I would learn how to cook Thai food. I've learned a few things, but after thinking about all the amazing food we had there, I resolved again today to learn to cook more Thai food.
One of our favorite things we ate there (besides the VAST amounts of fresh fruit) was a dessert called Kluay Buat Chee, bananas cooked in coconut milk.
Make it. Eat it. Love it. I dare you. I triple dog dare you.
Kluay Buat Chee
3 Bananas
1 can coconut milk (I prefer Thai Kitchen)
3/4 cup sugar (more or less, depending on your taste)
1/2 - 1 tsp salt

Warm coconut milk over medium/high heat. Bring it to a boil. Add sugar and salt, and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Add bananas, and cook up to 2 minutes, until soft (but not squishy). Serve immediately. Prepare to have your taste buds BEG you for more.

la luna

The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand. 
{ Frederick L. Knowles }


It's been an interesting month.

September's never been my favorite. Especially this year. From a broken car, to having to completely change my diet, it's felt like one thing after another.

It could be far worse. Far, far worse. I know that.

But I think it's okay to sit, mope, and play Gears of War every once in awhile.

I'll be back soon.

{ morning }

I'm not a morning person. Just ask my mother or my husband.

I don't think that people should have to get up before the sun does. And I prefer rainy mornings, not sunny ones, so you can imagine the fight I have with that one.

When we had Logan with us this summer, there wasn't much lazing about in the mornings. I had to get up early, get him up, feed him, get him ready, get myself ready, and then run out the door to drop him off at my sister's before I went to work.

The past few weeks since he's been gone, I've found myself lying in bed, wondering what to do with my extra hour in the morning. At first I'd get up, vacuum, do the dishes, throw some laundry in the washer, meditate, and then get ready. The last week or so, I've been rolling over, enjoying the comfort of our bed, and laying there until it was absolutely necessary for me to get up.

{ those walls will soon be blue }
{ and yes, that's a crown on my bed. Logan made it for me for Step-Mom Day }

I was feeling guilty about not getting up, about being lazy and lying cocooned in a mass of blankets, pillows, and the best mattress I've ever owned.

But as I laid there, I thought about priorities. The laundry always gets done. The yoga poses are done either in the morning or later in the day, it wasn't necessary to do it immediately upon waking. The dishes get done, the floor is vacuumed. What was I stressing about? I had a glorious quiet hour, probably the only quiet I'd find during the day--why should I feel guilty about appreciating it?

It is with that thought that I continually return to my blankets after Ty leaves for work. Now I just do it without guilt.

Carrie Snow said that "No day is so bad that it can't be fixed with a nap."

{ I just fit mine in a few minutes after I wake up }


Sunday night, through a series of events, I found myself without a working cell phone.

We don't have a land line, so this was my only means of communication with the outside world. We worked late into the night on Sunday trying to get something to work for me.  Finally, I told Ty I was done, and wanted to go to bed.

"But you won't have a phone," he said. "Is that ok?"

I told him I'd made it without one for 2 weeks in Thailand, and if I could survive a foreign country without a phone, I could make it a day or two without it here.

I woke up Monday morning, and felt calm. It was quiet from a storm having rolled through the night before. I turned on some music that I usually meditate to, and started to get ready. I left the TV off, I left the computer off, and didn't once think about my phone.

I made it to work earlier than usual, and got ready for the work day.

It was the most peaceful day I've had since we came back from Thailand.

Of course, my phone is working once again, but I'm kind of sad that it is. I really enjoyed the quiet.

Ty and I had decided earlier to have one night a week where we turn off all power to the house, and just enjoy the quiet. I'm thinking it's time to do that with the phone, as well.

Catching up

It's been quite the summer.

We've had so much going on, it's been easier to neglect this blog for the time being.

Slowly, things are returning to quiet. 

I find myself ready to start painting again. I've found sketchbooks I'd set aside and forgotten about, then sketches and ideas for photos I wanted to take.

I find myself moving slowly--not cautiously by any means, just softer. Trying to just exist in the moment. Listening to quieter music ("The Long Road" by Eddie Vedder {not the Pearl Jam & Neil Young version} pops up on my playlist quite frequently).

I've sat and thought a lot about priorities. Why some things matter more than others, what things I don't find myself needing anymore and am ready to give up.

One thing we've had to give up lately is wheat. We found out about a month ago that Ty is allergic to wheat, so the cupboards, fridge, pantry, and freezer were turned inside out, purged of anything that could make him sick. Luckily for my husband, I can cook. Also luckily for him, I have an obsession with cook books, and also went through a period in college where doctors believed I had celiac-sprue disease, so I'd been through the process before, and had a basic understanding of what we were up against.

He's handling it much better than I ever did.

We've been experimenting with different recipes, and have successfully made brownies, which is the most important thing besides bread. That will be the next adventure, after my shipment of flours comes in.

We'll keep you all posted. 

{ p u d d i n g }

Sometimes I'm sneaky.
{ It's for the best }

He never knew what was in it! 

Chocolate Pudding 
(found in whole living)

3 avocados
6 tbs cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Sea salt

Puree avocados, cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla in a food processor until smooth.
Sprinkle pudding with salt before serving.

**I added about 1 TBS of yogurt to add just a little bit more creaminess**


"The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” 
Robert M. Pirsig


It's been awhile.

I feel like we need to sit down with a cup of tea, looking over photos and catching up.

We're moved in.

{ mostly. ignore the boxes piled in the spare bedroom }

The view is gorgeous. Fields to the south, mountains to the east and north.

It's quiet. Exactly what we were looking for.

There's a garden, room for a chicken coop (that will come next year). Fruit trees everywhere; in the front, lilacs, and a birch tree taller than the house, shielding us from the hot summer sun and prying eyes from the road. In the back, a Weeping Willow broad enough to shade half of the back yard.

It's our own little heaven.

I've been feeling a bit of an ennui this past while. There's several books that I must read every year: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is one of those.

Ty listens every time I feel this urge to pick up and go. He calls my ennui a "spiritual claustrophobia."

I appreciate so much a husband who listens. He never pushes to get me out of a mood, but rather lets me move through it. Sometimes I feel like he even sulks along in it with me so I don't have to go through it alone. We talk about books, plan trips, and he encourages me to draw and paint again. It's these small things that seem to move me forward, more than running away from civilization with him.

{ although that would be lovely as well }

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which maybe appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing hoizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security a adopt a helter-skelter sytle of life that will first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life, you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty."
- Jon Krakauer


This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.
There is no house
like the house of belonging.
{ David Whyte }


I've been going through our things these past weeks, trying to pack and prepare us to move into our new home.

A lot of thoughts have gone through my head as I sorted things, mostly about need and want.

I want a quiet house. I want a new mattress (the one we bought a year ago has a foot-wide/long hole in it that sinks to the bottom of the mattress. Thank goodness it's under warranty! I'll have a new one in 2 weeks). I want quiet neighbors. I want new jeans. I want more time to meditate. I want a peaceful soul. I want more books. I don't want to pack, I don't want to wait anymore.  I want to find a grenade launcher and completely murder that car outside my window. I want to go back to Thailand. I want a cup of tea right now... 

It's after these moments I have quiet thoughts of need.

I need. I need... I need... 


It dawns on me. 

I don't need anything. I already have everything.

resolutions, schmezerlutions...

I don't believe in New Years' Resolutions.

{ probably because I never keep them. we won't talk about that }

But, I also understand that we can't move forward and become the people we want to be without setting some type of goal. 

I just don't believe in struggle. I don't like it. I don't believe it's necessary. And resolutions for me have always been a struggle.

Every little while, though, I come up with a list of things I want to accomplish. I don't give myself a time limit, because I don't like deadlines. I like being able to move at the pace I think I should be going at, and that things come in their own time, when I'm ready.

{ Which is probably why I don't run or do marathons or anything like that... I think a person should only run if they're being chased. That, and I'm just that lazy }

A few months ago, I came up with a new list: 
  1. Write to a stranger
  2. Create an immediate universe of Zen
  3. Mail strangers mix CDs I've made
  4. Read a book a month
  5. Volunteer once a month
  6. Work out five times a week
  7. Drink more water
  8. Meditate
  9. Love specific things about myself
I had forgotten about the list (that's how I roll) until yesterday. I was really pleased that I could say I've accomplished some of those tasks already. Maybe resolutions aren't so bad, after all...

Anyone else got a list going? Want to share?

Change the World.

It doesn't take much. All you have to do is show up. 
Saving a life couldn't be easier. Or make you feel so good.
We are all of us connected--it's time to show it. 


Last night, I told Mr. Hercules that I really want to go back to Thailand. 

"I'm sorry," he said. He was referring to the fact that we are in the middle of buying a home, and will be completely broke for the next few months, and unable to travel--abroad or otherwise--for awhile. 

"Don't be sorry!" I said. "Just because we can't go now doesn't mean that we'll never go back. We'll be back in a few years," I grinned. I was content with my memories. 

It doesn't matter that we awoke within us the longing to travel while we were there. It doesn't matter that we won't be able to again for awhile. We are content with remembering the little family-owned cafe off the main street in Hua Hin where we had the best onion rings I've ever had in my life. We're content with watching video we took of the absolutely insane and amazing maneuvers of the tuk-tuk drivers down the streets of Chinatown in Bangkok. We are content with remembering how it felt to lay on the beach underneath a warm sun, trying to catch hermit crabs on Coral Island. 

Today I read a post called "Contentment in Five Short Stories" by Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity. At the end of his post, he said:

"I know that contentment is more of an internal state of being rather than something that is 
derived through external circumstances. Yet, I am human and therefore influenced by my surroundings. 

Could I have this feeling anywhere? Yes. But I also don't mind going to Thailand or Toronto to find it."

I've had several people tell me since we've come back from our trip to "get over" wanting to go back, because we've seen it before. John Burroughs said, "To learn something new, take the path that you took yesterday." So we want to go back. 

We found contentment in Thailand, because we found contentment in ourselves. We had it before, but what we brought home was more focused, and helps us to find contentment eating a bowl of ice cream watching a Netflix movie, knowing that we won't be traveling again for awhile, but that's ok. We discovered ourselves again in Thailand, and are content with that. 

What brings you contentment? 

{ As a side note, I find contentment in this being my 300th blog post. 
Thanks for sharing it with me. }


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