Home, at last. After bouncing around the country for the last couple of months, it does feel good to know we’ll be home for the next little while. Of course, we’ll still pop up to Chiang Rai, but some sense of normalcy and routine will return and it’ll be nice. So I can invite you to join me for a cup of coffee here at home.
What’s your flavor today? I’m sipping french press coffee made with strong, flavorful beans planted, harvested, and roasted by a local hill tribe. Thailand has been investing lots of energy in bringing in new crops of things like coffee beans, avocados, strawberries, etc. as part of the King’s initiatives to encourage the people who once grew opium to grow these other crops instead, so there’s lots of reasons to feel warm and fuzzy about these beans.
We had a good weekend in Chiang Rai, working with the kids at the SOLD Project. I always love the drive up there and back.
There’s a beautiful temple along the way, right next to some hot springs.
There are always so many wonderful things to see. (When you’re not squeezing your eyes shut as cars pass each other in the opposing lane of traffic on blind turns.)
Do you see the elephant?
He’s in the clouds.
At the Resource Center, I made a bunch of playdough for the kids to play with.
They weren’t the only ones to have fun with it.
We brought our puppy, Dot, with us too. Tawee, the Director, and his wife, Beth, were there too with their puppy, Jai-Jai and the two little mutts got to meet each other. Things were tense for approximately 2 minutes, then the two became best buds. Total partners in crime. By the time we had to leave on Sunday, Dot stoutly refused to leave Jai-Jai behind. She plopped her little butt down in protest until we had to practically carry her to the car.
Lucky for us, she loves us (a tiny bit) more.
And speaking of hill tribes (which I was earlier before I got distracted!), we discovered a new coffee shop near the Resource Center (which is in the middle of rice fields, so finding good coffee nearby is like a gift from God). The people running it were so friendly and lovely and kind, they remind me of the Thailand I remember from my youth – a refreshing switch from Bangkok. They just chatted with us, as warm and welcoming as you can imagine, and when we got ready to leave, they gave us each a beautiful bracelet made by the local Akha hill tribe women. I know where we’ll be getting our coffee when we head up to SOLD!
Anyway, I must apologize if this post is lacking in energy. We got home yesterday afternoon, and I got a bug up my a– to create a better home office for myself (i.e. have one at all). After living in a shoebox apartment in Santa Barbara I vowed never again to work where I eat. Flash forward nine months later and I’m still working at our dining room table (which is an upgrade from the coffee table!). I finally decided to take over one of our guestrooms that I’m preserving for…what, exactly? I took a spare desk and put it in the room, brought in my most important resource books and favorite decor and made a much more functional bit of personal space. Plus the bed, which is a twin-sized bit, has the unexpected benefit of turning into a nice, cozy space for me to retreat to when I want to read. And the best part is, this room is actually the sunniest room in the house, light and airy with three large windows overlooking the gardens and it has air-conditioning so I will not melt into a sweaty, ugly, incoherent puddle in the Thai heat.
I’m excited, but all that plus a full day of top-to-bottom house-cleaning, laundry, and photo processing has left me one tired little chica. Plus we still need to go grocery shopping and I plan to make dinner at home tonight: a little slice of home with Pioneer Woman’s Pasta with Whiskey, Wine and Mushrooms.
(We won’t mention the swigs of bourbon I’ll be slinging in between pasta-stirring and ‘shroom-sauteeing.)
I appreciate the support!