27 December 2007

New York City

Too many to post! Click on the album to view.

18 December 2007


I had about 3 hours in Boston!
Cruised through Cambridge:

See the Harvard sweatshirts? AND the reflection of the building across the street--unplanned but pretty neat.

The famous State House Balcony, where the Declaration of Independence was first presented.

Quincy Market

What's for lunch?

The Charles River from my seat on the Lucky Star Bus. This is the bluest river in a major city that I have ever seen.

14 December 2007

Other sights north of Marblehead

Salem Witch Museum

Along the coast of New Hampshire (did you know New Hampshire had a coast? I didn't!)

A restaurant in New Hampshire--who knew?

Crossed the state line into Maine.

Funny story here. I was trying to take a good self-portrait and not doing very well when a man began to approach. I asked him, "Please, would you take my picture? It's my first time to Maine!" He kindly agreed, telling me that he is a native of Maine, and proceeded to point below the bridge to the boat he lived in. He told me about his work, gave me his card, and showed me how friendly...uh...Mainers? Mainians?...well, "people from Maine" can be.

Alas, his photo did not turn out at all, so this was the best I could do. =)

12 December 2007

Marblehead, MA

My first view of the Atlantic Ocean from the Marblehead area:

This part of the country is so full of history!
Plaques on people's houses show when and for whom they were built:

The Lobster Place

My cousin's family

24 November 2007

Replace All

My aunt was writing a novel and realized she had too many "J" names. She changed the algebra teacher's name from "Mr. James" to "Mr. Ridenour." Well, she didn't want to bother with changing one at a time, so she just hit "replace all."

What she had forgotten was that she also wrote about Jesus and three of his apostles elsewhere in the novel. "Replace All" officially listed these three apostles as "Peter, Ridenour, and John."

05 November 2007

Run Karis Run!

Some of you know I love the movie "Run Lola Run." Here is a photo of Franka Potente playing Lola.

For Halloween, I dressed as Lola. Here are some photos of ME, trying to look like Franka looking like Lola! Enjoy.


26 October 2007

Are you following the news about the Burma/Myanmar situation?

I signed the petition to ask the UN to take action against the junta and help bring about a better Myanmar. The agency I used, found on Facebook, collected over 780,000 signatures! If you want to read the letter and sign it, go to AVAAZ.

Read up on the background and catch the latest on BBC News.

21 October 2007

07 October 2007

I'm in Seattle!

See some photos here!

Seattle, Part 1

16 September 2007

House Makeover

We had a little party to celebrate our place.

Click to see this album of some BEFORE and AFTER photos!

My House_Before and After

11 September 2007

Meet my new Nephew!

Henry West Pratt was born on September 7th. Isn't he sweet?

04 September 2007

Some Band Names

Ok, here's the follow-up I promised:

Heavy Metal= Medieval Weapon + President Name
Battleaxe Jackson; Catapult Pierce

Death Metal= Nickname + Internal Body Part
Snookum Spleen; Scar Mastoid

Alt/Indie Rock= an element + (part of) classic book title
Wind of the Baskervilles; Europium Gables

Country= City + Pet's Name
Rabbit Hash Rover; Tallahassee Yeller

HipHop= famous landmark + garden tool
Macchu Picchu Hoe; Taj Mahal Weeder

Boy Band= mode of transportation + flower name
Bowrider Cornflower; Skateboard Snapdragon

30 August 2007

funny Thai proverb

I learned a new Thai saying today.

I'd bought a rather nice guitar after months of deliberation, only to realize upon bringing it home that I am really a piano player at heart, and should have bought a piano instead. I've been trying to sell it for close to the price I paid, but the best and only offer I've had is for about $160 lower than I paid.

I told my Thai teacher I'm probably going to sell it to this guy because "at least his offer is better than nothing!"

She replied, กำขี้ดีกว่ากำตด (gam kii dii gwaa gam tod).

Translated, it's "Better to grasp poo than a fart," meaning at least you have something in your hand.


28 August 2007

Kind People

The other day a Thai man was walking along with a bunch of Lamyai, a Thai fruit. He offered me some. (and NOT in a "hey, little girl, want some CANDY?" way, either.)

Then today, one of the red pick-up taxi drivers offered me a ride, free of charge. They usually honk at every foreigner to get them as customers, so I was really surprised by this!

Also, if you ever fall down or have some kind of accident, people will run to help you. It's a very nice feeling.

24 August 2007

Band Name Formulas

OK, I'm a sucker for these kinds of games. Brings back memories of "Mad Libs" and road trip games...

Try writing your own, and I'll post some ideas next time!

Heavy Metal= Medieval Weapon + President Name
Death Metal= Nickname + Internal Body Part
Alt/Indie Rock= an element + (part of) classic book title
Country= City + Pet's Name
HipHop= famous landmark + garden tool
Boy Band= mode of transportation + flower name

16 August 2007

Her Majesty the Queen in Chiang Mai

One Thai person wrote this:

"Wednesday night Queen Sirikit of Thailand visited Chiang Mai, attending a Christian funeral at the 1st Church of Chiang Mai. One of her beloved Christian workers in the Royal Project recently died of a car accident. The Queen was so touched to hear the Christians singing a song about Thailand and how the country was very dear to our hearts. She said she sensed how much the Thai Christians love the Nation of Thailand. I was blessed by her majesty's comment. I believed it was a real encouragement for her to see that at this very hour of all the killings going on in the southern provinces."

Also, "Buddhist activists, upon hearing Her Majesty the Queen's speech this past Saturday that Buddhism should be free of politics, have decided to stop their push to have the new constitution grant state religion status to Buddhism."

06 August 2007

I Was on the Radio!

There's an English radio show called "Helping Hand" on 93.25. I was a guest last Wednesday, and may be doing it again! Fun.

04 August 2007

Watching Out for...

Dengue Fever.
There's an outbreak here in Thailand and SE Asia. In one family I know of, they all had it! I'm trying not to get bit by mosquitoes...

01 August 2007

Canvas on YouTube

My friend Dave has posted a performance of our old singing group, Canvas, singing "The Simpsons." Unfortunately, I am not in the video as that particular performance took place right after I left Seattle, but I did sing this many times with the group!

Alas, in Thailand YouTube is still blocked because the incident I describe in my entry The Good King, but I've heard it has received many good comments, so check it out: CANVAS singing "The Simpsons."

27 June 2007

The Good King

One of my friends had trouble accessing YouTube a few months ago. Later, she found out that Thailand had BLOCKED it. Yes, the whole country lost access to YouTube!

Why this censorship? Someone had posted something that was very disrespectful of Thailand's King. They asked YouTube to remove it, and apparently they first refused to do so. (I believe it has since been removed.)

In a separate story, some Swiss man was apprehended after defacing images of the King. He was given 10 years in prison.

His Majesty pardoned him.

In a country where status and respecting the higher-ups is a very important value, these acts were completely out of line. I was especially angered by the Swiss man. Why would you live here and do something that was so disrespectful of the longest-reigning monarch, and one who the people TRULY LOVE with all their hearts?

Nevertheless, I was touched my the mercy shown by His Majesty. He vowed to "reign in righteousness" when he ascended the throne, and it seems he is upholding that promise as well as anyone could hope.

19 June 2007

More on my Choir Concert

Read about our concert and see photos in this article in Chiang Mai's English Newspaper!

13 June 2007

Sing Sing Sing

Imagine a group of westerners, Thais and Japanese singing Showtunes under a Thai conductor and an American senior citizen pianist in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It might seem wild, but that's exactly what happened last Saturday! Here's the poster from our very fun concert:

Besides that, a fellow choir member introduced me to a really great jazz place. The musicians are outstanding, and last night was "open jam," so we tried singing a few tunes there! I don't really know many jazz songs, but we made the best of it and our accompanying musicians were great sports. Maybe I should study up on vocal jazz repertoire and try it again!

It's been good to sing again.

31 May 2007

Convenient Shopping

Let's see, what's on my shopping list for today? I want to buy a guitar, a motorcycle helmet, and a TV...So I guess I'll be stopping at the guitar-helmet-TV shop!

Thailand is so conveniently organized. =)

26 May 2007

Fun Eats

24 May 2007

Don't worry...

Some of you were a bit concerned, but really this is all I was trying to say.

Here is a somewhat related quote, found here:

"Real solutions don't fit on bumper stickers."

11 May 2007

Is the Internet my Idol?

No, I don't worship the internet or pray to it.

I don't sing songs of devotion to it.

But, lately I've been noticing how often I go to the internet, not only for information but for ANSWERS.

The internet can't tell me what to do with my life, or help me become more like Jesus, or introduce me to my future spouse. And yet, I seem to go there when I have some big question marks in my life.

Why don't I go to GOD? He is the only All-Knowing One, and also One who loves me (the internet certainly does not!).

My only answer is that I am lazy. I am impatient. When I go to God, he often does not have instant answers or offer instant relief of my pain or confusion.

And yet, He offers peace, hope, true unconditional love.

While the internet can tell me a phone number, when the next eclipse is coming or how to spell paraphernalia, it is certainly limited in terms of spirutal and real-life direction.

I would do well to seek my ANSWERS from He who created and understands all things.

22 April 2007

I'm Me--lti--ng!

Current temperature according to The Weather Channel:

102 degrees...feels like 110

I may have to turn on the A/C in my bedroom tonight!
I've done OK so far this year without it.

(Yes, folks, no central air here. With an A/C unit in my bedroom at least, I consider myself blessed!)

19 April 2007

Happy (Thai) New Year!

April 13-15 is Songkran, the Buddhist New Year.

It is celebrated in Thailand by sprinking, dousing or drenching your fellow man/woman/foreigner with water!

I celebrated in Lamphun (the next town south of Chiang Mai, with my Thai Language Teaacher and her kids...

...hoping it would be a little less crazy there!

08 April 2007


Beaten and crucified for the sins of mankind


giving New Life to all who seek it

* * * * *

No other god has a tombstone that reads:

No other.

JESUS: He is Risen Indeed.

01 April 2007

The Power of the Exchange Rate

The DOLLAR has seen a huge drop in the past 13 months:
Feb 2006 $1 = 39.34 THB
Mar 2007 $1 = 32.34 THB

This means that it costs about 20% more for me to live here NOW than it did in February of last year. Let me give you some real-life examples:

ITEMFeb 2006March 2007
Fried Rice$__.51$__.61
Bus to Bangkok__8.90_10.72

That's pretty incredible. A this rate, I'll need DOUBLE the amount of money to live on by about May 2010!

29 March 2007

WAI-nald McDonald

To WAI someone, press your hands together at your chest or chin (the higher your hands, the more respect you are showing) and nod slightly. This is the polite way to greet people in Thailand.

Even Ronald McDonald knows how to be culturally senstive, hey?

20 March 2007


I love that word. How it looks, how it sounds... like I want to drink it down and savor the sparkling goodness.

And, I like real eclipses, too. They're so mysterious and strange.

I came to work yesterday, and Pii Bua (the housekeeper) pointed out to me the last minute of a partial solar eclipse visible here in Thailand.

It was really great, but I was a bit disappointed that I didn't know ahead of time, so I could watch the whole thing.

By the way, anyone remember that total solar eclipse in the US in... 1994? It was incredible!

Anyway, so as not to miss another astronomical wonder, I'm saving this website on my Favorites and sharing it with all of you:

NASA Eclipse Page

Happy eclipsilating!

16 March 2007

Birthday Photo

Blowing out the candles on my Birthday Apple Pie (thanks, Ruth!).
And no, I didn't get a tattoo. It was henna, and it already washed off.
I did really like it, though!

07 March 2007

Today in History

1973. I was born. (Thanks, Mom & Dad!)
And yes, I was bald until I was 2 years old.

Remembering the title of my blog, I resolve to ENJOY THE SCENERY of my life. Many things have turned out differently than what I imagined. It has been too easy at times to focus on the Don't-Haves:

  • NOT married

  • NO kids

  • NOT an astronaut, lawyer, or even a professional musician

  • NOT sure what the next year or two will bring

  • NOT a lot of close friends after being in Chiang Mai for 1 year

But, the more I think about it, there are lots of things That I HAVE experienced, things I DO have, and, even the "bad" things are worthy of thanksgiving.

  • I speak 3 languages

  • I have lived in many places, met many wonderful people

  • I have many good friends in the world

  • I have learned to depend on Jesus more because I don't have anyone else who goes everywhere with me

  • I love living in Chiang Mai

  • Email keeps me connected to my family and friends

  • I have witnessed the good works of the LORD in various places and in many people's lives, including mine

  • I have been spared the pain of a bad marriage

  • I can go rock climbing

  • All the beauy of nature is mine to behold and enjoy

  • Difficulties help me to relate to others and to know Jesus better

  • I have everything I need

I want to embrace my life and go forward hand in hand with Christ Jesus, my Savior and Lord.

05 March 2007

Good Movies

WOW! I'm loving the Thai movie KING NARESUAN. It's a 3-part epic set in the 1500s, and the good part is we don't have to wait a year between parts like Lord of the Rings! I have no idea of the availability in the U.S., but do keep an eye out for it. It's great.

For a more user-friendly description see this blog.

A really good American movie I saw in January is the sometimes sad but overall heartwarming PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS. Do see it, if you haven't already!

11 February 2007

I Ate Bugs!

Yes, I ate a grasshopper at the Sunday walking market... also a little grub thingy. They weren't bad.

07 February 2007

FREEZING in Chiang Mai

OK, not freezing exactly... but it's been quite cool here, cooler than last year!

I've been wearing a sweater and a jacket in the mornings, as the wind sure cuts when you're on a motorbike! Shivering in the shower, too... never imagined THAT here!

www.weather.com says it's been as cold as 54F/12 C (BRRR!) and up to 79F/26C.

But this weekend it's going up to 95F/35C, so I guess the hot weather is finally on its way!

26 January 2007

An Actual Conversation I Overheard

A: So she went to stay with her cousin Poo Poo.
B: Is that the lady who dresses like a man?
A: Yes, and got pregnant.

13 January 2007

The Longest Trip Ever (for me, anyway!)

I just returned from an unexpected trip to Ohio to see my family. It was so good to be with them, and to meet up with friends! I am thankful that it worked out!

The trip back was going to be long, I knew it. First, I already had 4 airports on the itinerary:
Cincinnati (CVG)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Taipei (TPE)
Bangkok (BKK)
...not to mention I still had to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (CNX). I had planned to get my ticket when I arrived, in case there were any delays and such.

Well, I *did* find out before my trip that my LA to Taipei flight would be stopping (conveniently) in Anchorage (ANC)! That added another airport and a few hours to the trip. Since they didn't let us get off in Anchorage, I ended up being on that one flight for 17 hours, ugh!

Once in Taipei, I was happy that my next stop would be in Thailand. But why did the monitor say my flight was going to HONG KONG?? It was true. We were stopping in HKG on the way. If I made it through, I knew it would be a short 1-hour flight to Chiang Mai. I think I can I think I can...

Now, this is a busy tourist season in Thailand. I knew that, but upon arriving in Bangkok at 2pm, I thought surely there would be 2 seats on a flight before the end of the day! No such luck. There were NO flights to Chiang Mai that day.

Hopped on a taxi to the train station to book a seat/bed on one of the overnight trains... but they were full, too!

A tour agent found me looking distressed and said she MIGHT have seats on an overnight bus. Thankfully she did!

51 hours after I left my mom's house in Cincinnati, our bus pulled into Chiang Mai. I was so happy to be home at 4:30 am, and slept almost that whole day.

What a trip! I should have taken photos. But here's a visual aid of a different kind.