I love this photo of me and Jamie. Please don't notice that I have the hands of a 90-year old -- thank you.
I was going to post all these cute photos of Jamie, but then I remembered those people who upon returning from their vacation come to your house and walk you through decks and decks of photographs of themselves wearing baseball hats, shorts and white socks, posing in front of everything they saw, everything they ate, down to the most excruciating detail and they have a 10-minute long narrative to go along with every single one of those photos, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words".
Well, I am totally guilty of that (except for the white socks and tourist shorts) when it comes to my cat Jamie and it is exclusively due to sheer self-discipline that I am not posting several pictures a day of the cutest fur ball ever to have graced the surface of Earth. Having Jamie has brought out the inner grandma in me: you ask me an innocent little question about him and the next thing you know I have talked you to sleep with the intricate details of his complex hair color and the difference in the decibel of his morning and evening meow's. Maybe it's a good thing I am not on Twitter, after all.
Promise me, you'll stop me at the first sign of me knitting Jamie a Christmas sweater, OK? I am a hair away I tell you.
It's the combination of family visiting with us, frequent construction workers, a couple of dear old friends in town, and a million other things, some good, some bad and some half way in between that made me neglect my blog.
It's not that I don't love all flowers, don't get me wrong, I do.
It's just that I have a special love affair with tropical flowers, namely Indian Jasmine (ah, the intoxicating smell), waxy Asian lilies and mostly, the queen of them all -- orchids.
I think this one might be my favorite Summer yet, in terms of places I have been. Yes, people, I am discovering how much I love my home...
When I look at our orchids I can't help but get flashbacks of the six or seven weeks I spent in Thailand last year. I absolutely loved every minute of it, in spite of all the tragedy that brought me there in the first place.
May, 2008 -- My friend John, who is also our handyman and thusly a semi-regular visitor to our home (Jamie, my cat used to think that John actually lived here), was here fixing our backdoor just a few days after one of the deadliest hurricanes of all time claimed hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives in Myanmar. On the spur of the moment, John and I decided to fly down to Thailand and see if they needed volunteers. Lucky was contemplating coming along too, but he couldn't make it. Plus it's not like we had any concrete ideas of what we would end up doing down there, especially considering that the Myanmar government was rejecting all foreign aid and visas. Well, anyway, within days of our arrival, we made friends with some awesome people down in Bangkok. I'll never forget these people, ever, however motley a crew we were, we were such a great little group of fast friends.
A couple of days after the Myanmar Embassy was set on fire, a lovely old lady took me out of Bangkok to introduce me to some Thai big shots at the Ministry of Health.
Never have I ever seen as many orchids in my entire life as I did on the way to the Ministry... ah, you wouldn't believe it, they were growing everywhere like weeds. It was out of this world, I tell you.
I can't look at an orchid now and not think of Thailand. You see, I have seen the most beautiful orchids before, in Malaysia, in Singapore, growing on trees, but on that trip, in Thailand, orchids were the only constant factor in the ever changing scenery... See, one minute you're talking to a Burmese guy who's worried that his family might have died in the hurricane and there's not a thing in the whole wide world he can do, the next minute you're having tea with high powered individuals in the Ministry, surrounded by people who have the power and influence to do anything and beyond. One minute you're getting your visa denied because the Embassy is in flames, right in front of your eyes, the next minute you're sitting in a five star hotel's state-of-the-art restaurant in a meeting with a non-profit who luckily obtained visas from before the hurricane. One minute, in some hush-hush meeting you're being shown underground photographs of dead bodies of children rotting in the cholera infected waters down in the Delta, the next minute you're in your room being spoiled by exotic food the staff sent up for you as they noticed you hadn't eaten all day. And through all of that, orchids everywhere. On every plate your food is served on, by every soap dish in every bathroom you use, growing wild on every porch you pass and behind the left ear of the street vendor outside my hotel where I stop and buy fresh coconut water.
And now, a year later, while sipping my morning coffee, half mindedly listening to the thunder I notice that wherever I look I see our breathtakingly beautiful orchids blossoming in this rainy summertime we've got here.
What's not to like?
My 'vanda' orchids growing "naked" (not in pots, just hanging) allowing the roots to dangle naturally as they would in the forest canopy. (After the rain)
I really need to find my real camera soon as these iPhone photos don't do justice to these beauties I tell you.
No need to throw away the spent flowers, they look great on the breakfast table...
Yes, I grow plants inside my breakfast table, underneath the glass top.
It beats any table cloth I tell you! I first saw it done in India many years ago.
OK, I'd better stop here. I can talk a marathon about Thailand and orchids...
Hope all you lovely people had a great 4th of July weekend.
I am falling in love with my house all over again.
I have always loved this house, but now after the flood, we needed to repaint the walls and so many things basically forced us to redecorate and I love it even more. I'll be posting some pictures here once I find my real camera. Should be soon.
Everything old is new again. Funny how you get a fresh perspective on things once you move them around and change them up a little.
As I said, I haven't found my camera yet, but here's a 5-minute spread I just threw together that reflects my style. As you can tell, I love simplicity and a travelled-feel.
My current obsession is this site (LOVE the tin switch plates and what a great price!) I absolutely love Mexican furniture. That, and Indonesian stuff. And Thai. And some Indian (not the glittery and bright stuff though). And primitive African art. Moroccan lamps... well, you get the idea.
My dream home would be something like this, somewhere in South-East Asia:
(via google images)
There's something so soothing about spending the Summer home. I was going to be in Central America and visiting some islands but that is postponed, for a number of reasons.
1.I was shocked to find out that the food industry uses real strawberry seeds in strawberry jam and yoghurt to make you think there's real fruit in there when there isn't. They had me fooled all these years.
2.I slept under the stars many times -- it's unbeatable.
3.The age difference between my husband and I seems to be shrinking year by year.
4.I am in love head over heels.
5.I have never had a steak or a hamburger in my whole life.
6.I'd rather be misquoted than have a bad photo run. Just kidding. But still.
7.I have never played a video game.
8.I have never had a gym membership.
9.I have the cutest cat in the world.
10.I love adventure. I love traveling. I love people.
11.I prefer less developed countries over affluent ones. Not sure why. I find life in a western country much less challenging and thus less stimulating and definitely less adventurous.
12.I always say I do not like big corporate shopping establishments, like malls and Macy's and Publix, yet that's pretty much where I shop all the time. I would much rather shop in small privately owned pastry shops and bakeries and tailors.
13.I always say I'd much rather walk than drive yet I drive everywhere.
14.I fall asleep in about a minute and sleep through the night.
15.Medicine and drugs freak me out, especially synthetic ones. I will take antibiotics when needed but I would never take an aspirin for a headache.
16.I could never follow anyone on Twitter.
17.Sometimes I feel beautiful and other times I feel ugly.
18.I love toe rings.
19.I only like to watch TV once in a while.
20.I wanna go camping.
21.I drive an SUV.
22.I like riddles and always solve them.
23.I can solve the Rubic's cube in a few minutes.
24.I was once mistaken for Britney Spears.
25.I like intelligent, stimulating conversations that go way into the night. Small talk makes me feel tired.
26.I love tropical weather and tropical plants and heat in general.
27.I love verandas.
27B. I love shadows.
28.I don't have a tattoo.
29.I have never called anyone 'dude" "honey" or "da'hling".
30.I am fundamentally against the death penalty, even in the case of murderers. Killing people to show people that killing is wrong does not add up.
31.I like my eggs sunny side up.
32. Oops, this is more than 25 things already.
This must have been a pretty boring read, so thanks everyone for enduring and have a wonderful weekend.