Friday, September 30, 2011

The hood

We live in a neighborhood where most people live off the land, gathering their coconuts, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and fish from the orchards and canals on their land, or even on government lands that they keep manicured and rich with fruiting trees in exchange for a few ingredients. The villagers here actually organize their land into irrigation canals with planted mounds of coconut, mango, banana and other trees. Some canals are overgrown with duckweed. The sign above says "no fishing."

Above, a lily in our little pond. It blooms in the evening and closes around the time of the late-morning sun.

I love this deep bluish-green bamboo grove. Our fledgling bamboo (which we transplanted from our last home) is a rich gold, with streaks of green.

We call this the green path because no one sweeps it regularly, so it is always overgreen with moss and covered over with a soft layer of bamboo.

The monitor lizard gets a bad rap because its Thai name, "hia" in Thai, is one of the greatest insults that can be hurled at someone, along the lines of f***er. So the polite name is "thua ngeun thua thong," which means the "silver and gold one," or voranus, which is its scientific name.

It lives on land and in the water. The old auntie who lives by herself next door calls it "ai kay," which can be translated to "that gator." It has apparently nabbed several of her cats.

We see about one monitor lizard a day. It's a shy animal, always dodging into the forest as we approach. It's quite cute when it's taking a leisurely swim (like above), tucking it's arms neatly at its side and gently swaying side to side, like I might do if I were pretending to be an underwater torpedo. When it is scared, it goes pretty deep underwater, and you can only follow it by following it's trail of air bubbles on the surface of the canal. 

Monday, September 26, 2011


A visitor >>>>
from  the phasmatodea family ( if you know the specific name let us know)

With a baby on its back 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


After months of mulling how to put up our sink, we found a nice cabinet with mirror at Wat Suan Kaew (an antiques market temple that supports homeless people) and then punched a hole into to fit the sink. The plumbing took Landry a good day of tinkering around with pipes.

Our toilet is half finished. The brick throne, with the wooden cap that Landry built, with a nice heavy toilet lid... which was surprisingly not easy to find in Thailand. Many affordable toilet seats here are light, cheap plastic. So we are now awaiting a stainless steel pipe that will connect from the throne to the 200-liter composting bin below. The idea is to use a bin for a few months, then switch out for an empty bin one, allowing the contents of the filled one to compost.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Moving forward

Oh ho, Dave's picture again, with a little marker over our little cabana.

The counter on wheels goes where we want and need. The schoolhouse doors that we bought at a reclaimed wood warehouse got a fresh paint of turquoise, mixed with a touch of black to give it less bop, more gravity... or gravité, if you want to be really grave.

We bought a bunch of mason jars to keep sugar, flour, granola, rice, lentils. We have to dump the toaster -- the timer is broken, and it is an ugly, one-use only appliance. Frying pan does the job and is cleaner.

A big green plant in the back corner of our house one day sprouted these pretty precious things! Alas, they toppled during one of the big rains. We look forward to seeing them again one day.

Rain, rain, go away: Monsoons end Nov. 1.