Texas here we come !!!!!!!!!!!

The next stop on our vacation took us out west to the Lone Star State of Texas , and what a great time that was , Big Frank picked us up at the airport with his big truck with lights flashing and the works , what a ride to Sister Faye's and Bobby's place ,. Our home away from home awairted us and with everything stocked in the 5th wheel we had all the comforts of home . Faye and Bobby drew the plans for their new home made out of metal, a real ranch style home and the inside and out are just beautiful , they have every thing landscaped soooo pretty. We had a great time exploring the ranch and I do mean Ranch , cattle , chickens and all kind of critters running around , Faye took us for a ride around their place on her John Deer Gator , lots of land , and Bobby spends a lot of time taking care of it all , we made the trip in their John Deer Gator and Ciejay loved it and even got to drive it , we went treasure hunting , no treasures but lots of fun looking .  We had a week-in pinic  with all the grand-kids and Tessa and her gang , lots of food and fun , We went to a few catfish houses to eat and do they ever pile the food on your plate. We took day trips and went to the casino in Ok . broke even again lol , . The best part of this trip was to get to spend time with our Sister Faye and her husband Bobby, they were so sweet to us and Ciejay said she could live there if we ever win the . Itook lots of pictures so here goes hope you enjoy.

The Long Road Home ...


I had visions of saying goodbye to my father, running a couple quick errands and heading home early in the afternoon, in order to pack, rest a little and perhaps take one last walk on the beach.  Well, that was the plan anyway.  It turned out to be a blustery day with frequent squalls and I didn’t get my walk.  So my visit ended as it began, with grey skies and strong winds.  On the whole the weather during my stay had been very cooperative with sunny skies and cool trade-winds, so no real complaints.

All things considered it was a good trip.  I got more done than I had expected.  Two weeks was just right, allowing enough time to accomplish what I needed to, without dragging it out too long.  I didn’t manage to see everyone, but I am not as social as my better half when left to my own devices.  Shopping got off to a slow start but in the end I found almost everything I was looking for.  One highlight was being there to mark my mother’s ninetieth birthday, even if she wouldn’t look at me and didn’t know who I was.  The paperwork and legal stuff went pretty smoothly considering I dread that kind of thing.  After I left, my father said he really missed me and that made me feel good and bad at the same time.

This is the second year in a row that my father’s friends have offered me the use of one of their properties in the Islands.  I am overwhelmed by their generosity and eagerness to help.  They even went out of there way a couple of years ago to come stay with us in Chiang Rai when they were visiting Thailand.  Good people are good people, regardless of their social standing or fiscal position but I must admit to being attracted to accomplished individuals who have done more than I have, or at least different things which I find interesting.  I can’t overstate my appreciation for the generosity of these friends.


Arriving in Bangkok my senses were accosted by a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells, all encased in asphalt and concrete, intersected by pedestrians, cyclists and cagers rushing frantically and perpetually toward some essential yet questionable destination.  Each year when forced to pass through this seething mass of humanity, I find myself pondering how I managed to live in this place called Bangkok for more than thirty years.

Of course I was younger then and not nearly so accustomed to my present level of comfort and pace of life.  More importantly I suppose, I had a life in Bangkok back then.  A place to live, things to do, friends and interests, all of which go a long way toward making any place feel more like home.  Many of the places still remain amidst all the new development but they have been overwhelmed by growth and progress.  Of the many people one once interacted with regularly, only a select few have remained in the inner circle, connected through technology and social networking, even though separated by time and distance.

I seem to remember a singular point in time in the early 1970s, which rapidly expanded outward sending a complex maze of tentacles to seek out and explore every imaginable nook and cranny of this strange new world.  I have no clear recollection of when this amplification slowed to a halt and began to collapse in upon itself.  My gaze became more inward as I focused and centered my life around the things I had discovered to be of greater importance to me.  My random quest for more became a focused search for less, if that makes any sense.

*Chiang Rai*

The flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai was the most beautiful I can remember.  The patchwork of clouds added accent and texture while not blocking the view of what lay below.  Bangkok soon faded as the image from my window seat changed to that of the geometric layout of industrialized agriculture.  Further north the patchwork of small family worked fields became more chaotic until we reached the lush green mountains that signaled our approach to Chiang Rai.  By then the grey industrial haze of Bangkok was but a memory, replace by clear Chiang Rai skies.  Even the ever-present clouds that had accompanied our flight north, took on an otherworldly glow as we descended toward our destination. 

We flew over a large body of water that I only later realized must have been the lake at Phayao.  I pointed out the White Temple, to a Bangkok tourist sitting next to me, which sparked off a brief but pleasant conversion before we landed.  My wife was waiting for me at the airport and her embrace helped vanquish the stress and fatigue from my long journey home.

As I awoke on my first day back, it eventually came to my attention that it was Thanksgiving Day.  I clearly had much to be thankful for but the traditional celebrations of past years had to take a backseat to the simple joy of being home this year.  By way of celebration I did dust off the Trek in the early afternoon and went for a 41 kilometer ride which left me exhausted but content, despite my lack of fitness after the trip.

Though I do not enjoy these long journeys, I understand they are necessary and even educational to some extent.  Soon enough they will no longer be necessary and I will no doubt lament that fact.  For now I am just very glad to be home.


Back to Capt. George's Seafood Restaurant, Williamsburg, Virginia

Captain George's Seafood Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia is one of the few, what I consider, expensive buffets that I go to. When I say expensive, I am talking about dinner for two with just soft drinks coming to almost $80 after tax and tip. If someone asked me what is the most complete and best seafood buffet that you have experienced, my answer would be Captain George's. A number of years


Freitag...! Oh Mann, die Zeit rennt. Geht es euch auch so?

Heute möchte ich euch die letzten Geburtstagskarten zeigen. Sie sind von


 und Silvia
Mädels, vielen herzlichen Dank. Ich habe mich riesig gefreut.

Nun wünsche ich euch allen ein wunderschönes, erholsames, ruhiges Wochenende.

Für den Moment
liebe Grüße


heute zeige ich euch die Geburtstagskarte von Nicole, die mich im letzten Monat erreichte.

Hab ich mich gefreut. Nicole, nochmal vielen herzlichen Dank für diese schöne Karte.

Für den Moment
liebe Grüße


Ciejay and Malcolm, wish all our friends and family a very , very ,Happy Thanksgiving Day ,  remember to save me a wish bone, and remember the Bible say's "Be Ye Thankful.                             2014

                    We love you all

Amulet Alley in Phuket Town

Now here's an interesting local place that I have meant to write about for ages. Phuket Town is the place to look for local life, history and culture, though much of Phuket Town was only built after 1900 and then thrived on the tin and rubber booms. Before that, Phuket was more rural, and the main town was Thalang in the center of the island. Way back in 1785, the people of Thalang battled against a Burmese invasion (more info see : The Heroines of Phuket). These days, Phuket Town (officially called Phuket City though everyone says Phuket Town) is the center of government and business. The old center of town still features a lot of old buildings, and businesses that have been in the same family for generations. There's a lot of content on the blog about Phuket Town. If we go out in the evening, we go to town, not to the tourist beaches. We have several favourite restaurants in town and I just enjoy a walk sometimes around the older streets. And there always seems to be something new to find. I was amazed a few years ago to find the Shrine of the Serene Light hidden up a tiny alleyway and connected via a passage to the back of the Wilai restaurant on Thalang Road. The entrance to that shrine on Phang Nga Road is currently being widened and tarted up. Opposite there is the north end of Amulet Alley (see map at the end of the page).

Amulets for Sale

I've used Amulet Alley (sounds like something out of Harry Potter) as a shortcut from Phang Nga Road to Rassada Road often enough. You might not notice this alleyway, but if walking in town, always worth exploring the side streets! So what's in Amulet Alley? Yes, people selling Buddhist amulets - which are like lucky charms. I'm not an expert though I wear one myself that we got from a temple near Chumphon (my wife's home town) .. got one in the car too that's meant to be for safe journeys.

You can buy simple amulets in temples for 100 Baht or less. In fact the one around my neck was given to me free by a Buddhist Nun. She gave us each one (myself, my wife, daughter and son). But these are not the ones for sale in the market at Amulet Alley. Well, I guess we can call in a market, or maybe just a street for amulet collectors and devotees. Rare amulets can sell for 1 million Baht. There are shops and markets selling amulets all over Thailand including a huge market in Bangkok. There's even an amulet collectors magazine.

Reading the Amulet Weekly

You'd have to be a real collector to know a rare amulet from a reproduction, but trade I think must be good. Look around, you see many people here wearing amulets, and the reasons for wearing one are varied. Not just for general "good luck" but an amulet can be for love, for good luck with school or work, for protection from illness, and of course it helps if you believe.

Buddha amulet seller in Phuket Town

Wheeling and Dealing

(above) These guys looks like they're serious amulet dealers, while I was there, they were always on the phone and I imagined them discussing the latest amulet prices. I'm not sure of the business hours of this street, sometimes there are more amulets for sale than others, it seems to be quite informal. Not really a market, more a gathering place for amulet enthusiasts.

Amulet seller and customer

Near Amulet Alley...

Thai Hua Phuket History Museum
Kopitiam Restaurant
Abdul's Roti Cafe
The Old Thavorn Hotel
The Oldest Herb Shop in Phuket

Amulet Alley - Location Map

View Amulet Alley / Phuket Amulet Market in a larger map

Tauschpost Oktober

Heute möchte ich euch die Tauschpost von


 und Sandra
vom letzten Monat zeigen.

Im Moment sitze ich ja daran den Stand vom Adventsmarkt im Hessenpark zu bestücken. Hoffentlich vergesse ich nicht Bilder von den Werken zu machen, bevor hoffentlich ganz viele über den Laden- bzw. Budentisch gehen.

Ausserdem habe ich schon 6 Adventskalender fertig und es fehlen "nur" noch 2. Auch hier muss ich dringend daran denken Bilder zu machen, bevor sie verschenkt werden.
Ich kann sie leider nicht vorher zeigen, damit nicht verraten wird wer einen bekommt und wie dieser dann aussieht. Habt also noch etwas Geduld.

Für den Moment
liebe Grüße

Ich bin begeistert....

als erstes möchte ich mich mal ganz dolle bei euch bedanken. Damit habe ich nicht gerechnet, als ich mein Monatskit erstellte.

Von den vorbereiteten, zugeschnittenen Materialpaketen sind nur noch ein paar da. Wahnsinn. Wenn du also auch überlegst... Donnerstag geht die Bestellung raus.

Als nächstes ein großes Danke schön für eure Kommentare und Mails zu meinen Anleitungsvideos. Das hilft mir, da besser zu werden und die eine oder andere Sache zu verändern. Vielen Dank.

Doch nun zum kreativen Part. Ich bin immer noch nicht rum, euch alle Tauschkarten des letzten Monats bzw. meine Geburtstagskarten zu zeigen.

Hier ein paar Bilder.

Dieses Werk ist von Katrin

Die kleine Schokoverpackung ist von Marion

Und hier meine Geburstagskarte von Nurit
Mädels, vielen Dank
Für den Moment
lieben Grüße

Blüten basteln mit der Wellenkreisstanze Teil 2

Ich hoffe, ihr hattet ein schönes, erholsames Wochenende. MIr macht es ja schon zu schaffen, dass es selbst tagsüber nicht wirklich hell wird. Ein Wetter so richtig zum Rumlümmeln auf der Couch oder eben zum Basteln.

Heute möchte ich euch ein weiteres Anleitungsvideo zeigen. Wie versprochen eine weitere Art eine Blüte, genauer gesagt dieses Mal eine Rose zu fertigen mit der Wellenkreisstanze.

Hier mein Video vom Wochenende.

Nun wünsche ich euch einen wunderschönen Montag und einen guten Start in die neue Woche.
Für den Moment
liebe Grüße

Back to Dutch-Way Family Restaurant, Gap, PA Again and Again

Since my last article about Dutch-Way Family Restaurant in Gap, PA this past June, we have been there again several times. We have found another favorite to add to our list of must eat at when we are in Lancaster County. The food is good and the selection is always fine, even on their feature nights.

One thing that is nice is that the offerings on the buffet always seem to include something

Geburtstags- und Tauschkarten

Bevor die neuen Tauschkarten kommen, möchte ich euch die "alten" noch zeigen.

Dies ist die Post von Annett.

Diese Karte ist von Audrey.
Und dies ist die Tauschpost von Beate.

Mädels, vielen Dank dafür. Jedes Werk hat mir richtig gut gefallen.

Nun wünsche ich euch ein wunderschönes, erholsames Wochenende

Für den Moment
liebe Grüße