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Fathers’ Day and Wat Mongkolratanaram

June 16, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Wat what?

First of all, I was really really missing my dad all day yesterday, of course.

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I think I was brought to tears about 50 times yesterday reading everyone’s outpouring of love for their dads on Facebook. My dad was the best. I’m still not used to the world without him in it.

Our thing for Mothers’ Day and for Fathers’ Day is that the honoree gets to do pretty much nothing all day, unless they want to do something. Chad never gets any time at home alone, so the boys and I got out of the house for a few hours to give him some serenity (so he could play video games that the boys are not allowed to play).

We took a short drive over to Tampa to visit the Buddhist temple, Wat Mongkolratanaram.

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The temple and surrounding grounds are so pretty.

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The sign said to please not enter the temple in shorts, cargo pants, or low-cut shirts…out of respect. We were all wearing shorts, so I just took a photo of the inside from the door.

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Every week Wat Tampa (as they are known) has a Sunday Market featuring all kinds of beautiful and delicious Thai specialties.

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We love Thai food in our family, so the boys and I were psyched.

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The big open-air market made me feel like I was on the streets of Bangkok…except they were happy to take our U.S. dollars.

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Cal and I both got the Basil Chicken.

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Mack got fried chicken wings.

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We also got some red curry chicken and beef skewers to take home to Chad. Everything was amazingly delicious. There were many things that I want to try on our next visit, like the pumpkin curry chicken and the green curry. We lucked into a nice shady table right by the Palm River.

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There were hundreds of people there, but the huge shady area with a gazillion picnic table seemed to accommodate everyone, and we hardly had to wait in a line at all.

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While the boys finished eating I checked out all the plants and vegetables for sale. They had a little of everything.

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Tons of orchids:

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Asian vegetables:

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Asian fruit trees:

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The boys and I can’t wait to go back. I don’t know why it took me so long to check out Wat Tampa!

Later in the day Chad opened his Fathers’ Day gifts.

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He got a pressure washer and a hand-hammered wok. Is getting a pressure washer for Fathers’ Day the equivalent of getting a vacuum cleaner for Mothers’ Day? He liked it.

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For Fathers’ Day dinner we got Ciccio’s (our favorite) and watched Cosmos (our other favorite).

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I hope Chad enjoyed his day.

Cya.

Tenting the house for termites

June 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

The last three days have been extremely stressful. We had to have our house tented for termites.

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This required tons of preparation and cost an arm and a leg. Not fun. I had to double bag anything consumable (food, medicine, dog food, etc.) in special bags that the Orkin guy gave me, including everything in the fridge and freezer.

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I also had to turn off the gas and air conditioners, and open all cabinets, drawers, and doors inside the house.

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I also took off the panels covering the florescent lights in the drop ceiling in our master bathroom. There are so many things horribly wrong with that previous sentence. This is the ugliest bathroom ever, other than my cute curtains.

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Those light fixtures are where we first saw evidence of the termites so I wanted to make sure that the gas definitely permeated that area. Die termites. Die.

We had to be out of the house from Tuesday to Thursday, but luckily we have some very generous friends who let us stay in their adorable beach cottage while they were out of town.

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A beach cottage with a trampoline! Paradise!

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The boys spent a lot of time hanging out on the dock and in the back yard with this awesome view.

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Chewie loved exploring a new place.

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We all quickly made ourselves at home.

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Sorry for the feet on the coffee table and all the dog hair, Amy.

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On our first day staying out at the beach, we drove all the way back across St. Pete for swim team practice in the afternoon.

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After swimming, since we were back on our side of town, we checked on this house.

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It was depressing.

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Half of my new landscaping was under that tent.

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I was so worried about the landscaping and the gutters, some of which are original to the 1948 house. I was also worried about our pool cage. The screens would have to be cut all along the back of the house so they could drop the tenting through. I was so stressed during this whole process.

Back to paradise to try to forget about it…

We drove all the way back across the width of Pinellas County to have dinner with Chad at Middle Grounds Grill in Treasure Island.

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#NSNG no sugar, no grains:

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Breakfast at the cottage:

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On Wednesday we went to the beach…across the street.

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I sort of had to force the boys to go to the beach. They were both indifferent to going. Spoiled Florida kids.

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But the surf was really rough and the boys had a blast in the waves.

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I loved the very uncrowded beach, and also jumped some waves with the boys.

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After an hour or so of sand and surf we hit up the Shake Shop.

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Not #NSNG:

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Later in the afternoon on Wednesday we drove to downtown St. Pete, to the new Sundial shopping center, to see a movie.

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We saw Edge of Tomorrow. I thought it was pretty good. I’m not a huge Tom Cruise fan, but it was a good story.

Since we were back near home again, we drove by the house to check on it.

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No tent! But still not safe for return.

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So we spent one more night in the cottage and then awaited a call on Thursday to let us know that it was safe to return home. We had a nice little staycation out at the beach, but I was very eager to get home and survey the damage. Finally, by mid-afternoon we headed home. Of course, the house was in the shambles in which we left it.

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Plus, there was some evidence that the poison had done its job.

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Much of my month-old landscaping was crushed, and some of it was just fried.

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I can’t even write about the poor pool cage without getting a lump in my throat. It’s so sad.

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When they cut the screens, whatever debris was up there (leaves, branches, acorns, dirt) dropped to the pool deck. We had thunderstorms every night, so that just added to the mess back there. The pool and lanai are trashed.

It’s a major bummer. I just paid thousands of dollars to have my house raped and torn asunder. But it had to be done. There was no choice. Stupid termites.

The screen repair guy was supposed to come today, but it has thunderstormed all day…so no word from him. I just want to blink my eyes and have my house put back together.

But alas, I’m not Samantha Stevens. It’s going to take a while.

Cya.