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Thursday, March 21

Celebrating Equinox

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

Happy Spring Equinox, everyone. What book are you choosing to celebrate with?
Timeline by Michael Crichton. It works around some of my most favorite topics: archaeologists discovering something shocking at a medieval site.

Thursday 13: Dasa's bestselling travel non-guidebooks in my side of town. Any familiar author or title you might be interested in?

1. A fortune-teller told me by Tiziano Terzani
2. A cook's tour by Anthony Bourdain
3. Off the rails in Phnom Pehn by Amit Gilboa
4. Holy Cow! by Sarah MacDonald
5. The great railway bazaar by Paul Theroux
6. Notes from a small island by Bill Byrson
7. Finding George Orwell in a Burmese teashop by Emma Larkin
8. Ghost train to the Eastern star by Paul Theroux
9. Defiled on the Ayeyarwaddy by Ma Thanegi
10. Into the wild by Jon Krakaur
11. Lost Continent by Bill Bryson
12. Down under by Bill Bryson
13. To Myanmar with love by Things Asian Press

Thursday, March 14

Reading green

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

Does your current mood affect your reading? Affect your choices?
It does. This week I'm in the mood for the St Patrick's day color so I'm reading a book of nature quotations. Its cover is of course green. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus is up next. Its cover also happens to be green.

Thursday 13: Random things that are green in honor of St Patrick's Day.

On my old computer desk
1-  poinsettia leaves on my tea cup
2 - candelabra 'legs' and a bowl where I put water for flowers to float in it
3 - coffee table book of nature quotations

On my dresser
4 - key and coin dish, Marks & Spencer hand lotion
5 - essay on political negotiation tactics
6 - vintage hand bag and ear rings
7 - books: Men are from Mars..., Piano preludes and postludes, Hallelujah Chorus

My restaurant brunch yesterday (I deliberately chose the greens from the menu)
8 - green shumai
9 - green tea ice cream
10 - green noodles with pakchoy and braised beef

On the pages of my illustrated and picture books
11 - birthstone, Everyday handbook for magical mothers by Mary Cicely Barker
12 - Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
13 - the May fairy by Mary Cicely Barker

Memories of green

"Let us make, instead of war, an everlasting peace...."
~ Virgil, The Aeneid 
Book 4, lines 130-136

For years I wondered why my father liked green.

I didn't mind that he bought Mama a pair of high-heeled glass slippers with a light green tint until he bought me a dress that was military green. Of all colors!

He was a typical man of few words and when he passed away, I realized I would never be able to ask him why he favored green so much. I resorted to guessing.

There are instances when I ask myself why I do certain things.
It was most probably Father why I colored this girl's dress green. She's around books and I relate to that.

Father gave me The Aeneid when I was in 6th grade.

I didn't understand the gift and wished he gave me the normal Nancy Drew instead. Why The Aeneid? Of all books!

Could it have been his Jesuit upbringing? (which reminds me of the new pope right now) I vaguely remember him mention they were grilled in classical poetry during his Notre Dame days.

Father was born in May. There sparkles the emerald.

Ex-MIL wears an emerald-studded ring. Rock in the center is almost as huge as this one illustrated by Mary Cicely Barker, which precedes her description of the May Fairy:

"The tiny May fairy always wears her lucky birthstone colour, a clear bright green"

In honor of loved ones who like green, I deliberately choose my tiny cup with green leaves today for tea, and of course picked a green book of quotations to read while sipping green tea.

Would you believe I got this tea cup for just 34 cents? That was thirteen years ago which makes the purchase 'vintage' in my books. One more green: when I ordered this green tea ice cream I had no idea it would be served in a bowl that's exactly what we used to have at home in the 70s!

Charles Baxter says in The Feast of Love, "put your trust in ice cream." Like joy I will!

Thursday, March 7

Bible spring

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

Clocks change this weekend here in the US, which means one less hour to read … does anybody else begrudge that hour like I do? Wish the Powers That Be would just pick a time-frame and stick to it instead of inflicting clock-driven jet lag on an innocent public twice a year?
Luckily we don't have clocks changing in Thailand. There was that time thingy in the Philippines they called Daylight Savings Time or something when it seemed an hour was taken out of the usual 8 hours in a working day. I would not want an hour less to read if a clock change happened in our part of the world.

Thursday 13: Bible Story Titles that stumped me. MV Logos Hope is currently in Bangkok and I went book-shopping there yesterday. My loot includes an illustrated Bible for the kiddo. Over coffee this morning I skimmed the index, confident that at first glance and even despite not having read a Bible for 20 years, I still know every single story in the entire collection.  

The Wrestling Match - of course that's Jacob wrestling an angel for a blessing; or A Wall of Waves - easy peasy that's when Moses whacked the Red Sea with his staff for the Israelites to cross. But these titles? No idea. So I took a peep as it won't be much fun to look blankly at them forever.

Which Bible story do you like? Do you have a favorite?

1. Higher than the Clouds (Genesis 11: 5-9) it's when one man's 'hello' came to mean 'confused' to another. The Tower of Babel. When the whole world became multi-lingual: the origin

2. Mission Impossible (Genesis 24: 1-61) what the heck is Tom Cruise doing in the pages of my son's Bible? Ops. They were just finding a wife for Isaac.

3. Fighting in the Tent (Genesis 37: 1-4) Potent jealousy. Jacob's ten sons mad over their brother Joseph's new robe. Parents, beware of playing favorites among your children.

4. A Hundred and One Excuses (Exodus 3:11-4:9) Moses debating with God about being sent to Egypt to tell the Pharoah to let the Israelites go

5. An Expensive Meal (Genesis 25: 27-34) the stew that cost Esau his birthright; and I was thinking of my dinner in Sirocco, one of Bangkok's most expensive restaurants

6. I Spy the Enemy (Joshua 2: 1-3) two of Joshua's best men sent on a secret mission to spy on Jericho. I should add The Spy Who Loved Me to my 007 collection now.

7. The Wise Woman under the Palm Tree (Judges 4:1-16) - Judge Deborah consulting with Obama...err... Barak to do battle in Mount Tabor.

8. Who Will Kill Sisera? (Judges 4: 17-22; 5:1-31) a cousin of Sapphira? Oh... a general who met his death at the hands of a woman who gave him milk and then hammered his head as soon as he fell asleep. Ouch.

9. On the Edge of the Promised Land (Joshua 2: 23 - 3:13) the day the Israelites marked the end of their forty years of wandering

10. Listening in the Night (Judges 7: 1-15) a Midianite soldier talked about his strange dream of a loaf of bread tumbling into camp; Gideon was listening behind a tent

11. Peninnah Hurts Hannah (1 Samuel 1:6-8) ahhh... two wives of the same husband competing over having children. My thoughts led to Kate Middleton's 'Born to Bred' news yesterday.

12. The Choice of Life or Death (Deuteronomy 29: 1-30:20; 31:2) Moses asking his people to choose life by obeying God's laws and not forgetting how He brought them out of Egypt

13. Samson Tells a Riddle (Judges 14: 8-15;20) The strongest man yes, but I totally forgot that he had a riddle: "Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet."

Monday, March 4


Patty patter 
goes the chatter 
I burnt some patty 
while the rain was pattering 
and I was turning 
off the AC 
and saving

More than two centuries ago a certain grain was generally given to horses in England but in Scotland supports the people. It's the grain I used two days ago to make these patties to celebrate the rain. Bangkok has been searing hot for too long that when it finally poured, I thought a celebration was in order.

Although patties are originally made of meat, sometimes I concoct meals and I'm happy doing that. Tuna instead of beef. I mixed in minced purple onion, honey maple syrup, evaporated milk, soy sauce, salt, sugar, a large egg and butter cake flour.

If you're wondering about the taste, well, it was similar to the one I concocted two years ago with mackerel. My son kept stuffing himself with those as soon as I piled them on a dish from the wok. There was almost nothing left for me when I finished frying the last patty. At least that's the idea.

Back to the grain. It is said to be the "Horatio Alger of cereals, which progress, if not from rags to riches, at least from weed to health food." OATS. Yummy softies. And when I have them in the midst of books, life just seems so pleasant.

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