Well, we’ve been in the house for exactly a month now, and I’m really seeing progress!  Here are a few pics from when we first arrived…


The garage on July 12th

The "master" bedroom

The “master” bedroom

Wesley's room

Wesley’s bedroom…

You’ll notice we don’t have ANY covers on the beds… because we sold them all in the auction!  Actually, we sold almost EVERYTHING in the auction.  When you plan to travel for a year, that’s what you do : )

We’ve had to spend half our time unpacking and half our time shopping for necessary items.  Of course we kept some of our furniture, mementos, pictures, and expensive items that we didn’t want to have to replace (the Pasquini cappuccino machine, the pricey vacuum cleaner), but we sold the rest.  We arrived at Killion on August 9th with no dishes, no bed linens, and no appliances.

So far we’ve had to purchase:

  • Dishes
  • Silverware
  • Pots & Pans
  • Comforters
  • Sheets
  • Towels
  • and a dozen other little “miscellaneous” pieces

But progress has been made.  Just look at Wesley’s bedroom now…

Curtains, comforter, and even artwork!

Curtains, comforter, and even artwork on the walls!


I don’t know yet if I’ll be seeing massage clients at our house, but I’m prepared just in case.

Massage Room

Massage Room

Our bedroom has improved as well.  We now have a real comforter…

... now with covers!

Look, a real blanket…



... and working closet doors.

… and working closet doors.














But the real spot that needs the most work is the yard.  Both the front and back yard are overgrown and in need of some major help.  We don’t want to hire any gardeners yet… because we don’t know what direction we want to go with the house/garden.  So we’ve been working on it on our own a little bit each week.  We bought a rake and some edging clippers and are trying to cut our way through our own little jungle.


Wesley even helps when the job is “hacking away” at the plants.IMG_1111 IMG_1114


Hopefully by the next time I post, the pictures of the garden will be a lot more fabulous… and the house will have a few more rooms that are “done.”  I only have two more boxes left to unpack!




We’ve moved on again and I thought starting the blog back up would be the best way for me to share pictures and stories of what’s happening with us in LA.  As most of you know, we spent the last year living in Franklin, Texas with family.  I went to Massage Therapy school (since my training in Thailand doesn’t count in the US).  We packed up everything from the cabin we were living in and most of what was still sitting in the barn from 5 years ago!


Getting ready for a three day drive

Getting ready for a three day drive

We told Wesley is would take us three days and two nights to drive from Texas to California… he was not thrilled at the idea : )


This was pretty much my view on day one.  I followed Damon in the Volvo with Wesley and the two cats while he drove the Budget van.

The cats actually did GREAT on the trip.  Blackjack complained a little bit the first day…. meowing loudly and trying to get out of his cage, but Snowflake had no interest in moving around the car.

Back in 2010 when Snowflake was still skinny.

Back in 2010 when Snowflake was still skinny.


Super long and lean!

Blackjack is super long and lean!

I didn’t get any pictures of the “cat habitat” that Wesley thought up… but it was pretty cool.  We used mesh laundry bags and safety pins to section off the very back of the Volvo.  I could see through it, but the cats couldn’t get to the other side.  Although Blackjack did finally find a weak spot and made his way into the “human” section of the car.

We stopped on the way at Fort Stockton, TX and Tucson, AZ.  Both times we had to move furniture to get Snowflake out from under the bed… ARGH!  I’m ashamed to admit I have no patience when it comes to that.  Blackjack went into his carrier no problem.  I think he was looking forward to the adventure : )

We arrived at the Killion house and locked the cats into Wesley’s room the moment we got here.  We put our beds together, got out the “First Night Box” with sheets, pillows and blankets and called it a day.

How long should we keep the cats inside before we let them out Elmo’s cat door?  Wesley thinks one day… but I’m thinking at least a week.  I don’t want to be chasing pets around the neighborhood!



Tiger Kingdom

Let me just say, this kind of thing would NEVER happen in the United States… but in Chiang Mai it’s a great attraction.


Going to Tiger Kingdom was such a blast!  We had heard about it before we came to Chiang Mai, and it’s impossible not to see all the ads for it once you get here : )

You don’t have to pay to enter Tiger Kingdom per se, it’s a restaurant and there’s a snack bar where you can buy fish food for the pond outside the tiger area… but if you want to “interact” with the tigers, you pay a fee per person.  The tigers are separated into size categories.  You can visit the Newborns, Small, Medium or Large tigers.  We read the reviews on TripAdvisor and decided to take the advice that said the small cats are more playful and feisty.  When we got there we realized that the rules actually won’t allow children under the age of 13 to visit the larger two categories anyway.  We told Wesley he might look a little too much like a tasty chicken nugget to the BIG tigers : )

I think Wesley was happy with the newborns and the first tiger we visited… he was almost three months old and we nicknamed him Simba… and then realized that was from “The Lion King.”  That’s not a tiger movie.  Oh well : )

You were also able to hire a photographer to go with you… for only an extra $10!  I thought that was a DEAL… to not have to worry about getting the shot, and just have fun experiencing the tigers.  Someone I know… ahem… someone that I’m married to… ahem… can sometimes forget he’s not ALWAYS a cameraman.  Plus, the photographer knew what was allowed with the tigers.  He told Wesley to lay down on the tiger…

DSC_0018 You can tell Wesley is a little bit confused… like “What???”  But the photographer just kept encouraging him, “Lay down and you can pet him… he’ll like it.”




Look at that smile!


Animals have always loved Wesley… he was the only one who got “kisses” from the tiger.

You woke me up!

So tired!

Such a big yawn!  I think he was bothered that we woke him up : )

DSC_0004There were at least four other tigers in the cage after we saw the first one.  We wanted to see all of them.  Next we went to see this guy… who was a little bigger and who we also nicknamed Simba.


He was feeling a little bit frisky and kept swishing his tail.  The rules for being in the tiger enclosures were very simple:

  • Don’t approach them from the front, approach from the back
  • Don’t touch their face or try to pet their head
  • Don’t touch their front paws
  • Don’t let them lick you (I’m serious… that was on the board!)

Of course you’ll see that Damon ignores almost all of these rules…



Since Damon didn’t get caught by any of the workers (and the photographer didn’t seem to care), we didn’t get kicked out and were able to go see the “twins.”


Named Kiwi & Orange, these are a brother/sister that were so playful!  They were tussling and fighting and occasionally letting us pet them in-between attacking each other.  It was too adorable.  They’re still learning not to bite and scratch humans, but they’re allowed to do that all they want to each other.  Damon took this video where you can hear them growling at each other:

Next time I’ll post about our lunch with the big tigers!

Nuad Bo-Rarn (Ancient Massage of Thailand)


This gallery contains 9 photos.

I can’t say enough about ITM Massage School.  I enjoyed every bit of being there… well maybe not the part about my knees hurting so much, but you know what I mean!  I learned so much and it was joyful … Continue reading