Living in America

I’m glad I don’t work for a CPA firm, otherwise it wouldn’t be a Spring season at my house but more like a Tax season. If you haven’t filed your 2010 taxes, you still have time and surprisingly some of my co-workers didn’t know that you can still make a deductible retirement contribution such as a traditional IRA contribution to the 2010 tax year. The deadline is April 18th and you can count this towards last year’s tax return. I didn’t make any contribution to my 401K at work this year, so this is a good alternative for me.

I’m not sure what processed me to stop by this place to take a picture after work, perhaps it’s the spring flower tree.

Canon T2i, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Manual, f/4, 1/1600sec, ISO 400, focal length 67mm, evaluative metering
Canon T2i, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Manual, f/4, 1/500sec, ISO 400, focal length 105mm, evaluative metering

I pass this neighborhood everyday and if I were to tell my cousins in Laos that not everyone living in America lives in a big house, I wonder if they would believe me.

Canon T2i, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Manual, f/11, 1/125sec, ISO 400, focal length 105mm, evaluative metering

I think this is what they would imagine what living in America is like.

Canon T2i, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Manual, f/11, 1/100sec, ISO 400, focal length 40mm, evaluative metering

Big or small, it is still a house.

Canon T2i, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Manual, f/11, 1/60sec, ISO 400, focal length 105mm, evaluative metering, closeup cropped

Rent or own, and once again I’m a landlord.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/4, 1/400sec, ISO 400, focal length 200mm, evaluative metering

Learning is different also, this year Lee started learning the multiplication table.  I recalled that we had to recite the multiplication table every morning before class, repetition seems to work for us growing up in Thailand.  As for Lee, her teacher takes a different approach and the students have to sing the multiplication songs. I guess learning could be fun, and the only drawback is that the student would be singing in class while taking the test.

I’ve been sick in the last few days and I haven’t been working in my garden much. I think the chance of me seeing my broccoli growing is next to none, someone has been in my garden.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/5.6, 1/320sec, ISO 400, focal length 98mm, evaluative metering

And I could guess who.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/4, 1/400sec, ISO 400, focal length 118mm, evaluative metering

This one might be gone by tomorrow morning.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/4, 1/500sec, ISO 400, focal length 91mm, evaluative metering

A good thing that my buk choy are still there, not sure for how long.  I might have to harvest them sooner than I thought.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/5.6, 1/160sec, ISO 400, focal length 70mm, evaluative metering

And I hope I get to eat Lee’s strawberry this year.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/5.6, 1/160sec, ISO 400, focal length 200mm, evaluative metering, closeup cropped


  1. We send you best wishes for a speedy recovery.
    You’re absolutely right about perceptions of western wealth/livingStandards in Thailand. All foreigners are assumed to be unbelievaly rich – and most of the ones who come over here are anything but rich….
    I’m aware of the roman alphabet being sung to Auld Lang Syne in Thai schools, but not the multiplication tables.
    Try crushing mothballs and sprinkling them on your flowerbeds to keep ‘thieves’ at bay. It works for us.

    All the best, Boonie

    • Hi Boonie, perhaps the perception came from the Hollywood film or soap opera, not everyone lives that kind of lifestyle and after all it’s only a movie. I think life is no different wherever you are, most have to make ends meet. When I visited Laos and Thailand several years back, I came back home penniless. 🙂

      Thanks for the advice, I really have to look more into this.

  2. The multiplication song is funny. I am wondering if Lee will pick up the Southern drawl from learning the song.

    • Dallas, it’s too late for Lee, she has the Southern drawl already. Bo has a strong Southern accent, and she picks up a lot from him. 🙂

  3. The song is funny and the drawl is the funniest! 🙂

    I learned my multiplication by repetition as well. But we would throw tennis balls to the wall and recite them all… it was more fun that way.

    Bunnies ate your broccoli? Maybe you can cover up the small plants with wire fences. Take chicken wire and bend them like a rainbow over the raised beds and be sure there’s no space for them to get in.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    • Hi Cambree, this is the first that I’ve heard of the multiplication songs and the kids seem to love them. I guess I live here too long, to be honest I didn’t notice the drawl. 🙂

      I have to work on protecting the young plants better, I notice that it only ate the ones near the fence. It might be a good idea for me to plant the broccoli further into the garden in the flower bed area. I have to get some more young plants, I like to see what the broccoli look like.

      • Just wanted to add, the southern drawl is charming funny… not strange funny. 🙂

        Btw, here’s an article about how to rabbit proof your kitchen garden:

        “Barrier fencing. Constructing a simple wire fence around the part of the garden containing vegetables and other highly rabbit-vulnerable plants is an almost foolproof method for protecting plants from rabbits. Cottontails will not jump a 2-foot-high fence. Jackrabbits can jump higher if they are being chased by dogs or otherwise frightened, so
        extending the height of the fence to at least 3 feet is warranted where jackrabbits are present.” – Kitchen Gardener Magazine.

  4. Your musings are always worth reading, Nye. And today there was a refresher on those pesky multiplication tables, too. I think it’s very useful to have some things committed to rote memory. It’s all very well to understand how it all works, but it’s more efficient to have the answer stored in there where you can find it.

    That strawberry blossom is a thing of beauty. I hope its seven petals and seven-pointed center star mean you’ll have good luck with the patch this year.

    Best wishes on feeling better soon.

    • Gerry, I didn’t know about the seven petals and seven-pointed center star, I do need all the luck that I could get this year. 🙂

      The multiplication song is something new to me and a fun way to learn for the kids. It seems that we use the calculator or computer to compute the math for us that we don’t use what we learned in school much these days. I can’t even imagine if we have to go back to the basic, it would be very difficult for us to do our job. I know it would be for me.

  5. Speaking from personal experiences… Living in America isn’t all it crack up to be, but still probably better than most places. There are so many times I thought about leaving the States for other countries. After weighing the pros and cons of relocating to other countries, living in the U.S. still comes out ahead. Perhaps, I just need to move out of Cali to other states where the housing and cost of living are cheaper. It is depressing to see how much taxes I paid each year.

    • Hi seeharhed, I know what you mean, the cost of living in CA is extremely high, I’m kind of glad that I didn’t venture out there now. There’s always a pro and con living in other country but for us growing up in the US, the language would be the weak point elsewhere, even in our birth country. As for me I’m happy to live here, I could always visit elsewhere.

    • I agree with seehardhed… California Dreaming is really more of a nightmare now. JK. But every place has it’s ups and downs.

      Just watch this report. The Green Regulation Machine: Saving the Planet or Killing Jobs?

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