Sunday, May 15, 2011

FAREWELL, DEAR FRIEND May 15, 2554 Sawasdeeka Kru Mali

Celtic Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your garden.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

We love you, Mali.
And we will hold you in our hearts forever.

These Green Mountains

These green hills and silver waters
are my home. They belong to me.
And to all of her sons and daughters
May they be strong and forever free.
Let us live to protect her beauty
And look with pride on the golden dome
They say home is where the heart is
These green mountains are my home.
These green mountains are my home.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Mali is honored by staff of C.P. Smith School

Students in Mali's class are honored for honesty and integrity,
what they call a strong moral compass

Mrs. McHugh's class found the stolen purse of
Mali's host, and took it to the teacher immediately.

Principal Thom McHugh presents Mali with
Appreciation for her contribution to C.P. Smith School.

NEW YORK CITY Apr. 16-17, 2554

Madison Park
Park Avenue


Grand Central Station

Fancy breads.

Grand Staricase a favorite
place for weddings.

Rockefeller Center

Times Square and Broadway

Broadway and 46th Street
Arrived at restaurant late,
and very very wet!

Walking tour of Little Italy.

The Dakota Hotel, where
John Lennon was shot.

Central Park

Wednesday, April 13, 2011



Kru Mali planned the program, made flowered skirts and red silk scarves. She hand-painted flowers on fans, and made the posters. She taught the children the traditional Thai fan dance. She created a power point to show the different aspects of Songkran Festival in Thailand, which includes Family Day and honoring the ancestors as well as cleansing the home and the people with water to ensure good luck in the new year. The children thanked Mali for giving them an opportunity to learn about Thai culture, and to perform so beautifully in front of the school and their families. Kru Mali thanked CPSmith for celebrating her holiday like a big family!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


TOUR OF MAPLE SYRUP FARM - Boiling with wood, using pipeline and buckets. Syrup samples, maple salsa, maple butter, sugar on snow, bucket gathering and walking trails.



Making Maple Syrup

Friday, April 1, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011


Monster Snowstorm Wreaks Havoc in Vermont
Source: Burlington Free Press, 03/07/11
A major winter storm is dumping heavy snow across the state and region today. It's already one of the biggest storms on record, with nearly two feet falling in the last 24 hours.
Click to read |  

The snow has smashed records — Burlington has received 120 inches of snow this year, while the average annual snowfall is 80 inches.


CRACKER DAYS -- Displays of the old days when Florida was first settled. Florida crackers were the pioneers who came to get free land, and grow crops.  

"Florida Cracker"
In 1821, the United States bought Florida from Spain. Homesteading was encouraged by the government to develop the newly acquired territory. The rugged pioneers that settled the area were called "Florida Crackers." It is believed that they got this nickname because of the cracking sound their whips made as they herded cattle. In 1845 Florida became the 27th state of the Union.  

Cracker Horses
Florida Cracker Horses

Demonstrations on spinning, weaving, broom making, shaping horseshoes, cracking the whip, tools, jewelry woven with pine needles, print making, weaving baskets with pine needles and grasses, cooking, rope making, quilting and tatting lace. 

The Withlacoochee River (South) (Crooked River) originates in central Florida's Green Swamp. It flows west, then north, and empties into the Gulf of Mexico, near Yankeetown. The river is 86 miles (138 kilometers) long and has a drainage basin of 1,170 square miles (3,030 square kilometers). It is believed to have been named after the river to the north. Along its route is a 46-mile (74 km) long rail-trail, the longest paved rail trail in Florida, and a 324-acre (1.31 km2) park with approximately 600' of frontage and a 2-acre (8,100 m2) park with a boat ramp, shelter, basketball court, and picnic tables. 

Capt. Jon
Singing River Tours has been in operation since 2005, offering  eco-tours on the two very beautiful but very different rivers that intersect in Dunnellon, FL. The Rainbow River is a crystal clear spring-fed river which has been designated an Outstanding Florida Waterway. The Withlacoochee River is dark, tannic, and swamp-fed. Our tour departed from Angler's Resort on the Withlacoochee River.

As we made our way along the river on our comfortable, shaded pontoon boat, our captain shared lots of information about the ecology of the rivers, the history of the area, and facts about the wildlife we encountered. The rivers are home to a wide variety of birds, turtles, otters, alligators, and fish.
We spent about half of the tour on each of the two very different rivers. The Rainbow River, which originates at Rainbow Springs State Park just north of Dunnellon (we went there to see the Cracker Days demonstrations), is famous for its crystal clear waters. We were able to see right down to the bottom of the river and spotted several turtles, gar fish, and bass!

The Rainbow River empties into the Withlacoochee River, and we could observe the distinct "line" in the water where the two rivers meet. It's an amazing example of a thermocline, and is something you may not have seen anywhere else. Your visit to the Withlacoochee River will give you a glimpse into what Florida must have been like long ago, before civilization took over.
We learned many things from Jon, our captain. He  explained the cycle of water as it falls down from the sky as rain and emerges into the Rainbow River 10-40 years later having filtered through limestone rock to the aquifer. He talked about the many fresh-water springs, which are more plentiful in north central Florida than anywhere else in the world! Jon is very knowledgeable about the local wildlife, and shared many interesting facts about the birds we saw, including anhinga, cormorants, several species of heron, ibis, limpkin, egrets, and others. He shared information about turtles and alligators.
About two-thirds of the way through the tour, we were entertained with original songs about Florida. Jon is an accomplished musician who plays guitar and sings original songs about the ecology and "quirks" of Florida.

Amazing that of all the animals and birds and reptiles we saw froim a distance, the closest we came to a great blue heron was back at the dock at Angler's Resort! The largest and most widespread heron in North America, the Great Blue Heron can be found along the ocean shore, or the edge of small inland ponds and rivers.
More Photos

Buzz and Rose drove us to Ocala to meet the shuttle to the airport. (Rose is behind the camera!)  We had lunch at Bob Evans, and we learned that Buzz has been to Thailand several times. When he got married, to an airline stewardess, and they could go anywhere in the world on their honeymoon, they chose to go to Thailand. We told Buzz now he has to take Rose there, and visit Mali! After lunch, we had just enough time to stop at a thrift store that had the lowest prices -- 10cents each. Before that, $1 was our best price.  5 min later, we were waving goodbye, and speeding down the highway, back to Orlando airport.