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Cold Winters are Back.

by Chansoda on January 7, 2015

Hello January. We are in the heart of winter, nice thing is, the fireplace! We love using our really cool fireplace. It’s so cozy. But it’s damn freezing here. Our house was built as a summer home in a small lake community, so, insulation in this main living area is not great. Eventually, that problem will be addressed. Until then, sit next to the warm fire, curled up like Holly is.


This was actually Feb 2014, It really hasn’t been that snowy here so far this winter.


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ChansodaCold Winters are Back.

HSP Christmas Card

by Chansoda on December 14, 2014

Starting a yearly tradition with my best friend coming up with ideas for their family holiday cards. This year’s theme,”naughty or nice, which list are you on?” I get to be on the nice list, because hey, I dedicated my time to creating these things with this adorable family!

We had a small window to get everything set up, so we have a makeshift studio. Peyton’s (the little guy) face is hilarious.





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ChansodaHSP Christmas Card

Citizen Chan

by Chansoda on November 20, 2014

Silly glasses, yes, but how patriotic I am. Very happy to finally become a citizen of this country. A country that my family took refuge in after the war drove them out of theirs. This country has given me the opportunity to pursue this idea of the american dream, and I am proud and thankful to have been raised here as a cambodian-american.  It was very touching that some friends decided to crash the ceremony in celebration of me taking my oath as a new citizen.

I came to this country as a toddler straight from the refugee camps in Thailand. Being raised here my whole life, why did it take me so many years to get to this step? In part, these kinds of processes are things I don’t like to do (so it ended in the procrastinate pile). When I turned 18, my dad told me to go apply for my citizenship, but at 18 and paying my own way through college, plus working full-time, getting my citizenship was not a priority. At that age it was expensive to me, you also needed to take time to follow through on the processes of fingerprinting, interview, etc. No one gave me a straightforward road map on “How to become a citizen” (though since then, more resources have become available online). When I was 21, I once went up to the immigration office at the state capital my friend to get this stuff moving. We both didn’t know what we were doing, the office was not open, I had to hurry back to get to work, and it just seemed daunting. So I figured since I’m a permanent resident here, why do I need to take that next step especially since time and cost was a deterrent for me. So I just put it on hold for a really long time.

I realized that as a permanent resident, you’re still denied a lot of rights and deportation can happen. That’s a scary thought, not like I’m actively breaking the law, but being caught in minor situations can have very harmful consequences. You also don’t have the right to vote. I work in this country and pay my taxes, and I’m still denied that right to vote. Travel is a lot harder too. Try getting Cambodia to issue you a passport, near impossible. So the only way to get to travel is to get a Travel Document from the U.S., still a process, still a hefty fee, and it only lasts you two years. Plus, you need to make sure your green card is up to date, which is also another fee. And, America is my country, this is the country I grew up and live in. Not being able to say that I rightfully belong here because I never took the steps to citizenship also sucks.

So, many years, and many fees paid later, I finally took my oath. It was more emotional than I thought it would be, and a relief to say yes, I am truly an American.

I took the oath in the New Haven Superior Court, in one of their oldest courthouses, such a gorgeous room. We later celebrated lunch at Geronimo Restaurant nearby, with our American flags and all.







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ChansodaCitizen Chan

The Blaze

by Chansoda on November 7, 2014

We made it out to see the Great Jack O Lantern Blaze with my brother Chet and his girlfriend Melinda. It was a fun time, event was filled with people, so foot traffic can get a bit slow and congested. Still so cool to see the creativity involved in creating these scenes. Highly recommend it! Makes me want to carve some pumpkins!



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ChansodaThe Blaze

Busy Bee Halloween

by Chansoda on October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween. Or in Holly’s case, not so happy. The costume didn’t stay on too long. We were trying to be “Pollination,” Holly was the bee and Karla and I would be flowers.

So, she’s not a fan of this, but it’s just too darn funny.

Enjoy and be safe!


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ChansodaBusy Bee Halloween

Perfect Fall

by Chansoda on October 28, 2014

This fall has been beautiful. The weather has been great and the leaves have been perfect. The colors are brilliant and it makes me so happy to live in New England in this time of year! Enjoying the fall sunsets also.

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ChansodaPerfect Fall