Thursday, April 27, 2017

Impossible

Hi,

We’re back to those hot Chiang Rai days again.  There were thunderous rumblings this evening, but rain is not in the forecast (5).  I’d be willing to wait a few days before getting more rain.

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song was an easy one for a bunch of you.  Sit quietly, let it be, and the answer might come.
“Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman, but she was another man.  All the girls around her say she’s got it coming but she gets it while she can.  Oh, __ __, __ __, __ __ to where you once belonged….”  Clue:  Loretta is being urged to return to a previous location.

This morning the adventure was bold.  We took on three of the largest home improvement stores in Chiang Rai in search of things.  The first store, Thai Watsadu, is huge.  We found the hose for the pool heater project, and a few more odds and ends.  It takes a lot of stamina to shop at these stores because one usually has to go back and forth across the store for each item.  Store two was a short ride away and it’s where we bought the tiles for the pool.  More back and forth, plus some standing and sitting while waiting for something that wasn’t in stock.  At HomePro we walked the length of the store and left with nothing.  The morning as a whole was productive, and now we know more about the differences between the stores.  

This morning we were out by the pool, walking Daku around, when Natcha and Neetchanon came out.  Daku was busy smelling every step that the pool guy had taken around the deck the day before.  He actually stepped up and went to the edge of the water.  He couldn’t do this with the old construction.  We’re sure he won’t go in, but it’s nice to see him curious about something besides bushes and birds.  Neetchanon is also curious and that’s not such a good thing.  She immediately went towards the pool, with Natcha close behind.  She will be getting ’swimming' lessons from our Thai teacher very soon.  Once she learns how to float we’ll all feel better.  For now, it takes a watchful eye.  The relationship between dog and baby is evolving.  Neetchanon is learning to stroke Daku’s fur most of the time.  He is very tolerant and lets her pet his head and push on him.  Whenever he hears her cry he goes to see what’s wrong.  They are becoming buds.

Today’s three photos are all from the New Years Celebration at Art Bridge.  




Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                Peace,
                          Danny

“Nothing is impossible,
the word itself says 
‘I’m possible’!”
~Audrey Hepburn


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Improve

Hi,

We had a day without rain.  It was hot, of course.  To make up for the pleasant day, someone decided to burn this afternoon.  Fortunately, it was just after our swim that we smelled smoke.  The falling ashes were a sign of what was to come.  How dare they?

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Summer Breeze” by Seals & Crofts, with an outstanding cover by The Isley Brothers.  Now it’s time for an easy ‘Zany Day’ song:  “Jo Jo was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it couldn’t last.  Jo Jo left his home in Tucson, Arizona for some California grass.  __ __, __ __, __ __ to where you once belonged. __ __, __ __, __ __ to where you once belonged.  __ __ Jo Jo, go home.”  Hint:  By a sometimes zany foursome from across the pond.  Someone seems to be lost.

Getting to Big C late, especially during the school break, can change the shopping experience.  Today was no exception.  We got what we needed, but there is more traffic in the store.  That means more carts on the move, more kids on the move, and more aisles blocked with families on an outing.  I guess it’s a sign of the growing population.  I remember when the only time Big C was crowded was on Saturday morning (555).  Our little town is growing up.

Most of the travel arrangements have been made for our July trip to the States.  It seems like a long way off, but this is the time to book in order to get seats together and to get the flights we want.  There’s nothing worse than sitting in different parts of the plane and/or having to race from one gate to the next in order to get a flight.  It always seems like as soon as everything is set, my mind begins looking forward to the trip with anticipation.  Hmm, three months to go and we’re not there yet?

The ‘new’ pool is a little smaller than before since it was built inside the old one.  At first I was a little annoyed with the shallower depth, but now we’re realizing that it takes less sunlight to keep it usable.  That more than makes up for the size thing.  We swam again today and the water was great.  It’s the exercise we’ve been missing.  Not that we don’t get exercise from the stairs and lots of walking.  

This morning, while we were out with Daku, Neetchanon and her grandmother were out on the driveway.  Neetchanon is quite the explorer and decided to see what the grass was all about.  She very cautiously stepped onto the lawn and once she was sure it was safe, took off at a quick pace.  I think she would have stayed longer but her grandmother took her back to the pavement.  Now that she knows what that green stuff is about, I’m sure she’ll be running around every chance she gets.  

On a recent trip to the nursery we bought a large pot.  The shop that sells the pots also sells what could best be called ‘decorations’.  Everything from little ceramic children to dragons to peacocks like the one pictured here.  We joked about getting one for the back wall garden.  Hmm.


Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

              Peace,
                        Danny

“How wonderful it is that nobody
need wait a single moment before
starting to improve the world.”
~Anne Frank

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Survive

Hi.

The climate report is a little odd today.  We started with an overcast sky that looked and felt like rain.  By lunch time the clouds were thinning and it was getting hot.  The soupy sky returned as the afternoon wore on and in the evening there was a brief windy rain.  Another day in the land of 'who knows what the weather will do?'

The ‘Easy Monday’ song came to some of you without hesitation.  Here is the last verse to clear things up:  “See the smile a-waitin’ in the kitchen, food cookin’ and the plates for two.  See the arms that reach out to hold me, in the evening when the day is through.  __ __, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.  __ __, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.”  Hint:  This song is from ’71.  It’s about wind that’s not too strong.

It had been awhile since we had been to the big market downtown.  We went looking for light, cool tops and encountered the back-to-school shoppers.  It was early enough in the day so it wasn’t a problem, but every place that had any part of a uniform had parents picking though things.  One thing we’ve learned about shopping at the ‘talat’ is that you have to be in the right mood/mind set or it doesn’t work.  

This was the day that Art Bridge held the Songkran ceremony for the elders.  Some of you may recall that each year the artists gather and receive a sprinkle of water from the older members of the ‘family’.  Lisa and I were included as elders who sat, as artists and friends crawled by on their knees to receive the water.  There were about 100 participants so you can imagine how my fingers felt after dipping them in water for each person.  The experience put each of us in close proximity with everyone in the room, one at a time.  Some of them I’ve known for years, others were new faces.  That part was really special.  Then they passed the mic and we all said a few words to the audience.  I had our friend Bob translate for me.  After all the blessings, there was food.  Cat’s school is not far so she joined us and we sat together.  Then Lisa had a meeting with the women who will be having a group show in July.  It’s been a long evening.

Today’s photo was taken from a clip of this afternoon’s ceremony at Art Bridge.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“Love and compassion are
necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity 
cannot survive.”
~The Dalai Lama

Monday, April 24, 2017

Society

Hi,

This weekend saw a weather pattern that disrupted many events in Chiang Rai.  It would be sunny to partly cloudy during the day and then around 7pm the sky would open up and dump on everything.  And so it goes.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “When A Man Loves A Woman” by the late Percy Sledge.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbWDkg4T3G4   ‘Easy Monday’ should be a snap:  “See the curtains hangin’ in the window, in the evenin’ on a Friday night.  A little light a-shinin’ through the window, lets me know everything is alright.  __ __, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.  __ __, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.”  Hint: The title is an element of ideal weather.  Original artists or notable cover are acceptable (555).

Saturday afternoon Cat came over and we talked about the exhibit and hung out.  We got to the gallery an hour  early and set up the food and made last minute adjustments.  Lisa’s three good friends came early and it was like a pre-opening party.  A few minutes before 7pm there was the sound of rolling thunder in the distance.  Two of our friends had to leave before the storm got started.  Tai came on her motorbike and Atom lives out of town.  Then the monsoon hit! Still, a few people showed up and there was hope.  Eventually, we had three waves of art lovers who brought the total to about 25, which is not bad for a rainy night.  It was a chance to have some great conversations with a diverse group of people, some whom we didn’t know.  We left with a feeling of success on several levels.  


Sunday we did our usual lunch at The Wanderer.  This week a few of my friends from the Sunday meeting also lunched there and it was cool.  The air was fresh and cool after the storm and eating in the garden was a nice change from our inside table.  

The way the rain has been coming, the afternoons are cloudy but warm and just right for a dip in the pool.  The water isn’t that perfect temperature, but it’s good for swimming.  The new pool seems to be maintaining the warmth from the sun since we did away with the underground ‘surge tank’ system.  With the addition of the little solar project, we should be swimming more than ever.

Sunday evening we went on an eating adventure.  Our friend Atom had told us about a fairly new restaurant south of town on the bypass road.  Lisa had visited the Facebook page and it looked interesting.  We drove ‘out of town’ and found Okra Restaurant sitting about 75 yards off the highway in the middle of nowhere.  It’s operated by a young Thai woman who studied culinary arts in Sydney, AZ and has worked in several major hotels.  We were the only patrons that evening and we had a delicious, custom cooked meal.  As we were finishing our food, she came to the table and we had a long conversation about her career.  During the right season, there is a vegetable garden in front and you can go out and pick your own salad.  It was a special experience and we will definitely be returning.


Have a Great Week.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“We live in a society exquisitely
dependent on science and technology,
in which hardly anyone knows anything 
about science and technology.”
~Carl Sagan

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The day began with the blue sky thing again.  By afternoon it had a dull gray look and this evening we got hit by warm wind and then a rain storm.  

The ‘Zany Day song was “Whip It” by Devo.  Here’s their zany video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_QLzthSkfM   For ‘Old School Friday’ we’re going way back (555) to 1966.  See if you recognize this oldie:
“__ __ __ __ __ __ can’t keep his mind on nothing else.  He’ll trade the world for the good thing he’s found.  If she’s bad he can’t see it, she can do no wrong.  Turn his back on his best friend if he put her down….”  Hint:  This could be called a song of devotion.  It also is a little dated, but still a great sentiment.  Progress has been made.

This has been a very busy day.  This morning Gong loaded the artwork into the van and the three of us went to the gallery and hung the show.  I’m minimizing what actually happened, but that’s basically what we did.  This evening we went to Big C to get refreshments for the opening on Saturday.  Just as we were checking out, the lines started growing longer.  It’s that time of year when parents come to do back-to-school shopping.  Parents had their kids trying on clothes in the aisle, and the stationary/school supplies section was busy.  As we were leaving the upper level, two men were setting up the fancy sewing machine that embroiders student and school names on uniform tops.  When we walked through the doors to the parking lot, a warm wind swept across the lot and Lisa commented that she felt a raindrop.  As we pulled out, the rain began to fall with hard purpose.  

We weren’t done with our evening adventure yet.  Across the highway we found inside parking at Central Plaza Mall. You remember that place (5).  Many people at the mall arrived when the weather was warm and dry.  Now it was storming and we could see people sitting around, waiting for the rain to clear before they got on their motorcycles.  When we got home Gong unloaded the van, Natcha helped put things away, and Neetchanon provided the entertainment.  What a team.  

Today’s photo was taken recently, on a lot next to The Wanderer.  Some day we’ll have a tree like this.


There are still things to do before tomorrow’s opening.  Hopefully, we can relax a tiny bit before show time.  I’ll be taking photos and you know I like to share.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.         Time for the ‘Funnies’.

                   Peace,
                             Danny


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Options

Hi,

That blue sky I told you about yesterday was gone this morning.  It looked like one giant cloud.  The temperature was just as hot so it seemed a little weird.  One never knows.

Only a few of you knew this ‘Zany Day’ song right away.  Maybe the second verse will bring clarity (555).
“When a good time turns around (You must __ __), you will never live it down (Unless you __ __).  No one gets away (Until they __ __).  I say __ __, __ __ good!  I say __ __, __ __ good!”  Clue:  A play on words with so many possibilities.  

Daku knows all the signs of ‘Bath Day’.  Normally, when it’s time to go out for morning play he is more than ready.  When he sees certain items, like the shampoo and big rinse bottle he goes to his bed.  This was one of those days.  He doesn’t like it, but when there is nowhere to run he just gives us these pitiful, tortured looks.  He’s clean now and we are happy.

This morning we drove up the highway in search of flowering trees for the yard.  Every year we see the ones we wish we had and never seem to find the right nursery.  Today we had success.  The nursery owner had photos on her phone to show clients various plants.  When Lisa described what we wanted, the owner showed us the kind of trees we were looking for.  Now we have two baby trees that will yield beautiful pink flowers that almost look like cherry blossoms.  It will be a few years, but we hope we got the right trees.  Now we have to decide on where to plant them.  

Khun Yee and his assistant finished laying the new tile on the patio.  Tomorrow they will put in the grouting and we’ll have a whole new look out back.  Daku will also be happy because he’ll get his yard back.  We have to keep him on his leash while the workers are in the yard.  He’s so friendly it freaks some people out.  He appears to be a bigger dog than he is with his fluffy coat.  Most Thai dogs are smaller in size and have short hair.

Tomorrow is also the day we hang Lisa’s exhibit at The Factory.  It will be the first art exhibit in the space so there will be some trial and error involved.  The room has windows that we’ll have to work around creatively.  It will be a warm, intimate experience.

Today’s photo was taken at The Wanderer.  I took it a few weeks ago but just realized it has a twisted trunk like the one on Koh Lanta.  Next time we’re at The Wanderer I will ask about this tree.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“In any given moment we have two options:
To step forward into growth or to step back into safety.”
~Abraham Maslow

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Nature

Hi,

This morning the sky was absolutely clear.  No clouds, no smoke, just a beautiful blue.  Needless to say, we had a very hot day.  It will continue like that for the rest of the week.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Help” by The Beatles.  Here comes a ‘Zany Day’ tune you may remember:  “When a problem comes along (you must __ __), before the cream sits out too long (You must __ __).  When something’s going wrong (You must __ __).  Now __ __ into shape.  Shape it up, get it straight.  Go forward, move ahead, try to detect it, it’s not too late to __ __.  __ __ good!"  Hint:  This should be easy.  

This morning we were holding court at our favorite table inside The Wanderer.  First, Khun Kwan came over with her 5 month old nephew.  When he saw Lisa he gave her a giant smile.  A few minutes later Mercy the Husky came inside.  She spotted Lisa, spoke a few words in Husky and dashed directly to our table.  What a nice visit.

Tonight is the first night since the end of Songkran that we have heard the sound of a thumping bass.  I was hoping we’d get more of a break.  Sometimes it sounds like someone practicing.  If there are other instruments it would be nice to hear them.  Wait, what did I just say?  Never mind.  

Today we did not go to the mall.  (555)  We did go to the fruit market, where I witnessed another daily ritual that I hadn’t seen at this location.  At the main market in the center of town, around 4pm every day there is a procession of cars and bikes lined up to get pre-cooked food to take home.  Everything from sauces, meat dishes and vegetables, to soup in a bag.  At the fruit market the same thing was happening.  We were one of the double-parked vehicles shopping the stands for fresh fruit to go with dinner.   

In keeping with the ’nature’ of today’s quote, here are a few recent photos.  The orchid was spotted this morning at The Wanderer and the seed pods are a gift from Khun Noot.  They fell somewhere in the woods and she said the kids use them as toys.  You toss them into the air and they come down like tiny helicopters.  Cool.



It’s time for Wacky Wednesday.

                Peace,
                          Danny  

“In every walk with nature
one receives far more than 
he seeks.”
~John Muir