Wednesday, May 27, 2020



More hot weather was upon us today.  At The Big Brown House it reached 104° again.  Tomorrow is going to be just as hot, and then it’s supposed to drop into the mid 90’s through the weekend.  Oh boy, a real cooling spell.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane.  This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song should be familiar to you all:  “__ __ __ __ __ __ __, protected by a silver spoon.  But now she sucks her thumb and wonders, by the banks of her own lagoon.  Didn’t anybody tell her?  Didn’t anybody see?  Sunday’s on the phone to Monday.  Tuesday’s on the phone to me.”  Hint:  It’s from 1969 by a group from across the pond.  Title refers to an odd method of entering a house. 

This mornings walk was a little different.  In the past, JaiDee has just walked around with his nose to the ground, enjoying the funky smells.  Today, he spotted a piece of bark and looks like a little log.  It became his companion for the rest of the time.  He even carried it to the van, letting us know that he wanted to take it home.  It’s in the back and we’ll give it to him in the morning.  What a kid.

Our coffee ‘date’ today was with our friend Lisa and her father Edwin.  We met at Chivit Thamma Da.  We had our usual iced-coffee but with a scone set as an extra treat.  Lisa and Edwin had breakfast, which arrived in gourmet style and was worthy of a photo (I didn’t take one).  Most of the breakfast items contain cheese in some form so we don’t get to partake.  There was a lot of ‘dog talk’ since Lisa and her family have a Chow puppy named Duke.  He will be JaiDee’s first ‘play-date’ at our house on Friday.  That should be very interesting.  

The curfew here has been changed.  It is now from 11pm to 4am, and the ‘State of Emergency’ has been extended to June 30.  With the easing of restrictions almost every week, life is slowly returning to ‘almost normal’.  The safety protocols will remain in place as far as we can tell, and people seem to be accepting that as necessary.  

I must admit, it feels a little strange watching the world, reading dramatic headlines about the virus, while we have relatively no cases here in the north and very little in the country.  I wish it would all just go away, but that’s not going to happen.  It’s going to take everybody working together, with a common thought.  Hmm, it could happen.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.   


“The world is filled with nice people,
if you can’t find one, be one.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2020



The high today was 104°F in the shade.  It was really, really hot.  It was so hot…

With ‘Easy Monday’ falling on a holiday for lots of you, it’s no wonder only a few responded to this very memorable song from 1967.  “When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go, and you’ve just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving slow.  Go ask  Alice, I think she’ll know…”  Clue:  The title of the song is not in the lyrics, but you should be able to see that we’re in a fantasy story and it’s one of the main characters.  Whose missing? 

This morning, ‘Alarm clock dog’ decided to wake us up at 5:45am.  I guess he wanted to get a head start on the heat of the morning.  We blindly complied since his bark is huge and can’t be ignored.  The relaxing on the front porch portion was short-lived when he began gardening.  The digging is his construction job, this recent pulling up plants that are healthy is a new thing.  It was so nice when he could just be set free to be a little puppy, investigating the world.  There are times when he can be a barrel of fun, teasing, running and leaping like a gazelle.  It’s just a phase, they said.

After a short walk in the park, we went to Chivit Thamma Da for the usual.  Today, JaiDee was the headliner.  It was his ‘show’.  His fans rushed to see him when we entered, and one of his favorite friends hung out with us most of the time we were there.  Another new member of the club joined her and they marveled at JaiDee’s trick of ‘shake a paw’.  He can do it with both paws.  He did a few more tricks, over and over to the delight of his ‘people’.  Tomorrow he’ll have a return engagement since we’re meeting our friend Lisa for coffee.

This afternoon we went to Makro for food for the dog.  Now they have a QR system at the front door, or an optional method just inside.  The importance of tracking who is in the store at what time is important because it helps prevent the silent spreading of the virus.  Some feel that it’s an invasion of privacy, but these are serious times and being able to contact those who might be infected is a real priority.  

While cruising through Makro, I spotted something new in the vegetable department:  Purple Carrots from Australia.  Maybe you know about these, but it’s new to me.

This evening Lisa and JaiDee went to the walking place and it was ‘show time’ once again.  He has figured out the art of sitting still and being adorable.  Yesterday a little boy of about 4 years old approached JaiDee.  JaiDee just put his nose to the little boys chest while he rubbed his head.  They met again on the next lap and this time the boy had more confidence and really petted JaiDee.  This evening he made friends with a woman who was afraid, but stood long enough to realize he was no threat.  Our little prince.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“The grass isn’t greener on the other side
It’s green where you water it.”

Monday, May 25, 2020



We are in the season of the sun.  At 9pm it was 86°F.  The low, which won’t come until 6am, will be 75°.  That should give you some idea of what hot is like here.  Tomorrow’s high is expected to be 100°.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “All I Have To Do Is Dream” by the Everly Brothers.  It’s ‘Easy Monday’ time:
“One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all.  Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall.  And when you go chasing rabbits and you know you’re going to fall.  Tell’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call.  Call Alice when she was just small.”  Hint:  This should be a snap. 

Our basic pattern these days is to stay at home, or go to places where we’re outside, except for shopping trips.  Saturday we went to Big C and Central Plaza Mall.  The Mall was a trip because they have all these ways to keep track of everyone, just in case someone gets sick.  The big thing these days is the ‘QR code’.  You’ve probably used one for something, a square design with nonsensical patterns that your phone can read and/or transmit.  We used the old school method to enter, but at the Apple store, when we asked how it worked, the guy took us through the whole thing.  Some stores just take your temp and have you wash your hands with gel, others want to keep track of you.  Whatever helps prevent a ‘Second Wave’, as it’s being called.  There are reasons to fear this ‘wave’ since so many people are so happy to be able to do ‘normal’ things, they forget that there are still protocols and restrictions in place.  

Today’s photo was taken this weekend.  JaiDee has decided that there is one tree in the front yard that he has deemed his digging ‘project’.  We’re going to let him have his space since the tree has turned out to be a twig.  This is one of my best action shots in a long time.

Sunday morning we had coffee, scones and ice with our friend John.  We met at The Wanderer and had a very enjoyable time.  There was a lot of catching up to do.  With all the walks and visits to coffee shops, JaiDee has become a social animal, cordially greeting his admirers.  When we enter the entrance path to The Wanderer, JaiDee pulls toward the gate to the residence, knowing that’s where Mercy lives.  She stands on the top level, looking down with sad eyes.  Eventually, she will get to come into the ‘woods’ and visit her friends.

We’re feeling quite grateful that there hasn’t been an ‘outbreak’ here in Chiang Rai.  Now that the provincial borders have been opened, it’s time to be vigilant and do all the right things.  Life can actually be fun while following directions, sometimes (555).

Have a Great Week.   Stay safe, stay healthy, stay happy.


“You can’t go back and change
the beginning, but you can start
where you are and change the ending.”
~C.S. Lewis

Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Funnies


Hot day, no rain, no swim, not happy.  Yeah, that about sums it up.  Actually, the happy part wasn’t accurate, but it worked as almost half a haiku (555).

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Yakety Yak” by The Coasters.  It’s that ‘Old School Friday’ time, and something you might remember:  “When I want you in my arms, when I want you, and all your charms.  Whenever I want you, __ __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint: It’s by a pair of brothers with many hits.  Sleeping is involved.

This morning we took Mr. JaiDee for his usual walk, and then to The Wanderer.  On the way, we stopped at Browney’s for a re-stock of treats.  As usual, there was a fuss made over the big puppy.  He’s totally cool with it and it’s fun to watch.
We got to The Wanderer later than yesterday and it was practically empty.  On the way in, I noticed the ‘Hand washing station’ that was built for guests.  Khun Noot explained that she and Khun Tomas, the ‘Green Thumb Man’ designed and built it.  The wind had knocked down some bamboo in the area, so she had him cut it up and the design was born.  

While we waited for our roti, we watched Noot and her grandson play.  He wanted her to make a rainbow.  She took a spray bottle of water and created a mist at just the right angle to the sun and little Khun had his rainbow.  He was so thrilled every time.  Something like that you just don’t do once for a four year old. 
Today we had three women come and work on the yard.  Gong hired them to weed the front lawn and clean out the dead palm stalks, etc. that border the rear of the house.  It was a major job and they did it quite efficiently.  Now we have ‘gaps’ that show us a view of the meditation center and other mood-breakers.  We will have to find some replacements to keep our environment intact.  

Because our yard was being ‘used’ this afternoon, we couldn’t go for a much needed swim.  We watched some snooker (the World Championship tournament) and Lisa worked on uploading another of my songs to Youtube.  If you go there, it would be great if you’d click on the like button.  See, now I’m totally part of the new generation (555).

This evening was a Friday, and that means lots of folks getting their exercise in before the weekend.  Now that restrictions have lessoned, people are doing more.  The ‘walking place’ at the government building was packed.  We have never seen so many people out walking.  I went out for about 15 minutes with Lisa and JaiDee.  The dog has another fan club of walkers.  People smiling at him, and some even know his name.  You’d think he had a TV show or something (555).  Everywhere we go, it’s the same thing.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    It’s time for the ‘Funnies’.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Let It


Yes, you guessed it.  Really hot day, but with a cooling wind in the afternoon and evening showers.  A rather nice combination.

The ‘Zany Day’ song still has ‘legs’ even though it came out in 1959.  The group is named for either something that rolls down a hill, or something one sets a drink on.  This is the last verse:  “Don’t you give me no dirty looks.  Your father’s hip, he knows what cooks.  Just tell your hoodlum friends outside, you ain’t got time to take a ride.  __ __, don’t talk back…”  Clue:  Two words describing the words that parents perceive are being spoken by a complaining kid.

Our morning ritual came about in part, because we wanted some place to have coffee and let JaiDee play.  The front porch was a bet we had missed for a long time.  Now we love it.  Below is a photo of part of our view of the front yard.

Today was the day The Wanderer re-opened.  We took JaiDee for his walk before going so he would be mellow.  The whole thing was timed so we would arrive when they opened.  To our surprise, when we rolled up to the entrance, the lot only had one space left.  Cat arrived early and told us that people were lined up before the gate was opened. The staff was not prepared for such a response, which meant we had to wait for coffee, etc.  JaiDee got his ice right away and then got to go for a walk.  Mercy, Joey and Sally had to stay at in their private yard, and were most upset when JaiDee got to stroll in.  He wanted to visit with Mercy but all she could do was bark.  The place looked great and could not have returned at a better time.  

Cat told us about some if the obstacles she’s facing while trying to teach English during school closures.  The idea of teaching young kids online has not worked for several reasons.  For one, they have a hard time staying focused, especially if they’re using a smart phone.  If the family has a computer, it’s difficult to maintain a good connection if others in the village are also online.  In one instance, there were older siblings who also wanted to either study or play games, leaving the younger child out.  She is doing personal visits, after discussion with the parents on safety issues.  Now she teaches 2 days a week until the ‘system’ gives new instructions.  Very interesting, seeing the ripples of this virus.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“If it comes, let it.
If it goes, let it.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2020



Well, of course it was hot.  What else would it be?  Another day of 100° in the shade on our balcony, and no rain in sight.  Oh, there were clouds, but they blew away.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.  Time for a ‘Zany Day’ oldie I’m sure you know:
“Take out the papers and the trash, or you don’t get no spending cash.  If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor, you ain’t gonna rock and roll no more.  __ __, don’t talk back.”  Hint:  A parent laying down the law around the house.  It’s from the catalog of zany hits by a group famous for that sort of thing.

This morning, after the dog walk, we went to Chivit Thamma Da.  JaiDee got a lot of attention from his fan club.  As soon as we hit the front door they were all over him.  Then, when we got to our table, there was at least one who always spends extra time, and today there were two.  His very special lady friend said, ‘Today I don’t want to work’.  She just wanted to play with JaiDee.  Her work friend echoed her sentiment and they giggled and continued to play with the puppy.  

Today’s photos were taken at the riverside area where we walk JaiDee in the mornings.  The second photo is the stuff he loves to investigate.  He never tries to bite the giant seed pods, though I don’t know why.

One of the problems with this extremely hot weather is that it doesn’t allow for the running of the dog.  When the days cool off in the late afternoon or evening, we can get him running around the yard.  Tonight was so hot it would not have been healthy to do that.  He’s so high-strung and if he doesn’t get his run after the evening walk, he’s a nut case.  Tonight was such a night.  He wants to play, but it turns into a biting thing that can’t be turned off.  The energy has to go someplace.  To make matters worse, someone in the neighborhood decided to burn plastic this afternoon and evening, meaning the air was horrible.  Other than that, life is good.

Gong, Natcha and Nitchanan went on a little adventure this afternoon.  They started out for the waterfall, but ended up at a Doi Chaang that has a play area and lots of Akha (Hill Tribe) food.  It’s on a mountain, so there was a breeze that kept them cool.  We’ll have to check this out.

It really does feel like a Wacky Wednesday.


“If a word in the dictionary were 
misspelled, how would we know?
~Steven Wright

Tuesday, May 19, 2020



We had another hot day today.  This will be the message for the time being.  The rain turned out to be a light sprinkle.  So light that Lisa and JaiDee did the evening walk in it, with the aid of a rain poncho.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song is about living through something and continuing.  “Go on now, go.  Walk out the door.  Just turn around now ‘cause you’re not welcome anymore.  Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye?  Did you think I’d crumble?  Did you think I’d lay down and die?  Oh, no, not I, __ __ __, oh as long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive.  I’ve got all my life to live, I’ve got all my love to give and __ __, __ __ __, hey, hey.”  Clue:  This tune is about remaining standing after a bad breakup.

Today’s photo is of Nitchanan as she was about to go to a double birthday party for two of her cousins.  All of the ‘jewelry’ she’s wearing was made by her.

This morning we took JaiDee down to the river, where they dock the long-tail boats.  There was a lot more sniffing around and I think it was better than the other side of the water where he usually takes us (555).  The boat operators have been shut down since the beginning of the whole virus thing.  Their main business was tourism, which has dried up for now.  A few haul ‘cargo’, but we haven’t heard many boats.  

After our ‘river walk’, we went to Work@Home.  Katai and Towan were both out, but JaiDee stood facing their house the whole time we were there.  He knew that’s where they came from, so they had to come out.  Just as we were leaving, Katai returned from yoga class and JaiDee went nuts.  He was so excited he could hardly control himself.  He got lots of vigorous petting and then snuggled up against Katai.  She said she thought he wanted to stay with her.  We’re calling her his second mom.  

The last time we visited at Work@Home, Towan told us that many shipments of goods Phrae is not receiving from outside the province.  Because of quarantines, the truck drivers would have to spend 14 days just sitting.  They can’t afford to do that, so they don’t make the run.  

The ‘Hero of the Day’ goes to Natcha, who baked a batch of her wonderful cacao cookies in the blistering heat.  Yum!

Have a Happy Tuesday.         Don’t believe the hype, it ain’t over.  Wash up, cover up!


“The life of the nation is secure
only while the nation is honest,
truthful, and virtuous.”
~Frederick Douglass