Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday Funnies


The weather from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai was cloudy for most of the trip.  There were moments of hazy sunshine but never any rain.  Today that was a good thing.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb” by Ed Byrnes and Connie Stevens.  The Kookie character was featured on “77 Sunset Strip”, a private eye TV show that ran from ’58 to ’64.  If you’ve never heard of it, that’s OK.  It was a fun show in the early years and we used to watch it.  Now it’s time to get busy with an ‘Old School Friday’ that I hope is an easy one:  “Get out of that bed, wash your face and hands.  Get out of that bed, wash your face and hands.  Get in that kitchen, make some noise with the pots and pans.  Way you wear those dresses, the sun come shining through.  Way you wear those dresses, the sun come shining through.  I can’t believe my eyes all that mess belongs to you.  I said __, __, __, __.  __, __, __, __.  __, __, __, __. __, __, __, __.  Well, you won’t do right to save your doggone soul.”  Clue:  These are the lyrics to the original version of this song.  It’s been a hit by many artists, but the guy who first sang this is a legend.  His first name is ‘Big’ and it was 1954 and Rock and Roll was just evolving.  

Today was the day, the trip to Chiang Mai to see our chiropractor.  We left early, as planned and stopped for a second breakfast and the obligatory slice of pie.  When we arrive in Chiang Mai, we thought we would have a 30 minute wait before the doctor began, but he had already started.  He has become very popular.  He saw both of us and he took a lot of the fear out of what’s been going on.  He adjusted all the things that were in the wrong places and helped me ‘define’ the pain.  We’ll go back tomorrow and see him before we leave town.  Feeling confident in Chiang Mai.

After our appointment we lunched at a chain restaurant that wasn’t as good as others (oh well).  Then we went to Central Festival Mall for sports shoes for Lisa, at the doctor’s suggestion.  We showed great restraint by not cruising into certain stores.  Some days you have to get what you came for and get out.

On our trip, we encountered the road construction detour we drove though months ago.  Rearranging a mountain is hard work.  Apparently, when you dig enough dirt, things happen and you have to put some back and dig some more.  I’m just making this up to make excuses for the crews that seem to live out there.  Some enterprising folks could literally clean up with a car wash at each end.

We got upgraded at our hotel and now we’re in a suite.  We’ve been in one like this before and, while it’s really nice, there is a whole lot of room for just the two of us.  It’s convenient since there is room enough to not have to step around bags, etc.  The one thing that many hotels still don’t get is the fact that modern travelers need wall outlets to charge their ‘stuff’. 

Today’s photos feature Nitchanan.  In the first, she is ‘helping’ Lisa in her wheelchair.  She’s only pushing a little, but she is a part of the deal.  In the second, the action was quick as she used a bowl as a funny hat and streaked through the room, laughing at herself.

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


Thursday, December 13, 2018



And then the rains came, yes.  We had a very steady rain today and it was great.  The yards are washed and watered, the air smells fresh, and the temperature has cooled off dramatically.  

Well, at least one person knew the ‘Zany Day’ song.  You can join Cousin Trudye with Extra Cool Points if you can also name the TV show the characters are from.  Here’s another verse:  “Her: __ __ __ __ __ __.  __ __?
Him:  If you ever cut out, then I’d be a stray cat ‘cause when I’m flyin’ solo, nowhere’s where I’m at!  Her: __, __, __ __ __ __.  __, __?  Clue:  This little drama takes place on a famous boulevard, there’s a lot of vanity involved.

This morning our friend Brenda came over and gave Lisa a pedicure.  It was an offer she couldn’t refuse.  

We stayed in again today.  Partly because our morning routine was altered by the pedicure, and because it was raining.  Enjoying the rain on the pool and the gardens became a thing to do.  This year, there are some new birds that come around in the afternoon.  They have very dramatic songs and seem to be hanging around.  I haven’t actually seen them yet, but I’ll work on that when I feel more active.  

One of the big moments of the day was when Lisa went upstairs.  It’s the first time she’s been up there in over 5 weeks.  Of course, Nitchanan and Daku had to come up as well, so we had a little gathering.  Natcha helped carry clothes for the trip downstairs and the two ‘kids’ were looking for something to do.  It was nice to be up there, like old times (555).  We’re not ready to officially move back, but the day is coming.

Our internet stopped working this afternoon.  This is not acceptable, but because of modern technology, there’s no need to panic.  Back in the day, I would have to drive down to the old Doi Chaang Coffee shop in the center of town and use their WiFi in order to send you this message.  Tonight I will turn on my personal hotspot on my phone and link that to my laptop for a seamless completion of this episode.  I find it so cool.  Sometimes not as fast, but no longer stranded.  Then there’s that thought: ‘What if there were no internet?’.  Hmm.

This evening’s after dinner visit consisted of one very ‘wound up’ little one, bursting with energy.  When Natcha returned, Lisa asked her if she’d had any sugar.  The reply was, ‘Lots’.  Ooops.  Nitchanan was on fire.  Chatting away, on and off the bed, totally hyper.  She finally started to settle down when we popped bubbles on a bag and then it became a puppet, sort of.  She liked that concept and tried it.  Then she got books and it slowed down even more.  Whew.  This photo was the first shot at a bag puppet (5).  She’s laughing that little kid laugh.

I’m getting excited about the trip tomorrow.  Could it be the end of all of this pain?  I am keeping good thoughts about that.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Overthinking:  The art of
creating problems that don’t exist.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2018



Today was cloudy but warm.  This afternoon there were clouds with dark bottoms, which usually means rain, but they just drifted away in the breeze.  A tiny bit of rain would be appreciated.

See, I told you the ‘Easy Monday’ song was easy.  Here’s the second verse:  “Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be.  There’s a shadow hanging over me.  Oh, __ came suddenly.  Why she had to go?  I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.  I said something wrong.  Now I long for __.”  Clue:  It’s credited as being by those four lads from Liverpool, but we know who wrote this one.  What do you call the day before today?

This was a ‘stay at home day’.  I have found that if I can relax in one position, I feel nothing.  It’s when I get up and down that it hurts the most.  And then again, it all depends on the day.  Today seemed a little more sensitive than yesterday.  Who knows?  I’m waiting for Friday and the Chiang Mai visit.  

The kids (Gong and Natcha) went to Big C this morning.  We enjoy shopping there, but it’s nice to have them shop for us.  It’s a temporary thing, ‘cause the new Big C is opening this weekend and you know we wanna go there (555).

This Saturday evening is the opening of the 7th Annual Member Exhibit at ArtBridge.  It’s the first time we will have been in town for this event.  We’re usually in the states when it happens.  The big plan is to get back from Chiang Mai early enough to have dinner at the gallery, save good seats and be able to enjoy the long presentations in comfort.  We’ll see, we have missed a lot of activity and it will be nice to see friends and their artwork.

The photo was taken at Work@Home yesterday.  This little bike is owned by the newest staff member.  She bought it with her first paycheck and rides it to work and even locks the front wheel.  A Plumeria flower had landed on the seat.  When Tovan told us the story it brought smiles.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“You, yourself, as much as 
anybody else in the entire 
universe, deserve your love
and affection.”

Monday, December 10, 2018



Our weather has been doing about the same thing every day.  The mornings give the impression that it might rain, but by mid-day the sun is shining and it's still dry.  There are many forecasts for rain this week so we’ll just carry on and see what happens.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “At Last” by Etta James.,wn   And now, ‘Easy Monday’ is upon us again.  “__, all my troubles seemed so far away.  Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.  Oh, I believe in __.”  Hint:  Really?  I almost feel embarrassed, giving you such an easy tune (555).  Maybe a clue tomorrow.

The saga continues.  Lisa is improving every day, I’m staying the same.  I have not given up hope.  It seems that the only thing that will clear up this painful adventure is an adjustment that will put the wayward bone in it’s proper place.  To that end, we’re going to Chiang Mai on Friday morning to see our doctor.  He is an osteopath/chiropractor that we have had good experiences with in the past.  He is confident that he can help so we go.  The next stop will be Pop Sircus in Bali (555).  He’s a healer who helped me many years ago.

Sunday we got out of the house out of necessity.  Lisa’s phone had died so we had to go to the mall to see ‘The Guy Who Fixes Things’.  After several plans and strategies, we found ourselves in the big world again.  It felt like old times.  Coffee at Starbuck’s in the comfortable chairs, watching the shoppers.  The guy could fix the phone and while we waited, I got a few essentials taken care of, like phone bills and stuff.  As long as I didn’t walk too fast, things were alright.  

The second part of our adventure was lunch at The Wanderer.  We got our usual table on the patio, with our usual lunch, and had a mellow time.  After lunch we went to ArtBridge to drop off Lisa's art piece for a future exhibition.  This one will be held at Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple), and the works to be displayed will be chosen by Ajarn Chalermchai, creator of the temple complex.

Today we went to Work@Home for coffee and had a really nice, long visit with Katai and Towan.  We talked about everything from dogs to Formula 1 to the growth of Chiang Rai.  It was good to relax with friends and laugh and learn.  They told us about a credit card to Robinson Department store that will entitle us to park in a special section at the mall.  That would be so cool, to not have to roam around, looking for a space.  So much to know.  Lunch at Melt In Your Mouth, and a stop at Browney Pet World for Daku treats.  

Today’s photo was taken at Browney’s.  It’s this year's Holiday display.

Speaking of Daku, Natcha made her famous cookies again today and Daku got it in his head that they were for him.  He followed me around, just knowing I was going to give him one.  Silly dog.

Have a Great Week.


“Common sense is not too

Friday, December 7, 2018

Friday Funnies


Today began a bit like yesterday, very overcast and gloomy.  The sun came out a bit but retreated.  There were forecasts of rain at 5pm but that never happened.  Maybe it will rain tomorrow, maybe not.

The ‘Zany Day’ song brought a lot of names to my screen that I don’t see often.  I like that.  It was “Hit The Road Jack” by Ray Charles.  Here’s an ‘Old School Friday’ that we’ve played with before.  Remember this classic?
“__ __ my love has come along.  My lonely days are over, and life is like a song.  Ohh, yeah, yeah, __ __ the skies above are blue, my heart was wrapped in clover the night I looked at you.  I found a dream that I could speak to.  A dream that I can call my own.  I found a thrill that I have never known.  You smile, you smile, and then the spell was cast and here we are in heaven, for you alone are mine, __ __.”  Hint:  That’s the whole song.  It became the signature number for a blues singer in the early 60s.  One word that describes the title is ‘finally’.

This was the day we spent over 6 hours at the clinic/hospital.  What?  It all started with two appointments.  Lisa was to have her cast removed and I had a follow-up with the sports doctor about my back.  My appointment, once I got into the office, was brief.  There wasn’t much more he could suggest, but he wanted me to see a specialist, which turned out to be Lisa’s doctor.  She had already returned from ‘cast removal’ sporting a still swollen ankle.  We ended up in the same office at the same time, thanks to Nurse Pay.  I asked the doctor about a procedure called an ‘epidural’ that could stop back pain for months at a time.  The doctor was quite familiar with it and asked if I wanted to do it.  To end this pain, I was ready.  

What I didn’t know was exactly what was involved.  The classic line of the day came from the doctor when he motioned to his nurse and said, “follow her and change your dress.” (much quiet laughter followed)  The next thing I knew, I was in the treatment room being told to take off all my clothes and accessories.  I did as I was told, was put on a gurney and wheeled through the hospital to the operating room.  After that I was tossed around, undressed, messed with, stuck, re-stuck and told to rest for hours.  So far it had been 2 hours.  Another hour in recovery and then back to the treatment room.  Since I would have to drive home, yet another hour of rest was required.  The punchline to all of this: My back still hurt.  I found out it would be better in about 3 days.  So that’s how we spent our day.  Nurse Pay filled Lisa in on where I was and what was happening.  

We came home to a warm lunch that Natcha timed so we could eat right away.  The rest of the day was lazy.  Lisa is learning to negotiate without the cast but can’t really walk yet and we’re playing a waiting game on the timing of our Winter Visit to the States.  Life goes on.

Today’s photo is the construction of the coffee shop next door.  That’s our house in the background.

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


Thursday, December 6, 2018



This morning began with a little fog that quickly burned off and left us with a beautiful day.  We didn’t see much of it.  

Well, a bunch of you know the ‘Zany Day’ song.  This tune is performed by a singer whose career covered many styles and genres of music.  A legend in his own time, still an influence on artists today.  You know who he is.
“Now baby, listen baby, don’t you treat me this way, ‘cause I’ll be back on my feet some day.  Don’t care if you do, ‘cause it’s understood, you ain’t got no money, you just ain’t no good.  Well, I guess if you say so, I’ll have to pack my things and go (that’s right).  __ __ __ __ and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.  __ __ __ __ and don’t you come back no more.  What’d you say?”  Clue:  Title is a term used when someone is told to move on.

So, did I tell you that I’m tired of hurting?  Well, I am.  Spent most of the day on the bed with an ice-pack under my back.  There was some sleeping, some Star Trek, and a little tennis.  Three highlights of my day were: the washing of the hair, the home-made cookies that Natcha whipped up, and a firm date to go to Chiang Mai to see our chiropractor.  It was a good day after all.

Tomorrow we go back to Overbrook Hospital to find out if Lisa’s cast will be removed.  Obviously, we’re hoping it comes off.  There will be dancing in the halls of The Big Brown House.  

Cat came over for a visit while we had lunch.  She is very busy these days.  A group of students from Singapore is coming to her university tonight.  Cat will co-MC the initial welcoming assembly at her school tomorrow morning and introduce the key participants, including the university president.  Then a big group will travel to Chiang Mai to do a joint building project for two weeks. When that project ends it will be time for final exams.  In January she will go to Indonesia to teach at a school in a village for one month.  She will leave while we’re in the States and return in February.  They do grow up.

Not long after we moved downstairs to the guest room, I walked in and glanced at Daku’s bed and it looked like the aftermath of a wild feast.  On closer inspection I realized it was just one of his bones and his meditation animals.  Whew.

I’ll close with a little kid story.  Nitchanan was down in our room and Lisa gave her the plate that some cookies were on.  As she turned the corner to go down the hall, she showed me the plate, said something in Thai, licked the plate with a big grin on her face, then laughed.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“To see the right and not to 
do it is cowardice.”

Wednesday, December 5, 2018



It took Gong most of the day to rake up all the leaves left by our surprise storm.  At least he had a beautiful day to do it in.  

So the ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Daddy’s Home” by Shep & The Limelights, previously known as The Heartbeats.  That leaves us with nowhere to go but to the ‘Zany Day’ song.  “__ __ __ __ and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.  __ __ __ __ and don’t you come back no more (What you say?)  Oh woman, oh woman, don’t treat me so mean, you’re the meanest old woman that I’ve ever seen.  I guess if you say so, I’d have to pack my things and go.  (That’s right)  __ __ __ __ and don’t you come back no more…..”  Hint:  Someone’s being asked to leave in no uncertain terms.  Is that why he left Georgia?

Today was ‘Father’s Day’ here in Thailand.  December 5 is the birthday of the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX.  It was a National Holiday and government offices and banks were closed.  The holiday is not only in honor of The King, but all fathers.  Families usually do something special for the ‘father’ in the house.  It’s a big day for restaurants.  

We had a quiet morning here at home.  I stopped taking all the medicine the doctor gave me, trying to let my body return to normal, whatever that is.  The anti this and that started having negative effects.  After reading the information available, we discovered that elevated blood-pressure was one of the symptoms of a tablet I was taking with breakfast.  No more of that or any of them.  As a result, I hurt today, but found that an ice pack helps.  Eventually, this has to come to an end.  Right?

After lunch we went into town and picked up Lisa’s artwork from the framer.  They did a good job and we’re happy with the outcome.  Next week we’ll deliver it to ArtBridge.

There was a commotion coming from the kitchen and it involved a little girl, so Lisa went to investigate.  Nitchanan and Natcha were having a stand-off and it wasn’t pretty.  The little one came to our room and she and Lisa looked at a book she hadn’t seen yet.  She got pretty involved and her mood changed completely.  Sometimes a little distraction is all it takes.  Oh yeah, and there was the part about visiting me.  

Today’s photo is an ‘Oldie but goodie’ from April of this year.  Nitchanan was helping her dad in the yard.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“You must do the things
you think you cannot do.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, December 4, 2018



Late last night the weather pattern was broken.  We had a big rainstorm that was a surprise and left the yards soaked and full of leaves.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song has a lot of friends.  For some it brought back memories.  See if this verse rings a bell.
“How I’ve waited for this moment, to be by your side.  Your best friend wrote and told me you had teardrops in  your eyes.  __ __, your __ __ to stay….. I’m not a thousand miles away.”  Hint:  It’s still easy, especially if you knew the Friday song.

We had kind of a busy day, considering how many days we’ve been house bound.  We went to The Wanderer for coffee and then downtown to a frame shop we’ve used in the past.  Lisa is submitting a collage/painting to an exhibit and all entries are to be framed.  We landed a parking spot right by the front door, so she could get inside on her crutches.  The woman who runs the shop was very helpful and it will be ready tomorrow.

While we were at The Wanderer we made our weekly call to Joe, Lisa’s dad.  He’s in a skilled nursing home following his partial hip replacement surgery.  He will be going home next Monday.  The last time we spoke he commented that he would definitely recover from this.  That’s what I call a 94 year old with spirit.  Today’s photo was taken in his studio earlier this year.

My back is still not well so we’re throwing every healing possibility at it.  Today I went to Overbrook for acupuncture treatment.  It’s not a quick fix, but I have had good results in the past.  After getting lots of needles placed, they connected me to the electrical stimulation and cooked me for 30 minutes (555).  I listened to some peaceful music and it was over before I knew it.  I go back next week for another treatment.  

The building site next door has a couple who are living on the site.  This is a normal occurrence, as a matter of security.  The only problem is, they cook over an open fire, which means we get the smell of smoke in the morning and again in the evening.  Our bedroom is isolated, but as soon as we step into the hall, there is that smell.  I’m thinking of putting an air filter machine in the hall.  Hmm.  

Natcha and Gong went to Big C this morning and experienced the curse of the store shuffle.  You know, when they change the location of everything so you have to go up and down all the aisles to find what you want, and see everything you don’t want.  They also got surprised by Thai Environment Day, a day without plastic bags.  It’s a good thing.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Conflict cannot survive
without your participation.”
~Wayne Dyer

Monday, December 3, 2018



Our cool weather has warmed up and we’re back in to ‘normal’.  We’re enjoying the blue skies and moderate temps.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “A Thousand Miles Away” by The Heartbeats.  For ‘Easy Monday’ we’re going to hum the sequel/answer song.  “You’re my love, you’re my angel, you’re the girl of my dreams.  I’d like to thank you for waiting patiently.  __ __, your __ __ to stay.”  Hint:  It’s sung by the same personnel with a different group name. 

There was a big concert at Central Plaza Mall on Saturday night.  We didn’t know about it until that afternoon when Cat came over.  That’s when she told us she was going.  Even if I had known, I probably would not have gone, even though I like the artists on the bill.  The headliner was Palmy, a singer/writer I have liked for years.  The opening act was Potato, a group we first heard on our reconnaissance mission before we moved here.  The days of standing through a concert are over for me.  I still remember the shock of going to see music in a club and discovering there were no seats.  What?  The times they are a-changing.   

We had a quiet weekend at The Big Brown House.  Our neighborhood was not quiet though.  It didn’t bother us much, but there was the definite sound of building next door.  By the size of the rooms, defined by concrete blocks on the ground, it really is going to be a coffee shop.  Across the road the grown men with big machines were still playing in the dirt.  This remains a bit of a mystery.  We’ve been told that it’s going to be some kind of hotel or resort.  They brought dirt in, sculpted it, then took some away.  Today they brought it back.  I’m getting very curious (555).

The household has adjusted to it’s new rhythm.  The morning kitchen thing is different, but it works.  Natcha cooks breakfast while Lisa fixes the dog’s food.  I take Daku out twice, and make the coffee.  Chopper gets to stay in the kitchen until Daku returns and then he goes out and roams the yard.  After Natcha returns from taking Nitchanan to school, she takes Daku out for exercise and play.  It all just works.  Feeling grateful to have a flexible situation.  

The view from the guest room is the backyard gardens and the pool.  It’s a different view from our upstairs bedroom so it’s been a treat.  At night, if there’s no burning, we open the sliding door and the smell of the night-blooming flowers comes in.  

This afternoon we discovered that there was no water coming onto the property.  We had water in the storage tanks, but that was it.  Gong went down the road and found out that a construction crew had broken a pipe.  That meant getting dinner from an outside source.  We had two meals from The Wanderer yesterday so we needed something different.  The Hungry Wolf came through and provided a nice, simple meal that we could order over the phone.  It was like a picnic, featuring glazed chicken wings, two kinds of potatoes, and a mixed salad.  We’ll have to remember this.  

In the mornings, when Chopper comes into the kitchen, he usually has something very important to tell me.  He does that Husky talking thing and I answer him.  We are such a pair.

Have a Great Week.


“When one teaches, two learn.”
~Robert Half

Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday Funnies


Our weather is in a repeating pattern these days.  Cold mornings changing to moderately warm days and then cool evenings.  It’s really a nice pattern.  The only thing getting in the way is smoke.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones.  Here’s an ‘Old School Friday’ some of you might remember:  “You’re __ __ __ __ but I still have your love to remember you by.  Oh, my darling dry your eyes, Daddy’s coming home soon.  On my knees every day-ay all I do is pray, baby, just for you.  Hope you a-a-always want me too.  Daddy’s coming home soon.”  Hint:  This one’s from 1957, but it’s still on a lot of play lists.  Your mileage may differ, but there are a lot of them in the title.  Group name is the thing everyone has in their chest, if you listen.

Except for a short trip to the 'Cafe In The Woods’ (The Wanderer), we spent another day at the house healing.  
I’m getting better but it seems like the whole ordeal will have lingering aches and pains.  The major scary pain is gone.  Things are more localized and that’s a good thing, I think.  Lisa is having dreams of walking so that tells me she’s getting better.  

There has been a lot of helicopter activity in the area recently.  They are the big Hueys that were left over from the Viet Nam conflict.  They take off from the army base near us and seem to like flying low.  We can only guess what’s going on.  

Chiang Rai has been ‘Action Central’ for the past few weeks.  We’ve had Thai kick boxing at the mall, an extended Loy Krathong, The Thailand Games, and now The Farm Festival.  Who says we/they don’t know how to party.  Friends have been posting photos of the events so we get to see things without being there.  

Gong and Natcha have been wonderful during our days of recuperating.  Natcha takes Daku out for his morning exercise and he always comes back happy.  They have a bond that’s pretty cool.  She can call him from the kitchen and he’ll jump up and dash to see her.  Some days, if it’s not too hot, Gong will take him out for playtime.  Whatever we need, they’re willing to help and that makes us feel secure.

With all the building going on around us, it’s nice to be able to look out from the upstairs window and see the little farm still happening.

When Nitchanan comes to visit, one of the things she like to do is see pictures of Daku and BamBam on Lisa's computer.   

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


Thursday, November 29, 2018



It was definitely a cooler day today.  Anytime we can go through the day without using the air/con means it’s cooler.  This evening we had to turn on the air/con due to smokey air.  

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song has lots of friends out there.  “I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag.  I was schooled with a strap across my back.  But it’s all right now, in fact it’s a gas.  But it’s all right, I’m __ __ __, it’s a gas, gas, gas.”  Clue:  It’s by one of the oldest performing bands in R&R.  They just seem to keep rolling along.

For the last couple of days Natcha’s nephew Gop has been staying with them.  He’s about 8 or 9 years old and a very sweet boy.  He and Nitchanan get along great.  They play and have long conversations about whatever they know about.  This afternoon Gop played with Chopper and later I saw Gong playing football (soccer) with him.  

We had a quiet morning and that was good.  This afternoon I took a deep breath and went to the Thai version of the DMV.  When I walked in I was surprised to see a completely different configuration.  The counter I had my sights set on was gone.  What shall I do?  I went to the information window and, in broken English, was told to take a number and that it would be a wait.  After almost an hour of watching the ‘queue numbers’ stay the same, I asked what I should do.  That’s when she told me the internet had failed.  I guess the van registration renewal will have to wait.  

I think I drove more today than I have in about a week.  It was nice to be out in the world.  I made a few short stops and went back to the house, careful to take the ‘village short cut’ to our house.  Knowing a few tiny streets can make a difference in one’s composure during rush hour (555).

We are always amazed by the way certain things get over 8,000 miles from their origins and become a part of the local setting.  Today’s photo is a case in point.  Not quite half way between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai there is a big gas station with lots of shops and restaurants.  The photo is the window of a clothing shop.  Amazing Thailand.

Meanwhile, progress is being made on the coffee shop next door.  A cement truck came today and poured the first stage of the ‘footings’ and foundation.  It may be time for me to go and inspect the happenings.  Color me curious.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Energy and persistence
conquer all things.”
~Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, November 28, 2018



This morning it felt like winter.  The air was cold and crisp.  It never did warm up to the usual 85F.  They say it was 79F.  Tomorrow will be back to the mid 80s.  Wonderful weather for all the visitors from the colder climates.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Imagine” by John Lennon.  Now it’s time to get down with a ‘Zany Day’ song.  “I was born in a crossfire hurricane.  And I howled at my ma in the driving rain.  But it’s all right now, in fact it’s a gas.  But it’s all right, I’m __ __ __, it’s a gas, gas, gas."

We spent today hanging out at the house.  There was brief contemplation on where to go for coffee, but it felt good to be still.  I think my back is out of ‘crisis mode’ since I was able to get out of bed without the usual agony.  The problem is still there and it still reminds me, but I think the worst may be over.  

If I were superstitious I’d tell you that it’s going to rain because Gong washed the van.  I’m not going to say that, but now you know we have a clean van (555).  

This afternoon I went into town for a meeting.  Chiang Rai is really bustling with buses and vans and people from other places.  We’re really happy when this time of year comes because it means a boost for many local shop owners.  

Today’s photo was taken from the van while sitting in traffic.  I did a double take when I saw the tree since it’s still November.  Someone must have spent time in the States.

This was the last day of The Games.  Cat and some of her classmates were ask to participate in the closing ceremonies at the sports complex.  I hope it doesn’t get too cold.  I have no idea which provinces won which events, but I’m sure there will be a translation in the future.  It did a lot to bring elements of Chiang Rai closer together.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“You can’t cross the sea
merely by standing and
staring at the water.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

Tuesday, November 27, 2018



This morning it was actually chilly.  It remained cooler than usual during the day.  It's getting to be time to cover the arms and legs.  The forecast for tonight is 54F.  That’s cold in these parts.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song got lots of responses.  The one word title is asking us to think about things differently.
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  I hope some day you will join us, and the world will be as one.”  Hint:  The writer/singer was once a member of that pesky foursome from across the pond.  

This appears to be the month for family calamities.  Lisa’s ankle, my back, and most recently her dad Joe, who fell in his front yard and had to have partial hip replacement.  He’s doing ok and will be well taken care of during his post-surgery time.  He’s 94, works out 3 times a week and has a very bright outlook.  We keep him in our thoughts and hope that he’ll be in his studio before long.

We went to The Wanderer this morning for our usual coffee/roti outing.  Gong put the wheelchair in the van and the young men at The Wanderer took it out.  We had a nice visit with Kwan and she explained an article we’d seen on Facebook about her late dad.  The company that owns Doi Chaang Coffee in Canada, had named a new product line ‘The Wanderer’.  That’s pretty cool when you think about it.  

Today’s photo shows a unique way to utilize a dead palm tree.  The top was removed and a fern placed inside.

It’s a bit eerie not hearing the activity from across the river.  Not that I’m complaining. I’m lovin’ the quiet.  Even the little restaurants on our side of the river are quiet.  There was a time when Karaoke would serenade us into the night, but that hasn’t happened in quite some time.  That’s the nature of Chiang Rai - it is ever changing.  

The horrible back pain that I’ve been having in the mornings was less today.  It still hurt, but not quite as much.  Yesterday was the two week mark and now it seems that I may be coming out of the woods.  This is the time when I have to treat it gently and not get too enthusiastic.  My goal is to be stable by the time we leave for the Winter Visit to the states.  There are still a few treatment options to be explored and time is still on my side.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Time moves in one direction,
memory in another.”
~William Gibson

Monday, November 26, 2018



The ‘post card’ weather is holding here in Chiang Rai.  This morning it was noticeably cooler, but warming up by mid-day.  We like it like this.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “All I Have To Do Is Dream” by The Everly Brothers.  Here’s an ‘Easy Monday’ that should make you smile:  "__ there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try.  No hell below us, above us only sky.  __ all the people living for today, ah ha.  __ there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do.  Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too.  __ all the people living life in peace…”  Hint: The title is something the mind can do.   

We spent the weekend at home listening to the revelry across the river.  Last night (Sunday) was one of the loudest of the week.  I went outside and heard at least three music sources, lots of playful screaming and the sound of various sizes of firecrackers.  There may be restrictions on the sale of certain fireworks, but you’d never know it by the sounds in the night.  

Gong went across the street to ask about the new construction they’re preparing for and the best we could get was that it will be a hotel or small resort.  I suppose that could be OK.  It would be a nice landmark for giving directions, better than Bed Villa (555).  The lot next door is either going to be a coffee shop or a single family dwelling.  By the looks of the bamboo marking off the size of the building, it’s more likely to be a coffee shop.  I can see it now, walking next door and hanging out with some fresh coffee.  Hmm.  

This morning we went to Overbrook Hospital for the ‘reading’ of my MRI.  Lisa went with me so we could both hear and discuss with the doctor.  The doctor explained the film and showed us what was generating the pain and why.  Without getting medical, it’s going to take medicine, therapy, rest and time.  That last one is the one that always gets me.  Patience flies out the window and in my mind I’m screaming ‘How long, how much time, when will I know’?  I simply smiled and said that I understood.  I must say that today is better than yesterday.  Here’s the ironic part:  On the one hand, I need to strengthen my back and abs, on the other hand, I’m taking muscle relaxers to ease the pressure on my spine.  You see my dilemma?  I’ll follow directions, but there's that nagging question (555).

After we finished with the doctor it was off to window 42 to pay the bill and get more medicine.  I asked for a CD of the MRI so I could show it to other doctors on my ‘team’  (5).  That meant going to another department.  Then we went to PT for new exercises.  When it was all over, it was a 2.5 hour excursion.  Life goes on.

While we were waiting for lunch, Nitchanan, who was off from school, came to our room and went straight for the books.  She gave each of us a book to read.  She kept the ‘Monkeys’ book since it’s her favorite.  I love how she gives us assignments and includes us in her play.  She also likes to help, whether it’s closing the curtains or brushing Daku.  The other day she was having a melt-down and Natcha asked her to help wash the dishes.  Instant cure for the melt and she was busy at the sink.

I just realized it’s quiet.  There is no noise outside.  The carnival was packed up today, along with the stage and the sound system.  Sometimes it’s the little things. 

Have a Great Week.


“Most of us have far more
courage than we ever dreamed
we possessed.”
~Dale Carnegie

Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday Funnies


The temps today reached the mid 80s, which has been our norm lately.  Now we’re looking for rain.  Funny how a few weeks ago I was wishing the rain would go away and now it would be refreshing.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” by The Beatles.  Joe Cocker also has a soulful version of this tune.  Now it’s time for an ‘Old School Friday’ song.  This 1958 ballad is by two Rock-a-Billy brothers who had many hits.  “When I want you in my arms, when I want you and all your charms, whenever I want you, __ __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  Involves something that usually happens while sleeping, but not necessarily. 

The official night of Loy Krathong was a giant party.  We could hear the whole thing from our house.  The noise level was up a few notches from previous nights and there were a lot more fireworks.  Tonight it doesn’t seem to be as loud.  For us, that’s a good thing.  One of the drawbacks of this popular, tradition is the amount of leftovers.  In Bangkok, workers collected over 800,000 krathongs by the morning after.  The use of foam has gone way down and most of the other materials are degradable.  In smaller communities this is not a major problem.  The Kok river, which runs though Chiang Rai, has several places where the krathongs can be collected.  Now I’m curious to know if this happens, or do they just continue down river until they fall apart?

This morning we went to Overbrook Hospital.  I wanted to get an X-ray of my back before going to Chiang Mai.  Our friend Nurse Pay put me with a different doctor and we had a good consultation.  He explained three possible courses of treatment and we started with a different PT routine and an MRI in the afternoon.  He is the team doctor for the Chiang Rai United Football team so I’m hoping he’ll fix me up so I can get back in the game (555).  At the PT, two new terms came up: laser and traction.  What?  The ‘laser’ related to a different type of ultrasound, and the traction was just that.  They tugged on me with a slow machine, relieving the pressure on my back, or so they thought.  When it was over, I felt horrible.  The MRI was everything I’d heard about, but it didn’t freak me out.  I was ready.  The time went by quickly and I managed to play with the crazy sounds and have a few daydreams.  I don’t want to do it again though.  Monday we’ll review the results and plot the course of action.  Meanwhile, it’s more of the same: major pain when changing positions.  Maybe the new meds will make a difference.

One of the interesting things that happens at Overbrook Hospital is the mid-day music happenings.  Today’s photo shows a group of local ‘senior’ musicians playing in the garden area.  The woman in the middle of the photo was playing bells and singing lead.  

Yesterday we didn’t have a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, but Natcha made us a favorite consisting of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and peas.  In the past, we could get Butterball turkey breast from the States, but their importation is not allowed anymore.  When we make our Winter Visit next month, turkey will be involved (555).

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   It’s time for the ‘Funnies’.   This weekend is the last Formula 1 race of the season, coming from Abu Dhabi.  Zoom!


Thursday, November 22, 2018



Chiang Rai had another blue sky, puffy cloud day.  We’re hoping the night is clear so we can see the fireworks and lanterns as they rise above the river.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was remembered by several readers.  It’s definitely a zany tale.  Maybe you know this:
“She said she’d always been a dancer.  She worked at fifteen clubs a day.  And though she thought I knew the answer, well, I knew what I could not say.  And so I quit the police department, and got myself a steady job.  And though she tried her best to help me, she could steal but she could not rob.  Didn’t anybody tell her?  Didn’t anybody see?…”  Clue:  The title doesn’t really mean much to the song, except that one can sneak in through odd entrances and find a home.  There was probably a shower involved.

Everybody in our house has something going on physically that we’d like to be over.  My back is still being painful, Lisa's leg is still in the cast, Natcha has a sore back from carrying Nitchanan, and she has a cut on her foot, Gong has a cold, and the baby rotates between little kid stuff.  We were thinking a photo of all of us being pitiful would be funny.  We haven’t taken it yet, and it’s not really that funny (555).  Natcha got another healing product today and applied some to my back.  It might have helped a bit.  We’ll have to do more.  It helped her problem right away though, so there’s hope.

After researching on the GreenBus website, we went to 7-11 and I got a ticket to go to Chiang Mai.  I wanted to go tomorrow but they were sold out of morning tickets.  I got a round trip for Saturday so I can see our chiropractor/osteopath guy.  I thought about driving myself but I’d rather leave the driving to them.

This morning we went back to The Wanderer and had coffee and roti with our friend John.  It’s always a very light, spontaneous event when we get together.  The staff was very helpful with the chair and pampering Lisa.  

The lot next door to us is now in building mode.  Today they dug some holes and started installing the rebar footings that will be the weight-bearing pillars of the house.  Across the street, the big digging machine keeps moving dirt around and it’s looking like some grand ‘thing’ is going to be built.  Tomorrow I’m going to ask Gong to go over and be nosey.  We’ve just got to know.  

Meanwhile, around town, the games continue and contrary to the stories, the town is not in grid-lock and the stores still have food.  They still have a ways to go and things could change, but so far so good.  The official name of the games is The 46th Annual Thailand Games.  This event has quite a legacy and the communities and teams are very serious.  There is a page with a medal count and all of the Thai networks were in town for the opening and some of the events.  I guess we’re not a small town anymore.  Hmm.

Tonight is officially Loy Krathong and the fireworks have started early.  As I was driving home from PT I noticed the crowds filing into festival grounds.  At the entrance to the access road I noticed a display of shiny used cars for sale.  You can get anything you need at Loy Krathong.  

I’ll leave you with a few more photos from the opening ceremonies.  The first pic shows The Wild Boars football team, the boys who were trapped in the cave.  The second pic is a grand ceremonial wagon.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“If you are really thankful,
what do you do?  You share.”
~W. Clement Stone

Wednesday, November 21, 2018



The weather in Chiang Rai has been mild, compared to a few weeks ago.  It warms up, but not the crushing heat of the hot season.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Cupid” by Sam Cooke.  Here’s one you might remember: “__ __ __ __ __ __ __, protected by a silver spoon.  But now she sucks her thumb and wanders 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: The title makes reference to an unusual method of entry.  Another from the four lads from across the pond.

This morning I started a series of physical therapy (PT) at Overbrook Hospital.  I now know that I must instruct them to do all the work with me on my side, instead of on my stomach.  I left there feeling like they made things worse.  It was discouraging to say the least.  Maybe my new plan will bring a change.

We had lunch at The Wanderer with our friends Brenda and Eric.  It had been a long time since we had spent any time together so there were many stories to be told.  Eric is the person who donated the big tree in Blue’s memory. He is what I’d call an adventurer, traveling around Thailand on his motorbike, hiking, diving, etc.  Brenda has been traveling in other directions, like Europe and the States.  We share, we laugh, we learn and we find common ground. It was a good lunch.

This afternoon I went to the kitchen to make coffee and noticed the screen door was ajar.  My first thought was that Chopper was in the house.  I had a feeling, so I looked outside in the usual places he naps.  There was no Chopper to be seen.  Just as I was about to go upstairs, his favorite place, he was creeping down the stairs.  New rule in the house, close that door.  To his credit, he’s figured out how to open two doors and gain entry.

Before dinner we had a visit from Cat and her boyfriend, Noom.  It was a pleasant chat, with him catching a few English words here and there and Cat telling us about being accepted to go to Indonesia in January.  It’s the first time we’ve had a visit with him.  He works at the airport doing lots of jobs.  We encouraged Cat to start teaching him English, since that what she does.  More homework (555).  They were on their way to the Loy Krathong festival across the river from us. 

These photos from the opening of the games feature a banner by an artist we like.  Each team/province was introduced with a painting depicting an aspect of Thai life.  The second photo is a costume close-up.  Couldn’t resist showing the ingenuity.   

There is a bass moaning in the distance.  That means the party is about to get started.  Oh joy.  I hope the kids are having fun.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“Time stays long enough
for anyone who will use it.”
~Leonardo da Vinci