Wednesday, February 28, 2018



Just another lovely day in paradise.  The balance is right between the day and the night.  Of course, if the night decided to warm up a bit, so would the water in the pool.  Guess who wants to swim?

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Summer In The City” by Lovin’ Spoonful.  It’s time for another dose of ‘Zany Day’ music.  “__ __ __ __ makes a hard man humble.  Not much between despair and ecstasy.  __ __ __ __ and the tough guys tremble.  Can’t be too careful with your company.  I can feel the devil walking next to me.”  Hint:  It’s about a place.  A place we’re going to be very soon.  There, that has to be the best clue yet.

This morning we had coffee with our friend John at a fairly new place we had all heard about.  It’s called  
“Bechegu”.  We have no idea what that means, but it was a nice experience and we’ll probably return.  The cool thing is that it’s one of the closest of the places we like.  The location used to be the Jazz & Blues Club.  The service was good, the coffee was good, and the ‘brownie chip’ treats were insane.  They also brought a pot of tea to cleanse the palate after the coffee.  The only thing we didn’t really like were the home-made chairs.  They were tiny little things with little back support and ours didn’t have cushions.  John and I discussed bringing our own folding chairs (555).  Our visits are always fun and full of laughter.  

Today’s photo is a creation by Lisa called ‘Floating Dreams’.  It is a paper sculpture collage and is being featured in the promotion of the Annual Chiang Mai Balloon Festival which begins on March 2.  

In other art news, this afternoon we met with the owner at 9 Art Gallery to discuss Lisa's upcoming exhibit in May.  Most of the major points are set and she’s looking forward to showing a whole new collection of work.  9 Art is the first gallery that Lisa exhibited in, ever.  This will be her third show there and it’s pretty exciting.

Tomorrow morning we fly down to Bangkok for the weekend.  The convention begins on Friday, which gives us an afternoon and evening to be ‘visitors’.  We will return to Chiang Rai on Sunday night.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.  (It also feels like a Friday)


“Let us always meet each other
with a smile, for the smile is the
beginning of love.”
~Mother Teresa

Tuesday, February 27, 2018



It was another one of those days today.  A coolish morning turned into a blazing hot day.  At least that's what it felt like.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song has to do with a season in a place.  “…and babe, don’t you know it’s a pity, that the days can’t be like the nights in the __, __ __ __.  In the __, __ __ __.”  Hint:  The group name is from an old blues song.  

When we left the house this morning, we went straight to the big market downtown.  We were on the hunt for new bedspread material.  It was nice to see familiar sights, and smiles.  The fabric guy was in rare form this morning.  He was in a really happy mood.  We found a really beautiful piece of material and when we asked if he had 10 meters, he squeezed the roll and confirmed that he had enough.  That’s what I call knowing your trade.

Our conversation with Joe was held at Chivit Tamma Da.  We got there early enough to enjoy the riverside nature.  

We returned to the nursery today for a few more plants to go by the pool.  It really hit me today, how different the place was from what we used to know as a nursery.  It’s a big piece of land with different vendors.  Some specialize in certain kinds of plants, others sell supplies.  There are a couple of succulent sellers, one that sells  baby fruit trees, and another has only orchids.  There are lanes that zig-zag through this little ‘village’ and you just park in front of where you’re shopping.  Someday I’ll take a few photos so you can see what I’m talking about. 

Life with Chopper is fun for us, but very difficult for Natcha and Gong.  They both work hard during the day and then have to deal with a new baby dog.  It might be different if Neechanon were older or if the puppy were older.  He has no idea about what to do, he just does it.  He eats, plays and sleeps.  He also bites, like all puppies, but when you’ve got a toddler it’s not so good.  It looks like he’s going to have to find a new home.  We keep telling ourselves that it’s the best solution, but, well you’ve seen him.  

This afternoon we gave it another try at the DMV for our driver license renewal.  We had all the correct paperwork, but there is a 1 hour ‘training’ we have to go through so we have to return at 9:30am for that.  Thursday will probably be the day.  If it’s what we had to sit through the first time, well, parts were interesting but it was very dated.  It was a film with British narration and I think I may have nodded off.  Note to self:  take a cup of coffee for the movie (555).

If it’s there, I must bite it.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Strive not to be a success,
but rather to be of value.”
~Albert Einstein

Monday, February 26, 2018



It would appear that we’re moving into the ‘Hot Season’.  That leaves last week’s hail storm a bit of a mystery, since it’s been very hot during the day.  

So, the ‘Old School Music’ tune was “Tears On My Pillow” by Little Anthony & The Imperials, and, as my brother asks, ‘Who says t’was?’  Anyway, it’s time for ‘Easy Monday’ and I’ll bet you know this one:  “Hot town, __ __ __ __,  Back of my neck gettin’ dirty and gritty.  Been down, isn’t it a pity, doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city.  All around, people looking half dead, walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head.”  Hint:  Title is four words, it’s a seasonal song.

Adventures with Chopper continue.  He and Daku are best in the mornings, at least at this point.  The morning exercise now includes Chopper running a few times with Daku, and then ambushing him in the middle of the lawn.  Daku makes a game out of it and they have fun, but later when it’s time to rest, Daku wants to be left alone.  Imagine, you’re taking a nap and all of a sudden a little wide-awake ball of energy pounces on you and wants to play.  This is when Daku barks.  Chopper gets it and leaves him alone.  The beat goes on.

Saturday we were out looking for odds and ends and decided to try a new coffee shop.  Lisa spotted one on a busy little street behind the government hospital.  It’s called ‘Chao Doi’, meaning ‘People of the mountain’.  They served Lisa a very strong cup of tea and I got a ‘heavy’ cup of coffee.  A little hot water to thin them out and it was almost good.  At 30 Baht ($.95) a cup, it’s the cheapest in town so far.  We usually don’t buy coffee based on price, we just notice.  I suppose they are catering to the neighborhood and folks who visit the hospital.  It was an experience.

We seem to be having odd luck with the coffee this weekend, which is crazy since we’re in the coffee capital of Thailand.  Sunday afternoon we went to ArtBridge to so Lisa could submit a piece for the ‘Small Painting’ exhibition next month.  Once again, coffee was not very good.  I think that baristas are so used to making the drinks with lots of milk and sugar, that the art of the simple cup of coffee has been lost.  There are places that still do it right.  It’s time for a master list of shops that brew ‘real coffee’ (555).  

Sunday evening we had dinner at the mall with our friends Lisa, Molly and their dad Edwin.  Lisa and Molly are half Thai and fluent in Thai and English.  I always get a kick out of the looks they get from the waiters when they order in Thai, because they don’t look Thai.  They live on Buffalo hill and their account of last week’s storm was very different from ours.  They had big hail, but they also had a tornado.  The twister wandered through parts of Chiang Rai and did some damage.  Lisa showed us a video of the rain coming into her house.  A section of the roof was gone.  Edwin has four daughters and when they visited, he took all of his kids to the movies to see ‘Black Panther’.  He mentioned that the theater keeps the English language films as long as they are getting traffic.  When attendance falls off they pull the films.  Guess I’d better get down there before it’s gone.

Today, Lisa went to The Wanderer to have lunch with Nurse Pay.  At least that’s what she thought.  I got a call informing me that Pay had wanted both of us to come.  She and her husband Boy and their son were also there.  I had just finished my lunch when Lisa arrive to take me to The Wanderer.  We had a nice time with the little family.  Loo Lit, their little boy, is 2 years and 4 months old and has a cute personality.  Once he got comfortable with us, he offered to take me to see the big long fish that he calls the alligator.  Our little adventure took us to the koi pond and then every large pot that had fish inside.  Note: they all have fish in them.  Boy teaches electrical engineering and repair at the vocational school.  He doesn’t speak English but Pay keeps him in the loop.  Loo Lit would rather listen to short stories in English than Thai.  Pay wants him to be bilingual.  

Today’s photo was taken at The Wanderer after our lunch today.

Have a Great Week.


“The noblest of pleasure 
is the joy of understanding.”
~Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Funnies


This morning’s forecast called for thunder storms.  We know this to mean that it might rain, or it might just be noisy.  This afternoon it actually rained.  There was also wind and hail, which was a surprise, but not entirely unknown.  The storm lasted about 35 minutes and left us with a bunch of the giant leaves in the front yard.  The sky is clean, and the lawns and trees are happy.

The ‘Zany Day’ tune was “Leader of the Pack” by The Shangri-Las.  Our ‘Old School Friday’ song should have you singing along:  “You don’t remember me, but I remember you.  ’Twas not so long ago, you broke my heart in two.  __ __ __ __, pain in my heart, caused by you, you…”  Clue:  1958, lead singer’s first ‘name’ was ‘Little’, and apparently he cried a lot.

Mornings are definitely different at The Big Brown House.  When we go downstairs to feed Daku, he starts looking for Chopper.  If he hears him, he wants to find him.  Our exercise routine has been altered by the little dog.  He tries to keep up, but sits and waits, which means Daku has to veer over and have an interchange.  Today Mr. D did better as far as keeping his attention on his job.  Chopper, on the other hand, has the attention span of a puppy (555).  He’s all: bite that, run over there, hop on that, fall down and bite this…  When Daku is near him, he becomes the focus of his attention.  This afternoon they were hanging out in the kitchen and we could hear Daku barking at Chopper.  His voice is back.  He tolerates the puppy to a point, and then he lets him know it’s time to stop.  At one point I peaked in and Chopper was lying on Daku’s back.  He was cool with that until Chopper bit him on the ear.  

We spent part of the morning searching for a black light to detect ringworm fungus, and a new bed for Daku.  We came up blank on those, but at Tappawan art supply store we got an interesting history lesson.  While Lisa was getting the large plastic mounting material for a new cast acrylic print, I was wandering around the store.  I noticed a rectangular ‘mural’ style art piece that bore a resemblance to members of the family that own the store.  I mentioned it to Supalak, co-owner of the store and she confirmed my suspicion.  She had her son Pete give me the whole story.  The first figure was Pete’s grandfather, who founded the store and was mayor of Chiang Rai for four terms.  This was in the middle 60s.  Then there was Pete’s dad, who was an architect and designed the original Clock Tower in the center of town.  The next images were Pete’s grandmother and mother in the store, then Pete and his wife Jaeb at a computer, and finally, their son Charles, holding a toy rocket ship.  They had asked two artists to work on the concept, but when he told a few others about it, they wanted to be involved since they ‘grew up’ at Tappawan as kids.  Four artists were a part of the tribute and I’m glad I noticed.

The afternoon was full of drama.  It seems that Gong was done with the puppy and wanted to sell him.  For various reasons, he had reached the limit of what he could handle.  Everyone was disappointed and we tried to find alternatives, but couldn’t.  Then we found out he had sold Chopper to someone on the internet.  Lisa spoke to Gong, time passed and then we were told that Chopper could stay.  I think when he realized what an impact he had on all of us, he relented.  Raising a puppy is not easy.  Especially when you have a two year old and you’re living in a small space.  Somehow it will work out.  

In the world of children and animals, sibling rivalry is bound to happen.  Today’s photos show Lisa soothing 'the kids’, letting them know that they are still loved.

Have a Wonderful Weekend.     Time for the ‘Funnies’.  This week we’re going Old School, with words.


Thursday, February 22, 2018



The days are getting warmer.  By ‘days’, I mean the whole thing, from early morning to evening, it’s all getting warmer.  You know what that means?  It means that in a week or so everyone will be talking about how hot it is (555).  I’m quite OK with it.

It’s nice when a ‘Zany Day’ song has friends on the first day.  So it is with this tune.  Let me know if you remember.
“My folks were always putting him down (down, down).  They said he came from the wrong side of town (whatcha mean when ya say that he came from the wrong side of town?)  They told me he was bad, but I knew he was sad.  That’s why I fell for __ __ __ __ __.”

This morning Daku was on the lookout for his new friend.  Chopper came out during the time when we run Daku and it was their first real play time.  Chopper followed Daku around the yard and even managed to run all the way across the lawn, once.  After that, he’d stop half-way and wait for his big friend to return.  They would both pounce at each other, make little circles, and make sure the other was chasing them.  Chopper would chew on Daku’s ear, or his tail and Daku just let him.  They have bonded and it has us all very distracted.  They’re so much fun to watch.
I think Neechanon is the only one who is not totally taken by their play.  This afternoon while Natcha was cooking, Daku was ‘baby-sitting’ Chopper.  Neechanon was working her special phone, singing songs and watching counting videos.  Her biggest involvement was fussing when Daku’s tail hit her in the face.  

We had our mid-morning coffee at Chivit Tamma Da, relaxing by the river.  The air was clear and the mood was quiet.  A perfect way to prepare for the Super Highway just around the corner.  We’re becoming ‘regulars’ at Browney Pet World.  Since it was impossible to wash Daku’s bed, we got him a new one.   It wasn’t until we were far from the store that Lisa realized the bright orange cushions would clash with our bed-spread.  Hmm, a new spread is easier than getting another bed for ‘The King’.  This one is rather regal.  There’s a lady in the Big Market that can whip out a new spread in a couple of days.  

The big dog news today was that Daku barked, twice.  He literally hasn’t barked in years.  He heard Chopper yelping and barked in concern.  This is a good thing.  Maybe they were communicating.  Hmm.  We await more barks.

Thanks to the new VPN and the Canadian Broadcasting Company, we’re watching the Olympics when we can and getting to see them without commercials as well.  Today I connected my laptop to the TV, so now we have a nice big picture of snow and ice (555).

Today’s photo is called ‘Let’s Play’.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“In order to carry a positive
action, we must develop a
positive vision.”
~The Dalai Lama

Wednesday, February 21, 2018



The sky was cloudy this morning in Chiang Rai, but the clouds didn’t last against the hot sun.  Another one of those days.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “My Girl” by The Temptations.  I told you it was easy (555).  This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song might be remembered by some:  “[spoken] Is she really going out with him?  Well, there she is.  Let’s ask her.  Betty, is that Jimmy’s ring you’re wearing?  Mm-Hmm.  Gee, it must be great riding with him.  Is he picking you up after school today?  Uh-uh.  By the way, where’d you meet him?  [sung]  I met him at the candy store, he turned around and smiled at me, you get the picture? (yes, we see).  That’s when I fell for __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  By a group name for a mythical place.  There were motorcycle sounds in the recording.  

When we got up this morning, Daku had a different attitude about Chopper.  He must have thought about it overnight (he does this) because he was eager to see him.  We could hear his little puppy yelps from our kitchen.  Later we learned that his first night in his new home was typical.  He woke up a lot and did what babies do.  Fortunately, Natcha and Gong are fairly new parents so they knew what to do.  Clean up after the baby.  Later, they had fun in the yard.  

We cruised over to The Wanderer this morning for coffee.  Khun Noot, Kwan (Mercy’s Mom) and Kern were in the patio having coffee so we had to show them ‘baby pictures’.  

Our day took a dramatic turn when we took Daku to the vet to check on a missing patch of fur.  After the usual wait, it was determined that it was what is commonly known as ringworm (which is actually a fungus infection).  With only one instance of it on him, we are hopeful that we caught it early.  We have to find a hand-held black light so we can see if there’s any more.  What it meant in the short term was shampooing the dog with a special soap, and washing all his bedding, toys and brushes.  Daku was unfazed by most of this, and just wanted to see the puppy. 

This afternoon the Chinese Drum Units came to our street.  First they stopped at Bed Villa and then the big house across the road.  There were firecrackers, lion dancers and a drum circle that was pretty cool.

I’ll leave you with another photo of Chopper, showing his amazing eyes.

Could be a Wacky Wednesday.


“You have to dream before
your dreams can come true.”
~A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Tuesday, February 20, 2018



Another hot day in Chiang Rai.  That about sums it up.  The overnight temps are still very cool, meaning the pool doesn’t warm up for swimming.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song dates back to 1965 from a label in the ‘Motor City’.  It was the first major hit for the group that sang it.  “I’ve got so much honey, the bees envy me.  I’ve got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees.  Well, I guess you’d say, what can make me feel this way?  __ __ (__ __, __ __) talkin’ ‘bout __ __ (__ __).”  

The puppy arrived and we are all thrilled.  His name is Chopper and he’s 7 weeks old.  We saw a photo of his dad and he’s quite handsome.  The little bed we got for Chopper would have been too small in a few weeks so we got a bigger one.  He met Daku and really wants to be friends.  Daku is cautiously interested.  He wanted to go outside and be with Neechanon, Gong and Chopper, so that’s a start.  We took a ton of photos and Natcha is doing the same.  Needless to say, today’s photo is Chopper.

Having a new dog that isn’t our dog is going to be an interesting experience.  We have to let them raise this little guy the way they know how.  That is not to say that we won’t step in with some advice from time to time.  Fortunately, they listen and have already asked for help on a few topics.  Chopper likes us, ‘cause he’s a puppy.  I have to remember:  he’s not our dog.  No you can’t take him home with you (555).  When he looks at you with those mysterious bright blue eyes, it’s mesmerizing.  Tatt, our former student, is mad about Huskies and will probably want to book a bus to come visit.  

This morning, after a pick-up at the post office, we dashed through Makro and went to Melt In Your Mouth for coffee and our talk with Joe.  We have learned to adjust our composure when encountering new servers at the various places we go.  Today we had what was clearly a ‘new guy’.  Twenty minutes after ordering coffee and tea, the coffee came, but there was no tea.  They were out of Earl Grey, but he didn’t think to tell us.  Instead, he brought the honey for my coffee and gave it to Lisa.  What?  It was one of those ‘Let it go’ moments.  Not everyone has the same level of minimum education here.  There are some young people who only go to the 9th grade.  There are others who are given a job but get minimal training.  This probably happens all over the world, but understanding why, takes it to a different level.  Everyone cannot go to high school.  It’s just too expensive for many families.  If there is no family business, it becomes a struggle to obtain even minimum wage work.  

Saturday we went to the ‘Expat Club’ meeting to hear a vet that we went to back in the early days when we first got BamBam.  It was billed as a talk about, among other things, the relationship between Thais and their pets.  He almost got to that part, but questions from other directions sidetracked his talk.  One remark that was of interest to me was his response to someone using the term ‘law enforcement’ when talking about strays, etc.  He said, ‘We have laws, but no enforcement’.  We have seen this with the burning every year.  'A new law….’, and the burning continues.  He did state that there seems to be a new generation of pet owners that tend to keep their pets inside and give them more care than the traditional pet ‘owners’ who supply food for their pets but little else.  Hmm.

Tomorrow we’ll get to hear the stories about Chopper’s first night away from his mother.  I wish Neechanon could tell us her thoughts on the whole change.  Right now, I think she likes him as long as he leaves her stuff alone (555).

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Simplicity is the ultimate
~Leonardo da Vinci

Monday, February 19, 2018



The weather has been on a lot of peoples' minds lately.  With hot days and cool nights, it feels a little odd for this time of year.  Nothing I can do about it, just enjoy the parts I like.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley.  This ‘Easy Monday’ song is one of the easiest:
“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.  When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.  Well, I guess you’ll say, ‘What can make me feel this way?’  __ __, talkin’ ‘bout __ __ (__ __).”  Hint:  I’m tempted but I won’t.  You should know this.

Saturday evening we had dinner at the mall with our good friends Sutheera and Nukoon.  It’s always fun when we get together, sharing different takes on local life as well as the political scene.  There is a theory that some of the land that’s being bought in Chiang Rai will remain vacant until there is a new government.  Speculation is the name of that game, at least when it comes to homes.  Nukoon has a big pond on their property and a duck decided to move in.  She spends the nights in a tree and flies down in the mornings and floats around all day.  Not a pretty duck, but a duck just the same.  

There were lots of celebrations around town and I think the reason is similar to the other holidays.  This is the first Chinese New Year since the end of the mourning period for the late King.  The balloon festival was bigger this year and there just seemed to be bigger energy everywhere.  

Sunday afternoon we went to The Wanderer for a concert of Biggles Big Band, a group from Amsterdam that makes an annual tour of Thailand.  We’ve seen them before, and they were good.  The band is bigger this year, with a string quartet added, as well as a few new horns.  It was also nice to see some women playing in the horn sections.  They did a segment with the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra but we missed that.  We saw a few of our Thai friends there although most of the audience was made up of the local expat community.    

Today’s photos are a ‘Tree Update’.  There are two trees in our yard that were planted in memory of our dear friend Blue Johnson.  They are doing well and both have started to bloom.  It’s the first time for the little jasmine tree to bloom and the flowers are very fragrant.  Our friend Claire said that the new flowers are like Blue saying ‘Hi’.

This afternoon we went to get the second injection in the Dengue Fever vaccination series.  Our doctor talked to us about new findings and said that if we hadn’t actually had the fever, we should not take the vaccine.  I wasn’t sure if I really had it so they did a blood test and it turns out that I didn’t.  That meant I didn’t have to get a shot today.  I just had to give blood, which is still on my list of things not to do (555).  

The big news around here is that tomorrow Gong and Natcha will be bringing home a 2 month old dog.  It’s a Siberian Husky.  Gong has wanted a dog since they move in and they are confident that they can handle it and Neechanon, who has not met the dog yet.  More will be revealed.  Daku will have a new friend that hopefully will like to play.  He has missed that.  

Have a Great Week.


“We don’t stop playing
because we grow old; we 
grow old because we stop
~George Bernard Shaw

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Funnies


The weather?  Hot with moments of Really Hot.  The smokey air didn’t come until after dinner, so we had a beautiful day.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Maybellene” by Chuck Berry, 'The King of Rock & Roll’.  There, I said it.  ‘Old School Friday’ is up next:  “You know I can be found, sitting home all alone.  If you can’t come around, at least please telephone.  __ __ __ to a heart that’s true.”  Hint:  That should be enough to get this tune.

This morning, at 6:30am, the drumming started, announcing Chinese New Years.  I couldn’t tell which side of the river it was coming from, but it was a whole bunch of drummers.  There weren’t a lot of firecrackers during the day, which was a surprise.  We forgot to wear some red when we went out this morning.  My ancestors would be shocked (555).  At Big C the staff were all wearing some variation on the Chinese theme.  Some shops had matching red dresses for their employees.  

At the mall there was a lot of activity, we don’t know why except that it was a major holiday.  At Starbuck’s the power went out and we had to wait for it to reboot.  It came back on but the register wasn’t working so we just left the money.  Weird.  I am still getting used to seeing whole families hanging out at the mall.  It’s obviously not every family that follows the traditions of family unity and togetherness, but it seems to be very prevalent in regional cultures.  When I was a teenager, if we had malls back then, I wouldn’t have wanted to be seen with my parents.  

Downtown on Tanalai Rd. this afternoon, many shops closed early.  It was eerie to drive down the street and see so many store fronts completely closed off.  We went to The Wanderer for something cool to drink and saw families visiting.  This will be a big ‘dinner night out’ all over Thailand.  

Right around dinner time I heard Natcha call upstairs.  As I got to the landing I heard Neechanon’s little voice calling me.  Now she has my name down perfect.  Lisa said she was pointing upstairs and saying my name, and something else.  She’s also saying Lisa’s name.  We are both in the two syllable club (555).  No more Nee and Ca.  She was walking around with a phone that Natcha has loaded with songs for kids.  Neechanon knows how to scroll to her favorites and sing along.  I managed to catch a photo of her in action.  The second pic is her ‘Playhouse’ with some of her stuff inside.

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


Wednesday, February 14, 2018



The weather turned out to be hot today.  It also had that smokey haze that usually doesn’t come until later in the month.  At some point every day we have bad air.  Hmm.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “You’ve Got A Friend” by Carole King, then James Taylor, then everybody else (555).
That means there’s nothing left but to get crazy with a ‘Zany Day’ tune.  “As I was motorvatin’ over the hill I saw __ in a Coupe de Ville.  A Cadillac a-rollin’ on the open road.  Nothin’ will outrun my V8 Ford.  The Cadillac doin’ about ninety-five, she’s bumper to bumper, rollin’ side by side…”  Hint:  One word title is a name.

We set out on a different kind of adventure this morning.  After parking downtown near Tanalai Rd. (one of the busiest parts of the business district), we got coffee at Destiny Cafe, then walked up to the ‘Eye Guy’ on Tanalai.  We ordered reading glasses with the tint that filters out the blue light from computer screens.  The street was very busy and had the feel of a big city.  If all the streets were like that it would be cause for concern, but when only one is bustling, not so much.  Next stop was Teppawan art supply store.  We’re friends with the family and it always means starting in the rear of the store, greeting ‘Dad’ and pleasantries with Supalak, with whom Lisa exchanges photos and greetings every morning via ‘Line’.  When the items on the list were collected, we moved to the next stop.

Oh, what a busy place this is on Valentine’s Day.  We saw the build-up yesterday and this morning it was on full blast.  Down in the fruit market section we encountered a real traffic jam.  The street has fruit stalls on one side and stuffed animal shops on the other.  There is only room for one side to have parked cars, but today, there was double-parking on both sides.  That meant that the two-way traffic had to take turns, reluctantly.  It took awhile, but we managed to get our fruit and go.  

Monday, when we were at Big C, we spotted a Valentine’s Day photo background they had set up.  A selfie wouldn’t work so we ask a woman passing by and she took our picture.  Just two crazy kids running loose in the store.

This afternoon we were supposed to go to the DMV about our license renewals but we just couldn’t bear it so we stayed home.  Tomorrow!  

It’s gonna be a Wacky Wednesday.


“Treasure your relationships,
not your possessions.”
~Anthony J. D'Angelo

Tuesday, February 13, 2018



Another carbon copy day in Chiang Rai.  Actually, it was a little different in that the morning was warmer.  

I was pretty sure this ‘Easy Monday’ tune was going to bring lots of answers.  I’ve heard from a few.  Here’s more:
“You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running to see you again.  Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call, and I’ll be there.  __ __ __ __.”  Clue:  This chorus from the song is the essence of the song.  The singer is declaring that they have your back.

This morning we returned to Melt In Your Mouth for coffee and a conversation with Joe.  While we were talking, the sound of ceremonial music came from the bridge.  Four silver vans preceded a pick-up truck carrying a large, white seated Buddha and the truck was playing the music.  It seemed so natural for that to happen.  We really have been here a long time (555).  Across a small channel off the Kok River we saw one man fishing with a crude spear gun, and another casting a net.  Morning life by the river is fascinating.

Today’s photos were taken at ‘Melt’.  The first was the view from our table.  The second photo is a garden next to Melt and related to the restaurant.

Part of getting a driver license is a certificate from a doctor.  In the past, we had gone to a doctor who gave a strange ‘test’ requiring us to hold our hands above our heads, wiggle our fingers, and a few other things.  We went in search of his office but he had moved on.  That meant an afternoon trip to Overbrook Hospital for the paper. 

The best time of day to visit institutions is in the early afternoon.  This seems to be a consistent rule of thumb for us.  Today at Overbrook was no exception.  After the usual check-in, there was a short wait to see the doctor.  This time we had a real exam.  The doctor asked us important questions about our health and made sure we were aware of the consequences of driving in poor health.  We are now cleared for take-off.  Tomorrow we’ll tackle the DMV in the early afternoon (555).

We had a visit from Neechanon after lunch.  She has been spending time with her aunts and we’ve missed her.  She immediately went to the bookcase and pulled out a book we brought back from the States.  On the ‘A’ page she spotted an apple and named it in a big confident voice.  What was significant is the fact that she has been taught to pronounce the ‘L’, rather than saying ‘appun’, as is often the case.  Brava to the aunts.  There was a little meltdown when it was time to go, but Natcha always distracts her so gently that it doesn’t last long.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.

“Clouds come floating into 
my life, no longer to carry rain
or usher storm, but to add color
to my sunset sky.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, February 12, 2018



The local weather has been close to ideal.  Cool evenings and warm days in the mid-80s.  Now all we need is a little rain to wash the sky and water the lawn.

I don’t think anybody remembered Little Richard singing “Send Me Some Lovin’”, but it was and still is a monster ballad.  Never mind, it’s time for ‘Easy Monday’, where we all know all the songs (555).  “When you’re down and troubled, and you need some love and care, and nothing, nothing is going right.  Close your eyes and think of me, and soon I will be there, to brighten up even your darkest night.  You just call out my name…”  Hint: I don’t know if we need hints today.  

Today in Thailand (Feb. 12) is my birthday.  Yesterday we had a party, since Monday really isn’t a party day (555).  There were 28 adults, 3 small children, and 1 very small visiting dog.  Everybody had a good time.  The Wanderer brought over another of their outrageous chocolate cakes, and friends brought orchids and fruit.  The weather was perfect, and nobody in the neighborhood burned any trash, meaning the air was pleasant.  We discovered that some of our friends were actually friends with each other and we didn’t know.  That made for some nice surprises.  Lisa choreographed the event and Natcha and Cat helped make sure everything ran smoothly.  When it was over, there was lots of stuff left over.  Most of it consisting of things we don’t eat, so we gave it away.  It was a good day.

Today’s photos are from the party.  

Since Natcha and Gong worked so hard all day, we went out for dinner.  The closest place was The Wanderer so that’s what we did.  When we returned home we didn’t realize how tired we were.  It actually carried over into today.  We had no shopping to do so we just went to Work@Home for coffee.  

After wearing black for the year of mourning, most of my T-shirts are black.  The weather in the mornings isn’t always warm enough for a loose fitting shirt so T-shirts work best.  Having said all that, we went to Big C so I could get a few shirts with color.  We finished our morning in the street with lunch at Melt In Your Mouth.  Sitting outside with the river in front of us was very relaxing.  

Tomorrow we go to the ‘DMV’ to renew our licenses.  Here’s hoping we don’t have to take a written test or watch the rumored 1 hour movie (555).

Have a Great Week.


“Common sense is not so common.”