Thursday, May 31, 2018



Weather wonder of wonders:  It didn’t rain last night or all day today.  Now watch, tomorrow it will storm (55).  We’ve started reading the forecasts for Culver City and Palo Alto, CA since we’ll be there in a week.  Which clothes to take that we will probably never wear?

A few fans of the 70s knew this week’s ‘Zany Day’ song.  Here’s some of the second verse:  “If it were easy as fishin’ you could be a musician, you could make sounds loud or mellow.  Get a second-hand guitar, chances are you’ll go far if you get in with the right bunch of fellows.  People see you having fun, just a-lying in the sun.  Tell them that you like it this way.  It’s the work that we avoid and we’re all self-employed, we love to work at nothing all day. And we be __ __ __ __ (every day), __ __ __ __ (every way).  We been __ __ __ __ (it’s all mine), __ __ __ __ and working overtime.

This morning we learned that Neechanon and Gong are both sick.  Lisa told Natcha we’d eat out, just take care of each other.  We began our day with coffee at Eight Cafe, the little place not far from our house.  Then we drove through the little village of Ban Mai and stopped to check out another gym we saw last week.  The sign outside said, ’50 Baht per day’, same as the other gym.  It’s not as big, but they have some nice machines and weights and we learned that between 9am and 12n, it’s basically empty.  So, we have a new gym.  It’s way closer than the first one we tried, it’s cleaner, and the guy who runs it speaks a little English.  

These are the days before a big trip across the water when we make sure all the supplies are in place for the dogs. To that end, we went up to Dr. View’s for vitamins, etc. and then to Makro for their food items.  

The plan for the rest of the morning was the bank and the mall.  Thursday mornings seem to be quiet time at the bank.  There was hardly a wait and then we were out.  The mall was a different story.  We got there 5 minutes after it opened and it the lot was already crowded.  Where did they come from?  We had lunch and picked up a few things.  At Banana, (a computer, phone, and digital type place) I got a couple of memory sticks.  I was floored at how cheap they were.  I remember when a 500 megabyte hard-drive was a big deal.  Today I got a tiny little USB drive that holds 16 gigabytes for about $5, from a name brand company.  I think I should go back and get more while they’re on sale.  

We don’t actually leave Thailand until just after midnight on June 7, but we have to take the last flight out of Chiang Rai on June 6.  That means a long evening at BKK.  Nothing we haven’t done before, but it means we must  leave home way before we leave Thailand.  Our prep is a few days early because we have visitors coming on Sunday afternoon.  Ariel and her son Max are friends of Joe, Lisa’s dad and have been traveling in The Kingdom.  We have a couple of days to show them the sights and hang out a bit.  I’m looking forward to meeting Max, who is 10, and getting his perspective on the trip.  

Today’s photo was taken at ArtBridge.  The postal service asked for some examples of decorated mailboxes that could be featured around the town.  We don’t know much else about the project, but they would add a nice touch to any neighborhood.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Why stand in the shadows of
yesterday, when you can stand 
in the light of today?”

Wednesday, May 30, 2018



This is one wet rainy season.  They all are, but this is ridiculous.  We woke up to a soggy yard again today.  It gets better, the water drains, and then it rains again.  This afternoon it was off and on for about 3 hours.  When it was on, it was on.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Got To Get You Into My Life” by The Beatles.  This week’s ‘Zany Day’ tune is from the land of ‘Eh’ and ‘Oout’, by a band that was known by their initials for their fans.  “You get up every morning from your ‘larm clock’s warning, take the 8:15 into the city.  There’s a whistle up above and people pushin’, people shovin’ and the girls who try to look pretty.  And if your train’s on time you can get to work by nine, and start your slaving job to get your pay.  If you ever get annoyed, look at me I’m self-employed.  I love to work at nothing all day.  And I’ll be __ __ __ __ (every day)….”  Hint: The implies getting things done.

This morning we met our friend John for coffee at The Wanderer.  We haven’t seen him in weeks.  He and his wife Aey went to Europe to see many things.  To say that we laughed a lot would be an understatement.  In addition to travel stories, we discovered that we have some similar aches and pains, which is always comforting (555).  

Neechanon has had a cold this week and it’s being difficult for her.  When you’re 2 years old and your nose is stopped up and your face hurts, it’s sometimes hard to be civil.  If things don’t go the way she wants (as if she really knows) she goes into a melt-down.  As soon as she’s offered an alternative thought, she comes right out of it.  It’s fascinating, in a way.  I went up to our bedroom and Natcha and Neechanon were just leaving.  Neechanon wanted to stay.  When she couldn’t, she had a fit.  A little later she and Lisa came up and she was all happy and smiles.

This afternoon an ambulance was coming down the street with its lights flashing and I could hear the siren.  Just as it passed, I heard the familiar sound of an ‘old school’ siren, the kind that winds up from a low growl.  That was a real blast from the past.  Reminded me of the old movies made in the 40s and 50s.

Today’s photo was taken on our way home from Chiang Mai last week.  At our mid-way coffee stop  I spotted this display for Crocodile Oil.  There was a very long list of claims for what it can do.  We didn’t buy any this time (555).

Yes, it’s a Wacky Wednesday.


“Forgive yourself for not having the foresight
to know what now seems so obvious in the hindsight.”
~Judy Belmont

Tuesday, May 29, 2018



We’ve stopped looking at the forecasts.  We look to the sky to find out what will happen with the weather.  Our guess is as good as theirs (555).

The ‘Easy Monday’ song is still waiting to be named.  I won’t harass my readers in the States since it’s a holiday.  Oh wait, you should keep up (555).  “You didn’t run, you didn’t lie, you knew I wanted just to hold you.  And had you gone you knew in time we’d meet again for I had told you.  Ooh, you were meant to be near me.  Ooh, and I want you to hear me.  Say we’ll be together every day.  __ __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  It’s from that album that’s about ‘round and ‘round. 

Last night we were in the kitchen after taking Daku out for his evening stroll.  He turned to me and started acting agitated, and then began to wave his paw in front of me.  This usually means he wants something, but he had just gone out and the normal pattern is to go upstairs.  I went to the stairs but he didn’t want that.  Then I felt something in my shirt, and it was moving.  I brushed my shirt and the bug fell out and went under a chair.  Daku stopped ‘bugging’ me.  He was upset about the creature and was trying to tell me.  That’s my boy.

Our morning adventure consisted of a 10-minute drive north to Ban Du, for coffee and hang out with Cat.  While she had breakfast, we talked about her grades and how well she’s doing.  She was feeling bad about having a 3.5 GPA.  I would have loved to have those numbers back in the day.  She works hard and it’s paying off.  Her part-time teaching job is giving her an early glimpse into the plight of the school teacher.  Cat has done the math and realized that it takes 4 hours of preparation for two hours of teaching, and she doesn’t get paid for that time.  The fact that she enjoys what she’s doing is promising.  

Whenever we sit down with anyone, there always seems to be a part of the conversation that has to do with culture.  Today, Cat brought up the tradition of going to the home of the older members of her village on holidays, and paying respects.  She understood it when it came to her older relatives., but when it’s people she doesn’t really know, she wondered.  We talked about how the traditions keep villages together as communities.  We also touched on the shrinking of those communities as young people move away.  It was a good talk.

There was a 3 o’clock downpour that was quite eerie.  We had seen the dark clouds approaching and then it just got dark.  The wind came up and then the rain came.  There was a heavy mist, and then it skipped a few steps and went into crazy downpour mode.  It was over in less than 20 minutes.  

Today’s photo is a few months old, but it captures the mischievous part of Neechanon.  ‘Of course these are my shoes’.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“There are two great days in a
person’s life; the day we are
born and the day we discover why.”
~William Barclay

Monday, May 28, 2018



The weather around here has been rainy.  The patterns have been broken, it just rains whenever it wants to and we just listen to the pitter-patter.  Big rain this afternoon, the front yard may be saturated.  Daku tip-toed, Chopper frolicked.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins, then Elvis Presley.  For ‘Easy Monday’ I’ll choose tried and true winners for $100.  This one is an old favorite:  “I was alone, I took a ride, I didn’t know what I would find there.  Another road where maybe I could see another kind of mind there.  Ooh, then I suddenly see you, ooh, did I tell you I need you, every single day of my life…. __ __ __ __ __ __ __”.  Hint:  It’s those 4 lads from across the pond, celebrating a new friend.   

Saturday we went to Work@Home for coffee and had a great visit with Katai and Towan.  We told them about the Women’s art exhibition Lisa will be in this July in the city of Nan.  They have a tractor outlet there and are going to go for the weekend and show us around.  It’s a long way from home (3+ hours) and it will be nice to have friends we can communicate with.  Towan is going to be in a car rally in September that will go from Pattaya, which is one of the southern beach cities, and end in Cambodia.  It will be about a week of driving.  He and his driver are also doing a series of rallies in Thailand.  I didn’t know this kind of competition happened here.  If one comes close to Chiang Rai, I’d like to stand on the side of the road and watch the cars zoom by.  

Sunday we had lunch at The Wanderer with Susan and Noy.  We have known them for a long time here.  They have the hydroponic lettuce farm in Mae Chan.  We had such a good time, laughing, telling stories and talking about our animals.  They told us about a Mexican restaurant in Mae Chan, high on a hill and they say it’s pretty close to the real thing.  When we get back from the States we’re going with them for lunch.  

Our calendar is getting very busy.  We have house guests coming for two days, right before we fly to the States.  In the meantime, there are coffees, lunches, errands and, lest I forget, packing for the two weeks we’ll be gone.

Around the Big Brown House, the cuteness continues with Neechanon.  She called me for lunch and when I didn’t race right down, she apparently got in my chair and began tasting my chicken.  Natcha hurried her out of the chair, but we thought it was cute.  Are we those ‘relatives’ that spoil the kid?  

Today’s photo was taken by Lisa and is a great portrait of Daku in meditation.  He usually stays like this for about 10 minutes, just staring off, clearing his mind.  

Have a Great Week.


“Facts do not cease
to exist because they
are ignored.”
~Aldous Huxley

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Funnies


It seems like it rains every night.  Tonight is no exception.  First, there’s the thunder prelude in G.  That’s followed by a heavy breeze in D, and then the big drops in the key of R (555).

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix.  Time for another ‘Old School Friday’ that was a double hit.
“Well, it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready now go, cat, go.  But don’t you step on my __ __ __.  You can do anything but lay off of my __ __ __.”  Hint:  Easy song about shoes.  I once had a pair of white bucks.  Who remembers how we kept them white?  Double Cool Points if you name both the hit makers.

Just as we were about to head upstairs and have breakfast, we heard the stirrings of our house guests.  It turned out to be a leisurely, laidback kind of morning.  The only thing on the agenda was coffee/tea at The Wanderer.  The place was still fairly empty when we got there, so it could be enjoyed in the morning silence.  That ended when we walked down to the river and the ‘security geese’ sounded the alarm.  If anyone were to try to enter the property by way of the river, they would be announced by the three vocal geese.  We learned a lot from hanging out with Aom and Yo.  They are both from Southern Thailand, and bring new energy to our never-ending cultural conversations.  With Chiang Rai natives we get the Northern point of view on all topics.  Now we have the Southern aspect and it clears things up.  For instance, there is a strong Malaysian influence in the speech patterns, appearance and traditions.  In the North there is a very strong connection with the Chinese ancestry.  All proud to be Thai, but also proud of their regional heritage.  

We had wanted to introduce Khun Aom to Khun Noot, but Noot had just finished driving from Bangkok.  That’s a 12 hour drive.  I can’t imagine doing it, but she loves to drive.  

Neechanon starts pre-school next month.  She’ll go for four hours a day for two weeks and then the time will be extended.  Wow, where did the time go?  She already knows a lot and talks a hundred miles an hour.  We were laughing with Natcha about how she will be coming home each day with so much to tell.  

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


Thursday, May 24, 2018



We had an overnight rain that seemed like it wouldn’t stop.  Sometimes hard, but mostly just very steady.  Most of the daytime was rain-free and cooler.

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song has been well remembered.  “__ __ all around, don’t know if I’m coming up or down.  Am I happy or in misery?  Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me….. Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?”  Clue:  This artist once opened for The Monkees.  

Today was really like a Monday in that we went to The Wanderer for Coffee and then on to Big C for a big shop.  We did it all early enough to have some relaxing time when we returned home.  This last road trip left both of us a little worn.  I have a head cold that probably invited itself to live with me before we left for Chiang Mai.  Now it’s really settled in and making itself at home.  I don’t like it one bit.  I asked it to leave and got nothing but a sneeze.  It should be gone by the weekend.

This evening we met Aom and her friend Yo at 9 Art Gallery to look at Lisa's exhibit.  After an intense walk-though of the whole show, we went to Chivit Tamma Da for dinner and more conversation.  Yo is a graphic designer who originally trained as a architect.  She is helping Aom with the concept for the next balloon festival in March of 2019.  From dinner we came back to the house, where they will spend the night and we’ll probably go to The Wanderer for breakfast.  It’s being a good visit, getting to know more about Aom and seeing her vision.  

Here’s another set of photos from Rice and Zen outside of Chiang Mai.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Green is the prime color of
the world, and that from which
its loveliness arises.”
~Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Wednesday, May 23, 2018



Chiang Rai had a cloudy morning and an afternoon rain.  It was an interesting change.  Tomorrow, slight chance of rain and still hot.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “On Broadway”, originally by The Drifters, and later by George Benson.  Here’s an easy ‘Zany Day’ for you:  “__ __ all in my brain, lately things don’t seem the same.  Actin’ funny but I don’t know why.  ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky.”  Hint:  1967 was a very good year.  There’s a color involved.

The week seems a little off balance since we really didn’t start it until today.  Spending Monday and Tuesday in Chiang Mai made it seem like the weekend.  Hmm, how to challenge your senses.  Add to that, the fact that we talked to Joe in Palo Alto, California on his Tuesday instead of his Monday and our international space time thing got shifted.  Warped, that’s the word.  We also had a great conversation with our nephew Gavin, in Colorado on his birthday.  

After a stop at ArtBridge this morning, we met Cat at Shong Cafe for coffee/tea and breakfast.  She’s been teaching a lot because the schools have been on a break, so many students had time to study English.  Now that their school is back in session, there are not as many young students.  Everything changes.

On our way from Shong to Browney Pet World, the traffic on the highway slowed down to a crawl.  On the other side of the road there were at least 10 police pick-up trucks, with their lights flashing.  I thought it was an accident, but they were apparently conducting a raid on a small shipping company.  We may never know the details, but I do know that contraband from Burma travels through Chiang Rai on it’s way to the south and eventually Malaysia and other places in the region.  The police often get ‘tips’ and swoop in and make big busts.  That may be what we were witnessing.

Tomorrow our friend Aom is arriving and will stay with us for a few days.  We’ll take her to Lisa’s exhibition and probably go by ArtBridge and The Wanderer.  

Today’s photos from Rice and Zen are of two interesting features.  The first is a tropical sala, with lounge.  The bottom pic is the ‘toilet room’ as a surf shack.  

It looks like a Wacky Wednesday.


“People may hear your words,
but they feel your attitude.”
~John C. Maxwell

Tuesday, May 22, 2018



Last night it rained a little in Chiang Mai.  It rained a lot in Chiang Rai.  Natcha told us it rained for 3 hours.  We’re back in Chiang Rai and there is no rain tonight.  The rest of the week is anyone’s guess.

A few readers remembered the ‘Easy Monday’ tune.  It was first recorded in 1963 and has been a hit many times.
“They say that I won’t last too long __ __ (__ __).  I’ll catch a Greyhound bus for home, they all say (__ __).
But oh!  They’re dead wrong, I know they are, ‘cause I can play this here guitar.  And I won’t quit till I’m a star __ __ (__ __).”  Hint:  It’s the street of dreams for musical theater.

This morning Lisa went to the U.S. Counsel General's office to handle some routine business for our retirement visas.  Most of the time we both go, but this time only one of us could go.  The security only permits visits for those with an official appointment and my going along was not ‘official’ enough.  

We have been using ‘Grab’ a lot on this trip.  It’s a ride system similar to Uber, and it has been very efficient for us so far.  We leave the van in the hotel parking lot and just press a button on our phone, it asks where we’re going and in less than a minute, usually, it confirms that we have a ride and how long we have to wait.  The cost is less than a taxi or a Tuk-Tuk.  We first heard about it a few years ago when we visited Singapore.  Now it’s all over Thailand.

We had lunch with our good friend Marty, at an Indian restaurant called ‘Le Spice’, which sounds French to me.  We were the only patrons in the place and it was a mellow time.  He’s originally from New York and I met him when he visited Chiang Rai years ago.  

The ride home was pretty smooth until we got to the construction area.  The traffic was light but it didn’t make the  bumps and holes in the road any easier to negotiate.  Maybe by the next time we drive to Chiang Mai they will be done.  

Daku was very happy to have us back at home.  Neechanon was also happy to see us.  When Gong brought our bags upstairs, she raced ahead of him.  When the closet door was opened, she dashed inside, asking for ‘canome’, the word for treat.  She remembered that we used to have little crackers in there.  She let it go when Lisa told her they were all gone.  Hmm, that was easy.

Today’s photos are from Rice and Zen.  The first is their Zen Garden and the second photo shows one of the cabins in a wonderful green.  After ten years, the place has a character of it’s own.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Imperfection is beauty,
madness is genius, and it’s
better to be absolutely 
ridiculous than absolutely 
~Marilyn Monroe

Monday, May 21, 2018



The weather in Chiang Mai has been hot.  This is our second night here and we’re hearing thunder rolling around in the distance.  Chiang Rai has rain in its forecast for the rest of the week.  Oh joy.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley.  Apparently, nobody remembers this song.  Whata shame.  Anyway, here’s an ‘Easy Monday’, I think:  “They say the neon lights are bright __ __ (__ __).  They say there’s always magic in the air (__ __).  But when you’re walkin’ down that street, and you ain’t had enough to eat, the glitter rubs right off and you’re nowhere (__ __).”  Hint:  It’s about a street in a big city.  

Sunday morning we got on the road and headed south for Chiang Mai.  We made our traditional stop at Charoen Gardens for pie, but started with a little meal, since lunch would be later than usual.  The apple pie was delicious of course.

The drive to Chiang Mai normally takes 3 hours, even with the stop for pie.  We got a big surprise in the form of major road construction that added another hour to our journey.  Giant machinery was hard at work, chewing into the side of a twisty part of the road, making it wider on both sides.  The traffic going south (us) moved slowly, but kept moving.  The northbound had a long line of cars just sitting.  When the trucks had to do something near the road, everything stopped.  Water trucks were used to keep the dust down, but meant that there was a thin layer of mud that is now all over the van, with more to be added tomorrow.  

When we got to town we went to our first appointment, which was our chiropractor.  A few things were adjusted and new exercises given to help stabilize my lower back.  From there we went to our hotel.  To say that we love the Dusit D2 would be an understatement.  As soon as we pulled up, the parking attendants opened the doors, welcoming us back.  Some of the staff were genuinely happy to see us.  It was like that in the dining room as well.  When we sat down the check in, we were told that the level of room we had reserved was full, so we had been upgraded to a suite.  Oh, what a shame.  Now we have a sitting room, a changing room, and a bigger bedroom and bathroom.  

Our big adventure came late in the afternoon when we met with our friend Khun Aom, the producer of the Chiang Rai Balloon Festival.  The plan was to go to dinner, but first she wanted to show us a place in the country.  We drove into an area with huge rice fields and forests until she turned onto a little road.  It seemed like we were going up a long driveway.  We were at the entrance of a tiny boutique bed and breakfast called ‘Rice and Zen’.  They have tiny little cabins for only 3 parties at a time.  Aom is friends with the owners and they let roam around and take photos.  We fell in love with the place and hope to return someday.  

Today’s photos are from ‘Rice and Zen’, Chiang Mai.  The horses in the second photo are made of pieces of wood.  More tomorrow.

Our Sunday evening ended with dinner at a little Italian restaurant in the same area.  Wonderful food and a mellow vibe, just us in the dining room.  

Have a Great Week.


“When the power of love
overcomes the love of power
the world will know peace.”
~Jimi Hendrix

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday Funnies


Considering the history of the week’s weather, today was a great day.  Blue sky, drifting clouds and a mini shower made it cooler than most of the week.  More like this please.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Charlie Brown” by The Coasters.  It’s time for another dose of really old stuff.  That’s right, ‘Old School Friday’ is upon us.  “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…. I don’t want no other love, baby it’s just you I’m thinking of.”  Hint:  This gem from 1958 may have been written at Heartbreak Hotel.  The singer is asking her not to be so mean.

This morning we had a couple of errands in Ban Du, which is north of us.  Both places didn’t open until 10am so we set out for coffee.  We decided to take a chance on a fairly new place close to the house.  We watched it being built a few years ago, and it has changed management, but this was our first time actually going inside.  They call it a cafe, but it’s a coffee and dessert shop.  The coffee was strong, but good.  The cups were another story, the handles would barely accommodate a finger.  It took both hands to lift the hot cup.  Good coffee and cool music make it worth another trip.

Today’s photo was taken at our new local coffee spot.  As you may have figured out, the pedals don’t move, but cool idea.

Cat came over and hung out for awhile this afternoon.  She and Neechanon had a long conversation and then Neechanon took her hand and led her around the kitchen.  When Cat asked her where they were going she replied, “traveling”.  This evening Cat and Rachel, the Director of The Freedom Story, were going to make a Skype call to the States and Cat would be interviewed for a Podcast.  Tomorrow she will have her first adult English language student.  She’s been preparing for this all week, since it’s a new thing to teach someone older than herself.  

We went to The Legend Resort this evening for a wine tasting.  It was presented by the Chiang Rai Expat Club.  We arrived early and got comfortable seating in the air/con room and connected with some good friends.  That made it a fun evening.  As we usually do, we stayed a few hours and as the wine started talking we made our exit (555).  We did have some interesting conversations and got caught up on a few rumors, etc.  You know, who sold what, and what’s going up on the big corner by the airport, blah, blah, blah.  

We have a busy weekend coming up.  Tomorrow night we’re attending a ‘going away’ party for Tawee and Beth, who are moving to Canada.  Tawee has been the Thailand director of The Sold/Freedom Story since the beginning.  Sunday morning we will drive to Chiang Mai and stay until Tuesday morning.  It’s a combination of business and pleasure.  On Monday I’ll report on the pie (555).

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


Thursday, May 17, 2018



We had another storm last night.  It was mild on the rain, but the thunder and lightning show was dramatic.  The daily rain today came early.  We had an early afternoon display of light and sound, with a little rain on the side.

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song has lots of friends.  Here’s the last verse.  “Who walks in the classroom, cool and slow?
Who calls the English teacher ‘Daddy-O’?  __ __, __ __, he’s a clown, that __ __.  He’s gonna get caught, just you wait and see (Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?)”  Clue:  The title is a name.

Daku has a pretty good vocabulary of English words, and also some Thai.  One word that always gets a strong reaction is ‘Popsicle’.  Yesterday he was lying down in the kitchen, half asleep when Lisa ask if he’d like one (a little kibble frozen in water).  Suddenly, his head popped up and he was on his feet, headed for the refrigerator.  

At our lunch with Jimmy and Poui it was suggested that we get to work on our wall-extension project before the new neighbors started building.  That way, we have priority as to the height of the common wall.  Without building codes to adhere to, it’s first come, first served.  With that in mind, we headed down to Thai Watsadu this morning to look for a material that would meet our needs.  We think we found the right thing made from brown fiberglass.  The next step is to contact the builders that Poui uses and relate the plan to them in Thai.  Since they’re coming with big praise from Poui and Jimmy, we’re feeling confident that this is going to work.

Since we were in the neighborhood of the building supply houses on the Super Highway, we went a few yards down the road to Home Sukkapan, where we got the tiles for the pool redo.  There is something about going to look at tile that begins with excitement, and then the eyes glaze over, the fingers get numb and it all becomes a blur.  We found a non-slip that’s better than most and it peaked our interest.  Slowly, the idea of non-slip is gaining ‘traction’ and we’re seeing more styles with better grip.  After 10 years, we’re realizing there are things in the house we’d like to change.

Next month Neechanon will start going to pre-school.  Wow, where did the time go?  Natcha and Neechanon are going to look at the school this week.  Today’s photo was taken at Swensen’s Ice Cream.  This is the face of concentration.  I call it ‘Where to Start?'

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Smile at the obstacle,
for it is a bridge.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2018



Last night we had the weirdest storm this year.  Along with wind and rain, there was thunder that felt like it was right above the house, and lightning that looked like lights being turned off and on, continuously.  We had never seen this before.  It went on for longer than usual, sometimes with no sound of thunder, just the flashing lights.  Right now it looks like we’ll have a quiet night.  Both yards flooded, but were clear by morning.  Yea.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder.  It’s ‘Zany Day’ time with a song that should be easy.  I’m trying to use tunes that are familiar.  “Fe-Fe, fi-fi, fo-fo, fum.  I smell smoke in the auditorium.  __ __, __ __, he’s a clown, that __ __.  He’s gonna get caught, just you wait and see (Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?).”  Hint: ‘Peanuts’ anyone?

During last night's storm we learned something.  Normally, we take Daku out at 9pm, so he can sleep through until his internal clock says it’s time to get up (6am).  It was so wet and full of lightning that we stayed in all night.  He did fine, slept through the storm and didn’t bug us to go outside.  It’s good to know on those nights when we just don’t want to take the dog out (555).

Our lunch date was at 12n, so we filled the morning with small errands that needed attention, all the while moving closer to our destination.  Starting at Work@Home and a brief visit with Katai and Towan, then on to Teppawan Art Supply for a variety of things.  On the road to the golf course, we made a stop at Global House, one of the new generation of home supply stores.  It’s like a Home Depot, with everything one could imagine, except that they won’t cut wood.  That still baffles me.  

We got to Poui and Jimmy’s at exactly 12 noon.  We had a fun time getting updates on various improvements, talking about everything from the weather to work crews to life on the golf course, and then lunch.  The food was that kind of tasty where you can’t stop eating.  For dessert, we had fruit.  The mango was from their tree and it was so good.  Poui gave us a bag of them to take home.  Her mom gave us our first banana tree and I reminded her of that.  Jimmy is from Australia and is hoping to finally retire in their ‘dream home’.  He loved the fact that they are surrounded by green space with a lake right off the back of their house.

Today’s photo was taken in our room when Chopper hung out.  

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


Questioner: "How are we to treat others?"
Ramana Maharshi: “There are no others." 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018



The weather is holding on hot.  We had a few dark clouds this afternoon, but they just drifted away.  On the plus side, we got to swim again today.

One more day for the ‘Easy Monday’ song.  I threw you a clue yesterday, but only one reader knew the song.
“You must have know that I was lonely, because you came to my rescue.  And I know that this must be heaven, how could so much love be inside of you?  __ __ __ __ __ __ __, that’s why I’ll always stay around.  You are the apple of my eye, forever you’ll stay in my heart.” Hint:  He used his fingertips to launch a career.  This should be easy. 

In the mornings, after Daku has his breakfast, we usually take him out of the kitchen so Chopper doesn’t bite him.  This morning he didn’t want to leave, but wanted to play with Chopper.  He got a soft toy and put it in Chopper’s face.  Chopper took the toy, and held it instead of biting Daku.  Daku has decided to teach him how to play.  It was one of those special moments.

By the time we got to Big C, it was crazy.  The back-to-school shopping is in full force, with the uniform section extra busy and the computerized embroidery machines working overtime.  I still find it fascinating to see kids trying on school clothes over their street clothes.   

Yesterday was Ploughing Day.  That’s the day, with much ceremony, that the Royal Oxen sample various grains and plants.  The one they linger on will be the big crop of the coming year.  It also marks the beginning of rice planting season.  Our photo for today is the big rice fields near the Frame Factory of Khun Todd.  

Tomorrow we will have lunch with our friends Poui and Jimmy.  They have a house at Santaburi Golf Course.  It’s a golf course surrounded by private homes on a large piece of land owned by the Singha Beer Corporation.  We’ve been there before, but things change, so this will be an interesting adventure.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“You miss 100% of the shots
you don’t take.”
~Wayne Gretzky (Hockey Player)

Monday, May 14, 2018



The weather in Chiang Rai has been hot and mostly dry all weekend.  Saturday afternoon we had a little rain, but everything was dry by the evening.  There is no rain forecast for the week.  Time to water all the things we thought the rain would handle.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Who Wrote The Book of Love?” by The Monotones.   Here’s an ‘Easy Monday’ that’s sure to please:  “__ __ __ __ __ __ __, that’s why I’ll always be around.  You are the apple of my eye, forever you’ll stay in my heart.  I feel like this is the beginning, though I’ve loved you for a million years.  And if I thought our love was ending I find myself drowning in my own tears.  __ __ __ __ __ __ __…..”  Hint: I wonder how many of you will remember this one?  Has to do with that big ball of fire in the sky.

This has been a very interesting couple of days.  The little family went to Mae Sai on Sunday and will return on Tuesday.  We have been ‘puppy sitting’ Chopper.  Normally, Chopper only gets to be in the kitchen when he’s being fed.  We have progressed to being able to feed both dogs at the same time.  Sunday night Lisa brought Chopper upstairs.  Most of the time he was on a short leash, but we let him investigate a little bit.  When he’s calm he doesn’t seem to need to attack Daku, who has grown weary of the biting newcomer.  There was a moment when they were both lying on their sides looking very peaceful.  Chopper was actually awake, but played the role very convincingly.  It seems that puppies and young humans are very similar when it comes to toys.  Sometimes the simplest thing will provide the most fun.  Chopper has adopted a large water bottle that provides him with endless joy, trying to bite it, chase it and run with it.

The weekend also brought more dirt trucks and tractor action.  The land behind us is now one big strip of new dirt.  Beyond the filled-in land there is a little driving strip for access to the various lots, and then more small farms.  They will probably disappear before long.  I guess we can say we ‘used to live in the country’.  The city is upon us.

The pool has been warm enough that we have been swimming every day.  The days have been in the 90s, so the water has been a real relief.  

Have a Great Week.


“Words are, of course, 
the most powerful drug
used by mankind.”
~Rudyard Kipling

Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday Funnies


The weather in Chiang Rai was hot and humid today.  There is the possibility of rain tonight, but it’s not looking too bad.  Last night's storm was enough to last this town for awhile.  There was lots of damage downtown and in other areas.  Power poles were knocked over onto cars, transformers exploded and signs were twisted like tin foil.  We just had some leaks.  Khun Dang, who will fix our roof, said the roof blew off his uncle's house.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song was "Crocodile Rock” by Sir Elton John.  Now we go way back in time for ‘Old School Friday’:
“I wonder, wonder who, who oo oo, __ __ __ __ __ __.  Tell me, tell me, tell me, oh __ __ __ __ __ __.  I’ve got to know the answer was it someone from above?  I wonder, wonder who, be-do-do who, __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Clue:  This 1958 hit has had many covers.  Asking the musical question about the manual on romance.

There were no lakes or puddles in the yards this morning.  Maybe the drain tanks are working.  There was a lot of trash from the trees across the street, but nothing terrible.  We went to the mall this morning to get ‘good’ eggs at Top’s Market.  We had seen photos and video of last night’s storm so we were prepared for the aftermath.  There were crews from the power company standing around, pondering how to get the cables back into the air without the concrete poles that usually hold them.  

For years I’ve been telling you about the little farm behind our house.  Lately, it keeps getting smaller as land is sold and dirt is hauled in for building.  This morning we got a rude awakening as we watched the dirt trucks bring loads that were spread over half of the tiny little farm.  By the end of the day it was clear that we’re getting even more new neighbors.  Here’s the view from our balcony. 

One of our next ‘projects’ will be to extend the top edge of our wall on the two sides where new structures will be built.  

The second photo today is to add balance.  As we see the green space being covered over, we can be reminded of the beauty of nature as presented by our friend Tamako, in this floral arrangement at Doy Din Dang.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   Time for the ‘Funnies’.   Formula One, coming to you from Barcelona, Spain this Sunday.  Zoom.


Thursday, May 10, 2018



We’re in the middle of a genuine heatwave.  How hot was it?  We swam twice today.  Then a storm came with tropical force that caught us off guard.  Thunder right overhead, wind swirling and rain everywhere.  By the time we got the leaks mopped up it was over.  A real weather day.

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song is a musical fantasy by a singer with a fetish for fancy frames for his glasses, gaudy costumes, and grand pianos.  “Well, __ __ is something shocking when your feet just can’t keep still.  I never knew me a better time and I guess, I never will.  Oh, lady, mama those Friday nights when Suzie wore her dresses tight And the __ __ was out of sight.  Laaaaa, la la la la laaaaa…”  Hint:  An animal dancing?

This was a day to recoup from the day before.  After running the dogs, we went into the pool, which has been warming every day during this heatwave.  Since it was replacing the gym, which would have been too hot, it was a serious exercise session.  A little later we made the short trip to The Wanderer for coffee.  Mercy gave us a very vocal greeting and hung out at our table.  

Today I finally upgraded the operating system on my laptop.  There were just too many ghosts in the machine.  Now I’m working with a fresh start and though a few things are different, it’s zipping along just fine.  When sending you this message begins to be a struggle, something's got to change.

This afternoon I went downtown for a visit with a friend.  He had coffee, I had water.  Late afternoon coffee can leave me staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night.  So, I’m taking back the night (555).

The suggestion of another swim was welcome after being downtown in the heat.  The water was warmer, approaching ‘too warm’, but not quite.  We just played in the water, nothing serious.  It was cooling and relaxing.  I noticed a big cloud to the west and when it blocked the sun and cast a dark shadow, it was time to get out.  Mid-way through dinner the wind came up, the thunder cracked and it was on.  Neechanon and her aunts were in the pool but got out.  Chopper came running from the front yard in search of shelter and it felt like a hard rain.

Today’s photo shows Chopper beating the heat.  Nothing like wet, cool tile in the shade.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018



The weather in a word: HOT.  The weather in two words:  Very Hot.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “We Are The Champions” by Queen.  Let’s see if you know this ‘Zany Day’ silliness.
“I remember when rock was young, me and Suzie had so much fun, holding hands and skimming stones.  Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own.  But the biggest kick I ever got, was doing a thing called the __ __.  While other kids were rocking ‘round the clock, we were hopping and a bopping to the __ __.”  Clue:  Song about a dance.

Last night we got a message from our good friend Irene, who visited us 4 years ago.  She was in Bangkok with her friend Donna and they were thinking of coming to Chiang Rai for the day.  They arrived this morning and we had a very full day visiting a few special places.  From the airport we drove up to Doy Din Dang for coffee/tea and communing with nature.  There was a gift shop involved (555).  Then we drove back into town for lunch at The Wanderer.  Lots of picture taking and introducing them to friends who were also there.  Next stop was 9 Art to see Lisa’s exhibit.  At the Big Brown House we slowed down for a much needed rest.  They didn’t realize that Mr. Lag was in the house.  Chivit Tamma Da was our next place to visit.  More photo taking and some exotic juices and conversation with the owner.  Next stop, the Night Bazaar for dinner and shopping.  After that, we got them to the airport in plenty of time to prepare for their flight back to Bangkok.  Whew!

While we were gone the workers finished the drain tanks in both yards.  We learned that the reason they didn’t return on Tuesday was that Monday wore them out.  They were tired.  I totally understand, given the temperatures they endured.  

Today’s photo was taken this morning in the front yard.  Chopper and I were on ‘patrol’ and what young boy can resist a mound of dirt? 

During our day, moving around Chiang Rai and being asked questions about our lives, I became very appreciative and grateful for what we have.  

This could be a Wacky Wednesday.


“Love will find its way through
all languages on its own.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2018



Last night we had a thunder storm.  A real one, where there is a lot of noise and a tiny bit of rain.  Today began with clear skies that were later fouled by local burning.  When will it end?

Two readers know the song so far.  The last time it was featured, a ton of you wrote in to tell me the title and group.  Here’s the second verse:  “I’ve taken my bows, and my curtain calls.  You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it, I thank you all.  But it’s been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise.  I consider it a challenge before the whole human race, and I ain’t gonna lose.  __ __ __ __, my friends.  And we’ll keep on fighting till the end.  __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __.  No time for losers ‘cause __ __ __ __ of the world.”  Hint:  When you win the highest prize you are the what?  

This morning we were expecting the work crews to return to finish the drains.  Later we discovered they will come back tomorrow.  Oh well.  It just meant we’d have less people in the yard.  

We had a fairly typical visit to Big C followed by coffee at Starbuck’s.  The one thing that wasn’t typical at Big C was the heavy action around the special school uniform display.  Racks of lavender tops and dark blue shorts and skirts would have been enough, but when you add whole families trying things on over their street clothes, it gets a little busy.  We didn’t have to actually walk through this, but the looks on some of the staff told the story.

The time that is usually allocated for our after-lunch nap was booked for a visit from Natcha and Gong’s church people.  The pastor and his wife, along with a small entourage, wanted to meet us.  We couldn’t figure out why, but said OK.  Natcha made brownies and served tea and we sat around the table and visited.  Mr. Lee and his wife are from Korea and have been here for eight years.  We knew they had a church, but they also have a center for the deaf.  There was a wide range of conversation after visiting Lisa’s studio.  After they left we figured it out.  They’re building a new center and they’re looking for donors.  So far we haven’t been approached directly, but it wouldn’t be the first time.  

Our whole day got shifted and we ended up napping longer than usual.  I have to remember that in the very hot weather the energy levels can drop a bit.  The pool guy came and cleaned the water but told us the odd appearance was from the leaves.  He said it was safe to swim, but we need to keep the plumeria leaves out of the water as much as possible.  It’s blooming like crazy right now and the flowers are everywhere.  We’d be in the water right now if the air wasn’t so bad.  Note to self:  Continue fantasy involving clear dome over pool with filtered air.  

Today’s photos are from the exhibition ‘Imagine’.  Lisa posing with her dear friend Noot, creator and driving force behind The Wanderer, who presented the artist.  The second pic is a bouquet from good friend Katai.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Great things are done by a 
series of small things brought
~Vincent Van Gogh