Monday, December 31, 2018

Corners

Hi,

We’re back from the cold north (Palo Alto) and surrounding areas.  This message is another one written in the morning, as opposed to the night before.  How cold is it?  It’s about 42°F (5.5°C) and warming.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ tune was “So Much In Love” by The Tymes.  Speaking of time, it’s time for the last ‘Easy Monday’ of the year.  Here’s one from 1964 that will be too easy for some.  “It’s been __ __ __ __, and I’ve been working like a dog.  It’s been __ __ __ __, I should be sleeping like a log.  But when I get home to you I find the things that you do will make me feel alright.”

The main purpose of our trip to Palo Alto this year was to visit with Joe.  He recently had a partial hip replacement and we wanted to spend some time with him.  Staying two nights instead of one was just what we needed to do.  We hung out, rode around town seeing sights and going to meals, and got to be with a real example of determination.  There is a restaurant that Joe likes, called ‘Stacks’ but he only goes there when we’re in town.  We weren’t sure just how active he was, but he wanted to go to Stacks for breakfast both mornings while we were there.  Another place we all love is Cafe Zoë, where we go for coffee, sandwiches and brownies.  It’s run by a mother and daughter and they rock.


Sunday was fun at Joe’s.  He had a visit from Christina and Doug,  who are good friends of his. We met them over 20 years ago at a party at their house.  They were both Stanford professors and that night is a blur, but meeting them again was very stimulating.  She is a painter and writer about to be published, and he is a retired researcher who is still researching ground water pollution.  We covered a lot of topics, learned and laughed a lot.  

So that was the positive, wonderfulness of our adventure.  There was also some weirdness.  It seems that every airport in the world has a different way of dealing with people in wheelchairs.  LAX is no exception.  When we fly Southwest, we’ve always been ‘TSA Pre’, meaning pre-screened, meaning no special searches, laptops stay in the bag, easy screening.  It just takes one person not paying attention to throw off your whole day.  I ended up having to do the whole line thing, wheelchair sitting at the side.  After the x-ray machine I was frisked, swabbed with no explanation.  Still trying to let it go.  Oh yeah, and the back didn’t appreciate it one bit.

Natcha has been sending photos and videos of Daku and Nitchanan and it’s been our touch of home.  Natcha made a soft, warm scarf for Joe and it has become part of his cold weather uniform.  Natcha and Nitchanan spent a night in the guest-room with Daku so he’d feel comfortable.  That was very thoughtful.  We could sure use her help on this trip (555).

Today is mellow day, so far.  We have our traditional lunch with Paul, Joy and Leilani and then the day is ours.  

Have a Great Week.  Don’t forget to be cool and stay warm on New Years Eve.  Today’s quote is from the wall at Zoë’s.

                   Peace,
                             Danny


Friday, December 28, 2018

Friday Funnies


Hi,

Today is a travel day.  We’re going to Palo Alto to visit with Joe, Lisa’s Dad.  Stuff I said about Southern Cali being cold are to be suspended for two days while we shiver in Northern Cali.  It’s colder there and you’ll hear about it next week (555).  Sorry this is so late, but our morning was a tighter schedule than we thought.  We landed in San Jose and are now in Palo Alto with WiFi.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”, originally by Spike Jones and his City Slickers.  That’s pretty Old School, but in a different way.  ‘Old School Friday’ is next, and it goes out to a couple of kids vacationing in Long Beach, escaping the winter in Colorado.  “As we stroll along together, holding hands, walking all alone.  So in love are we two that we don’t know what to do.  So in love, in a world of our own.” Hint: The title is in 4 words.  This one is from 1963 and the group name is a variation on spelling of the thing that clocks keep.

Between the cold air, wind, and our current physical ‘limitations’, we’re doing less than usual on this Winter Visit.  I think it will get better as time goes on, but for now we’re just a bit at a time.  Yesterday we had Cousin’s Lunch at Tree House Thai and it was giant fun.  We strolled down memory-lane and realized some common memories that we didn’t know about.  We learned about the growing meal delivery industry and just how to use it during our visit.  As a result, we had a Mexican dinner delivered to the house.  

Going outside at night in the cold wind is not for the faint of heart, but I did it last night and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I suppose one’s motivation can be a big factor.  My motivation was getting to a meeting.  Cold? What cold?

The next chapter in our saga is this morning’s trip to Palo Alto to visit with Joe.  We’re going to try something different this time.  Anna suggested we use Uber or Lyft for some of our trips and that’s how we’re getting to LAX today.  Airport shuttle buses have a drop-off point that requires a long walk to the check-in desk.  That will not work for us, besides, it’s cold out there.  With a ride from Lyft we can be dropped off right at the airline check-in counter, get our chairs and head for the ‘inspection’.  If this works, it will not only be more convenient, but save time. 

The photo below is one of Lisa’s works from a new series of ‘Paper Sculptures’, a concept that she has created.  The  piece is made from paper, glue and paint (with a little wire for support).  It is currently on display at the Annual ArtBridge Member Exhibit.  


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

                         Peace,
                                   Danny


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Attitude

Hi,

Guess what?  It’s still cold.  Yeah, you’re going to hear about it ’til it gets warmer.  In the middle of the day I can switch from the warm ‘wonder jacket’ and go to the lightweight Big C windbreaker.  Hmm, weather management at it’s finest. 

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song has one of the longer titles I can remember.  It kind of gives the whole song away, makes it hard to be subtle with the lyrics.  “Gee, if I could only have my __ __ __, then I could 'with' you a ‘Merry Christmas’.  It seems so long since I could say, ‘Sister Susie sitting on a thistle!’  Gosh oh gee, how happy I’d be, if I could only whistle (Thhh).  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ (etc).”  Clue:  Incisors are involved.

Yesterday morning we saw our ‘U.S. chiropractor’, Franco Columbu.  He knows our bodies and it baffles me how he can remember the little things.  He adjusted me and Lisa, and then discussed Lisa’s progress.  We learned a lot in one visit.  We’ll go back on Friday before we go to Palo Alto.  Oh, these bodies.

After lunch and a nap, Darryl and his daughter Kaylani came to visit.  We missed seeing them on our last visit, so it was cool to see them this time.  It was good to find out how things are going in his life as a single dad.  When you hear the depths of what people go through, respect grows.  We’ve known Darryl since he was 14 years old.  Wow.

Dinner with Denny and Sheila was lots of fun.  The food was good, the conversation was fun, but we’ve decided to meet at a new restaurant next time.  When we started, the place had just opened.  Mid-meal, it was so loud that it became hard to hear.  

Right now, it’s Thursday morning and we’re having a long video chat with Cat.  She’s preparing for her trip to Indonesia on a teacher exchange program.  She will be in Padang for one month, teaching English in a village.  Another adventure.

For the first time since we’ve been living in Thailand and making these trips to the states, the famous ‘Cousin’s Lunch’ will be held in Southern California.  There will be seven of us for lunch today at Tree House Thai.  This should be a gas.

Here is a photo Lisa took on a tour with Anna of the lighted yards in Culver City.  Unicorns really are real.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“The only disability in life 
is a bad attitude.”
~Scott Hamilton

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Life

Hi,

What can I say, it’s cold in Southern California.  It’s early in the morning and brrrr.  I am confident that the day will warm up.  In the meantime, layers of clothing are the key.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “The Christmas Song”, sung by Nat ‘King’ Cole and written by Mel Torme.  Time for some silliness in the form of a ‘Zany Day’ song.  “Everybody stops and stares at me, these two teeth are gone, as you can see.  I don’t know just who to blame for this catastrophe, but my one wish on Christmas Eve is plain as can be:  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __….. Then I could wish you, ‘Merry Christmas’”.  Hint: Originally, from 1948, it’s been around and still has a bite.  

Yesterday morning we did the traditional gift exchange with Jeff, Anna, August and C.  Anna made her irresistible cinnamon rolls and turkey bacon.  Anna also acted as MC for the proceedings and had us cracking up. There was a large helping of laughter.  A virtual ‘Yule Log’, provides a fireplace on your TV.  ‘C’ played a Youtube ‘Log’ that consisted of a shirtless guy eating chicken wings and basically being gross.  Holiday fun for sure (555).  

In the late afternoon we drove out to Hidden Hills for another family gathering with The Valley Cousins.  There were people we hadn’t seen in years, including Sharon, the matriarch of the family.  There was more laughter, lots of interesting insights, and tamales.

This morning we get to see our longtime doctor and friend, Franco.  He has helped us for years and sounded confident that he could do it again.  Maybe this will be the day that things get set right.  I certainly hope so - we’ve got things to do (555).

To end the day, we’re meeting Denny and Sheila in Manhattan Beach for dinner.  

At the airport in Taipei, there are several theme-oriented waiting lounges.  The photo below is the Taiwan Music Industry lounge, giving a history of the industry.    


It Feels Like a Wacky Wednesday.

                Peace,
                          Danny

“It takes half your life before you discover
life is a do-it-yourself project.”
~Napoleon Hill

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Mad


Hi,

Before we begin, here are the numbers, in case you’d like to reach either of us while we’re here:

Lisa  (213) 285-3284   Danny  (213) 290-8304

The weather in Culver City and the surrounding area is cold at the night and the mornings.  The daytime heats up, I guess.  Yesterday I wore my new jacket all day.  Not because it was new, but because I wanted to stay comfortable.  This is all based on being used to Chiang Rai temps.  I’ll get used to this, maybe take the jacket off by noon, eventually (555).

The ‘Easy Monday’ song is clearly a holiday number.  I’m going to fast-forward to the bridge, which may be more familiar:  “They know that Santa’s on his way.  He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.  And every mother’s child is gonna spy, to see if reindeer really know how to fly.”  Hint: It’s so easy.  Today’s holiday is in the title.

Driving to a few places yesterday was a fun experience.  I stayed on the right side of the road and only used the wipers as turn-signals a few times.  We were amazed by the amount of building going on.  Actually, I suppose it could be called ‘rebuilding’.  We think Chiang Rai is going through a building boom, but this is something entirely different.  

We knew, before we got here, that shopping for groceries would not be possible in our usual way.  Our friend Paul offered to help us with our bags, once we arrived at the house.  He and his daughter Leilani came over and handled the bags like they were pillows.  When we asked if he could help with the shopping, like go to the store with me, he volunteered to do it by himself.  I sent him a list and didn’t have to try and walk around, acting like I was OK.  We will be forever grateful.

Our afternoon nap was sponsored by Mr. Lag.  I woke up just in time to get ready for dinner.  Anna made a beautiful fish dinner.  Sadly, I couldn’t partake because of a  shellfish allergy, but it looked and smelled delicious.  August is home on his Christmas break from college, which totally blows my mind.  Yes, the same ‘Mr. August’ who we followed through the years, is all grown up.  His older brother, now known as ‘C’, seems to get cooler with time.  Can’t wait for this morning’s festivities around the tree.

And then there was the time we went to Perth, Az and saw this beautiful sunset.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“When we remember we are all mad,
the mysteries disappear and life stands
explained.”
~Mark Twain

Monday, December 24, 2018

Rules

Hi,

So, we landed at LAX this morning and experienced cold fog.  Nobody told me about that.  The weather will be colder than Chiang Rai, but we’re ready for it.  The little apartment where we stay was decorated with lots of holiday cheer and gave us a warm, homey feeling.  Anna left lots of special touches around.  One of my faves is the space heater.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was that old holiday standard, “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt.  ‘Easy Monday’ should be familiar to some:  “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose.  Yuletide carols being sung by a choir and folks dressed up like Eskimos…”  Hint:  The title is not sung, but is a very simple description of the song itself.  

The Saturday birthday party for Nukoon was a lot of fun.  We learned a lot about Japan from Nukoon’s sister Jen and her son Pui.  They go back and forth to different regions and are in love with the place.  Two of Nukoon’s grandkids are old enough to participate in the party now and had a ball blowing out the candles on the three cakes that were provided. 

Here’s a photo of Nukoon and the ‘older’ grandkids waiting to blow out the candles.  


Cat spent the day with us on Sunday, helping us with anything we needed to do.  It made a big difference with all the trips upstairs and helping with the dogs.  When it was time to go to the airport, Cat and her boyfriend, who works there, helped us out with the luggage and wheelchairs.  The kids really came through.

In Bangkok the wheelchair guys were wild and crazy, but with a sense of humor.  They zigged and zagged through the crowds, making it feel like driving a race course at high speed.  The relative difference of sitting in a chair is amazing.  We passed some people sleeping on the floor and my guy called it ‘Lie down stand-by’.  The most wonderful part of it is not having to stand in lines for the immigration process.  

The actual flights were not as painful as I anticipated.  The seats in the enhanced coach section are very comfortable and our seats were near the restroom so it wasn’t as complicated as we thought.  Going back should be much better if we take it easy and let ourselves heal while we’re here.

Off to get phone numbers and then take a nap.  It’s good to be here.  

Have a Great Week.  Merry Everything and a Happy Always.

               Peace,
                         Danny


Friday, December 21, 2018

Friday Funnies


Hi,

We awoke to a foggy morning which evolved into another warm day.  It’s time to start thinking about 10° cooler for day and night. 

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “How Come My Dog Don’t Bite When You Come ‘Round?” by Prince Partridge.  Listen and enjoy this gem from 1955  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCULQwdYZeU  ‘Old School Friday’ is next and here’s an oldie I think you all remember:  “__ __, slip a sable under the tree for me.  I’ve been an awful good girl, __ __, so hurry down the chimney tonight.  __ __, a ’54 convertible too, light blue.  Well, I’ll wait up for you dear, __ __, so hurry down the chimney tonight.”  Hint:  This could easily be an ‘Easy Monday’ entry.  I’ve used it every year so you should know it by heart (555).

I seem to have had a setback concerning my back.  Some of the progress has been undone, but we’re hoping for a more effective solution on the trip.  We stayed home today and had moments of productivity in preparation for our departure.  That means, we went upstairs and organized some of our clothes.  The temps will be cooler so it meant going to the back of the closet and finding some warm things.  That included a lot of memories.

A few weeks ago Natcha volunteered to go to the Night Bazaar and do some holiday gift shopping for us, knowing we couldn’t get there.  Last night she went, by herself, on her motorbike and did an amazing job.  She made video calls a couple of times to see if what she had chosen was alright.  This morning she announced that she would make a big batch of cookies for our trip on Saturday.  She and Gong are doing everything they can to keep up the house and make us happy.  Living in Gratitude.

We just had a visit from Natcha and Nitchanan.  Apparently, Natcha was wrapping our gift and Nitchanan insisted on bringing it to us.  She gave the package to Lisa and, with a little prompting, said ‘Merry Christmas’.  She was wearing a new coat that she insisted on keeping on, even though it’s very warm.  


This afternoon we heard the call of a real ‘Jungle Bird’.  Don’t know where it’s from, but it’s not from around here.  As the yard gets denser in parts, it does have a tropical flavor.  Unfortunately, we don’t any tropical fruits to offer our guests.  Maybe one day.

We had our own little Christmas today when we got a package containing two jackets we had ordered.  It took a long time due to the nature of Kickstarter projects, but they’re pretty cool.  They have lots of pockets and trick stuff to make traveling easier.  They’ll also keep us warm on those chilly West Coast evenings.  

Tomorrow evening we’re going to a birthday dinner for our dear friend Nukoon.  It will basically be a family affair at the restaurant of one of his sons.  We have missed it for a few years due to flight scheduling, but this year we decided to make it happen.  

The next time you get mail from me, it will be from the shores of California.  We land at 6:50am Monday, so it will be a little late coming to you.  

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   Stay tuned for a double dose of ‘Funnies’.

                       Peace,
                                 Danny



Thursday, December 20, 2018

Teachers

Hi,

This morning we had a three minute sprinkle that didn’t really qualify as rain, but dampened the street.  Then it turned into a typical warm afternoon.

There were two readers who remembered the ‘Zany Day’ song.  Today’s lyrics were transcribed by me from the recording.  There don’t seem to be printed lyrics for the original version from 1955.  Anyway, you can hear it all tomorrow.  “Now a, he’s about the meanest dog there is in town, oh yeah, he’d bite anybody, my sister or my brother, he’d even take a plug outta my old feeble mother.  Yeah, he bit the mailman, he sees him every day.  You say he never saw you before, but he wants to jump up and play?  Now I don’t know just what you’re puttin’ down.  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __?”  Clue:  The original artist had a royal first name.  

Our big adventure today was a trip to the Immigration Office for our 90 day check-in.  We have done this many times over the years, so it’s pretty routine.  It’s actually gotten easier through the years.  There is a new twist with our relationship with immigration these days.  If we travel to another province and stay overnight, we have to report to them within 24 hours of our return.  Hotels are required to report this as well.  We got a ‘pass’ this time (it’s been almost a week), but when we return from the states, we have to report the next day, Jet Lag and all.  As we were leaving, our favorite officer said, “You going back for Jingle Bells?”  

So, it’s settled, we will both be doing the wheelchair boogie through the airports as we travel to the U.S.  At one point, I thought I could hold out, but a little setback today convinced me that riding is far better than pain.  
The local airline, Thai Smile, now asks questions regarding the need for the chair, just short of a note from home (555).  We’ve known people who have requested wheelchair service and there was nothing wrong with them.  Really?

Here’s Santa’s float from the parade last night.  The reindeer were bouncing, giving it the illusion that they were about to take off.  That would have freaked out the crowd.


As the days wind down and the lists get shorter, reality sets in and the mind says:  “We’re really going to do this again.”  There is a certain muscle memory when it comes to this trip.  While we’ve made over 12 round trips and things change over time, some things haven't changed.  That’s probably a good thing.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“Good teachers know how to 
bring out the best in students."
~Charles Kuralt

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Knowing

Hi,

We had another one of those dreary morning, sunny afternoon days.  The morning was cool, the afternoon hot.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Summer Breeze” by Seals & Crofts.  Time for another ‘Zany Day’ song.  “Now you say you ain’t never met my wife, you ain’t never seen her befo’.  Say you ain’t been hangin’ ‘roun’ my crib, well here’s somthin’ I wanna know.  I wanna know what in the worl’ is goin’ down, __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __?”  Hint:  There is suspicion surrounding a visitor and a canine.  

A measure of how well we are progressing can be seen in the amount of activity outside the walls of The Big Brown House.  This morning we went to The Wanderer for hot drinks and roti, then went to the mall for lunch and light shopping.  I took a few minutes to check out our newly remodeled Apple store.  It looks very nice, too bad they weren’t giving anything away (555).  There is a very big flower display built around the signature image of one of the women artists from ArtBridge.  It’s a great promotion for the annual flower show and for Khun Aim, the artist.

In the course of all this physical drama, I’ve lost a few pounds.  Natcha is now making me the banana shakes I used to drink during the ‘bad tummy’ days.  I forgot how much I like them.  At two a day, I should be back to my boxing weight in no time (55).  

In neighborhood news, they poured the concrete floor at the coffee shop next door.  We figure they will be done by the time we return in January.  On the big lot across the road, more dirt has been added.  I’m thinking that maybe they put in different densities of dirt, or dirt that would grow things in certain areas.  The red dirt that is so widely used is not very root-friendly over time.  It’s clay and it turns to rock.  Some trees and plants can work through it, others just give up.  We wish we had known this.  It might have cost more to get good dirt, but things like healthy plants are important.

There is a bridge near us that took a long time to complete.  It’s a very nice little bridge that’s been done for a couple of years, I call it "Bridge to Nowhere.”  What?


Feels Like a Wacky Wednesday.

                        Peace,
                                  Danny

“Knowing trees, I understand
the meaning of patience.
Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
~Hal Borland

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Words

Hi,

We woke up to cloudy, looks like it’s going to rain weather.  The afternoon is bright sunshine with occasional clouds.  It’s a pattern we’re getting used to.

Even though we’re in a wintery mix around the world in the northern hemisphere, ‘Easy Monday’ can put you in an opposite mood:  “See the paper layin’ on the sidewalk, a little music from the house next door.  So I walked on  up to the doorstep, through the screen and across the floor.  __ __, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind…..”  Clue:  The moving air brings on a tranquil, laid-back vibe.  Oh, and it’s not a winter thing.

This morning we went to Overbrook Hospital/Clinic so Lisa could begin a three day series of physical therapy.  That meant listening to the doctor say things he’d said before, contradict other statements, and leave us in a partial state of confusion.  She enjoyed the P/T and learned that her technician plays Thai ‘Kick Volleyball’.  Unless one gets a very early start, there is no way to do the clinic and not blow the whole morning.  The next session will begin at 8am, giving us some time to get other things done.  

We have 5 days until blast off.  The making of lists has begun.  There are things to get done, things to get, things to remember to put on lists, there are things to remember to take, and things to order to bring back.  This can get very complicated.  Hmm.

One of the interesting things we learned in our early days in Chiang Rai is the fact that people go by their first names.  The explanation for this was explain by our driver at the time.  He said that so many last names were so long and difficult to pronounce, that it became acceptable to just use the first name.    Even with first names, it’s sometimes tricky, and so there are ‘play names’.  These range from 1 to 2 syllable words that may not be a name at all.  There are animals, verbs, fruit, candy, coffees, etc.  I think you get the point.  There are also some very beautiful Thai names that are not hard to pronounce, and add to the soundscape.  At the hospital, the nurses have to say the whole name when calling a patient to see a doctor or pay a bill.  It quickly become clear that they must go through some training in ‘seeing’ the names in a pronounceable way, and quickly. 

Sunday’s play-date produced some cute photos of Daku and Thoval (actual spelling, pronounced Towan).  Daku was trying to get a game started.


Our abilities to move forward are amazing us.  What was looking like an impossible journey to a far away land is becoming quite doable.  It’s taking a lot longer for some things, but we’re moving in hope.  Some stuff may not happen the way we’d like it to, but new things will appear.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“However many holy words 
you may read, however many you
speak, what good will they do you
if you do not act upon them?
~Buddha

Monday, December 17, 2018

Always

Hi,

We had yet to experience any rain.  The temperature dropped last night and it stayed cool all morning.  With a low  around 62° and a high in the mid 80s, this will not get us in shape for the forecasts in Culver City next week.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” by Big Joe Turner.  And that brings us back to another episode of ‘Easy Monday’, and I promise this will be a little harder than last week (555).  “See the curtains hangin’ in the window, in the evenin’ on a Friday night.  A little light a-shinin’ through the window, lets me know everything is alright.  __ __, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.  __ __, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.”  Hint:  Hit tune by a duo, telling about a gentle wind that calms everything. 

On Saturday morning we returned to the chiropractor for more consultation and treatment.  During this second treatment, a few more things were ‘fixed’ and we went to the mall for lunch and a stroll.  We decided to go back, at the doctor’s suggestion, just to be certain that everything was stabilized.  We finally got on the road and arrived in Chiang Rai in the evening.  It was a successful trip.  

Next Sunday (23) we begin our journey to the states when we fly to Bangkok in the evening for our 2:15am flight to Los Angeles, by way of Taipei.  Between now and then there’s room for more healing.  There’s also time to start packing so we don’t have to rush.  Everything takes more time these days.  

Sunday afternoon, Katai and Towan came over to visit with Daku.  They also came to see us, but the main reason was to visit the dog.  They brought him two toys.  Daku was more than pleased with all the attention.  He and Towan played and played.  I don’t know which one of those kids had more fun.  After they left, Daku slept for the rest of the afternoon.  

Natcha, Gong and Nitchanan went to Mae Sai to have Christmas dinner with Gong’s family a week early, since we will be leaving next Sunday so they will stay here.  They had figured the whole thing out and knew we’d need them.  Natcha made us dinner before they left so we could take care of ourselves Sunday evening.  When they returned, Natcha and Nitchanan came to our room and we had what is becoming a little tradition of the nightly visit.  Nitchanan passes out books and, depending on how ‘wide awake’ she is, she’ll get on the bed between us and ‘read’.  Having us downstairs has made it much easier for her to come to the room.  There are no stairs, meaning no need for an escort.  

This afternoon we drove north to Mae Chan for an appointment with Dr. Mark.  He helped us both with some very specific anti-inflamation injections that had an immediate effect.  Still learning how these bodies work.  

On our adventure this afternoon we stopped for gas and coffee.  Every PTT gas station has an Amazon Coffee Shop on the same lot.  At today’s shop they had a giant parrot in front.  So cool.


Have a Great Week.

                        Peace,
                                  Danny

“You are always responsible for how you act,
no matter how you feel.”
~Unknown

Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

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’.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Overthinking

Hi,

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.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

You

Hi,

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.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

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

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sense

Hi,

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.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-cbOl96RFM&frags=pl,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.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“Common sense is not too
common.”
~Voltaire

Friday, December 7, 2018

Friday Funnies


Hi,

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’.

                          Peace,
                                    Danny


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Cowardice

Hi,

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.

                            Peace,
                                      Danny

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Do

Hi,

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.

                        Peace,
                                  Danny

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