Monday, June 17, 2019



This afternoon all of the near misses came to an end.  We got rain.  A significant amount fell for about 30 minutes.  It still looks like it could rain again.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by Marvin Gaye.  ‘Easy Monday’ may bring back some memories from the 60’s, if you were around then (555).  “Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last.  Just kicking down the cobblestones.  Looking for fun and __ __.  Ba da da da da da da, __ __.”  Hint:  The main part of the title is not sung in the song.  There is a bridge involved.  There is also a duo involved.

Saturday evening we went to ArtBridge for the opening of “Small Sabai #4”, an exhibit of small paintings by members of the collective.  We hadn’t been to an opening in a long time and it was good to see so many friends.  It was also good to see so much wonderful art in a small format.  Now our focus is on the women’s group show which opens on June 29.  There will be 50 women participating, not only from Thailand, but several other countries in the region.  

Sunday we had lunch with our friend Edwin, at The Wanderer.  It’s always a pleasure to hang out with him.  He told us about the recent trip to Europe he and his wife took.  We discussed many topics from world news to local trivia and it never got dull.  

This morning we stopped at the shop of Khun Orn, a seamstress and while I was waiting I noticed the traffic light pole.  This happens in some neighborhoods where the locals want to add some beauty to the surroundings.

When the rain hit this afternoon, we were at Chivit Tamma Da.  We just stayed on the porch, sipped our iced coffee and watched it fall.  We were a little concerned about Natcha and Nitchanan because it was the time for them to be returning from the pre-school.  Later, Natcha told us they stayed at the school and waited for the rain to end.  

Tomorrow we go to Chiang Mai for our final treatments from Dr. Parry the chiropractor.  This time we’re going to stay with a friend of ours who lives across the street from the hospital.  That will be pretty cool, just walk across the street and we’re there.  Time to start packing the small amount of stuff we’ll need for the overnight trip.

Have a Great week.


“We live only to discover beauty.
All else is a form of waiting.”
~Kahlil Gibran

Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday Funnies


We’re getting a little annoyed with these carbon-copy days of looking like rain and not delivering.  Today we had giant, dark clouds, the tell-tale wind and still nothing.  What do we have to do, a dance?  Hmm, somewhere a dance is being prepared.

The ‘Middle Song’ was “Ain’t That Peculiar” by Marvin Gaye.  ‘Old School Friday’ is from 1965 and goes like this:
“__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.  I needed the shelter of someone’s arms, and there you were.  I needed someone to understand my ups and downs, and there you were.  With sweet love and devotion, deeply touching my emotion, I want to stop and thank you baby, I just want to stop and thank you baby.  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.  Hint:  This is a song of gratitude.  

This morning we picked up Kevi and Jesil at their little hotel at 8:30 and drove to The Wanderer.  After ordering, we picked a table for four in a small clearing, surrounded by trees and foliage.  Other than us, the place was empty and very quiet.  We could hear the geese in the distance, but that was all.  We had already had breakfast, since we get up at 6:30.  I almost ordered what Jesil had, the cinnamon French toast, but I restrained myself.  It was a little early for dessert.  Mercy came to our table and said hello to each of us.  When they had finished eating, we took a stroll down the path to the river.  There is so much to see in that short distance.  The geese sounded their alarm and began honking and shuffling around.  All in all, it was a great experience.  We left The Wanderer and came to our house and hung out for a little and then took them back downtown to their hotel.

We had one half hour before our lunch date at Sabroso.  On our way, we got a message that our date had to cancel. We still had to eat so we continued to the restaurant.  Today I ordered something different from my usual order of tacos.  They made me an order of enchiladas with the non-spicy sauce and they were good.  Now I have options.  

Stop the presses, Natcha made her famous cookies today.  She’s back!  When we got home from lunch the kitchen was full of the aroma of cocoa.  They’re not just cookies, they’re healthy cookies that help promote red blood cells. It doesn’t get any better than that.  Just can’t eat them all at once (555).

Today’s photo is the little cats that think our yard is theirs.  Three of them sunning, but one is hidden.  They just watched us watch them.  They’re getting bold.

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


Thursday, June 13, 2019



The weather people got it wrong again today.  Or maybe the big dark clouds forgot their mission.  They cruised around all day, full of water that was supposed to be dropped on us.  Instead, they leaked a bit and drifted away.

Well, only a couple of people have named the second Marvin Gaye song for this week.  See if these lyrics ring any bells:  “You tell me lies that should be obvious to me.  I’ve been so much in love with you baby ’til I don’t wanna see, that things you do and say are designed to make me blue.  It’s a dog gone shame my love for you makes all your lies seem true.  But if the truth makes love last longer, why do lies make my love stronger?  __ __ __.”  Note:  There is a line following the ‘hook’ but it gives away the title so I left it out.  Yesterdays hints still apply.

This morning Natcha came in as we were finishing breakfast.  She feels a lot better and was ready to go to work.  It hasn’t been three days since she saw the doctor, so we said she could cook, but no cleaning.  She’s taking Nitchanan to school and back and doing a few more things each day.  Daku is quite happy to hang out with her in the kitchen.

We met our friend John at Polar Bakery for a mid-morning visit.  We always have interesting conversations when we meet with him.  He’s one of the few Americans that we hang out with on a regular basis.  I mention it because there are references that we can make and understand.  Today we discussed the travel to and from the States and the feelings that arise.  It was a stimulating conversation.  In the end, there was lots of laughter and clever insights.  

When we arrived at Polar most of the big tables had ‘reserved’ signs on them.  The place was empty, but as time passed we noticed a few folks coming in and consulting with the staff.  A little later a group of monks arrived and then more folks.  As they shifted seating and rearranged themselves, John suspected it was the meal after a house dedication.  

The photo below was taken this morning as we were leaving Polar.  Look closely and tell me what you see.

On our way home we took a trip into town to the big fruit stand at the Healthy Market.  We haven’t been there in a long time.  The couple that own it were very happy to see us.  The husband was like, “Where you been?”.  It’s been a week of reunions and it feels good reconnecting.

We spent the rest of the day waiting for the rain (555).  Tomorrow we’re having breakfast at The Wanderer with visitors Kevi and Jesil.  For lunch, we’re meeting Atom at Sabroso.  It will take the afternoon to recover (555).  So much good food.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Study nature, love nature,
stay close to nature.  
It will never fail you.”
~Frank Lloyd Wright

Wednesday, June 12, 2019



The weather today was so close to rain it’s not funny.  Everything was lining up to be a nice rainy day.  It began with random drops, then a very light but steady drizzle that was visible on the surface of the pool.  Then, all of a sudden it stopped, only to return with the same pattern in the early evening.  So frustrating.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Hitch Hike” by Marvin Gaye.  Now do you remember?  Here’s the ‘Middle Song’ for the week:  “Honey you do me wrong but still I’m crazy about you.  Stay away too long and I can’t do without you.  Every chance you get you seem to hurt me more and more.  But each hurt makes my love stronger than before.  I know flowers grow through rain, but how can love grow through pain?  __ __ __?  Hint:  Something that is strange, odd, unusual, like the way he’s been treated.

We spent a mellow day at home.  Communicated with friends and took care of some business.  Natcha was feeling much better today.  She came in this morning and washed the breakfast dishes, but we told her that was all she could do.  The family went out to dinner this evening.  It’s nice to see her bouncing back.  We had lunch at home, courtesy of Lisa’s fabulous soup that she had made for Natcha.  She took some of the basic stock Natcha makes, and added noodles and her secret sauce and it made the perfect ‘cloudy day lunch’.

Next week we will go to Chiang Mai for another overnighter.  It will be our last time for treatment from Dr. Parry, our chiropractor.  His departure was moved up to the end of this month. 

My friend Kevin (Kevie-Kev) is visiting Thailand from the Hollywood area.  He and his girlfriend rode the bus up to Chiang Rai today.  After the 5pm meeting, the four of us had dinner at Sawadee Restaurant in the Night Bazaar.
As we walked through the Bazaar, all of our merchant friends told us how ‘no one comes’, meaning business has been very slow.  When we got to the ‘Scarf Lady’ she was beaming.  She had been to New York City for 5 days and was still excited from the experience.  

Every now and then Gong tries his hand at landscape ‘artistry’, and every now and then we have to say ‘no’.  Today we discovered a piece of a hollow log that he had used in another flower bed and it actually worked.  Today’s placement was just wrong, so it will have to find a new home.  It’s a great piece of wood and we’d like to see it in the yard, just some place else.  

Today’s photo was taken under the bathroom sink in a salon.  

Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“You cannot shake hands with 
a clenched fist.”
~Indira Ganhdi

Tuesday, June 11, 2019



Well, the rain didn’t come but the heat and humidity did.  There has been a steady breeze and that has helped with stirring the humidity as well as moving the occasional smoke from trash fires.  Yep, they’re at it again.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song seems to have been a ‘curve’ for some of you.  A few know the song.  Maybe this will help:
“Chicago City Limits, that’s what the sign on the highway read (__ __) __ __ (__ __).  I’m gonna keep movin’ till I get to that street corner, 6th and 3rd (6th and 3rd, __ __ baby.  I’ve got to find that girl if I have to __ __ ‘round the world….”  Clue:  The art of traveling without a vehicle, or rather, riding in someone else’s.  He was a major motor city artist.

This morning Gong took Natcha to Overbrook Hospital to see about her fever and sore throat.  She was going to go to the government hospital, but we insisted that she go where she wouldn’t have to wait possibly all day.  She found out she has strep throat.  After an injection, the doctor sent her home with medicine and instructions to rest.  Lisa made her some soup and Gong got her food.  She’s feeling a little better this evening.  

With Natcha on ‘restriction’, we’re on a tour of our eating places and hunting for new ones.  Today we had lunch at The Hungry Wolf and dinner at Sabroso (it’s Taco Tuesday).  We had afternoon coffee with our friend Atom at The Wanderer.  She is also a fan of Sabroso and we’re going to have a meal there on Friday.  

Today’s photo was taken last year on our Summer Visit to the States.  Sunset at the Pacific Ocean.  We’ll be there in less than a month.

According to the great predictors of weather, we should be getting rain tomorrow and more through the weekend.  We all know what that means:  It could happen, or not.  We are hoping it happens.  Things are green again but it’s going to take some deep watering to sustain them through the season.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Not to know is bad,
not to wish to know
is worse.”
~African Proverb

Monday, June 10, 2019



We had lots of sun, clouds and thunder, but no rain over the weekend.  As far as the gardens are concerned, we’re back in drought mode.  Rain is forecast for tomorrow.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Up On The Roof” by Carole King.  It was originally recorded by The Drifters in 1962.  King wrote many songs that were recorded by other artists.  And now, on to ‘Easy Monday’.  “I’m goin’ to Chicago, that’s the last place my baby strayed (__ __) __ __ (__ __, baby).  I’m packin’ up my bags, gonna leave this old town right away (__ __) __ __ (__ __ baby).  I’ve got to find that girl if I have to __ __ ‘round the world.  (__ __) __ __.”  Hint:  The action in the title usually involves a thumb.

Things get a little crazy around here whenever Natcha gets sick.  It doesn’t happen often, but this time we had to fend for ourselves over the weekend and probably for a few more days.  Oh, poor us (555).  Saturday evening we were going to go to ArtBridge for an opening but decided to just stay at home.  It’s good we did.  Cat called later to say that she didn’t come over because the roads to our house were blocked for the ‘Chiang Rai Night Run’.  It’s great that there was a run at night, not that it was much cooler, but there was no blazing sun.  

Sunday we went to The Wanderer for lunch and ate dinner at home again.  There are other things that have to be done and it makes us even more grateful for all that Natcha does.  We don’t want her to work when she’s sick and this is one of those times when we told her to follow the doctors instructions and relax.  It’s a flu of some kind and we know how awful that can feel.    

This morning we went to Chivit for iced coffee and then down to Big C for a few supplies.  We lunched across the road at Central Plaza, then went down to the lower floor for a quick visit to Top’s Market.  As soon as we arrived there we saw our friends Chalit, Nu, and their mom.  They operate Bliss photography studio and we’ve been friends for many years.  The coconut cookies we were looking for were not to be found, but it’s OK.  May have to wait until Natcha is well before getting another cookie fix (555).

Daku is missing Natcha.  They are buddies and spend a lot of time together.  She usually takes him out for his mid-morning stroll around the yard, and then he’ll hang out in the kitchen while she fixes lunch and dinner.  Lately, he’s been preoccupied with the scent of the cat family from next door.  There are 4 orange cats that look like the mom, 2 teens and a kitten.  Daku has spotted them on the wall a few times and we watched them sunning in our driveway one day.  They think it’s their yard.  We check before letting Daku run out.  He would chase them, and we really don’t know much about them or how they might respond if confronted.  

Today’s photo shows Nitchanan riding her horsey.  It bounces and she hops around like an old pro.  

Have a Great Week.


“Imagination is the true magic carpet.”
~Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, June 7, 2019

Friday Funnies


Another beautiful day in Chiang Rai.  Very hot, with scattered clouds, mostly blue sky.  Same as it ever was.

The ‘Middle Song’ was “You’ve Got A Friend”, written by Carole King and also recorded by James Taylor.  The ‘Old School Friday’ song is from King's 1970 album, but was first recorded in 1962 by a group you should know.  Extra ‘Cool Points’ if you know the group.  “When this old world starts getting me down, and people are just too much for me to face.  I climb way up to the top of the stairs, and all my cares just drift right into space.  __ __ __ it’s peaceful as can be, and there the world below can’t bother me… __ __ __ __”  Hint:  The top of a building.  The title is four words.

This morning Lisa supervised some planting by the pool.  The plants we bought a few days ago have found a happy home.  Next week another flower bed will get remodeled.  

The big news around here is the revelation that the big building off the corner of our lot, will be a meditation center.  The smaller, mystery lot, will be a tiny house.  The big place should be fairly quiet if that’s really what it 
is.  Can’t imagine too much noise (555).  The photo below is from the corner of our lot, behind our pool.

The Wanderer was our coffee stop today.  We learned that the little rescue puppy, Joy (sounds like Joey), will probably be staying.  Everyone in the family, especially Mercy, has taken a liking to the little guy.  

Today we traveled to the south end of town to HomePro.  They have a garden center with lots of special things to keep plants healthy.  They also have an array of 4K HD TV monitors right in one’s path to the exit.  It always starts a conversation, as it’s supposed to, about whether seeing things in this enhanced reality is really healthy (555).  Does reality become boring after viewing the super crisp images?  Today we conceded that tennis would be better because we could see the ball better during ‘clay season’.  I’m still leaning that way, especially since current vision is not what it was 20 years ago.  

A few nights ago Cat asked a question about English that was an eye-opener.  She wanted to know why some words that ended in ‘ed’ were not pronounced with that as a syllable.  For instance: bounced is pronounced ‘bounst’ in reality.  Whereas wasted is pronounced wast-ed.  In fact, pronounced ends with the ‘st’ sound.  I never learned any rule about this and it was never really discussed.  Weird, huh?

Cat’s two-week observation session ended today and she moved back to her ‘dorm’.  Regular classes begin next week.  In her fifth year she will spend a year as a student teacher.  The school where she observed may ask her to return, in which case, she would move back ‘home’ for a year.  Daku said that will be fine with him, although, we’re reserving the right to keep him with us at night whenever we like.  

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    Stay tuned for the ‘Funnies’, which were discovered at The Wanderer.  Formula 1 is in Canada this weekend.  Zoom!


Thursday, June 6, 2019



Same forecast, different day, except that there is no rain.  Granted, one forecast said it wouldn’t hit until midnight so it could still happen.  It’s been a day of solid blue and also fluffy clouds.  Nice to look at, either way.

Well, another easy ‘Middle Song’ this week.  At this rate, there will be no challenge, only memories of favorites.
“…when people can be so cold, they’ll hurt you, yes, and desert you, and take your soul if you let them, oh, but don’t you let them.  You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running…__ __ __ __.”  Clue:  Ponder the subject of this message.

Yesterday, Gong washed the van.  It had lots of ‘puddle residue’ from past rains and it was so nice to walk out this morning to a clean vehicle.  We drove our clean van into town and visited with Supaluk and her family at the art supply store.  We hadn’t seen them since the funeral for her father.  She is going through cancer related treatments and offering support is a simple thing to do.  The whole family was there and her son Pete explained everything that’s going on.  It was a good visit and we’ll do it again soon. 

Around a very long block we stopped at Work@Home for iced tea.  Our friends Katai and Towan were not there, so we just relaxed and listened to our audio book.  There is so much activity in the central part of this town.  The main ‘market’ is the hub of commerce when it comes to anything edible, but not limited to that.  We stopped on the outer edge, looking for a dog brush of a certain style but they don’t seem to be around.  

A loop of the Clock Tower Circle and we were headed for the big pharmacy we often use.  Parking is sometimes an issue, but today it was easy.  The parking lady was at my door before I could undo my seatbelt.  She needed her 4 Baht (about 12 cents) and I surprised her by having it ready.  When we came out, there was a little Songteaw (small pick-up with two rows of seats) parked behind us, and the driver was not inside.  There was nothing to do but sit and wait.  Finally, he returned and we could prepare to leave.  I say prepare because parking is at an angle to the driving lane and visibility is low.  Lisa had to get out and signal me when it was safe to back out.  Usually the ‘4 baht’ lady does this but she wasn’t around.  

Today’s photo is the poster that we got reframed yesterday.  

We’re still trying to find out the purpose of the giant building behind us, so if you’re curious, hang on.  Fortunately, the structure directly behind us looks like it will only be one story, but that could change, I guess.  It’s also a curiosity right now.  More will be revealed.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“A friend is one who knows you
and loves you just the same.”
~Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, June 5, 2019



This morning we laughed at the forecasts, they were the same as yesterday.  What a surprise when we had a major downpour during lunch.  It didn’t last long, but served it’s purpose.  Our afternoon swim was under a bright, sunny sky.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “It’s Too Late” by Carole King.  I know, too easy for a lot of you.  Here’s a ‘Middle Song’ that is also an easy one:  “When you’re down and troubled, and you need some love and care, and nothing, nothing is going right.  Close your eyes and think of me, and soon I will be there, to brighten up even your darkest night.  You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running to see you again.  Winter, spring, summer or fall
all you have to do is call, and I’ll be there, __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  A major Carole King hit, sung by many artists.  It’s about something everyone wants/needs. 

Today’s adventures began with a Skype call with Lisa’s dad in Palo Alto, California.  He is still experimenting in his studio, trying new artistic ideas and taking chances.  Bravo.  Out in the street, we had coffee at The Wanderer and enjoyed the morning light coming through the trees.  We had a brief conversation with Noot, who was wearing a Hijab in celebration of Eid Mabarak, the end of Ramadan.  As we were leaving I spotted this beautiful flower.

We have a poster that we bought in the early 70’s and it’s hung on a wall everywhere we’ve lived.  The poster slipped inside the frame and needed repair, so we took it to a frame shop we like to use.  The owner offered to fix it right away so we waited.  Frame shops are fun places to just look around and be nosey.  A chance to peak at other peoples taste in art and framing preferences.  A familiar shape caught my eye and I had to share this photo with you.  The cultural contrast was too much to ignore.  

With our poster restored, we headed through our old, original neighborhood on the way to the Super Highway.  Our destination was ArtBridge.  Lisa had to check on a piece of artwork that will hang in the new Central Plaza ArtBridge Gallery.  It will go up this week and that’s pretty exciting.  There’s an opening of a new exhibit on Friday, and another ‘Small Works’ show for members, coming up later this month.  At the end of the month there will be the opening of the annual ‘Women’s Exhibit’.  Things are pretty busy in the Chiang Rai art world.

Just north of ArtBridge there is a new highway under construction.  Technically, it’s not open yet, but it goes from the Super Highway to Maefarluang Road, which intersects with our soi (street).  People moved the barriers some time ago and use it on a regular basis.  Today was our day to take the ‘new road’.  It is a divided highway, but there is two-way traffic on both sides.  Hmm, the ‘Wild, Wild West’ comes to mind.  Nothing says ‘Don’t drive here’ so it seems fair game.  The ride was smooth and uninterrupted.  Eventually, there will be a signal at the intersection where we turn, but even that has a free turn for us.  It’s not faster than going through town, but such an easy ride.  Zoom.

This evening we had dinner at Chivit Tamma Da with some of my friends.  There were seven of us all together, with an international flavor.  Two are from Holland, one each from South Africa, Australia, and Ireland.  We had a really great time talking, laughing and sometimes being silly.  We definitely plan to do it again.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“When one’s expectation are
reduced to zero, one really
appreciates everything one does
~Stephen Hawking

Tuesday, June 4, 2019



It was just another hot summer day in Chiang Rai.  At 7am it was 72°F and went up to 97°.  For most of the day the sky was a clear blue.  We heard thunder in the distance, but nothing came our way.  A beautiful day.

This song has to be one of the easiest ‘Easy Monday’ tunes yet.  Here’s the second verse, just because:  “It used to be so easy living here with you.  You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do.  Now you look so unhappy, and I feel like a fool.  And __ __ __, baby, now __ __ __ though we really did try to make it….”  Clue:  Time’s up.

Every night around 9pm we go downstairs and set up for breakfast and take Daku out for the last time.  Last night he was lying on his kitchen bed and apparently forgot that Cat was down the hall in her room.  Lisa asked him if he wanted to go see Cat and he jumped up and raced down the hall.  He is in heaven these days.

This morning we had a short list of things to do so we started out at Chivit Tamma Da for some iced coffee.  The view of the river was relaxing and we just went with it.  Sometimes just sitting outside, watching the water flow can be invigorating.  Eventually, we snapped out of it and moved on with our morning.

The main thing on the list was plants for a couple of gardens.  At the big nursery across the highway we drove around slowly but they didn’t have what we wanted.  Across town, in our neighborhood, we rode through our local nursery and found a bunch of things that will fill gaps and beautify.  

Our last stop was on the main road near our little soi.  There is a 7-11 next to an outdoor market, which is next to a Tesco Express.  Lisa started at the ‘7’ and ended up at the Tesco.  I sat in the van, in front of the market and watched the vendors as they arrived and set up for the lunch crowd and mid-day shoppers.  Some push their carts onto the lot, others drive up on their mobile motorbike kitchens and position them so their regulars can see them.  Awnings were tied and banners were hung.  Just in the few minutes I sat there it evolved into a ‘living thing’.  More amazing Thailand.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Always remember that you are
absolutely unique.  Just like 
everyone else.”
~Margaret Mead

Monday, June 3, 2019



The weather was wonderful over the weekend.  Blue skies, regular threats of rain, but no water, and cooler temps that were still hot but not sweltering.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Wait Until Tomorrow” by Jimi Hendrix.  ‘Easy Monday’ should be a snap.  “Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time.  There’s something wrong here, there can be no denying.  One of us is changing, or maybe we’ve just stopped trying.  And __ __ __, baby, now __ __ __.  Though we really did try to make it.  Something inside has died and I can’t hide and I just can’t fake it, oh no, no.”  Hint:  Think ‘White Rabbit’ from Alice In Wonderland. 

Saturday was another swimming day.  The pool has been just right, and the air is warm.  The muscles seem to be responding to the mild workouts, meaning not too sore afterward.  The only thing I’d change would be the construction right behind us.  If they weren’t there banging away it would be perfect.  I suppose we could go in at night, but the afternoon offers more views of the yard and the sky.  Hmm, they’ll finish eventually.

Tomorrow we’re sending Gong next door to find out just what they are building.  It has us wondering since it’s such a big building and has what one might call an industrial style roof.  The lot next to it is also a curiosity.  We have decided to definitely extend the height of our wall.  

On Saturday evening we went to Sabroso Mexican Restaurant with Cat and Natcha to celebrate Natcha’s birthday.  The birthday girl really enjoyed the food and plans to take Gong on his birthday.  They usually just like to eat Thai food, so this was a little breakthrough.  Natcha has a friend who works in the kitchen as a cook and she came out after we’d finished.  Then, of course, photos were taken of the whole event.  Cat picked up a little cake and that was a big surprise.  

Now that the air is basically clean, the idea of burning trash doesn’t seem so bad to some folks.  We have passed piles of leaves or trash burning in a front or back yard as if it’s not a problem.  A few times we’ve had to close a few windows because of local smoke.  It usually clears in a short while, but it’s still smoke.  Now is the time to pass out big fines so the word gets out that there is enforcement.  Hmm, that will not likely happen.

A few days ago I was driving down our road and came upon a police road block.  Usually, they are looking to ticket motorbike riders for various offenses but this time they were looking for someone, I think.  They stopped me and the officer asked me ‘where you come from?’ and I told him I come from my house.  He asked again and I realized he wanted to know what country I come from.  It reminded me of a Richard Pryor routine where he played the ‘Come from Man’ in an African village, questioning the tourists as to where they were from. 

This has been the weekend of the ‘Bug Bloom’, those flying ant type insects that seem to just appear out of nowhere.  We have known that people catch them and eat them, but tonight Cat told us she likes them.  She has a photo of a container full that she caught under a street light.  She put water in the bottom so they can’t fly, caught a bunch and took them home.  She fried them up and ate them.  We all laughed.  Can’t take all of the country out of the girl.

Today was the new Queen’s birthday, so it was a holiday.  Big C wasn’t very crowded, but people were gathering at the mall at the holiday start time of 10am.  As we were leaving Big C, Lisa called Natcha and Nitchanan answered the phone.  At first it was ‘Hello’.  Then no response when asked to speak to mommie.  Then Lisa asked, ‘Can I speak to Natcha?’ and Nitchanan called out her mom’s name and got her to the phone.  Growing up fast!

Have a Great Week.


“I cannot give you the formula for
success, but I can give you the 
formula for failure, which is:
Try to please everybody.”
~Herbert Bayard Swope

Friday, May 31, 2019

Friday Funnies


The rainy season is here.  It’s not at the ‘beat down’ level we know and love (555), but that drip all day phase.  I just wish it would do it all night.  Needless to say, there was no swimming today.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “The Wind Cries Mary”.  For ‘Old School Friday’ and our final Jimi Hendrix song this time around, see if you know this one:  “Well, I’m standing here freezing, inside your golden garden, got my ladder leaned up against your wall.  Tonight’s the night we planned to run away together, come on Dolly Mae, there’s no time to stall.  But now you telling me that ah…. I think we better __ __ __.  Got to make sure it’s right so, until tomorrow, goodnight.”  Hint:  Putting something off until the next day.  Hmm.

This morning, when we left for Big C, we stopped off at The Wanderer for coffee.  We were the only patrons on the grounds.  Water was dripping from the trees, but the rain had stopped.  After a round of coffee and roti, we were on our way.  On days like this we park inside at Big C.  It’s a little tricky because if you park near the door, it’s quite possible that someone will double park and block you in.  There are usually security guys who will come and push the offending car out of the way, but it’s not certain.  There is also the possibility that they haven’t left the car in neutral.  So, we park on the outer edge of the lot.  There’s always something to discover at Big C.  As we passed the men’s clothing section, I realized I could use a new pair of jeans.  When I looked at the sample rack, all of the pants had that ‘worn' look down the front of the legs.  If I wanted used jeans, I’d buy them on the side of the road at half the price.  I’m just sayin’.  

We’ve been here long enough to get used to many things that are culturally different from the States.  One thing that I’m used to, but still find refreshing is the level of respect one is given during the course of the day.  This morning, at Big C, when the produce worker weighed the carrots, she put them in the cart and wai’d.  When we walk into The Wanderer, we are greeted by the staff with a wai.  This simple thing happens many times and still fascinates me.

This afternoon I drove Natcha to Nitchanan’s school since it was raining lightly.  We never know when that can change into a storm.  Most of the ride was very light rain and it stopped when we got to the school.  As soon as Nitchanan got in the van she wanted to know where Lisa was.  Our ride home was pleasant, and I discovered that a new piece of road in our neighborhood actually goes to the airport.  Then we approached 7-11 and that’s when the meltdown started.  It happens to be one of Nitchanan’s favorite stores, along with Big C and the mall.  But ‘7,' as it’s called, has the treats. When we finally reached the house, Natcha calmed her down long enough to say “Thank you”, but she started up when the got to their house.  A day in the life of a 3 year old.  So much drama (555).  She and Daku had fun at dinner and she was mellow again.

Nitchanan figured out how to work the lights on our bookcase.  She’s a smart kid.

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


Thursday, May 30, 2019



Today was pleasant, weather wise.  The highs were in the mid to high 80’s, with a light, steady rain in the early afternoon.  Now that’s what I call a rainy season (555).  No way will it stay this mellow.

The ‘Zany Day’ song is a poetic yet zany reflection following an argument.  “A broom is drearily sweeping up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life.  Somewhere a queen is weeping, somewhere a king has no wife.  And __ __ it __ __…. And __ __ __ __.”  Clue:  There seems to be a board game being played.  Has nothing to do with the title, just thought you might like to know.

Cat got her grades from the last semester and she is maintaining a 3.5 (B+) average.  This was accomplished while teaching English in the afternoon’s and weekends.  During the day she is currently ‘observing’ an English teacher from the States who is teaching in a primary level school near us.  Two days a week she goes to an English language school, working on things that she needs to focus on for the future.

Mornings have been physically difficult lately.  Today we did something about it and drove up to Mae Chan for a visit to Dr. Mark.  It’s been almost 2 months since I last saw him.  Some of the muscle therapy treatments work for a short period of time and then it back to what seems like square one.  Longer lasting comfort comes from the injections like I got today.  Key areas of inflammation are targeted and it allows me to enjoy life a lot more.  We got back to town just in time to go for a swim.  Life is good.

This is birthday week for Tatt and Natcha.  Today is Tatt’s birthday, but we can’t call him since he’s in the army.  Natcha we get to celebrate.  We’re taking her to Sabroso on Saturday since she’s never had Mexican food before.    

The construction zone continues to evolve, even with the rain.  Working into the evening, the giant house got a corrugated sheetmetal roof.  It’s not the prettiest, coolest material to use, but certainly cheapest.  Maybe it’s a temporary thing.  Actually, none of my business.  Speaking of that, I hope it’s not a business.  The concept of zoning laws and/or restrictions do not seem to be in place in Chiang Rai, or anywhere else.  Hence, the motel and coffee shop on our ‘block’.  The photo below shows the backhoe working directly behind us.  They marked off a bunch of large squares in white paint and then the digging began.  We have no idea what this will be, since the lot is very small.  Maybe a very small house (555).

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Someone is sitting in the shade
today because someone planted a tree
a long time ago.”
~Warren Buffett

Wednesday, May 29, 2019



I think the forecast was a little off today.  The morning began like a normal, hot, muggy day, but the afternoon brought a wet surprise.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song, “Purple Haze," was one of many signature tunes by Jimi Hendrix.  Congrats to those who knew.  This week’s ‘Zany Day’ tune is also from 1967:  “After all the jacks are in their boxes, and the clowns have all gone to bed.  You can hear happiness staggering on down the street, footprints dressed in red…”  Hint: There is moving air and someone’s name involved in the title.

This morning we left the house with a list of things to do.  Our first stop was The Wanderer.  We had just ordered our coffee when Noot came out of the kitchen and told Lisa about a new tea drink she had created.  We sat down and started talking to her daughter Kwan, and before we knew it, there was a glass of iced Jasmine tea with jelly made from fig seeds.  Very interesting drink.  The jasmine gave it a slightly floral taste while the fig jelly was like a sweet something.  Next time we’ll get it with a lot less honey and the flavors might be clearer.  I love the way Noot is always experimenting with plants.  Everything in the tea was grown in her garden, which makes it a very personal project.  Later she presented us with a new kind of pancake.  Lisa had a little of that, but I resisted.  Maybe next time I’ll have a whole order (555).

There were four puppies that The Wanderer rescued a couple of weeks ago.  Three have been adopted, but one was very sick so they’ve been taking care of him.  He’s bigger now and he and Mercy, the husky, have become buddies.  

This shot was taken, I suspect, when Mercy was howling and the puppy got curious.

Back on the ‘Errand Train’, we did some banking and then went to Big C.  The asphalt parking lot at Big C was a real shock after leaving The Wanderer and the coolness of the woods.  When we finished shopping, we went across the main aisle to a store called ‘Moshi, Moshi’ to look for a small clothes hamper.  Moshi is a Japanese style store with most of the products carrying the store brand.  There are lots of clever items that can create impulse buying.  Learning how to have tunnel vision in a store like this is essential (555).  I found what we needed and we got out.

After lunch, we had just settled down for our nap and it started raining lightly.  Not long after that, we were startled by a giant thunder clap that felt right overhead.  Needless to say, it was difficult to sleep after that.  More thunder came, and harder rain.  The lawns soaked it up, but we could tell from the yard next door that a lot of water dropped.  

Construction began yesterday on the little lot behind us.  Today they brought in a tractor/back-hoe and dug holes and pushed dirt around.  They also built the ‘worker shack’ for whoever stays overnight to watch the place.  So now we have two projects going on behind us.  It’s definitely time to get more trees for the back wall. 

When Lisa returned from taking me to my meeting this afternoon, Nitchanan wanted to know where I was.  When when I returned she ran out with a big greeting.  She’s at that age where she wants to know where everyone is and what they’re doing.   

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“The aim of education is
the knowledge, not of facts,
but of values.”
~William S. Burroughs

Tuesday, May 28, 2019



Our local weather in Chiang Rai has been bringing us right up to the edge of rain, and then leaving us in a humid, tropical heat wave.  The clouds rolled in all dark and heavy this afternoon, only to fall apart and drift away by nightfall.  The pool temp was 92° this afternoon.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was known by many.  As my brother put it, ‘ the left-handed genius who left us too soon.'
“__ __ all around, don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down.  Am I happy or in misery?  Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on my.  Help me, no, no help me, oh no…” Clue:  It could be said that the title was a psychedelic reference, but I’m inclined to think of it as a fog. 

This turned out to be a ‘Home on the Range’ day.  We had a great talk  with Lisa’s dad, Joe, and then came up with a new morning plan:  Swim in the morning, then have lunch and a nap.  Unfortunately, we got carried away with news of the outside world and missed the window of opportunity.  On a not so busy day, the normal routine is lunch, nap, swim during the hot season.  Today turned out to be no exception.  It was looking threatening outside but we thought we could beat the storm.  

While we were in the water, Nitchanan came home from school.  She tore around the side of the house and came toward us with a big smile on her face.  Then she put on the brakes and asked, ‘Where’s Daku’.  Later, she related to us, but she was looking for her playmate.  We left the pool thinking it was in the nick of time, but it never rained.  

The photo below was taken at The Wanderer.  Mid-day Sunday sky through the tall trees.

The French Open Tennis Tournament started last weekend, so we're watching some of the early rounds.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Many people are alive, but 
don’t touch the miracle of 
being alive.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, May 27, 2019



To quote a song title, it’s been ‘Hot, Hot, Hot’.  We had a big storm on Saturday night, but we need more.  Grateful for it, but hot, dry air is sucking the moisture out of everything.  We make due with the pretty flowers that come when the trees feel threatened by the heat.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Best of My Love” by The Eagles.  Here’s an ‘Easy Monday’ tune that we ‘sang’ recently, but it still worth singing again:  “__ __ 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:  There’s a color involved.  There is also a guitar involved, but not in the title.

We’ve been going in the pool almost every day.  The opportunity to exercise and cool off at the same time is long overdue.  

I’m a little late today because we went to a funeral service this evening.  This morning we found out that the father of our dear friend Supaluk passed on Friday.  We didn’t know him, but went to offer support and she was very happy to see us.  In fact, she and her son Pete sat with us during the service.  

The clean air has allowed us to return to our regular programming (555).  Morning coffee in the open air is back on the schedule.  The funny part is, some days A/C would be nicer.  We usually go when it’s still cool, but if it’s not early enough, it has to be iced coffee to stay cool.  

Sunday afternoon Cat moved back to The Big Brown House and it felt like old times.  Daku was thrilled when he realized he could hang out in her room and she’d be there when he woke up.  We went to the mall for dinner, with the idea of going to one of the ‘Hot Pot’ style restaurants.  Cat is familiar with them so we went to each one to check out what was available to ‘cook’ at the table.  They all failed the test, either because they didn’t have chicken or the chicken didn’t look fresh.  It’s a tricky thing to eat food that’s been out all day.  Blue used to go on rants about the ‘chain of custody’ and the hazards of not-so-fresh meat.  Since he had been in ‘the business’, we listened.  We ended up at Sizzler and had a good meal.  It was more about the company and conversation anyway.  

At the mall, down in the lower level at Top’s Market, I heard a tune on the system and looked it up.  It sounded like Thai R&B and I commented to Cat.  She like the song but didn’t know the title so I Shazamed it and came up with the same song by an American group.  Weird how that happened.  Need to do more research on that one.

This morning we went to Chivit Tamma Da and between the breeze off the river and the cool air from the air/con behind us, it was perfect.  They were playing a jazz station and hearing John Coltrane while enjoying the flow of the river was kinda special.

We went downtown this afternoon to get a wreath for the service and that may have been a case of poor timing.  We hit the streets just as the high schools were letting out.  To say we hit heavy traffic would be an understatement.  I decided on an alternate route, forgetting about the second school and ‘Blam’, right in the thick of it again.  We stayed calm and nobody got hurt (555).  The lesson:  The 4pm rule applies every day.  Never leave after 4pm.

Today’s photo was captured in the kitchen by Lisa.  

Have a Great Week.


“It’s easy to make a buck.  
It’s a lot tougher to 
make a difference.”
~Tom Brokaw

Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday Funnies


Today was a copy of yesterday.  The weather event was the HEAT.  It was ridiculous, but the air quality is ‘Very Good."

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Hotel California” by The Eagles.  See if you remember this ‘Old School Friday’ tune:
“Beautiful faces and loud, empty places, look at the way that we live.  Wastin’ our time on cheap talk and wine, left us so little to give.  That same old crowd was like a cold dark cloud that we could never rise above.  But here in my heart, I give you __ __ __ __ __.  Oh, sweet darlin’, you get __ __ __ __ __…”  Clue:  The title features a superlative describing the love the singer has for his partner.  Song was the group’s first Billboard #1 single.

The sound of a little girl crying when it was time to go to school brought lots of conclusions.  None of mine were correct.  Nitchanan was crying because she didn’t want to go to school on the motorbike.  She wanted to go in a car. The idea of the wind hitting her in the face didn’t seem right, especially with a cold.  I don’t blame her.

This was a Big C day.  Having a good list makes these little adventures workable.  I expected it to be more crowded on a Friday morning, but it was light.  Speaking of light, there must be a part of ‘checker training’ that instructs them to put all the heaviest items in one bag.  Lisa catches them now and they separate the items to balance the weight.

Across the highway at Central Plaza Mall we had iced coffee since the day was already very hot.  By the time we finished our coffee the mall was opening.  We went down to the lower level to check out the ArtBridge area and discovered that there is now a gallery across the aisle from the learning corral.  It’s wonderful to see art have a permanent presence in the mall.  

The construction behind us went up another level, literally.  They added the roof sub-structure today.  It’s a giant frame that can almost be seen from our upstairs.  This house will be big.  We got to hear the pounding and cutting of steel beams and sheet metal when we were outside.  Fortunately, we didn’t hear much inside.  

“Little Girl Bakery” is going full throttle in the kitchen.  Orders are coming in and selling out and the popularity of Natcha’s cookies is growing.  In addition to the cookie factory, she’s selling an herbal drink that has become very popular and seems to work.  We’ve been drinking it and in some areas it’s making a difference.  We now have an entrepreneur in our midst.  In the photo below, Gong is holding a batch of cookies, ready for delivery.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.         Time for the ‘Funnies’.  It’s another F1 Weekend, this time from Monaco.  Zoom!