Friday, June 28, 2019

Friday Funnies


It was another teasing scorcher in Chiang Rai.  At one point, there were big, dark, ‘heavy with water’ clouds looming overhead and then Mr. Wind came along and they followed him east.  The high was around 97 again.

The ‘Zany Day’ tune was “Thank You (Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”.  The ‘Old School Friday’ song is one of Sly’s classics:  “…One child grows up to be, somebody that just loves to learn.  And another child grows up to be, somebody you’d just love to burn.  Mom loves the both of them you see, it’s in the blood.  But kids are good to mom, blood’s thicker that the mud.  It’s a __ __ (It’s a __ __)…”  Hint: Hmm, Mom plus siblings equals part of a what?

We returned to the coffee shop next door today.  They hung two posters for the women’s exhibit at ArtBridge and they plan to come to the opening tomorrow night.  After our coffee, Lisa went to the gallery for a planning meeting.  Things were put in order and the dancers rehearsed.  Lisa will give a short history of the women’s group and there will be a few speeches.  There are 40 women who are regular members, plus guests.  At the time of Lisa’s first exhibit in Chiang Rai, in 2009, we were told that there were only about 5 or 6 active women artists.  Things have really changed.  

The big adventure/drama of the day was the cancellation of the first of our two flights to the States.  With the flight to Taipei off the books, we had no way to connect to Los Angeles.  Lisa called EVA, our usual airline, and there was no alternate flights from Bangkok.  After a very long wait on the phone, our EVA agent found flights on All Nippon Airways (ANA) and booked us to Tokyo (Narita airport) and on to Los Angeles.  It means that we will spend most of the evening and early morning hours of July 7 and 8 in the EVA lounge until they kick us out at 1am.  Then we have to hang out in the airport’s international section until time to board our 6:45am flight.  I suppose it could be worse. We’ll still get to L.A. in the morning, with plenty of time for Mr. Lag to get his bearings.

Today’s photo was taken last night, after dinner.  Me with our dear friend Nukoon.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.         The ‘Funnies’ are comin’.


Thursday, June 27, 2019



Chiang Rai saw another very hot day with the slim chance that rain might fall.  Even with the big black clouds, the rain never happened.  We swam under intermittent sunshine.

A lot of you know your Sly & The Family Stone tunes.  This ‘Zany Day’ song got a big response.  Here is the next to  last verse:  “Dance to the music, all night long.  Everyday people, sing a simple song.  Mama’s so happy, mama start to cry.  Papa still singin’ ‘You can make it if you try’.  I wanna __ __ (__ __ __ __ __)……”  Clue:  Not a clue, but I like it a lot (555).  Actually, one can take this tune many ways, I suppose.

Daku is doing much better.  The fog has lifted and he’s responding to all the cues from our behavior.  He knows that when we turn off the air, we’re about to leave so he gets up and prepares to go downstairs.  When Lisa taps the spoon on his food dish, he goes to the rubber mat where she will set it down.  There are tons of little things that happen all through the day.  It’s good to have him back.  

We went next door for coffee this morning.  It was another enjoyable outing in the tiny little shop.  So far, our timing has been perfect as far as the crowd factor goes.  We have seen it from the road, when there are four cars in front and it looks busy inside.  Hmm, we’ll wait that out.

Gong performed a monumental job of digging up a nearly tree that has been in the driveway circle since the beginning of time.  We thought it might take a truck or something, but he dug around it and eventually got it out.  He also removed three small boulders from the same bed, although they have to go back.  Hmm, hope he gets some help on that job. 

When we got back from coffee, Daku and Nitchanan were hanging out in the kitchen (she’s on his bed) while Natcha made lunch.  I wonder if he considered that babysitting?

We met our friends Nukoon and Sutheera at Central Plaza Mall for dinner.  Sizzler was our destination and since we’re no strangers to their menu, we managed to have a nice meal and lots of stimulating conversation.  We always talk about dogs and politics, though not necessarily in that order.  Much of our conversation was ‘hushed’ in order to keep it all at the table.  There is a climate of change in the Kingdom, but it’s all kept on the ‘down low’.  Many Thais follow the basics of politics in other countries, including the U.S.  Conclusions are drawn without knowing history, so when we get together, a lot of explaining is done, on both sides.  It’s interesting to be in a place where you basically have no voice, yet the outcome of many things affects your life.  If that was vague, it was meant to be.  We had fun, and that was the point of it all.  We had photos taken and left with big smiles.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Music is the divine way to tell
beautiful, poetic things to the heart.”
~Pablo Casals

Wednesday, June 26, 2019



We seem to be out of the rain mode for now.  Today was mostly blue skies and hot air.  Afternoon clouds played that game with us where they tease us and then run away.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Everyday People” by Sly & The Family Stone.  Oh, the memories!  Now, for our ‘Middle Song’ which could also be called a ‘Zany Day’ number, there’s this:  “Lookin’ at the devil, grinnin’ at his gun.  Fingers start shakin’, I begin to run.  Bullets start chasin’, I begin to stop.  We begin to wrestle, I was on the top.  I want to __ __ (__ __ __ __ __).”  Hint:  The words in the title are not what they appear to be.  

Daku is slowly adjusting to life at home.  Something he was given at the vet’s had his stomach upset last night.  We didn’t get a lot of sleep, taking him out into the yard at odd hours when the rest of the world was asleep.  Today he seems a lot better.  Better energy and focus.  He sleeps a lot, but he did that anyway (555).  His next check-up is on Monday.  You know your dog is better when he remembers all the patterns in his life, and ours.

This morning we went to The Wanderer for coffee and to deliver some healthy ingredients for Mercy and Joy’s food.  We had a visit with Kwan, mostly talking about our dogs.  

Natcha and Lisa got massages this afternoon from Khun Jin.  Daku slept in the ‘salon’ the whole time.  After my meeting we drove up to ArtBridge.  Today they began hanging the exhibition and we got there just in time for Lisa to be involved in the placement of her art.  We got to preview a lot of the work in the exhibit and it’s really beautiful.  

The building work continues behind us.  Today they finished the second floor ‘footings’ that will hold up the floor.  They’re starting to get loud with their hammering.  We have a plan for our wall extension and will try to hire ArtBridge members who know how to do such things.  Might as well keep it in the family.

Speaking of families, Natcha told us that there are 7 cats living next door, and in our yard.  There seems to be 3 generations worth.  Daku saw one of them strolling by and only made a slight effort to follow/chase it.  Wait ’til he’s 100%, we’ll have to hold him back.  

The vendor in this photo is selling vegetables and other ingredients for lunch.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“Many of life’s failures 
are people who did not realize
how close they were to 
success when they gave up.”
~Thomas A. Edison

Tuesday, June 25, 2019



Last night we had more rain.  Not a lake maker, but lots of rain.  It made for a cooler morning, but the heat finally came and kicked out the cool.  

“There is a blue one who can’t accept the green one, for living with the fat one, trying to be a skinny one.  Different strokes for different folks, and so on and so on, and scooby dooby dooby.  Oh sha sha, we got to live together.  I am no better and neither are you.  We are the same, whatever we do.  You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can’t figure out the bag I’m in.  I am __ __, yeah yeah.”  Clue:  Hmm, you meet them everyday.

Daku just got home from the vet’s.  We got the call at about 6:40pm and we were there at 7:05.  When it comes to getting our dog back, we don’t mess around.  It’s been a tense day, realizing how different life is when he’s not here.  He’s back and tonight we party.  Natcha and Nitchanan came home just after we did and the first thing Nitchanan wanted to know was where was Daku and was he alright.  Hanging out in the kitchen, Natcha explained, again, that he was at the doctor’s, in Thai.  Nitchanan then looked at me and told me Daku was at the doctor, in English.  Full of surprises.  

This morning we went to Big C for the weekly shopping.  We’ve started taking our own bags into the store, trying to be a part of the solution.  We have some large insulated bags from Trader Joe’s, a store many of you are familiar with, and they can hold a lot of Big C stuff.  From there, we went to the mall for coffee.  While we were there, we saw our friend Eddie, who goes there every morning for coffee.  He’s reading a big book about John Lennon and so conversation usually curves around to Lennon, Beatles music, and the whole era.  After coffee we got the eggs we came for and went home.  It was a nice, distracting morning.

Napping was difficult, too many thoughts racing around in our brains.  As a result, we returned to the list for the day.  This was the day to deliver Lisa’s artwork to ArtBridge for the women’s exhibition.  Her six pieces were already in bubblewrap, so once they were in the van we were on our way.  A quick stop at the post office, a short run at Macro, a dip into the pharmacy and we were finally headed home.  

It will probably take Daku a couple of days to fully recover.   He went through quite an ordeal.  They took his blood pressure about 9 times, took more blood, and gave him medicine he probably can’t pronounce.  Right now he can do whatever he wants, it’s cool with us.  

Today’s photo was taken yesterday at The Wanderer.  Little Joey, the runt of the rescue litter, is growing up.  The collar he’s wearing is to protect his eye after being scratched by one of the cats.  What puppy can resist the moving tail of a cat.  He grabbed the tail and the cat scratched him.  He’s still going to be a small dog, but he’s getting cuter and seems to be smart.  Kwan has already taught him to sit and lie down.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Are you really sure that a floor
can’t also be a ceiling?”
~M. C. Escher

Monday, June 24, 2019



We have been in a heat wave.  Weekend temperatures ‘felt like’ 112 to 116.  Today we got a real rain storm.  It didn’t really lower the temps, but everything got water and washed.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel.  Here’s an ‘Easy Monday’ tune from 1969.  “Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong.  My own beliefs are in my song.  The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then, makes no difference what group I’m in.  I am __ __.”  Hint:  A family band that took us higher and made us think.

Our weekend was spent trying to stay in cool places.  For starters, we took our ‘coffee stop’ next door at our new neighbors.  We’d never gone for coffee and since their little place is air-conditioned, it was a perfect time to try it.
The iced Americanos were very good, the air was cool and so was the music.  We will definitely be returning.

We had Sunday lunch with our friends Edwin and his daughter Lisa.  She’s back in town from Bangkok, where she designs shoes.  Her business partner designs purses and bags and their brand, ‘Hexa’ is taking off.  It’s fun to eat with them because they are adventurous.  Edwin started off with a coffee and ice-cream.  Lisa had the chocolate covered pancake with bananas.  We had our usual chicken with salad.  You can always tell when you’re having fun, time becomes irrelevant.

In the afternoon, we had what one might call a consultation.  Our friend Nine, of 9 Art Gallery, had some questions about English and wasn’t sure how to approach learning.  She is going to be Mistress of Ceremonies for a gathering of Thai artists from Chiang Rai.  They will be introduced to The Princess and discuss their art in an informal way.  We threw around ideas and we’ll meet again next week for dinner.  Her older son, Tonoi, has been studying violin at a conservatory in France.  He usually comes home for the summer break, but this year he informed his mom that this was the ‘Golden Time’ for musicians to tour and perform.  He’ll stay in Europe with other musician friends.  Part of their time will be spent performing in small towns and villages in exchange for residency in a castle.  Not a bad exchange.  He is now 24 and seems to have a clear career direction.  

This morning we went downstairs with Daku, as usual, and after he went outside and returned, he stretched out on the floor and couldn’t get up.  He ignored his breakfast and it was just like last Tuesday.  Gong helped us put him in the van and we drove to the vet.  The office was closed, but he said he’d come to our house at 8am.  When he arrived with his helpers, Daku still hadn’t been active.  He spent the day at the hospital and we finally learned this evening that he has low blood pressure.  It can be corrected, so now we’re waiting to see if we can bring him home tonight.  

Last Friday we received a message from my cousin Trudye, that her sister Eunice had passed.  Needless to say, we’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster.  Eunice and Trudye are the glue of the Oakland Cousins that we visit every time we go to the States.  We’ve all been close for a very long time.  Eunice and I are 1 week apart in age and have always had a ‘connection’.  She will be missed.

Have a Great Week.


“The starting point of all achievement
is desire.”
~Napoleon Hill

Friday, June 21, 2019

Friday Funnies


By now I guess these weather reports are getting a little boring.  Another beautiful day in Chiang Rai.  We got a chance to swim this afternoon and it was a blue pool under the blue sky.  

The ‘Middle Song’ was “Mrs. Robinson” and it had a lot of responses.  The ‘Old School Friday’ song by Simon & Garfunkel should also be familiar to many readers.  “Hello darkness, my old friend.  I’ve come to talk with you again.  Because a vision softly creeping, left it’s seeds while I was sleeping.  And the vision that was planted in my brain, still remains within __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  Hmm, what one hears when there is nothing to hear.  

This morning we started our day with a list of places to take posters for the Womens' Exhibit.  We covered a lot of ground and placed about 10 in various locations.  At several locations there was also visiting involved.

Our van was so dirty that Gong had to take it to a car wash to get the caked mud off the bottom.  I’m just glad it’s done.  It was getting a little embarrassing.  Here’s a bit of trivia for you:  Most of the cars in Chiang Rai are either white, silver or black.  White is so popular that some manufacturers charge more for them.  What?  They reflect the heat better.  Those of us with black vehicles just like to style with the air on all the time (555).

Daku is doing a little better each day.  He and Nitchanan had a good time chasing around the front lawn today, so he’s definitely feeling better.  We’ll take him in for a follow-up visit tomorrow.  We’re not sure how he’s going to feel about that, but it has to be done.

This evening, Nitchanan called me down early for dinner.  Then she proceeded to hover around the table through the meal.  She kept saying my name and waiting for a response, and then saying it again.  It was a silly game that has no end.  The best kind.  She really enjoys helping and today she helped by taking plates and dishes to her mom in the kitchen.  She also enjoyed some watermelon.  With guidance from Lisa, she got into saying ‘please’ and 'thank you’.  

Lisa took today’s partial shot of the front yard with ‘the big camera’, from the front porch.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.       The ‘Funnies’ are coming.  The Formula 1 Grand Prix is in France this week.  Zoom! 


Thursday, June 20, 2019



Today was one of those blue sky, 'warm air' days that would make summer vacation the best thing ever.  Scattered clouds came and went but it was mostly clear.  

The ‘Middle Song’ by Simon & Garfunkel is actually a ‘Zany Day’ song if you think about it.  The second verse make that clear:  “Hide it in a hiding place where no one ever goes.  Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes.  It’s a little secret, just the __ affair.  Most of all, you’ve got to hide it from the kids.  Coo coo ca-choo, __ __, Jesus loves you more than you will know, wo wo wo.  God bless you please, __ __, heaven holds a place for those who pray, hey hey hey, hey hey hey.”  Clue:  The song is from a 1966 LP.  The person in the title is a woman.

The big news of the day:  Daku is back at home and so happy.  We are also very happy.  One of the doctors at the hospital, Dr. Thom, stayed with Daku the first night studying his blood test and making sure he was OK.  We have to take him back on Saturday for a check-up.  All of the staff at the office know and love Daku and, as Natcha puts it, he makes people happy.  He slept a lot today, getting over the trauma of living in a cage for two days.  

This morning we went to The Wanderer for coffee.  Kwan gave us some food for the trees in the yard.  One of the tablets can serve 100 liters of water.  We will be breaking them into tiny pieces for our yard.  Everything will get watered with this ‘food’.  They use it in their ‘woods’ and it keeps things healthy.  

The tree in this photo is very old, probably older than the rest of the woods.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, June 19, 2019



The weather on the road was very nice.  Lots of clouds with just a sprinkle or two.  The van is super filthy though and in need of a serious wash.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy), by Simon and Garfunkel.  ‘Middle Song’ is next:  “We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files.  We’d like to help you learn to help yourself.  Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes, stroll around the grounds until you feel at home.  And here’s to you __ __…”  Hint:  The future is in plastics.  The title is a name.  It was featured in a movie.

Daku Update:  Last night he started eating and apparently feeling better.  After we got back to Chiang Rai this afternoon, we went to see him.  They rolled his cage into an area where we could visit.  Once he saw us, he started doing his ‘circle walk’ that is part of his greeting.  In the process, he pulled out an IV tube and the staff had to come and fix it.  That gave us more time to visit with him.  When they were done, he was ready to leave with us.  Coming home to an empty kitchen was very weird.  Natcha said the same thing.  Hopefully, he’ll come home tomorrow. We’re still waiting to find out what might have caused this.

Our morning in Chiang Mai was productive.  We walked across the road to the hospital to see Dr. Parry one last time.  We gave him a going away card that Lisa made, and got treatments and recommendations on how to take care of ourselves.  

Back at the condo, we packed most of our stuff and then Peter drove us to a place for breakfast called L’Opera, a French cafe.  It’s fun to go to places with someone who knows the staff.  The owner and Peter had a big greeting in French.  That was fun to watch, especially since we were on the sidewalk portion, feeling like we were in Paris (555).  The food was good and lucky for me, I didn’t see the display cases inside until it was time to go.  Oh, the beautiful cookies, sweet rolls, cakes, etc. all just sitting there calling me (555).  The time finally came to say our goodbyes.  Peter and his girlfriend Tic were great hosts and want us to come back.  That’s cool.

The highway is beautiful except for the construction zone.  It’s about 25 minutes of bad road, lots of pot holes, changes in surface and dust.  It seems like it never ends, and then it does.  Whew.

There are more geese standing guard at The Wanderer.  On a recent walk to the river they sounded the alarm.  So much noise, it would surely chase away a nighttime intruder.

I think it’s a Wacky Wednesday.


“Dignity does not consist in
possessing honors, but in 
deserving them.”

Tuesday, June 18, 2019



Coming to you from high above the Ping River in Chiang Mai.  We had occasional ‘small rain’ on the trip down and sprinkles for about a minute here in town.  It was storming in Chiang Rai today.

A few readers got the ‘Easy Monday’ song.  Here’s the lyrics to the second verse.  Good luck.  “Hello, lamppost, what’cha knowin’?  I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’.  Ain’t’cha got no rhymes for me?  Doot-in doo-doo, __ __.  Ba da da da da da da, __ __."  Clue:  They went to the fair, sang to the darkness, and observed the zoo.  The title uses a word that was very popular, meaning enjoyable or excellent.

Today has been a day.  We got up and did our usual morning routine.  Daku seemed OK with the small suitcase on the floor.  On his second trip upstairs he was hanging out on his mat.  He went to get up and had difficulty, and just stayed on the mat.  When Lisa went to him he just stayed like he was.  He didn’t try to get up.  He also didn’t respond to the usual bribes, like Natcha’s coconut bread.  By now we had become concerned.  She finally got him to go downstairs.  Thinking that maybe he had eaten something in the yard, Lisa gave him some charcoal, which is good for absorbing toxins in the stomach.  Eventually, we took him to Dr. Arnon’s office.  The doctor on call knows Daku and gave him an exam.  He told us the only way to determine what was happening was to first do a blood test and possibly a heart exam.  We waited for the blood test results and found out that Daku was hypoglycemic.  His blood sugar was very low.  They wanted to keep him, treat him for that and see if it helped.  We left him at the vet’s, understanding that he would get an IV of glucose and some oxygen therapy.  Later in the day the doctor called to say that Daku did not want to eat and was not much better.  Tomorrow they will do an EKG and x-ray his heart from 2 angles.  We’ll meet with the doctor tomorrow afternoon.

All of this left us very distracted.  About an hour down the road to Chiang Mai we got a call from Natcha, telling us we forgot our clothes.  The garment bag was left in the kitchen.  So, here we are in Chiang Mai with the clothes on our backs, but with no particular place to go.  I had packed 2 t-shirts in our little bag so we have wardrobe (555).  

We are staying with a friend of ours who lives in a condo on the Ping River.  The view from the 19th floor is amazing.  As the clouds cleared in the afternoon, it became even more beautiful.  

In the evening, our host, Peter, drove us to Shababa Restaurant, where we met our friend Marty.  Imagine, dining at an Israeli eatery in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Yum.

When we returned to the condo it was dark.  The view of the city at night was stunning.  The tiny lights in the middle/right are at Doi Sutep, a beautiful temple on a mountain top.

We’ll distract ourselves for the rest of the evening and try not to worry about Daku until tomorrow.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Love and compassion are
necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity 
cannot survive.”
~Dalai Lama

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