Monday, September 30, 2019



There is talk of rain this week.  I’m not holding my breath.  Today was hot and sunny.  The pool has warmed by 1 degree, which means the overnight temps have not come up very much.  We swam anyway.

‘Old School Friday’ was “Tears On My Pillow” by Little Anthony & The Imperials (then known as The Imperials).  This week’s ‘Easy Monday’ should be just that.  “__ __ __ __, every move you make.  Every bond you break, every step you take I’ll be watching you.”  Hint:  There is breathing involved.

Jai Dee continues to grow.  He also wants to explore more of his new world.  This would be fine, but he wants to do it with his mouth, by biting and chewing.  As a result, he can’t really be left alone anywhere except what we call the ‘big kitchen’.  There are no drawers with knobs, no corners to chew, mostly tile and a little metal.  Even in there we don’t want to leave hime alone for too long.  What this means is, unless Natcha is free to watch him, we are his babysitters.  It’s OK, but life-changing on a temporary basis.  Our Sunday lunches now consist of me picking up our meals from The Wanderer on my way home from my meeting.  Yesterday we also had take-away dinner from The Wanderer.  This morning we had a few things to do, so Natcha watched ‘The Boy’.  

Nitchanan’s school is on a one month break.  We find this hard to comprehend, considering all the working parents that have to find someone to watch their children.  In Nitchanan’s case, it also means that she will spend a lot of time without the company of other children. 

As we planned our morning, the question of where to have coffee came up.  We both realized that we like Chivit Tamma Da and The Wanderer because of their ambience.  The open feeling with the broad view of nature is our favorite.  There are other places we’ve gone, and will go again, but we seem to have shortened the list by a bunch.

After coffee at Chivit Tamma Da, we drove north for about 15 minutes to Ban Du.  Our alternate vet, Dr. View, had some puppy vitamins and we wanted to start Jai Dee on them.  I think her name is so cool.  We learned long ago that many Thai people have what they call ‘Play names’ that they go by.  This is because many names are very long and/or hard to pronounce so they adopt simple names.  Another part of the name game is the fact that people are addressed by their first names.  Last names are often written, but seldom used when addressing someone.  

On a recent trip to The Wanderer I noticed plant-life in an odd location.  Looking closer, I realized it was a bush growing in a large drum, on the roof of a house.  

Jai Dee is now 11 weeks old.  He still enjoys his toys that squeak, but he also has fun with simple things like this box, just like human kids.

This evening, after dinner, Lisa was taking him back to the guest room (our current bedroom) when he darted toward the stairs and scampered up to the top.  By the time she caught up with him, he was almost in the bedroom.  We knew he could climb the stairs, but not that fast.  He’s getting very strong.  

Have a Great Week.


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

Friday, September 27, 2019

Friday Funnies


The weather today was a repeat of the last few days.  This morning, at 5am, dog boy had us up and out and there was a tiny sprinkle, but not rain.  We’re in the high 80’s and it’s nice.

The ‘Middle Song’ was “Hurt So Bad” by Little Anthony & The Imperials.  For ‘Old School Friday’ we reach back to 1958, and their first release as a group called ‘The Imperials’ :  “You don’t remember me, but I remember you.  ’Twas not so long ago, you broke my heart in two.  __ __ __ __, pain in my heart caused by you.”  Clue: It’s what happens when you cry in bed.  Extra Cool Points if you can name the title of the ‘B’ side of this single.  Note: My brother Denny wants to know: Who says ’Twas?

This morning we went by The Wanderer for coffee and roti.  There was puppy talk with Kwan, a brief visit with her little nephew, and her mom, Khun Noot.  Noot is growing an organic garden next to The Wanderer and she says it won’t be long until we have ‘clean’, home-grown veggies.  

Khun Orn repaired my shirt overnight and it only cost $.65.  After that, it was up the highway to Browney Pet World, where we bought their remaining stock of the ‘Beef Flavored’ dental bones.  We like to call them the ‘Baby Sitter Bones’, because they seem to keep him occupied the longest.  He doesn’t get to have a whole one at a time, maybe 3 servings (55).  

We had lunch at Sabroso, since Nitchanan is sick and Natcha had been watching Jai Dee too.  After lunch we went to Cat’s University to see her department’s drama presentation.  Before the program started we met several of her teachers.  She seems to be a favorite with at least one teacher and I think we were the only ‘parents’ there.  This is no doubt because most of the parents would not understand a play in English.  The play, based on the legend of the cave, was first on the program.  It was a classic tale of Princess falling for stable guy, while King promised her to a Prince.  Their version was very funny, which explained why they apologized to the spirits of the cave.  They did a pretty good job, considering it was all in English and they had to memorize everything.  There were some hot musical cues taken from American Hip Hop/R&B (most notably, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On) that sent whoops of recognition through the audience.  Cat played one of the Princess’ attendants, and had a pivotal role in seducing a guard and freeing the stable guy so he could meet his love.  The audience loved the scene.  We had to leave as soon as it was over, to get home and relieve Natcha.  The fact that we left smiling says something about the success of the production.

Right now, Jai Dee has gone from wild, crazy boy to focused tennis fan.  He has a toy in his mouth, but he’s just staring at the TV.  So far, he’s not a car guy.  I switched to F1 Practice and he looked away, back to tennis and he refocused.  

Today’s photo was taken before Cat’s school show.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   It’s time for the ‘Funnies’, and a reminder to watch Formula 1 from Russia.


Thursday, September 26, 2019



Our cooling trend continued today.  Even with afternoon clouds, it was still comfortably warm.  The pool water was a different story, but we swam anyway.

I see we have some Little Anthony and The Imperials fans in the house.  Many of you remembered the ‘Middle Song’.  “Like needles and pins, people say you’ve been making out okay.  She’s in love, don’t stand in her way.  Well, let me tell you that it (__) __ __ __ (__ __ __) it makes me feel so sad, it’s gonna __ __ __ if you walk away.”
Clue:  What you would call a ’10’ on a pain scale, 10 being the most painful.

This morning we went to Khun Orn’s shop to drop off a shirt for repair.  Her ‘shop’ is a store front with a sliding door right at the sidewalk, and if she’s there, the door is always open.  We don’t really know her that well, but she always has a big smile and a warm greeting, and always charges less than one could imagine for sewing.

When we go to Work@Home for coffee, we usually park in their little lot in the rear.  Today we got a spot right in front.  We had just started our coffee when Katai came in and the first order of conversation was Jai Dee.  They might be able to visit him in the next few weeks.  They have busy schedules.  This weekend Towan is driving in a rally in another province.  He has been a navigator on the international circuit, but I think he wants to drive, and the Thai circuit is the place to get experience.  Their tractor business has them traveling quite a bit during this time of year.  The topic of yoga came up and we had a fun conversation.  Katai invited Lisa to go to her morning class and Lisa asked her if it ever got boring.  ‘So boring’, she exclaimed, with lots of laughter.  But she goes because it makes her feel better.  Then we got the whole story about her and yoga.  We all laughed as we got more details.  Today we learned that there is ‘Laughing Yoga’.  Hmm.  As we were leaving, we all walked toward the rear of the building to the parking lot.  Katai asked us where are car was and we realized it was in front, on the street.  More laughter.

While we were gone, Jai Dee hung out in the kitchen with Natcha and Nitchanan.  After we all had our lunches, Jai Dee took a long nap.  His was longer than ours, which tells me that he had a good time in the kitchen.  When we’re in our room and reach for his leash, he goes to the door and sits.  I’d say he’s learning.  Outside, I keep trying to explain to him why it’s bad to eat rocks, but he either doesn’t care or it’s a Golden compulsion.  

In today’s photo, he was looking out on the back yard when he heard his name.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Freedom lies in 
being bold.”
~Robert Frost

Wednesday, September 25, 2019



The weather was a little cooler today.  It would be nice if this became a new pattern.   

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Going Out Of My Head” by Little Anthony & The Imperials.  Here’s a ‘Middle Song’:
“I know you don’t know what I’m goin’ through, standing here looking at you.  Well, let me tell you that it (__) __ __ __ (__ __ __).  It makes me feel so sad (__ __ __).  It makes me __ __ __ to see you again.”  Hint:  When something is painful, this is how it feels.

About 1:30am I took Jai Dee outside, using our new light to see our way.  It was great.  The light is so bright we could see where we were going without the flashlight.  I took it anyway, to make sure he didn’t eat something from the lawn.  The real trick is to not look at the light when returning, it's very bright.

This morning we made our last visit to Bangkok Hospital.  Dr. Intorn has released Lisa and she can get her ankle wet.  That means swimming, jumping in puddles, and stuff.  It’s been a long haul, but it’s finally over.  

We’re becoming regulars at Browney Pet World.  Today it was more puppy kibble.  The last time it was for dental bones.  If he keeps growing as fast as he is, we’ll need a new crate soon.  Our morning coffee stop was at Chivit Tamma Da.  The morning light on the river and in the trees is always a pleasure to experience.

Cat came by this evening.  She needed a basket for part of a prop for a production she’s in on Friday.  It’s several classes in her English Teacher department doing an adaptation of Anthony and Cleopatra.  They are also presenting their version of the legend of a cave up north.  Tomorrow, one of the teachers is going to the cave to let the spirits know that they are doing the story, but changing parts of it and adding some comedy to a serious plot.  I found this to be very interesting.  It’s all about respect.

Today’s photo is our favorite puppy, posing in his crate.  This portrait is by Lisa.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“I bought some instant water one time
but I didn’t know what to add to it.”
~Steven Wright

Tuesday, September 24, 2019



Chiang Rai had another beautiful day.  That forecast for rain on Thursday does not appear to be valid anymore.  Dryness is setting in and we’re in need of water from the sky. 

Only one of you wrote back with the title to the ‘Easy Monday’ song.  Hmm, was I out of my head to suggest it?
“I see you each morning, but you just walk past me, you don’t even know that I exist.  __ __ __ __ __ over you, __ __ __ over you.  __ __ __ day and night, night and day and night, wrong or right.  I must think of a way….”  Clue:
You do realize this is an ‘Easy Monday’ and I’ve already given you a major clue.

One thing we’ve come to realize is that going outside in the dark of night from the guest room is pretty tricky.  We’ve been using a little flashlight and that provides light, but when trying to also negotiate a puppy, it gets crazy.  Lisa came up with an idea for a flood-light above the door that would light the whole area.  Today we went to Home@Pro with a light as our main mission.  I found an LED light that is just big enough that when lit, it not only covers the door area, but also shines on the pool and beyond.  Khun Yee came to the house, looked at what we wanted and said he could do it today.  It took a little over an hour and now we’re set for those 3am doggie trips to the yard.

As we were leaving The Wanderer this morning, we saw Khun Kwan.  We talked about puppies and how sweet they are when they first wake up.  And then it happens, and they turn into something else.  Today’s photos show the evolution.

Jai Dee Sleeping Sweetly

Jai Dee Refinishing the Furniture

In all fairness, it’s the teething process that is causing this temporary craziness.  Obviously, we can’t wait for him to get his adult teeth, but it’s going to be a while.  Meantime, we practice patience, tolerance and keep looking at the first photo (555).

This evening we had to make an ‘emergency’ trip to the mall.  While trying to make our reservations for the big Winter Visit, we kept running into a wall.  Finally, we were told by the airline that it was because we were using a Mac computer.  We’ve been doing this for 12 years so we knew this was just some kind of diversion.  We tried to connect our PC laptop to the internet and couldn’t get it to work.  Lisa only uses it for printing on her laser printer so we are strangers to the system.  That’s why we went to the mall, to get help where we bought it.  The guy got us going and it was easy after a restart.  There was a big dance party happening on the outside patio but we were on a mission and couldn’t stay to check it out.  I could see heads bobbing  as we drove past, and the music was upbeat and cool.  Maybe next time.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“It does not do to dwell on
dreams and forget to live.”
~J.K. Rowling

Monday, September 23, 2019



The weekend weather was a little warmer than perfect, but great anyway.  The next possible rain will be on Friday.  Until then, it’s high 80’s and humid.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “All Day and All of The Night” by The Kinks.  It’s ‘Easy Monday’ time from 1964:
“Well, I think I’m __ __ __ __ __, yes, I think I’m __ __ __ __ __ over you, over you.  I want you to want me, I need you so badly, I can’t think of anything but you.  And I think I’m __ __ __ __ __…”  Hint: Singer’s first name is Little, which doesn’t narrow it down much.  It’s by a group whose head was on a pillow.

Saturday morning we had a very stimulating time at The Wanderer.  We went for coffee and saw friends who invited us to sit with them.  Fahad and his wife Aye, and their son came to one of Lisa’s exhibitions a few years ago and it sort of bonded us.  He is teaching art at a private school and it opened up a discussion on you-know-what and creativity.  I think we could have continued for a long time, but there were errands to run and a puppy to get home to (555).  

Jai Dee is still at that stage where he can’t be left alone.  Not because he’s fragile.  He’s anything but that, it’s just that he’s exploring his environment to see what goes in his mouth.  When he’s not biting, he’s adorable.  We discovered that he wants to sleep outside of his crate at night.  Last night he slept until 5am, with only one outburst to go outside.  There is hope for the little dog after all (555).  He is taller than he was two weeks ago and can stand on his hind legs and mess with things on low tables.  Another interesting development was his interest in TV, namely tennis.  His eyes went to the screen and when a ball flew by he perked up.  I don’t know if this will be a regular thing, but it was really cute.  

Jai Dee has gained about a pound since last Thursday.  We had to take him to Dr. Arnon this afternoon and at the weigh-in we got his new number, 18 pounds.  At ten weeks, I think that’s pretty healthy.  

I guess you can see that Mr. Dog has become the focus of our world for the time being.  There are other things that attract our interests, like planning the Winter Visit to the States, Formula 1, and tennis and friends on both sides of the water.  

Have a Great Week.


“The secret of getting ahead
is getting started.”
~Mark Twain

Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday Funnies


Cool mornings turn into hot days.  That’s the general story around here.  The rain that was forecast for today never happened, so we wait.  

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song was ‘Lola’ by our friends, The Kinks.  See if you remember this 1964 hit by them:
“I’m not content to be with you in the daytime.  Girl I want to be with you all of the time.  The only time I feel alright is by your side.  Girl I want to be with you all of the time.  __ __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  It’s a 24 hour thing.

We spent the day inside again.  Little man got us up at 5am and wouldn’t go back to sleep.  Our day started early and changed our routine.  When we normally might have gone out for coffee, we felt lazy.  After lunch it was a long nap.  Who knows what will happen tonight?  Puppies and humans grow while sleeping.  No wonder he keeps getting bigger and bigger.  And did I mention that he’s smart?  Lots of dogs pick up their leashes, but by the handle?  Whenever he and Lisa are headed down the hall to the room, she says, “Go see Danny” and he tears down the hall at top speed.  

Jai Dee looking out on his world

When Nitchanan comes to see Jai Dee, it’s seem to be just after he has exercised and it’s time to cool down.  Unfortunately, we can’t let her play with him because he’s all fired up and tends to be bitey.  She leaves in a huff, which is usually forgotten quickly.  Eventually we’ll get the timing right, like when he first wakes up, so she can play with the puppy.

Natcha keeps amazing us with her ideas.  Today she made a pizza for our dinner.  She made the dough by hand, kneading and pounding, and then created a topping of chicken, chicken dog slices and vegetables with no cheese.  It was wonderful.  Something to add to the list of favorites.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    Stand by for the ‘Funnies’.  Oh, and don’t forget the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore!


Thursday, September 19, 2019



Yesterday I lamented about not getting any rain and ‘Wham!’, this morning we had a storm.  Everything got watered and then it left us with a beautiful day.

As few of you were quick to name the ‘Zany Day’ song.  Here is the second verse.  “Well I’m not the world’s most physical guy, but when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine, oh my __, la-la-la-la __.  Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand why she walked like a woman and talked like a man, oh my __, la-la-la-la __, la-la-la-la __.”  Clue:  Remember, the name rhymes with cola, C-O-L-A, cola.

This morning, after breakfast, Jai Dee got a bath.  He didn’t like it at all.  When it was all over, he looked and smelled much better.  We couldn’t take him to see the vet all dirty.  While he finished drying we went for coffee at The Wanderer.  Yesterday they had no electricity, due to the city doing some annual ‘something’.  They sent us a message saying that they had some special treats anyway.  Imagine, in the woods with no power (555).

At the vet’s, Jai Dee has many new friends.  The staff members love to hang with him.  Of course, he’s a Golden and loves all of them.  He now weighs 17 lbs.  In a week we can start ‘socializing’ him outside.  He’ll get to visit The Wanderer and meet Mercy, and then check out Work@Home and see his friends Katai and Towan.  This afternoon our friends Lisa and her dad Edwin came over to meet him.  After the mandatory meet-and-greet, he crashed for his afternoon nap.  We had a great visit with them.  Lots of dog talk and cultural adventures.  Before they left, there was a sleepy eyed photo shoot.  He cooperated, for the most part.

We are now in our new headquarters, located in the downstairs guest room.  Before we introduced Jai Dee to the room Lisa taped down some wires and we blocked the electrical plugs.  He initially went for the bedspread, great for tugging and chewing.  Next stop, the knobs on the dresser drawers.  Our job is to ponder these enticements and see if we can discourage their destruction.  When he’s sleepy, or just wakes up he’s so cute and cuddly.  When he’s on and teething it’s another story.  This too shall pass.  Hmm.

In the first photo you see Jai Dee rearranging the furniture.  In the second, he’s acting all cool and innocent, and cute.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Be as you wish to seem.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2019



We had another day of oppressive heat here in Chiang Rai. There may be rain in sight, but we’ve heard that before.  That seems to be the only thing that cools things down around here.  It’s 8pm and it’s 85°F.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Tired of Waiting for You” by The Kinks.  Here’s a ‘Zany Day’ tune from the past that you may remember:  “I met her in a club down in old Soho, where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola, C-O-L-A cola.  She walked up to me and she asked me to dance, I asked her name and in a dark brown voice she said __, __-__-__-__, __ la-la-la-la __.”  Hint:  The title is a woman’s name.

Jai Dee has decided that he wants to wake up with the birds.  That means 5am, and he also wants us to wake up with him.  That’s not OK.  This morning we endured a barking concert that finally ended and he got quiet.  The puppy is running the house.  He already has decided that Lisa and I warrant different levels of play.  He’s a lot more aggressive with me, but he bites us both.  It’s hard, sometimes, to realize and remember that he’s only been in the world for 9+ weeks.  Today we learned, from Natcha, that he likes ice.  I don’t know if this is a Golden thing or not, but it brings back memories.  

This morning, as we were about to start our day in the street, Natcha came into the kitchen and Jai Dee raced over to her, tail wagging.  They have really bonded and it’s beautiful.  Our first stop was at Bangkok Hospital.  It seems like this ordeal may be almost over.  From there we went to a pet store on the highway, looking for a portable doggie play-pen.  Then we went to both locations of Browney Pet World.  We got a small supply of dental bones that Jai Dee loves, although we have to monitor his intake or he’ll pig out.  

This afternoon we could hear the sounds of Nitchanan laughing and playing in the pool with Gong.  There’s nothing like the sound of kids having fun.  As soon as Jai Dee gets his adult teeth and loses the need to bite, they will be playmates for sure.  He already perks up when he sees her.  

Today’s photo is the house where the art exhibition was held.  On the left there is an open veranda where the dining took place.  That’s the only part we saw.  Hmm.

It’s that time of the year when we start planning the Winter Visit to the States and all that comes with it.  

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“Weather forecast for tonight: Dark.”
~George Carlin

Tuesday, September 17, 2019



It was hot today.  Somewhere above the 90°F mark.  We had been having warm days, but today was ridiculous.  

‘Easy Monday’ was easy for a few readers.  I’ll bet more of you get it after today.  If not, you will kick yourself (5).
“It’s your life, and you can do what you want.  Do what you like, but please don’t keep-a me waiting, please don’t keep-a me waiting ‘cause I’m so __, __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __.”  Clue:  Someone says they’ll be there and they never show.  The group is from across the pond.

We stayed in today, but we did not laze about.  Our good friend Caty and her twin daughters and a close friend came for lunch and swimming.  The twins, Taeyo and Jaiyah, preferred to swim instead of lunch, they’re 6 years old.  Caty and the girls are back in Thailand for a while and it was good to reconnect.  There was a lot to catch up on, with so many changes in our lives.  The twins are attending a small Thai school that is bi-lingual, so they are learning in English and Thai.  After lunch we went up to Lisa’s studio and the girls got to ‘pull’ some acrylic paint from a polyethylene plate.  Jai Dee was in a laid back mood, we think because it was so hot, but they got to meet him.  

Today’s photo is Jai Dee clowning around.  The shelf under this table is one of his favorite places.  

Sometime this week we will move downstairs.  The boy is just too heavy for the number of trips required to got outside and to the kitchen, etc.  We have learned that he should be at least 15 weeks before doing the stairs.  That means we have 5.5 weeks to go.  From the ground floor it’s possible to handle this growing boy.  Now that we know what he likes to chew on, which is anything, we can ‘puppy proof’ the room before we move in (555).  

Today we learned that there is another hot springs in the area.  Caty told us about a place near her house that has more ambience than our first experience.  This one has private rooms with walls made with big rocks, so you feel like you’re in a real spring.  When the weather cools down we’ll go there.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“If you would take, you must first give,
this is the meaning of intelligence.”
~Lao Tzu

Monday, September 16, 2019



There was rain in Chiang Rai this weekend, but not while we were awake.  That makes it fine by me.  Gong washed the van and I felt really bad on Sunday morning when I had to drive through a big puddle.  I guess it could have been worse.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Shop Around” by The Miracles.  That leads us to ‘Easy Monday’ and another group:
“I’m so __, __ __ __, __ __ __ for you… I was a lonely soul, I had nobody till I met you.  But you keep-a me waiting all of the time.  What can I do?”  Hint:  Think: exhausted, fed up with, sick of….  Group name is something that happens to a hose, a piece of wire, or behavior.  

The puppy, also known as Jai Dee, continues to grow.  He is definitely bigger than last Sunday when we got him.  Puppies are notorious for having many moods and sometimes do crazy things.  Jai Dee is no exception.  Right now, the most prominent thing is what are called ‘The Zoomies’.  All of a sudden he becomes possessed and has to run around the room, at times bouncing off of things like he has to touch them for points or something.  All we can do is sit and watch, and laugh.  We actually encourage it because then he’s all mellow and less bitey.  Can’t wait for those baby teeth to come in, the little needle-sharp things in his mouth are dangerous.  Nature gives puppies good defenses.  He is very smart also (555).  He has learned to sit and is now holding it longer with each session.  The biggest issue is his need to eat the furniture and the house.  There are barricades all around the bedroom.  There is a drain in the bathroom that is his ongoing ‘project’.  He settles down like he’s sleepy, and then begins to gnaw at the tile.  He gets nowhere, but it’s his prison break fantasy (555).

Sunday was the big event in Mae Chan with Princess Lea of Belgium.  We arrived at the time given and proceeded to wait around with the other artists.  The work had already been set up on a big lawn, on easels.  We had a great time hanging out, having a more social time than what happens at openings in a gallery.  The time finally came when The Princess, The Count, and their entourage entered the area.  Each artist stood by their work and the group went down the line.  When The Princess got to Lisa’s cast-acrylic print, the sun was in her eyes and although she couldn’t see it very well, it made for small talk.  She was very gracious and mentioned that she still wanted to see a real elephant.  After viewing all of the artwork, we all went into the dining area and waited for everyone to be seated.  There were a couple of speeches and then it was time for the buffet.  Usually, we have difficulty with Northern Thai buffets because it’s mostly pork and very spicy.  This time it was different.  There were enough things for us to eat to make a meal.  The best thing was the real coconut ice-cream, with blue rice on the bottom.  

Tomorrow we will move to the guest room.  This is necessary because Jai Dee is just too heavy to haul up and down the stairs.  Saturday, at the vet’s, he weighed 15.5 lbs.  We’ll be able to take him outside with ease, and maybe he can play in the hall, with careful supervision.

Have a Great Week.


“The past cannot be cured.”
~Elizabeth I

Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday Funnies


Today was a beautiful day in Chiang Rai.  Partly cloudy with lots of blue.  It was such a warm day that I went into the pool this afternoon.  I swam a bunch of laps, which tells me at least two things: My energy level is up and tomorrow I may be sore (555).

That ‘Middle Song’ that baffled many of you was “You Really Got A Hold On Me” by The Miracles.  Here’s the link, but note that the group is mis-labeled.
‘Old School Friday’ is next, and this is from The Miracles first album, back in 1961.  “(Intro) When I became of age, my mother called me to her side.  She said, ‘Son, you’re growing up now, pretty soon you’ll take a bride.’ and then she said:  Just because you’ve become a young man now, there’s still some things that you don’t understand now.  Before you ask some girl for her hand now, keep your freedom for as long as you can now.  My mama told me, you better __ __.”  Hint:  Imagine what you do when browsing through shops.  Hmm.  

The three of us did a lot of snoozing today.  Lisa, Jai Dee and I spent the bulk of the day in some kind of daze.  It didn’t break until late afternoon.  The little one started it by influencing us to stay up late.  After breakfast he came upstairs and crashed, which gave us permission to catch some extra winks, and so it went.  When he’s awake, he’s real ‘bitey’ with his new teeth coming in.  He has tons of toys to chew on, but fingers and arms seem to be his favorites.  Oh, and vertical portions of the house, like furniture, door jams, chair legs, etc.  It’s just a phase until the teething ends, but it’s taking it’s toll.  In between the manic biting he’s so cute it’s easily forgiven. 

This Sunday we’ll be going to Mae Chan, to the home of The Chiang Rai Hills, a stadium built by Count Gerry for the Hill Tribe football team he supports.  That’s where the presentation of Thai artists will take place.  Another one of those ‘off into the unknown’ affairs.  There will be lots to talk about.

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


Thursday, September 12, 2019



We had a dry day in Chiang Rai.  That meant things got done outside.  Weeds got pulled, a puppy ran around, and a bunch of puddles dried (555).  It was a good day.

The ‘Middle Song’ is still being a mystery to most of you, but that’s OK.  When it’s revealed, I’ll post a link so you can enjoy it (and remember).  “I don’t want you, but I need you.  Don’t want to kiss you, but I need to.  Oh,oh, oh you do me wrong now, my love is strong now, __ __ __ __ __ __ __ (repeat 3 times).”  Clue:  A tormented soul in the grips of love.  

Jai Dee entered what we think must be a growth phase.  He’s already bigger than when we brought him home on Sunday.  He got crazy last night, running around and playing.  He finally crashed and slept pretty good.  So good that we got a chance to sleep late.  After his breakfast we went outside.  When he came back he went back to sleep.  He did a lot of sleeping today, and we discovered that it’s normal.  

We met our friend John for coffee this morning at ‘Easy’.  That’s the name of the coffee shop next door.  We found out the name when they brought John his latte and there were three Thai letters written in the foam with cinnamon chips.  In Thai the word is Ngai.  It starts in the back of the mouth, like the ‘ing’ of sing followed by ‘I’.  So now we know.  We had our usual fun time talking about current events, learning more Thai stuff and just relaxing.  John came to the house and met Jai Dee and of course he performed for him.  He’s teething now and anything within reach is fair game for his little doggie mouth.  We try to get toys in there before he gets fingers, etc. but sometimes we get bit.  I forgot about this part.  New dogs also have very sharp puppy claws, and I have the scratches to prove it.

After Natcha made us a delicious lunch that included some blue rice (see photo below) we had no trouble convincing Jai Dee that it was nap time.  The three of us had a great time snoozing.  Lisa started doing some training today and he’s a quick learner.  He is understanding ‘sit’, as long as there is a reward.  That’s how it works with the tiny brains.  The people that took care of him in his first 2 months of life were very kind and gentle.  We can tell by the way Jai Dee responds to certain things.  He is not afraid of anything.  We discovered that there is a clucking sound that brings him running.  It’s a clicking sound with the tongue at the roof of the mouth and he responds very quickly.  Someone taught him that, and it wasn’t his mom.  

Our dinner this evening with Dr. Intorn (Lisa’s ankle doctor) and his wife was a roaring success.  The funniest moment of the evening was when we were talking about exercise and Guoy said she didn’t like to do it.  Lisa suggested she get a puppy and we all laughed out loud.  Earlier we had been talking about how much energy it takes to keep up with Jai Dee.  After dinner they followed us to the house and they got to meet the Wonder Dog.  I baby sat while they went up to Lisa’s studio.  We’re making plans for the next time Guoy visits Chiang Rai and the four of us can get together.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Teachers can change lives with just
the right mix of chalk and challenges.”
~Joyce Meyer

Wednesday, September 11, 2019



The Chiang Rai weather today can be described in one word: Drippy.  There, I said it, ‘cause that what it was.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Ooo, Baby, Baby” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles.  It was the first time he got separate billing over the group.  Now it’s time for another ‘Middle Song’, from The Miracles:  “I don’t like you, but I love you.  Seems like I’m always thinking of you.  Oh, oh,oh, you treat me badly.  I love you madly __ __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint: About being in someone’s grip, as in love.  Hmm.

This morning we went to the hospital for another treatment.  The doctor is very optimistic about the progress.  The next appointment is not for a week.  In the meantime, we’re having dinner tomorrow night with Dr. Intorn and his wife, Guoy.  

This afternoon Khun Nine came to the house to discuss the event on Sunday at the home of Count Gerry.  We learned that the Princess that will be there is not the Thai princess, but a Belgian Princess.  One of the artists that was on the list cannot attend so Khun Nine asked if Lisa could be included.  We’re still waiting to hear about this, but either way we will be there to witness this day of art.  We also learned that there will be a dinner party after the presentation of the artists.  

This morning after the hospital, we were having coffee and Lisa got a message from Natcha.  It was two video clips of Jai Dee going up the stairs and then down.  We don’t want him to get used to this until his joints and bones are stronger, but it’s an indication of his powers of observation and determination.  The little guy figured out how to use his legs to pull himself up.  He knew the purpose of the effort and went straight to the bedroom when he reached the top.  

Last night Jai Dee was very curious about the running of bath water.  He had a bath on Monday and was in the tub when the water was on.  Something was different this time and he wanted to check it out.

The big building on the other side of ‘our bridge’ is a new Farmers' Market.  It features locally grown fresh food.  This used to be a once-a-week event on the other side of the road, but now it appears to be a permanent home for the farmers.  This is very cool, as long as we can get things that haven’t been sprayed.  More will be revealed.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“I installed a skylight in my
apartment… the people who
live above me are furious!”
~Steven Wright

Tuesday, September 10, 2019



The weather had that same look today, like it could rain any time.  Funny thing is, it rained this time in the afternoon.  I should say it stormed and then left.  Just the way we like it.

Our ‘Easy Monday’ song comes from the Motor City, where a little house produced monster hits.  “Mistakes, I know I’ve made a few, but I’m only human, you’ve made mistakes too.  I’m cryin’.  __ __, __ __.  __ __, __ __.”  Clue:  Title consist of two vowel sounds and a word that’s repeated.  It’s by a group.  

Last night was Jai Dee’s second night away from his original family.  He did much better than the first night.  He sleeps in a travel carrier next to Lisa and when he wakes up and cries a little, it just takes a couple of fingers in the cage to calm him down.  The real trick right now is getting him worn out enough to go to sleep.  The boy is a ball of energy and likes to stay up.  

This morning we did the shopping and Natcha stayed home with Jai Dee.  For the second day in a row, she sent us photos while we were out.  Today, it was a series of his face, while he slept with his head in her hand.  Where would we be without the ability to take a photo and send it to someone in an instant?  Hmm, that one is wide open and I won’t even get into it (555).

After Big C we went to Central Plaza for coffee at Starbuck’s.  Once again, the mall people have changed the direction of some of the traffic and blocked off certain aisles before opening the stores.  It may be time for a letter and a demonstration (555).  From Starbuck’s we went downstairs to Top’s Market for some healthy stuff and then left.  We noticed that there is a definite increase in the traffic on a few major thoroughfares.  Progress marches on, one gridlock at a time.  There is a huge building that apparently opened over the weekend, across the bridge from us.  As we passed by, we saw what looked like vendors selling produce and people eating.  We’ll have to ask Natcha if she knows what it is.  If it turns out to be a giant produce market it will be a great addition to the ‘neighborhood’.

The rest of the week is getting busy.  Busy is good sometimes, but when it’s away from the house we miss Jai Dee.  Tomorrow he will have his first visit to his/our vet to get acquainted.  He had two vet visits before he came to us, but we want our guy and his crew to meet their newest client.  

Thursday we’re having dinner with Dr. Intorn and his wife and then coming to the house so they can meet Jai Dee.  We’re taking them to Chivit Tamma Da, even though it will be getting dark, there’s plenty of atmosphere in the gardens.

It’s also time to start getting serious about the wardrobe for the Sunday affair and meeting The Princess.  Hmm, something from the closet with a Northern Thai flair would probably be alright.

Here’s Jai Dee looking serious in the kitchen.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“It is what we know already that 
often prevents us from learning.”
~Claude Bernard

Monday, September 9, 2019



Over the weekend we experienced all the different kinds of weather Thailand can dish out.  Traveling south to Chiang Mai we encountered scattered clouds in blue skies, a range of light to heavy rain, various winds and of course hot and humid air.  Yeah, that’s what happened.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Gentle On My Mind” by Glen Campbell.  On to a new set of tunes by a group you may have heard of and an ‘Easy Monday’ song that will loop:  “I did you wrong, my heart went out to play and in the game I lost you.  What a price to pay, I’m cryin’, __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __…”  Hint:  Lyrics don’t really provide a hint to the content of the song, but sing well.

Saturday was the beginning of the monumental weekend.  It was the weekend that we finally got to meet Jai Dee and bring him into our family.  The journey to Chiang Mai was not what we expected at all.  We knew it would take longer going north to Mae Chan and then west to Fang followed by a southern route to our destination but no one mentioned the twisty turny mountain road that went on forever.  One should never ask a motorcycle rider about the nature of a highway ride.  Better to ask a truck driver.  This road, highway 107, is probably great fun on two wheels,  but it got tired real quick.  I should say that the scenery was magnificent.  Lush jungle covered mountains, miles of rice, and the occasional forest were all refreshing.  Not counting the stops for food and coffee, it took 5 hours.  The bumpy way we normally take was only 3 hours.  That’s how we came home.

Now for the good stuff.  Saturday evening, Dr. Intorn and his wife picked us up at our hotel and we went to one of their favorite Chinese restaurants, which happened to be just a few minutes from our hotel.  They told us it was very old and is very popular among Thais and Chinese in town.  We ate dishes we’d never heard of, and had a really good time sharing aspects of our lives.  After dinner they took us to a dessert place a short walk from the restaurant.  We had a dish that consisted of fruit, crushed ice and coconut milk.  Now we know something else we like.  Next stop was a large gated community where they live.  It was very quiet and almost mysterious as we drove down the different streets on the way to their home.  When he is on call in Chiang Rai, he has a small apartment where he stays, but Chiang Mai is home.  We may have dinner with them this week here in Chiang Rai, since his wife came up for the week.

Sunday morning we got up early and prepared to be at the park by the river at 10am to meet the doggie broker.  We did some shopping at a market we like on the way, and arrived at 9:30am, just in case they were early.  I had a chance to talk with some friends that were there for a meeting.  At 9:45 a station wagon pulled into the lot and it was Jai Dee (not driving).  After going through the formalities of paperwork and explanations about a few things, we took our bundle of fur for his first ‘walk in the park’.  We had a harness for him, but it was too small.  We made it work for the moment and set out to walk him a bit before hitting the road.  He was attracted to all of the people.  As far as we know, this was his first time out in the world.  He tried to climb a tree, and darted around with that look of wonder that small children have.  Once we were on the road he was an easy traveling companion.  He had already been trained to hang out in his ‘crate’ so it was no problem in the car.  He and Lisa hung out in the back seat and we made a couple of stops on the way home.  

Jai Dee loves to play.  He is slowly learning how to do things like jump down single steps, which he does now when entering the bathroom.  He knows how to bring things back about 80% of the time, and loves to slide on the floor when attacking a toy.  Natcha and Nitchanan were waiting when we got home.  There is already a ‘kid’ energy between Jai Dee and Nitchanan that was quite apparent last night.  They revved each other up.  Natcha adores him and was quick to say yes when we asked her if she could ‘baby sit’ this morning.  

Here are two of Jai Dee at 8 weeks old.

Stay tuned for a whole lot more stories about the adventures of Jai Dee, The Wonder Dog (555).

Have a Great Week.


“You can’t look back and change
the beginning, but you can start
where you are and change the ending.”
~C.S. Lewis

Friday, September 6, 2019

Friday Funnies


The weather in Chiang Rai is in a new pattern.  We wake up to a glorious day and watch it turn into a ‘storm watch’, only to have it blown away by the evening winds.  Poetic, yes?

The ‘Middle Song’ was “Wichita Lineman” by Mr. Campbell.  The ‘Old School Friday’ song was originally recorded by the writer, heard by Campbell, covered by him and became a signature song for many years.  “It’s knowing that your door is always open and your path is free to walk.  That makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag rolled up and stashed behind your couch…. That keeps you in the backroads by the rivers of my memory, that keeps you ever __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  A soft touch.

This was a bit of a strange day.  We stayed at home all day.  The van never left the carport.  There was a sense of something pending.  Oh yeah, Jai Dee will be here soon.  The anticipation mixed with the insecurity of a thousand questions was pretty clear for me.  I started looking at all the topics of the videos and realized I didn’t really know everything, but then, who does?  We’ve done it before and we can do it again.  It’s a tiny little animal that will look to us for the answers to the questions he has.  This being a human can get confusing sometimes.  We watched a lesson during lunch, did some work on his crate to make it a bit smaller inside, and started putting together stuff for the trip.

Tomorrow morning we will stop at Bangkok Hospital for what may be the last time (we hope), and then head north to begin our trip to Chiang Mai.  We have to travel in the opposite direction initially to take advantage of a smoother ride, but it may be worth it.  There is also the fact that ‘we don’t get out much’ and have not seen a lot of the north.  

Next Sunday I will get to accompany Lisa to the home of Count Gerry and get a chance to see The Princess, Sirindhorn.  Our friend Khun Nine is presenting some Thai artists to The Princess and we get to watch the proceedings because Lisa helped her with her English.  After Jai Dee gets settled we’ll have that to be excited about (555).  

This afternoon at the end of our walk around the house, Lisa felt the water in the pool and informed me that it was a good day to swim.  After I’d been in the water for a bit, Natcha and Nitchanan came outside.  The little one was naturally drawn to the water and took charge by declaring that she was going in as well.  Natcha complied and got her floating tube, helped her with her T-shirt and she was in the water, kicking away.  She went the whole length of the pool twice, occasionally using her hands in an almost swimming fashion.  Today’s photo is us taking a break from all that work.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   It’s time for the ‘Funnies’.  Don’t forget the U.S. Open Finals and the F1 GP from Monza Italy.  Zoom.


Thursday, September 5, 2019



More great weather in the Land of Smiles.  Started off clear and ended with clouds.  Maybe a sprinkle tonight?

This week’s ‘Middle Song’ is another traveling, working man's lament that manages to be a beautiful love song.
“I know I need a small vacation, but it don’t look like rain.  And if it snows that stretch down south won’t ever stand the strain.  And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time.  And the __ __ is still on the line.”
Clue:  Somewhere in Kansas there is a man on a ladder.

We’re in ‘countdown mode’ in anticipation of the arrival of Jai Dee.  Three more days (our time) and we’ve started assembling the things he/we will need.  After quiet coffee at The Wanderer we went to Browney’s Pet World to cruise the aisles.  We found out what he’s been eating and bought some, so we could feed him that and then transition him to a healthier brand. We also got two types of harnesses, bowls for his crates, and of course, some chewy treats.  

When we got home, I went on the internet to find out how to put the harnesses on a puppy.  I discovered the whole world of pets on Youtube.  Lessons on everything one might encounter with a new family member.  Later we watched a couple of videos on how to deal when the puppy first comes home.  I’ll just say we learned a lot.  It’s been over ten years since we had a puppy.

Last Sunday, when I went to the home of Somluk and Tamako, I was treated to a behind-the-scenes peek at Somluk’s clay collection.  He has created a new medium for himself using the clays (earth) of Thailand as his paint.  A logical conclusion for a ceramic artist digging deeper into his craft.  Using the natural tones of various clays he has a broad palette to work with, in addition to occasional bits of color and black ink.  On our way back to the house after our ‘rice bath’, he commented that the Teak trees looked healthy, a sign that the clay was also healthy.  Below, in the first photo you see buckets of clay and below that, one of his abstract works.

Here’s a link to another original tune of mine on Youtube.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Truth is the property of no
individual, but is the treasure
of all men.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson