About Us

We are a married couple who retired and moved to Thailand in 2014. You are welcome to join us and our travel monkeys Sun Wukong and Malcolm Jr. on our adventures! We hope you enjoy the trip as much as we do.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Not Paparazzi .... Not Professional

One of the things that I have always wanted to learn to do well is photography. I don’t aspire to be a “professional” but I definitely want to be able to create good photos that I would be proud to share. Retirement will offer me that opportunity and I look forward to learning. It will allow me to post some decent pictures to the blog so our friends and family can keep up with our adventures and actually see what the heck we are talking about.
A couple of years ago I purchased a Canon T3i to begin the adventure. When our son and daughter in law decided to move to Japan they wanted to get a good camera to take pictures to document their adventures and share on their blog. I gave them the Canon setup figuring that I could replace it before we retire.
I decided to do some more research about cameras and see if there was another setup that might work out better for us. I found that when I used the Canon it was nice, but also heavy, and Lin has much smaller hands than I do and she just wasn't comfortable using it.
So about a year ago we decided that the way for us to go was with a micro 4/3 camera. They are smaller bodied, lighter, and still take some awesome photos. Here is what we bought:
Olympus OMD – EM5, 3 additional lenses, a decent flash unit, and the additional battery holder/grip.

Sometimes it is just too cumbersome or obtrusive to carry around and whip out the DSLR. In those cases we use the point and shoot plus that we have. It is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4. It is submersible to 40 feet, is GPS enabled, takes full HD video and it can also be used in manual or aperture priority mode unlike a lot of similar cameras. Why did we get the blue one? It was on sale at the time for $75 less than the other colors. Yeah, I like blue just fine.

I have been drooling over the GoPro HERO 3 Black because of all the neat things that you can do with it during various activities. I’d gone back and forth about purchasing one and justified not getting one because they are a little on the expensive side for another camera to our collection. Then….it went on sale and I channeled my inner female and decided I just had to buy it. After all …. It was ON SALE! That means you have to buy it. At least, that what I have been told. And so were a lot of the mounting options and other goodies. Got them too.

So, that’s our camera lineup for our move. In addition to our camera phones we think we should have most of the bases covered to add some neat photos and videos to the blog. We have the geocaching app on our phones so we will discover all the geocaches in Chiang Mai and The_Geomonkeys will be placing more around the Chiang Mai and Hua Hin area when we move.  Geocaching:  Using a billion dollar satellite system to hunt for Tupperware in the woods.
Now….about that quad copter.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


While visiting one of my favorite blogs called,  Life, the Universe and Lani this post created sparks in the dormant storyteller part of my wee brain.   
Lani is a teacher/writer and author that lives in Chiang Mai and often gives tips on poetry and writing along with loads of very useful information about the area.  In this post she speaks of lists and going beyond the generic ones we create every day, like groceries, to do and packing.  I am especially drawn to her suggestions for, Creating a 10 Line Story, Making a List of Nice Things to Remember Me By and The Way Things Make You Feel.  
At this moment in time we have 293 day till we permanently arrive in Chiang Mai and I am not quite sure what is going on with my emotions!   Work is just status quo and it is becoming harder and harder to put a smile on my face as I watch chaos, dysfunction, greed, abuse, harassment, ignorance, bigotry, racism and prejudice be systematically ignored by some and encouraged by others. Many years ago I saw a button that said, “All Bigots and Racists will be re-incarnated as gay homeless people of color”   I think that applies here. You might think we live in the deep south or the mid-west part of the US….but nooooo!  We have lived in Eugene, Oregon for 13 years.  It is a large, supposedly progressive, modern city and at it’s core is the University of Oregon.   
I have to remind myself that the University was founded by men belonging to the KKK and that the large statue of “Pioneer Father” located in the main area of campus is not carrying a whip for his livestock!    I feel as if I am living in an alternate timeline, I am saddened and my heart hurts.  I don’t belong here any longer.  It is kind of like a Stephen King novel where the people I have worked with for 7 years are changing right before my eyes. The novel comes with a song……..Smiling Faces
So….I as I shut down and cocoon myself in my cubicle I surround myself with pictures of Thich Nhat Hahn and his quotes.   “Go as a river”  “Be Beautiful, Be Yourself”   “We are all watering seeds” and my favorite…..”No Mud, No Lotus”
I also have special pieces of kitsch on my desk which comforts me.  A Shishimai Lion I picked up in Uchiko, Japan when I visited our son and daughter in-law.  Once a year men of the village dress as the Lion to visit homes and businesses to rid them of evil spirits and bestow good fortune for the coming year.  I am proud to say our son has donned the Lion many times and my small Shishimai Lion makes me feel that he is protecting me from afar.  Shishimai Lion Dance
I have two small Buddhas carved from stone and three small stone elephants.  A large single point quartz crystal that is 7 inches high and weighs about 4 lbs and a gold gilded Washi Paper card sent to me by my beautiful daughter in-law along with many charms from Buddhist temples we visited in Japan.  I am surrounded by the energy of my distant family.
As you can see I am feeling very emotional and hope to breathe through it as I watch it transform me.   It is a quiet, contemplative protective space I find myself.  Like being wrapped snugly  in a soft cozy warm blanket, nothing is sticking out, not even my nose.  It is a safe darkness where things germinate, gestate and become. I just don’t know yet what that will be.
I have glimpses sometimes when I least expect it.  Something will strike my funny bone and I will erupt into laughter where tears start to form in my eyes and I look around to see faces of scorn and ridicule…..I wish people could be happier.  

I want to dance in the warm rain, laugh till my sides hurt and giggle just because!  But for now I will remain in my cocoon until the skin of this old life has transformed into a brilliant multi-colored ………….?  Like I said, I don’t know what yet! But I’m positive it will be BEAUTIFUL!     

Our College Apartment?

It is October 2013, we made arrangements to give away our furniture to several very nice college students that will be getting married shortly after graduation next year.   Timing was right for Grant and Charlotte to rent a truck and so we happily gave them several pieces of furniture.

Our small two bedroom apartment now looks like we are either moving in or moving out.   We have one bed in the living room being used as a couch and two small side tables with lamps.   We have our bed and two nightstands with lamps in the bedroom and a large screen TV on a coffee table in the living room.   Yep, I think most University students have more furniture than we do.

We have taken several car loads to St. Vincent dePaul Charities for donation and only have a few items in the kitchen to go through.  I have even pared down to 4 plates, cups, glasses, bowls and a few pieces of utensils.   

While meditating this morning I was aware of how impatient I have been surrounding this move.  I have been selfish in my wanting.  Wanting time to fly so it is August and we are in our new home in Chiang Mai.  Wishing my time here to be in the past.

In nearly 40 years of marriage we have experienced many major life events, have moved several times to different states, changed jobs, had major medical issues and have bought and sold 3 homes.    Each one of those created intense emotions…………..but this life event is different.

I am so over the top excited about this new phase of our life I can hardly contain myself.   It is all I am able to think about.   I go to sleep visualizing our new home, swimming in the pool, hiking, exploring side streets, smiling till my face hurts and living life on our terms.

In my quiet thoughts after yoga I heard a voice that said, “Be happy where you are!”   I will certainly do my best.  

Each drop fills the bucket…..The Dalai Lama

I saw this and wanted to share it with you.   

Passion       Wonder       Love        Healing       Patience      Silence       Strength       Understanding      Courage      Wisdom      Laughter      Peace      Encouragement      Care
Sweetness      Beauty      Elegance      Freedom      Quiet      Motivation       Appreciation      Magic      Attention      Bliss      Contentment      Happiness      Delight      Warmth      Hilarity     Well-Being      Spirit      Playfulness      Sensitiveness      Energy      Heart      Awareness      Substance      Certainty    Truth    Insight    Intuition