Thursday, November 13

The Deactivation Facebook Challenge

  Yes, I'm back! I took my own challenge to stay off Facebook for awhile and see if I have a life and friends in it! I realized that my blog has totally gone to the wayside since Facebook came into existence. For shame. But it happened and it was easy to fall into the rut of logging onto FB and making a quick update. LAZY!! So, at the prompting of my dogs, I have opted OUT of FB to dog walk in the mornings. I have decided to reinvest that time into doing more things and visiting more people,,,, IN PERSON! What a novel idea!!!

   Are you missing out by being on FB all the time? Take the DEACTIVATION FACEBOOK CHALLENGE WITH ME. (and you too can get nasty messages from people thinking you have blocked them!)

  There is no "Vacation from FB" status so deactivation is the only way! For all those that are still subscribed to my blog, well Bless YOU!! You kept me going during those rainy days and I appreciate your following!

 Thank you all for now and See Ya SOON!! And yes, THAT is "MY CAT" ( I keep telling the dogs). He showed up at my house on CR Mother's Day with a broken leg. The dogs found him hiding.  He has since taken over my house and my heart.

I still have cat killing dogs so that's a big challenge!!

Monday, June 4

HELLO?? 6.6 and counting......

Maybe we should start getting nervous a little. If you look back in May, which I didn't report not one earthquake, we had loads of activity. About yesterday's rumblings, this is what the institute has to say about the two earthquakes yesterday: "According to USGS event 06:45 pm was M = 6. 2 and P = 9 7 km event 09:15 pm was M = 6. 4 and P = 5 9 km according to EMSC event 06:45 pm was M = 5. 9 and P = 10 km event 09: 15 pm was m = 5. 8 and P = 2 km these differences remind us that the location and magnitude of an earthquake are not easy much less when earthquakes occur offshore, away from stations that can register (that usually will be those that are on the Mainland). Assuming that both events are relatively close each other as evidenced by seismological centres, how to explain that the accelerations of the first were greater than the second? A common thing in both centers is that they report the first event as deeper than the second. In Costa Rica the accelerations of the first were much larger than the second. If the first earthquake was stronger, that makes little sense. However, if the second event was stronger, as suggested by the USGS, but more shallow as evidenced by the two seismic centers, then the reason for the differences in acceleration as marked between the earthquake from 06: 45 pm and 09: 15 pm should be mainly the depth. Indeed, if the second earthquake was stronger, but more shallow, most of their energy is due release very near the epicentral area, therefore, its influence at great distances to which would be our country, would have been necessarily less and would be reflected in lower values of acceleration. The importance of the depth in the area of impact of an earthquake can be understood better with this analogy which had already explained above: (Translated by Bing)" To clarify why it is felt different in various locations, I ripped off this illustration from the University of Costa Rica's website.....

Saturday, June 2

Day One - Month of June opens with some Shakin'

Yes Ma'am!! The first day of June comes with a whole lotta shakin' goin' on!!! Three 3.7 earthquakes occurred at three separate times in this area. The explanation given by the Earthquake Engineering Laboratory yesterday - "The earthquakes are related to the subduction process. The first and third occur at great depth the second not. For that reason, there is no relationship between them rather than being caused by the normal process of collapse of the Cocos plate under the Caribbean" and "Although often the earthquakes that are reported are hereby senses acceleration records are pretty intense at many stations, as here in Guanacaste. Furthermore, its magnitude is not desprecible, which is provided by this type of information." taken from their page on Facebook. It was translated so it may not be the same word for word. You know lately how it takes an earthquake to get me to post, well, I'm happy I read about it cause I did not feel a thing. A big semi truck passes and it sometimes causes the earth to vibrate so who can tell?? This is the report from the University of Costa Rica:
Checking the activity chart for earthquakes, I have a lot to catch up on, the month of May was very active!! The whole Blogger look and layout is totally different since my last post. It will not put in returns and spaces inbetween lines now.....

Friday, March 16

If it weren't for Earthquakes...

guess there'd be no posts at all! Yes, we had another one, well actually, we had TWO! One at midnight and we were the center of that one and another 3.4 mag. early in the morning around 4ish. Didn't even disturb me or my dogs. I so much prefer a bunch a little ones instead of THE BIG ONE.
Go here - and check it out.
Otherwise, blue skies, nice waves, and the sun is shining EVERY DAY!
We need RAIN! Not a drop here in over two months.
If you live in this area, please set out water for the animals. Bananas are cheap, I them out this time of year for the birds and iguanas. They love me.

If you'd like to see the earthquake activity we have had this month so far, go to this site:

"I feel the BIG ONE coming" - Sanford says to Elizabeth as he holds his heart and looks upward (Sanford & Sons)... that's what comes to mind with all these little ones.

Monday, February 13

Use to It

Guess I've gotten use to it... some say it was a 6.1. Happened 4:00 a.m. this morning.
Didn't even phase my dogs...., they use to bark!! I slept through it.

Now that I have discovered how to sign back onto my blog... maybe I'll be back blogging again. Maybe it will take another earthquake.

On a sad note, Goodbye to Whitney Houston, she died day before yesterday, the day before the Grammy Awards. I heard the news yesterday morning but I didn't let it sink in until her song was sang on the Grammy's - I Will Always Love You. The tears began to flow. I always thought she'd have a grand come back. R.I.P. now. I will always love you.

Thursday, November 3

Just "Get Use to It!"

Link to earthquake in Costa Rica yesterday....

Earthquakes were something I had NEVER experienced before ~ coming from S. W. Florida. The ground literally shifting under your feet, it is an alarming and disorienting feeling. The first earthquake I experienced was "cool". After I saw all the damage in the neighboring town of Parrita, I now RUN and it has long lost it's "coolness". They call it Terremoto (or temblor)! 
Past post here from 2006.

Yesterday, when the earth moved, I was inside a three-story building. My first instinct was to run for outside the door to clear sky. I was happy to see I did this without hesitation or thinking, I just bolted. Some people barely missed a beat and hardly noticed. They're natives.

Post Script for long time followers and newbees: Remember when I had music on here, before 'they' blocked it because I am "international", well, IF I had my music list still in operation, Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire would be playing. That's exactly where we live here, check out Wikipedia link - Ring of Fire.
Yeppers, we all know terremotos come with the territory living here in

Tuesday, November 1

Turtle Egg Rescue

I've always wondered what was so exciting about digging up turtle eggs,,, well I found out today. I saw a HUGE turtle on the beach today laying her eggs. I was drawn to the spot because of all the vultures circling overhead. Of course, I didn't have my camera so I went home, got it, called a friend to help and grabbed a few buckets and gloves.

I have to admit, I did not want to interfere with Mother Nature but I have lived here A-WHILE and I have seen the ping pong sized turtle eggs floating in the river, I've seen dogs digging them up and children throwing them at each other, stay here long enough, you see lots. The old culture was to eat the eggs. I knew I had to step up and do something,,, anything.

Not my turtle pic but this is exactly what the scene looked like and this is a Olive Ridley Turtle.

When I returned, the turtle had gone and so had the vultures. Only four tourist were standing around at the sight and my friend was walking up the beach to help collect the eggs.

We started to dig and it took a bit but we found the spot where she had laid them and it wasn't very deep. Armed with gloves, we carefully placed them on sand beds in the buckets and took them directly to the turtle farm on the south end of Hermosa.

In our excitement, no one thought to count how many. We rescued 72 turtle eggs. They will be well protected here and when they hatch, they will be carefully released to walk to the ocean and begin their own journey back one day to lay their own eggs.
Hopefully in Guanacaste where there are supposedly thousands now laying their eggs. I was told that this turtle missed her mark and ended up on the wrong beach. If you do your research (and I have not), you will find there is so much to this. Like the turtles MUST walk on their own to the shore to be carried away by the tide. It is a slow and drawn out process with them being washed back in many times but this is important to strengthen their new legs for their journey. Every year, they return to the same beach to lay their eggs.......JUST FASCINATING!!!!

It's surprising more tourist don't go out and visit this magical place. It's really something to see!!

Monday, October 17

Recovering Mia

Remember me? Remember Mia and Armel, well it's been a long road to hold for Miss Mia these last few months. That's partly why I fell out of blogging. I was busy with taking care of Mia for awhile there and taking care of walking my own dogs, too. Mia got real use to seeing my dogs everyday when they were in training with Armel. When we stopped the lessons, Mia continued to come to my house, on her own. I was always happy to see her, of course, which just encouraged her to "escape to here" more often. As luck will do, it ran out and I was home the day the cargo truck hit Mia. Armel was at his house and me at mine when we both heard the bam, bam, bam, bam. Mia bounced under the truck and was tossed to the side for dead. We rushed her to Dr. Wendy in Jaco, both thinking she was taking her last breath on the way. It was severe. Mia did not go into shock and survived due to Dr. Wendy's accurate emergency response. Now, we just had to wait, wait for her to get through the night, and the next night, and the night after. It was a very long wait. A week, in fact, for the inflammation to go down and her to stabilize so the orthopedic surgeon from San Jose could perform the surgery. Mia had to wait. I waited with her, every day.

So, after the surgery, Mia recovered very quickly. She was ready to come home but not her home, mine. She received my total attention while she recovered. Also, my dogs accepted her as part of their pack. Just one big happy family until I went with Armel back to the vet and they said her other leg may have to be amputated. She was not using it and just dragging it along. That bit of bad news was what it took to get us in high gear to get Mia back on all fours. I devised this boot that velcro-ed around her leg and she started lifting her leg instead of dragging it along. Armel did water exercises with her to strengthen her legs.

Today, Mia is walking with a sassy little twist, with both legs (almost). She stays at her house now and things around my house are getting back to normal. Mia still comes to visit Macha. They've become like two peas in a pod.
Photo: My Macha waiting in Mia's bed for her to return.

and Armel,,, he's turned out to be quite the good doggy daddy, still does his surf thing and Mia can tag along with him again now. I am still training my dogs, or at least trying to. We had another family dog fight the other day, first one in years but that's for another post another day.

Life is good.

Pura Vida.

Wednesday, April 13

Update - Delusional Illusions

This photo was taken on Week One. Armel was training Max with his dog, Mia so I had to use a telephoto so Max would not know I was there. At this stage of the training, Max would become aggressive to Mia when I was present.
Now, it's all different. We can walk as a pack and they allow Mia on their property.

Just wanted to give you an update on my dog situation. Momma Brindy passed away in August and Max, Mela, and Macha have been jousting for the "Top Dog" status. Neither won, in fact, I am happy to report I did. It has been a struggle until recently, when I met Armel and his well-mannered female pit bull, Mia. They have transformed our lives. After three weeks of Armel and Mia working with my dogs on the beach, one by one, two by two, and then all three, I am proud to announce that this week
WE began walking ALL THE DOGS on the beach together!!! It's a miracle!! No, it's hard work and Armel had the patience to see my dogs through their bad behavior and take them through their aggressive actions to other dogs to a place where they can calmly walk pass the other dogs. I am still very nervous and try to keep positive thoughts when we pass pit bulls off leash that are big enough to kill my Macha with one bite. I owe it all to Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer. Here, he is known as El Encantador de Perror. Without Cesar's books and DVDs,watching Cesar every night, sometimes twice, I don't think I would have progressed this far. In fact, my dogs probably would have ended up killing each other at the rate they were going. Armel helped reinforce Cesar's Way of training. Mia, his dog, set a fine example of how a balanced dog should be. Together, they have been a God send and I feel blessed my prayer was answered.

I want to give a huge thank you (and huge) to Melissa Jo, Cesar, Armel, and of course, Miss Mia. I couldn't have done it without you. "It takes a village to raise a well balanced dog."

Here is one of my past experiences from 2007:

Delusional Illusions

To See Photos Click Here
"Peace and Harmony", it's just an illusion.
Here I was concerned about my dogs fighting with other dogs. This morning I had the biggest dog fight I have ever seen and it was between my own two dogs! Mela (the very meek one that gets picked on by Max, the bully) ATTACKED Macha (my precious one). I heard the screaming and before I could get out to them, Mela had already drawn blood and it was everywhere. Especially all over Macha's face and Mela's mouth.
I was toally horrified.

I got the bleeding to stop and called the vet. He wouldn't be in for another hour so I calmed my Macha and tried to keep pressure on the wounds around her eyes.
What do parents do when they have grown boys that fight with each other, with fists? This was a knock-down brawl between my two sweetest dogs.(?) The other two, which I consider the Alphas and are more ficious, stayed out of fight.
What to do...
There are always solutions, compromises, or whatever and I am working on finding them.
Peace and Pura Vida.
The above posted by TICA MACHA on Tuesday, February 06, 2007
If you search my blog, you will see this has been an ongoing battle for years.
Here is the almost last fight: The Final Bloody Battle.
I can finally see the light!!! NO MORE FIGHTS!
To Cesar - We STILL need you to come to Costa Rica, specifically, Playa Hermosa near Jaco. We have lodging for you and your crew ready and waiting!!!
Bring Junior!!

Monday, March 7

Iggy Guana

This is my (not so) new pet, Iggy Guana. Iggy loves to lay out in the sun all day. Special attention is given to the tanning of the legs......

The frogs took off during the rainy season and they had served their purpose.... to desensitize my dogs to them. Toad frogs secrete this milky substance on the base of their head that can kill a dog. Word has it that dogs know they can get high by just licking a toad frog. The trick is - not too much, most dogs get a foamy mouth and die of the poison. This type of iguana is mean and dangerous if you catch it. Macha caught one the other day and the iguana reached around and bit her eye and cheek, drawing blood. I was glad. Unfortunately, he died giving Macha this lesson. I scolded Macha severely but her brain is pit bull/chow. I am trying to teach her to NOT CHASE IGUANAS! It's a hard lesson for her to learn since she can catch them nearly every time. There's one iguana running around here that got away from Macha's clutches recently. I was happy to see him scamper up the tree yesterday sporting a new three inch stump for a tail, I call him Chinga (no tail). Actually there are several with regrown tails, I call them all Chinga (aka - Macha survivors).

Now that I have Iggy set up at my front gate and sleeping peacefully in a pipe, I want Macha to see on a daily basis that iguanas are for looking (and feeding) not killing!! Iggy waits ever morning for banana pieces, lettuce, papaya, or whatever I have on hand (actually, I now buy fruit for Iggy and his friends/foes). It's amazing what iguanas will eat (birds, too). They love my gringo gallo pinto! (in Southern Spanish that's, Gringa Galla Pinta). It's a local dish.

There have been other iguanas that have wanted to take over Iggy's set-up but he is defending his turf. I am hoping my dogs seeing Iggy on a daily basis will desensitize them to iguanas and there will be no more bolting out the door to chase down iguanas in the yard. ESPECIALLY IGGY!! I can't count the number of iguanas I have had to pick up and rescue from my yard. I NEVER dreamed I could catch and hold an iguana in my hands!!!!
This is the iguana that lives at the river. The battle is coming for Iggy's spot. Iggy is on the left.

I tried to break it up with the water hose but they were determined to duke it out. Lots of scuffling and arm biting but no damage. The river iguana went back to his domain and Iggy to his throne (that rock). In the photo below, you can see Iggy's house (the tube with barrel tile on top for insulation).
In the photo above, you can see Iggy is NOT HAPPY the bird is taking his banana!

I have alerted the yardman for the neighboring property about my "mascote" because he trims my hedge and I don't want Iggy to end up on someone's dinner plate... like what happened to my last "pet" iguana that lived in the water drainage pipe. I watched their dogs chase him down and them take the iguana to the house. I had to just turn and walk back inside my house without saying a word. They did not know he was my pet and eating iguana meat is a common practice for some. Pura vida.
Macha checking on Iggy's location. Iggy likes the grass on HER SIDE of the fence!! why is that??.......

Sunday, February 27

Playa Hermosa

Ever feel like this?

I just love this photo of 'the tree' at Hermosa Beach. Gearing up to take more surf shots (waves willing).

This is Jason (from Las Olas) making some small waves look fun with his new (for him) board. Go Jason!
Check over to the left and you will see a tide chart I just added. I have grand plans to take more surf shots.....

Monday, February 14

First Valentine (reprint)

My Dad always made sure I had a good Valentine's Day by sending cards, gifts and MONEY. He was great about making me feel "Special".

I was probably in 9th grade when I had my first "real" Valentine. The doorbell rang at the front door (the door no one ever used) and I ran to go run off the Jehovah Witness people. There standing at the door was long, tall Jimmy Long and he handed me a heart-shaped box of chocolates. Without a word, he spun on his bootheel, got on his horse, and rode away. I was speechless myself. My first Valentine gift from a boy.

About a decade plus later, I was at my Mom's beauty shop when Jimmy Long walked in to get a haircut. He was the same except all grown-up. He gave me his business card and all it read was...
Jimmy Long - Cowboy (and his phone number).

I've always had a thing for cowboys.

Happy Valentines to all. I'll get back to blogging one day......

Sunday, January 16

Pura Vida - The Power of NOW

Somewhere, inbetween the sun going down and the moon rising,
I found "NOW".
I've been catching up on Eckert Tolle, reading his first book, The Power of Now. I can't help but reflect on Cesar Millan's teachings on dog behavior, how dogs live in the moment, the "now". And the Costa Rican way of Pura Vida... You can say it but to know it, you have to live it. Only NOW.

Past Posts:
Pura Vida What I learn from my dogs - 2006/09
Pura Vida - I Learn From My Dogs 2009/09

A New Earth by Eckert Tolle - Plus a link to the Oprah/Eckert workshop.

Your Best Life

Wednesday, January 12

1.11.11 Remember #1

Oscar gave me the best advice ever, "Remember #1". You have to take care of yourself to be of any service to others.
Yesterday, I took care of numero uno.
Yesterday, I became a permanent resident of Costa Rica. Trust me, it was not easy.
I won't go into all the details or the expense of the whole ordeal and the time/energy involved, I'll just say that although I look the same, I feel different having finally obtained permanent residency. Pura Vida.

Wednesday, January 5

Zapote - Run with the Bulls

I just happened to catch the last day of the rodeo on t.v. It is held every year in Costa Rica at this time of year in Zapote. It was hilarous to watch and somewhat alarming. Guys get out there and actually taunt the bull to chase them. No, they are not drunk as in years past. The police check and make sure they are NOT drunk and have no weapons on them. Also, they have to remove their belts on their pants and shoe laces for safety's sake. Seems the bull knows he can hook these and really throw can these guys like rag dolls. It is incredible to watch and I hope to attend next year and be able report first hand!
One bull took the clothes off of one guy and the t.v. reporters couldn't play the tape of that episode enough, yes, it was funny,,,, very funny (if you're not the guy). It's all in good fun and the Ticos turn out for it every year!
You can check the newspapers for reported injuries, yes,,,, people get hurt doing stuff like this. Only two were seriously hurt.

Saturday, January 1


I just love it when the numbers are all the same on the date.
Two lucky dogs adopted from the McKee Project, on their way to their new home on the beach in Esterillos. They don't know it yet but they have landed in Paradise with their new owners, Larry and Linda.
If you would like to adopt a pet or support the spay and neuter program, please contact the McKee Project of Jaco.

Friday, December 31

2010 El Zarpe

Friday Sunset, December 31, 2010

'El Zarpe' means the last one and this is the last sunset of the year. Hope you are reflecting on a great year in 2010 and looking forward to an even better year in 2011.

Sunday, December 26

Santa Gringos in Jaco

I saw this video and wanted to share it here with you. What a great thing these guys went out and did on their own AND made a video!! I publish it here to inspire me and others .......what just a couple of guys can do to make a difference!!

Saturday, December 18

Take it to Heart

"Sunrise Sunday" 2008 post link

I have to stop and wonder, why does some news hit me so hard? I came to the conclusion that although it is terrible about the bicycle accident that happened recently in Jaco, it is not uncommon. Many people are killed in this country on bicycles, motocycles, and just walking down the road. For so many people, they have only bicycles for transportation and given the road conditions in some areas AND the way some people drive, it's surprising not more are killed.

I figured out the reason his death struck me so hard were issues I had not faced when my father was killed in a car accident. My dad's car was t-boned after a driver motioned for him to cross over a busy highway. He died in the hospital due to blood loss and a severed aorta. I won't go into all the details but it was tragic and a huge shock. I was his only daughter/kid. Twenty years later, I realize I never really accepted his death or was at peace with it. He was my hero.

This time last year, a friend of mine's son was killed while riding his bicycle in front of his house. He was only eight years old. I grieved for weeks for his mother and his family. I realized later, it was my sister losing her eight year old boy in a 4-wheel accident nearly 20 years ago which was the real source of most of my grieving. Unhealed heart.

Life is mysterious.
Things we choose to deny at the time,
have a way of repeating somewhere down the road.

It is a magical time of the day, early morning.

"The Wave - Digital to Canvas" post link

Monday, December 13

His name is Matt

Sometimes, there is something so tragic that happens,,, it takes your breath away and the weight on your chest is so heavy from your heart that you have to think to take a breath. That is how I have felt since I opened up an email on Sunday morning and read Tom's letter to me about his friend being struck by a car while he was riding a bicycle in Jaco. It was their last day here and they were returning their rental bikes. Both were here vacationing and were to return to Connecticut the next day when this happened. Matt would have been back to work today at the firehouse.

Lt. Martin "Matt" Dirrane was a firefighter for 16 years at the West End Station on Sisson Ave in Hartford. I had breakfast with him and his friend Tom eariler that morning. I cannot believe something so tragic happened and I mourn for his mother, his family, his friends, and his fellow firefighters.,0,576205.story?track=rss-topicgallery

December 20th, 2010:

Martin K. "Matt" DIRRANE

DIRRANE, Martin K. "Matt" Martin K. "Matt" Dirrane, 50, of Waterford, passed away tragically as a result of an accident in Costa Rica, Saturday (December 11, 2010). Matt was born in Hartford, and was raised in East Hartford. He graduated from George J. Penny High School and attended Daniel Webster College of Aviation prior to going on to Indiana State University. Matt was an Ironworker for Local 15, Hartford, for 13 years before becoming a Hartford Firefighter. He was proud to have served on the busiest Tactical Rescue Unit in the United States. He was promoted to Lieutenant and served at Ladder Company 5. Matt was a proud member of the following organizations, the Hartford Firefighters Emerald Society, the International Association of Firefighters, the Patrol and Firemans Association, the Police and Fireman's Association, the Fireman's Benevolent Society, the Firefighters Local 760, and the Firefighters Protective Association. He was also a past member of the Irish American Home Society, Glastonbury. Matt leaves behind his adoring family, to include his mother, Theresa (Faherty) Derrane, a sister, Pauline (Derrane) Wyatt and her husband Tom; his cherished nieces and nephews, Summer, Mary Grace, Megan, and Joseph Wyatt. In addition, Matt is also survived by a son, Kevin, in California, a large extended Irish family, and many close, dear friends. He was predeceased by his father, Joseph Derrane, and his two brothers, Joseph and Robert Derrane. Matt was known for his adventurous spirit, love for life, had a great passion for fitness and sports, along with a tremendous sense of humor and being a skillful practical joker. No one, from the very young to the very old, was safe; he played jokes on us all. Matt had a gift of making everyone feel great. At the very least, you smiled around Matt, but typically you left laughing. Matt was larger than life, and was loved by all who knew him. He was a strong hard worker, who was proud of his Irish heritage. Above all, Matt was a guardian, extremely loyal and loving to his friends and family. He was our rock, who will be missed forever. Now, he is our guardian angel. A Mass of Christian Burial, celebrating Matt's life, will be held, Tuesday (December 21, 2010) at 10 a.m. in the Church of the Incarnation, 544 Prospect Street, Wethersfield, with Rev. Fr. Michael Galasso officiating. Friends are asked to go directly to the church. Interment will be Wednesday (December 22, 2010) 11 a.m. at Jordan Cemetery, 240 Boston Post Road, Waterford. All are welcome to attend. Friends and relatives may call on the family at the Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, 34 Beaver Road, Wethersfield, Monday, December 20, 2010, from 3-7 p.m. Memorial donations in Matt's name, may be made to the Hartford Firefighters 20 Club, 778 Maple Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114. The Derrane family wishes to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation, for the overwhelming love and support we have received and given to Matt from so many of you. We would also like to extend a special thank you to the Hartford Fire Department, the Hartford Police Department, Dan Nolan, Neville Brooks, and Greg Kelley. To extend online condolences or for further information, please visit

Published in The Hartford Courant

Monday, November 8

The Old Bridge in Parrita to Quepos

My friend, Marco, my "Ticopedia", works down in Parrita and provided me with these photos from his cell phone. The old bridge is now under the new bridge and the water lines running under the old bridge are broken. Parrita is a low area and they suffered severely from the rains. People say it's the worst in 60 years. Marco is o.k. but his place there was flooded with six feet of water. Some lost all.