Tuesday, October 31


Ya just never know living here.
It's "trick or treat" three-hundred and sixty-five
days a year for a foreigner here! (Just joking, not)

Seriously, Costa Ricans really don't celebrate Halloween. They honor the first day of November as All Saints Day and "All Souls Day" on the second day. The whole country is Catholic and this three days of "All Hallow' Eve" , Mass, and visiting the dead is their "Halloween" (Hallow Tide). The first day of November is for the Saints not recognized and the second is for sinners in purgatory. It's a time to take flowers to the graves. Totally different deal here. No wonder the Costa Rican kids are catching on to the North American trick or treat thing, CANDY!
You must click onto the links above if this is all new to you. Hit the back button to get back here.
Google "All Saints Day Costa Rica" too.
(When did Google become a verb?? When "GOOG" stock passed over 350 the first time?)

Jaco Hell Tonight will be a whole different sort of "trick or treat".
I saw on CBS news that the most popular costumes in the States are
HOT, HOT, HOT!.....Sizzle, steamy, down-right S-E-X-Y!
Jaco looks like that on most nights with the outfits "the working girls" wear.
How will the guys tell the difference tonight....


No, that is not me and I did not take that photo.
Just trying to scare you. BOO! and Happy Halloween!

Post script: My electrician, Marco (affectionately known as my "Ticopedia"), informs me that there is NO Mass on Nov. 1st in Costa Rica for the Saints and the 2nd day is the big day for the dead. Flowers on the graves.

Monday, October 30


I have seen so many incredible things here having to do with transporting.
Here you see guys standing on the back of bumpers getting a lift, guys on bicycles being pulled along by a car, any and all sorts of things being transported by trucks, large and small. I was most horrified seeing chickens being transported.
I wondered how many survived. They were stacked in crates, full up. It's hot here.

There appears to be no law against children riding in the back of a truck, I see that all the time. Horses are transported in regular large trucks. Horse trailers are not common. Cows, bulls, etc. are also ramped-up onto the back. Driving behind them, you can see the difficulty they have remaining on their feet (hooves).

It's just an observation and I've seen more than I've taken photos.

Question for YOU

Does anyone know how to "save" a blog?
I've tried to select all and then save to another file
and it will not let me. How do you back-up your work?
You can write me at hermosaparadise@yahoo.com
Thanks for your help. Teri

p.s. is it possible "Who's on top" tracker is preventing me from saving?

November 1st postscript:
Although the BlogBloke (listed on left side panel of my blog) is recovering from a horrifying surgery, he still managed to respond to my request for info about saving my blog. He posted a blog on SAVING YOUR BLOG awhile back. Click on link to find out how to do it.
Bloke, you're still my bloghero!!

Sunday, October 29

Church on Sunday

Church in Tulin (up the mountain at Mata de Platano)

Saturday, October 28

Ain't just Ants

There must be fifty ga-jillion ants in Costa Rica.
There are WHITE ants that like sugar and bread (can't see them).
There are Army ants that come in a swarm and "clean" your house here. They only came once to La Macha's house and I drove them back underground with my pump sprayer loaded with insecticide. They haven't returned. The locals (from what I've read), welcome these ants in their homes. I have heard of entire walls and floors covered with these army ants as they pass through a home, doing their clean sweep. They eat all the bugs, rats, etc. Army Ant Photo taken from this site . Check it out.

The MOST AMAZING are the leaf cutter ants.
Check out this site. Killer photos.
They run long trails transporting their cut leaves back to the underground nest for their food. They don't eat the leaves, they use the leaves to make a type of fungus that only they can eat. Totally amazing. Step in their path and the war is on. They bite!! It's also told that the people here have used the leaf cutter ant's pinchers as sutures!

They hold the ant over the cut and squeeze him, the ant clamps down and closes the wound and then his body is pinched off. Each ant pincher is used as a stitch! Awesome...

We have fire ants but in addition to the red ones, we have the black kind that look harmless. They are small and you can't feel them. They wait until they are all in position and give the signal to attack. The frantic ant dance begins trying to get them off! They leave little blisters that can turn into sores if you scratch them (scars, too). Heaven help you if you step on one of their beds.

Then there are the crazy ants. They are usually found in the kitchen (into everything if you're not careful). They are practically microscopic. You wouldn't see them if they didn't run around like crazy. They are just pesky. They like sugar, they like everything! A speck of brownie on the floor is a good ant trap. They will come out of nowhere to feast. I've heard a boric acid, honey and water mixture is also a killer ant cocktail.

We also have the carpenter ants. They are every homeowners worst fear.

Just too many ants to mention.

I hate killing any living thing but this is My domain and
My solution is this, Biokim Ceperkil 25 EC. It has "Peretroide".
It's the best I've found in Costa Rica (I've tried many).
Mix with water (it's all in Spanish so I just guess) and use it in a pump sprayer.
A small spray bottle for small stuff inside. I've heard some people mop their floor with insecticide but I haven't had to take that measure. I try to stop them at the perimeters (fence, base of house outside, around their favorite banana trees, etc).

Ain't no ants at my house.
I wish that were true but the reality is, "holding your ground" never ends. I don't have ticks, fleas, roaches, spiders, scorpions, crabs, termites, mosquitos, less frogs, etc. AND all the dogs are still alive. I take care not to poison us.
By the way, frogs kill here, expecially the "toad-looking" frog that secretes poison that kills dogs.
Not to mention the infamous (and deadly) dart frog. Click here.
That's another blog for another day...
A Frog Blog :)
Welcome to the Jungle

Wednesday, October 25

Hung out to dry

About two years ago I went to a welder to have him make me a couple of old fashioned "T" style posts for a clothesline. I had finally purchased a washing machine but didn't want to buy a dryer. It's expensive to use and seemed pointless when the sun is so plentiful. He had no idea what a "T" clothesline post was so I drew a picture, he made it and installed it. Works great and I'm sure he has made others by now.
We are dead in the rainy season right now and it is difficult to dry clothes outside so I, being the clever one, installed two lines in my laundry room and the ceiling fan drys my stuff overnight just fine.

The one sure thing here is that there is usually a solution for everything, you just have to be resourceful and think "outside the box."

Tuesday, October 24

Take it SLOW

Even when you go slow, it can result in disaster.
Take for instance this photo of my car wiping out this little "casita" in front of the hotel where everyone pays their water bill. It moved so slowly forward, I didn't even notice until it hit the column and caused a chain reaction (kinda like a house of cards). This resulted in the owner waking up and SCREAMING at me that my car was too big and I was dangerous with it. The wife consoled me and it ended up costing $500 to make things right. I learned a very valuable lesson, USE MY HAND BRAKE. I'm from the flat lands of South Florida and the practice of using a hand brake has taken a conscious effort on my part.
I remember better now after that incident. I got lucky that time.

The one big fault I have seen with people newly here is they want it NOW (me included). There is little instant gratification here and it pays to WAIT for the right guy for the right job or the right research for the right purchase. You really don't know what ends up when you first get here. It appears like a mini-America (U.S.A.) at first glance but only after putting in your time here do you realize IT'S NOT and doesn't care to be.

REMEMBER WHERE YOU ARE. I can't emphasize this enough. Go SLOW and take into consideration the long range effects. Someone may be able to do the job promptly but chances are, it will have to be done again. My friends and I joke about it's not done right unless you do it twice,
at least. Pura Vida.

Broken Board Beach

I finally got curious and walked down to the beach to check out the new "public access" road. Luckily, the "public" doesn't even know it exist yet. Tricky entrance and the beach access road dead ends into a huge drop off. The New Beach access road has cut across the Old walking path but it's still passable with a little effort. What was so interesting (besides the new pubic access to "my" beach) were the materials (trees) used to make the barrier fence.
The "hieroglyphics" are created by the termites.
I suspect we will have a whole new breed of "termitas" with this new access road.
I call my beach "Brok'in Da Board Beach" (English - Broken Board Beach). There are some huge breaks and I see many guys walking with their head hung low, carrying their board in two parts. There are no warning signs posted so, Surfer Beware.

Monday, October 23

Paris Syndrome

True story, Japanese are having to seek psychological treatment after having visited or trying to live in Paris.
Click here for one article about it.
Well, I declare a Costa Rica Syndrome for which no treatment is currently offered,
except enjoying the beauty of Costa Rica as therapy.
You know what I am talking about if you have tried to live here for any length of time.

What they say is true,
"If you want to be a millionaire in Costa Rica,
you'd better bring two million."

Photo "Puro Tico"

Sunday, October 22

Sunset Sunday

Playa Hermosa (2003)

Friday, October 20

So tell me....

Photo of pillow street vendor on Jaco Beach Strip

Does anyone subscribe to my blog?
If so, do you get repeat messages that I have posted a "new" blog everytime I make changes to a blog I have "published"?
So you know, I blog mostly to use my photos. When I type up the text and insert the photos, I never know exactly how the photos will "fall" on the page unless I "publish" it. One simple solution is to "unsubscribe". Or, ignore the "notices" sent automatically when I edit.
So goes blogging.

or comment on blog (delay in publishing comment)

Thursday, October 19

The Street of Jaco

You just never know what you will find walking down the one main street of downtown Jaco. Usually, there are scanty clothed "girls" or surfers carrying their boards.
Of course, vendors of all sorts selling their wares. The first photo is of the local "granasada guy". He works the street everyday.
(Note horses loose to the left)
Granasada is a shaved ice drink with powdered milk sprinkled on top, a little condensed milk poured over the ice and fruit flavored syrup. It must be stirred all together before you sip it with a straw. Beware, freeze brain to follow.

There was a time in town when you could ride your horse down main street without a hassle. Now, all you see in town are the horses without the riders. They escape to graze on greener grass near their old pastures. It is quiet alarming to see them crossing the road with no regard to traffic. Escapee horses walking freely down main street helps to keep Jaco "charming". The contrast of the horses with the huge billboards for future construction projects is soooo Costa Rican right now. Behide the tin fence in the photo was a grazing pasture just a few months ago. The horses remember.

The photo of the horses walking on the sidewalk was taken in front of Sunrise Restaurant, charming.

(click onto photo to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 18

The DOW makes history today

Nope, this has nothing to do with Costa Rica but since I am trying to make a living trading the New York Stock Market here in Costa Rica, it is relevant to ME.
Today, the Dow broke through the 12,000 mark (which was expected) and surely it will fall below it again (expected as well). Out of five of the Dow movers, I own three of these stocks. I have sat pitifully on my hands for months while these stocks have laggard. Even with this big move, these three stocks are still down in my portfolio and I wait for some profits before I can hit the sell button. Patience. Costa Rica has taught me well about having patience. If it can stay over 12,050, then maybe we can get somewhere.

Monday, October 9


My weekly "Sunset Sunday" photo is actually a full moon rising at sunset over Bejuco (posted on Monday). I am so far behind on my posting, the ideas for new posts are adding up. Anyone that has lived here can attest to the fact that life here is so "extraordinary" that sometimes it is easy to get lost in the abyss of Pura Vida.

Monday, October 2

Over the Rainbow

Doesn't life's events seem to come in waves?
This is a busy time for me now. Many things I have
wanted and waited for, are finally coming my way.
Tomorrow marks four years I have permanently lived here on my own.
It is a monumental achievement for me and I am astonished how fleeting those four years were.
Time has his Own tricks, even special ones for paradise.
I live at the end of that rainbow, on the other side of that mountain.
"Lucky" me, huh? Ha!
(It t'wernt easy getting there)

Sunday, October 1

Sunset Sunday

Photo taken at Herradura Beach. I'm being lazy today.