Wednesday, February 28

Just a little Patience

If you want to live here, you'd better bring more than just a little patience. If you don't, Costa Rica will teach you. I thought I had learned patience living with my elderly grandmother years ago but Costa Rica brings a new depth to the meaning of the word.

If you've already moved here and have adjusted to the pace and lifestyle, you know what I'm talking about. It's the little things adding up that can make you a little crazy if you don't exercise patience.

In the last four days,
*Cable Tica has lost their signal for channel 22 (CBS) and 23 (NBC) and I've missed Dr. Phil. O.K., I've missed Dr. Phil tons of times. I have no idea when he will be back or Grey's Anatomy. I'm use to it, Cable Tica does that often now. Sunday isn't Sunday in Costa Rica without 60 Minutes.

*My phone went dead, for no reason. I went next door and they had phone service. They called the number for info to get the number for ICE. That ICE number is all automated, IN SPANISH (surprise, surprise). Luckily, THEY understood Spanish. After it was reported, my service came back on after a couple of hours. Automated-ICE said it could be 48 hours. A guy from ICE even did a follow-up call, checking the number on Monday but he only spoke Spanish. It took forever for me to understand what the call was even about.

*The electric went out for absolutely no reason, at night, for probably over an hour. I am use to surges, little power outages but they're quick. When the electric just goes OFF around here, it may not come on again for hours. You just never know when you're waiting. By the way, it's HOT here. No electric, no fan, no nothing.

*They've been working on the water so it was cut off. I did have a water supply from the garden hose so I had to drag that all over the house to do laundry, dishes, shower, etc.

It's not a hard life, you just need patience.
... And some "PURA VIDA".

I almost forgot to mention the most important part! I had a wake-up call from a little tremor (earthquake) a few nights ago. 4:00 A.M. more or less. I awoke right before I felt it. Maybe there were two and the first one woke me. ??

Now THAT puts things into perspective.

Tuesday, February 27

"Sell Off" on Wall Street

"Blah, blah, blah, recession, blah blah."
GREENSPAN, just act retired already.

If you are riding the stock market, you may have gotten a little woozy on the roller coaster dip today.
A "correction" is written all over the wall(street) but it took Greenspan breathing his oracular words for the market to react.
It was a nice ride for me, one I've been waiting for.
The pick'ens should get ripe soon. I want some Boeing back. And some oil, energy, defense.
We're in for a wild ride before it's time to shop on Wall Street.
Watch the volatility index (.VIX). It will give a signal when it's time to go up again.
Don't fret, just enjoy the ride. Pura Vida.

Posted Reminder

If you have a post office box at the regular post office in Costa Rica, you should be aware that if you do not pay by March, you will lose your box. If you pay after January, there is a 50% late fee. The rental for a p.o. box in Jaco is 1,800 colones per YEAR. That's about $3. I tried to pay in December and they wouldn't accept payment until January 2007. I missed paying in Jan. so I had to pay the 50% penalty, wooooo!
Also, property taxes are due in March. You can pay quarterly, if you prefer. My property taxes were about 1/10th of what I paid in Naples, FL. Hoo-ray!!
I just love living here.
p.s. one of my pet projects is taking photos of misspelled signs.

Monday, February 26

From my Garden

I haven't a clue what kind of plant this is but have asked a expert for his input. It looks like an orchid but the plant is HUGE!
Answer from Henry: "The plant is a type of ginger called a shell ginger."

Sunday, February 25

Church on Sunday

Photo taken in Alajuela. There is usually a park in front of the church in most towns and a granasada guy is usually around.
Gra-na-sa-da is a shaved ice drink topped with fruit flavored syrup, powdered milk, and condensed milk. That is typical here.

Saturday, February 24

Star Crossed

Wishes do come true.

Friday, February 23


I plan my day around 4pm when everything stops, phone unplugged, and I hang on every word of Dr. Phil. It never fails that I learn something from his show regardless of the subject (and the overdramatic white trash he sometimes has on there). Dr. Phil remains professional, regardless.
Dr. Phil's site is full of info. If you go to the link provided, scroll down to the bottom and click on "Life Strategies" or "Self Matters", he provides the keys to a better way of living.
I just love Dr. Phil. He uses simple good sense.
Thanks Oprah, for showcasing him years ago.


So, did you see Yum Brands stock falling this morning (CNBC channel)? Seems there's a KFC/Taco Bell with rats running around in it in New York (caught on video). Now, is what they say true? When you see one rat, there are 100 more?
Doesn't their mascot resemble a rat?
I can believe (and I know) we have rats in our open air restaurants here in Costa Rica but I sure wouldn't expect the same in the good ole U.S.A.
Just the same, take your pills. (see next post)
I'm buying Yum Brands on the dip.
Regardless, U.S.A.'ans (I don't use the term "North Americans" being from the South) will always eat fast food and eat out.
KFC recently asked the Pope to bless their new fish sandwich. Maybe he'll include the rats, too.

Wednesday, February 21

Take your PILLS?

After watching Animal Planet's MOST EXTREME, I am prompted to remind everyone to take your pills. Seems the tapeworm is NUMBER ONE at being the most prolific reproducers and over 30 million people in the world are infected. Most don't even know it. A tapeworm can have 1000 segments and every one of them can produce more tapeworms. Check out this link on tapeworms.

Here in "Paradise", we have a whole plethora of intestinal parasites to combat. You just can't avoid it if you eat out, drink coffee out, or just "live here". The salad you eat is washed with the local water, the coffee is made with local water, it's just unavoidable.
Remember, most restaurants don't use hot water!
One symptom is feeling sluggish or having digestive problems.
Simple solution...TAKE YOUR PILLS (twice a year).
Don't take my word for it, ask your pharmacist.

This link on parasitic diseases should scare you into taking
YOUR PILLS. You can thank me later.

Disclaimer: This may not include those with "AA" water in Costa Rica.
Down south, we still have poor water and no "AA" yet.

Tuesday, February 20

"Change or Be Changed"

These are words I have lived by for many years now. Change is difficult for most. We reach a comfort level and we don't want to risk the unknowns by making a change. Eventually, we are forced to change if we are not proactive and make the change before it becomes necessary. The trick is to stay alert and be aware when a change may be needed.

I've noticed many people living here in Costa Rica have made "the change" and believe that by changing locations, it will change their life. Of course, moving to a "third world country" does indeed CHANGE YOUR LIFE but it does not change the person you are.
In reality, it intensifies what you bring with you.
If you are happy already, you will probably be even more happy here.
It's just that way.

Sunday, February 18

Church on Sunday

Church located at Quebrada Amarilla.

Saturday, February 17


That's pronounced "pee-pas" and you can hear vendors calling it out all over town on the weekends, from the streets to the beach. The vendors sell the coconut juice in a plastic bag, sometimes chilled. Some put a straw in the bag and others just make a hole in the bag's corner and drink from the bag. It's not uncommon to see discarded coconuts with holes in them just about anywhere here.
The surfers tell me that it is not like water and can cause dehydration if that's all they drink. The girls tell me that it is great for their complexion and digestion.

If you've never tried it, chill it first. It's great and there's plenty of them.

Friday, February 16

Friday's Market

As long as I can remember, we have always had an open market on Friday. They begin setting up their tarps at daybreak and start breaking everything down at dark. I would wait until Friday to buy my most of my fruit and vegetables at the market. Also, they made fresh sugarcane juice (a real treat for me). I love to just go see what they have to sell because a lot of it is foreign to me and I haven't a clue how it is prepared. They also sold other items (furniture, flowers, etc.) which would change with the vendors each week. The Tico hot food stand was always there, right in front of the Amish pies and desserts stand.
I refer to this in past tense because the market is no more. For the past two weeks, the market has not existed on Calle Ancho (the road they use to use for landing airplanes and drag racing because it's long and wide). I'm sure it will return but when and where? Pura Vida, this is Costa Rica and I just wait to see.

Wednesday, February 14

First Valentine

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 see if it were 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 boot heel, 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 in walked long, tall Jimmy Long to get a haircut. He was the same except all grown-up. Jimmy 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.

Diá por Amor

Tuesday, February 13

Molas Art in Costa Rica

On the way back from the airport, I made a stop at my favorite tourist shop, Molas. I think it's somewhere between Atenas and San Mateó.

I am most fascinated by the Kuna women from Panama that actually work there making their art. In the year 2000, I bought a panel for around $10, now the same thing is $30.
I am a crafter but I don't think I would ever attempt to replicate this intricate labor of love with snips of brightly colored fabric.
Here's another site for more designs.
(If you go to the sites, click the back arrow/top left, to get back here)

This art form is not from Costa Rica but rather Panama.

You can read about the Mola art here.
Click onto photos to enlarge, the detail is incredible.

I am fascinated with the pottery from Costa Rica, the Guanacaste area. That's more my speed and I am very anxious to take a trip to Guaitil and learn from a Chorotega master.
I'll let you know how that goes.

So you know... most of the pottery you see sold in Jaco is made in Nicaragua.

Sunday, February 11

49th Grammy Awards

The star tonight for me
is Mary J. Blige.
It's so good to see her shine so bright tonight.

Thank you God for CBS working in Costa Rica.

Church on Sunday

Like most churches in Costa Rica, this Catholic Church is in the center of town and the town park is located in front. Photo taken in Atenas.

Thursday, February 8


This is Kim and I, ten years later from the last time we saw each other. Her and her new hubby came to Costa Rica to meet with her sister in Pavones and visit me. Jaco (me) was to be the first leg of the trip but when I told her I was too sick to come get her at the airport, they did the Pavones (her sister) part first. Just knowing SHE MADE IT to Costa Rica,
made me happy.
I completed my antibiotics and was starting to feel better. She called from Dominical and said they were getting a ride to Quepos and that's where we hooked up, Wacky Wanda's. Seeing Kim again was like time had stood still.
She is still the same Kim and I was reminded how much I really do miss her.
Of course, we reminisced the good ole days when we were the BBB's (Bass Boat Babes). I had inherited my dad's tournament bass boat and us girls put it to good use every weekend at Keewayden Island and the Snook Inn. Oh! what fun. We terriorized the other boaters not knowing what channel markers and boating etiquette was all about. Sandbar Queens!
It was like no time had passed except now, she was sporting a new husband. A perfect one, too!
Kim and Keith, THEY ARE the perfect couple. The Yin and Yang. I felt like I'd known Keith for years.
I didn't get to show her my "secret paradise" but they did see where I live and get a taste of my life here. As far as "party like the old days", well, being on the last leg of the trip, they were party-pooped already! It was just as well, I enjoyed visiting with her again. During our traveling time from Quepos (she was amazed at the two bridges around Parrita) and to the airport, we got all caught up. I can't wait for them to come back. They were even hinting about one day living here too! Of course, I would just love that.
What is it about living in Costa Rica that we want everyone to come enjoy our life too?
In Naples, we did have a saying... "If you love Naples, don't tell anyone".

Wednesday, February 7

Doggie Friends Again

What they say about one big fight determines the pecking order for dogs is true. Mela (the black one) has been strutin' around like a Banti rooster since the fight while Macha has been oh so keen as to Mela's whereabouts. Macha no longer badgers Mela.
Mela was the underdog with all the other dogs picking on her. Mela would usually roll down on her back and the other dogs would gang up on her, biting her legs and pulling on her.
Those days are gone (I hope).
Now, Macha and Mela peacefully sleep side by side but with their backs to one another.
Doggie body language.

Tuesday, February 6

Delusional Illusions

"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 totally 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.

Sunday, February 4

"Fried Green Tomatoes"

When this movie came out in 1991, my friends told me I shouldn't watch it because it would upset me. I had just lost my husband and mom to cancer. They died within three months of each other. My father was killed in a car accident soon thereafter. He had cancer as well, a big tumor in his stomach, and they couldn't save him.

Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck for some time and avoided movies with sad endings where someone dies. It was just too hurtful to watch. Time DOES have a way of healing and for the first time yesterday, I watched "Fried Green Tomatoes" with all my favorites actresses. I just love those Southern accents and could identify with it's small town setting. My Mom had a beauty shop in our house, too!

Yes, it's a sad movie and it did make me cry but watching it years and years later, I now have a better understanding of life and the trials we go through living it. I realize that the hardest things we go through are the ones that make us that much stronger. I use to wonder if I would survive and how it would affect my life. I now know I would have never had the courage to do some of the things I have done, had I not suffered some to get where I am. It's still hard for me to say goodbye.