Saturday, May 31


Ever had one of those days when if it's not one thing, it's ten others?
We have had some hard rain lately and if you live here, you know what that can bring... no electric, no Internet, no water, ...the list goes on. It's a great opportunity to work on "the coping skills". All in all, I fared well. I know some didn't. Someone told me almost 20 inches of rain fell in less than three days. Some strong winds, too. Spooky weather.

Dr. House program was interesting this past Thursday. I had electric so I could watch it. I try not to miss it. It was about this man with Chagas disease. He had lived in Costa Rica a few months while doing missionary work many years earlier.
I had heard of this disease but never researched it. So, I googled Chagas. Surprise, surprise.
On Dr. House, the man unknowingly had been infected with Chagas disease for many years. Besides the condition that was killing him, one of this man's symptoms on Dr. House was he was "unusually nice".

I wonder how many people in Costa Rica might have been bit by the Kissing bug ? Most are exceptionally nice people.
I know, it's only a t. v. show but have you ever heard of Chagas disease? It can go undetected for ten years or more. I learn stuff from Dr. House.

If it's not one thing, it's eleven others.
I wonder if the pills we all take for parasites work for Chagas, too?

Wednesday, May 28

The View

This is it, this is what I fell in love with my first visit to Playa Hermosa. Everytime I go to Jaco, I drive past this view on the way back on the roller coaster highway wrapping around the mountains. Just breathtaking.

We are currently experiencing a "mini-monsoon" in the Jaco area. It's just a little preview of the rains yet to come later this year.

Tuesday, May 27

Behind Bars = Freedom

It's a bit of an oxymoron living behind bars giving you freedom. It's an acceptable way of life here and one I fought for a very long time. I DID NOT WANT BARS ON MY HOUSE. When they were installed on the main part, I was depressed about it. They were ugly and I felt imprisoned. I have come to love my bars and the freedom they allow. No longer do I worry every time I leave my house, will my computer, etc. still be there when I return. At night, while sleeping, I've always felt pretty secure with having my buddies Smith and Wesson next to me and of course, my ferocious four dogs. Nothing gets past them.

My security (fence, bars) was the last item on the list of renovations. If I ever move, it will be the FIRST thing that is done. Now that my entire house has bars, I feel a sense of ease and freedom within my home and when I am away. Maybe the bars are ugly but living here where thievery is "normal", I do so love them.

Note: There is a concrete constructed closet behind those louvered doors which juts out on the frontside of the house. Yuk! Just part of the way the house was built. I didn't do it. In fact, I want to knock the whole thing out but then what another mess! It's best to know when to say when. "Git'er done".

Monday, May 26

Memorial Day in the U.S.A.

A photograph of Section 60, an area in Arlington National Cemetery where more than 340 Iraq and Afghanistan servicemembers are laid to rest.
Photo by Kara McCarthy

What would life be like without our Freedom?
This is respectfully posted for all the lives taken in war
and to their families.

Sunday, May 25

First Annual Jaco Arts Festival

It was a great day for an art festival in Jaco today.

The festival will be continuing throughout next week. The weather was perfect and many families were there, enjoying the shows, activities and art.
This is Luis on the left painting a tropical sunset with his fingers. He paints on three different layers of glass and stacks them as he paints. I have this little sunset at my house now. This photo was taken when he first started painting it. It turned out BEAUTIFUL!!

I just love this sort of stuff so I'll be back to take more photos. For the Tica Macha Tour of today's art festival photos
'Click here'. Once you get to Flicker, you can watch the slide show of the festival.


Art Sunday

This weekend kicks off the first annual Jaco Arts Festival. I was by there yesterday when they were setting up the tents and bulldozing dirt on the grounds. We are getting rain nearly every afternoon now. I would have chosen for it to be held in end November or December (dry season) but no one asked me. Also, I would have elected for the entry fee to be much less that the $160. they are requiring. I am totally delighted that our community is supporting such an event and I hope to participate in the future.

For now, I will support the one artist that ISN'T a part of this event, Carlos Galli. Since I've been coming to Costa Rica, I've seen his work on murals and have been amoured with his talents. Galli chose not to participate in this event but his collection of work will be circulated around the schools for the children to view in the form of a computer slideshow presentation by Mike Williams of You can see the slide show at If you'd like to visit Galli's website and see more of his incredible work, his website is The Galli painting featured above is entitled "Zarpe", which means 'the last one'.
...We love you Galli!

Saturday, May 24

Fit to be Tied

There once was a time when IF I didn't have Internet, I would have been on the phone immediately to Racsa/Cable Tica to find out what the problem was. I guess the years living here has mellowed me and I've accepted the 'Pura Vida' way of getting things done, waiting. This last time my Internet went out completely on Sunday, I didn't call until Wednesday to see if it was MY Internet or everyone's Internet. It was just me and they did fix it. Had I not called, I probably still wouldn't have Internet. You can become too passive living here waiting for things to happen on 'Pura Vida' time.

I've been busy doing a little rennovating. Nothing major but my project has caused a chain reaction. I'm expecting a guest again and wanted to get bars installed on the windows in that bedroom. Stupid me, I thought I'd change out the windows in that room and then I'd get bars. Well, I've decided only to change the one window with the a/c and buy a new split unit a/c. I was told they would come install the window at 8 am on Friday so I stayed around the house, waiting, missing the open market on Friday. I wasn't just twittling my thumbs while waiting, I was sanding the window frames, staining the wood, scraping paint from the rain leaking in and repairing, painting, that sort of thing. It took most of the day and still no window guys. Not even a call. I called to see what happen and of course, no one knew. So I wait.

That's how it is here when you have work done here. Rarely, if ever, has anyone ever come and did the work when they said they would do it. Customer service is still sort of a novelty here. Folks are 'muy amable', mind you. They just are on a different time frame. When I do get it, like when I went to see about getting the new air conditioner, it is like winning the lottery. The guy remembered me from over three years ago and still had my phone number on his cell. He recalled exactly what unit I had purchased and at what cost. The service I received from LG in Jaco three years ago was so awesome, there is no way I would buy an a/c from anyone other than them. Totally unexpected and very much appreciated. Pura Vida.

Sunday, May 18

Sunrise Sunday

I recently watch a program about the moon on the Discovery Channel and do you know, the moon is slipping further away from the earth? What will happen when the gravitation pull is decreased? I watch the tide come and go everyday and I'm reminded how important our moon really is. The mating cycle of many species depend upon the moon's phases. We all feel the sun's warmth and value it's importance for light and growth but the moon is what keeps us grounded.
I vote for 'Moonday' instead of Monday, the day after Sunday.
No internet yesterday - ahh, life in Costa Rica. Pura Vida.
NOTE: You must read the comment from Beth about the origins of the days of the weeks. I was wondering if anyone would pick-up on Monday being lunes and lunar being the moon. It's all related. Thanks Beth for tying it together.
They don't capitalize the days of the weeks in Spanish (or the months).

Saturday, May 17


This is my first Costa Rican doll. I bought her when I first visited here in 2000. She stays with all the other stuff animals until Christmas when I bring them all out to celebrate. I know it's silly to keep stuff animals at my age but believe me, I only kept a few to bring to Costa Rica. The others that didn't make it here were put in a spare bedroom during the yard sales for the children to play with while their mothers browsed. I gave every child a special stuff animal I had saved for years. The extra special, special ones live here now.

I call this one "Machita" (little Macha). I saw her in Orotina at the market and could not resist buying her. With those blue eyes and blond hair, she looks very Spaniard. She's porcelain and stays in her box until Christmastime.
You would think Barbie would be popular here but I can tell you from experience, they like Bratz dolls. We had a Christmas party for the kids and bought Barbies for them. We could only find blond Barbies in the stores. They like Bratz dolls. Oh well.

Friday, May 16


Costarricans are very family focused. This is a typical scene at a tourist outlet, the older sister tends to her sibling while her mother works. The girl still has on her school uniform so she must have just come from school. Not many people realize, children in Costa Rica are REQUIRED to wear a uniform to school. No uniform, no school.
Recently, The Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce did a major uniform fund drive to furnished uniforms and supplies for many of the children in this area. It's not over and the drive still continues so no child is left behind because they do not have the shoes or clothes for school. If you would like to help in this effort, just write me and I will supply you with the info.

Photo taken at the Chamber of Commerce in Jaco - supplies for the local schools:
bookbags, notebooks, shoes, uniforms. Each child was matched with their correct size in shoes and uniforms, a daunting task. There are still many needy children without supplies and this effort to provide for them will continue.

Tuesday, May 13

Modern Day Sirena

Instead of a fish tail, she has flippers and a boogie board to ride the waves. The younger kids marvel to see her out of the water.
Most people don't know that our sand is not white, like the sugar sand in Florida, it's very dark. Some call it "cinnamon" color but that's a stretch. It's just very dark and very hot when the sun shines on it. When the sand is wet, the light is caught and the sand twinkles like little diamonds. Beautiful in a different way.

Monday, May 12


Note: Before you view the clip, pause the music on the Playlist ("Teri Tunes" on the left sidebar). I know,,, what a pain but you have to hear this girl.
If you haven't heard of her, YOU WILL.

Usually, I get chills when I hear a great singer.
Today, on Oprah, Charice Pempengco brought tears to my eyes... and chills, she's that GOOD
and she's sooo young for such a big voice.
Oprah had some amazing kids on her show today. Check it out at and
watch for Charice Pempengco, she flew 15 hours to be on the Oprah show and delivered like an old pro.
I hope you were watching OPRAH today! :)
("step AWAY from Oprah" as my surfer friend, New Mexico Mike, tells me - but I just "cain't").

"Isn't She Lovely....."

I'm not sure if she's a he or a she but you probably know the song so just hum along. He was posing for me outside the fence in the amapola (hibiscus) bush. He let me get about a foot away from him so I got some really close-up shots with my normal lens.

I am desperately trying to teach my dogs not to catch the iguanas that end up on the pups side of the fence. It's a daily challenge and I've rescued many, many iguanas now. The last one didn't make it and he was dying (internal injuries) so I went across the street where the construction worker's tin shacks (dirt floors) are set up and asked one of the Nicos (from Nicaragua) if they ate iguanas (I knew the answer). A big smile came over his face and he followed me back to retrieve the iguana. I felt real bad for the iguana but what to do??!! I don't want to encourage anyone to eat iguanas, I love them, but I really didn't know what else to do with him besides to place him by the river. The ground is like rock now so burying the iguana was out of the question. I scolded the dogs PROFUSELY so maybe this won't happen again. Maybe....
Here's a photo of the one that didn't get away...He was big and beautiful but didn't stand a chance against the dogs. BAD DOGS!@!!#@&%!! The marks are from the dogs. He was truly beautiful and perfect BEFORE. MUZZLES!

Sunday, May 11

Sunrise Sunday

These photos were taken this morning in honor of Mother's Day. Actually, Mother's Day is August 15th in Costa Rica. The government declared the following Monday as the holiday giving people a three day weekend. Most Costarricans are traditionalist and celebrate Día de Madre on August 15th but enjoy the long weekend as well.
Pura Vida.
The light prism just appeared in the sky, it was a gift.
Enjoy your day and celebrate LIFE.

Saturday, May 10

White Bird

"Dear God, Make me a bird so I can fly far, far away" - Forrest Gump movie
Not having a car has it's advantages. I have a new found appreciation for the freedom it allows me and I will most definitely "honor and respect" it by giving it a good wash and wax job when I get it back. It's the alternator this time.
The crocodile in the bottom photo resides at Hermosa Beach Estuary (for years).
Developer Andre is slowly pushing all the wildlife out. Where is Minae??? when he is rerouting the river and filling in the wetlands?? It will be gone one day. I've seen it happen before in Southwest Florida, in the Everglades. (listen to the song - "Seminole Wind")

Friday, May 9

To Be Free

Being an American, I take freedom for granted. As long as I don't owe anyone, live in my own domain, and I have a car, I feel free. Real simple. Lately, I have had a taste of what many, many Ticos experience their entire lives, not having a car. They get by somehow and I'm trying real hard to do the same. Pura Vida.

Wednesday, May 7


I have learned many lessons from watching and listening to the Costarricans.
You can study spirituality but until you live it, it means nothing. Here, Pura Vida means pure life and every Costarricans lives it daily. They are present with the 'now'.

I hope you were able to watch the classes offered by Oprah and Eckhart on The New Earth. The last class was last Monday night. The classes are available at if you missed it. Pura Vida.

Sunday, May 4

Sunrise Sunday

The last time I went up the mountain in front of my house, I couldn't get my car turned around because it kept stalling. Mountains are tricky to me (I'm from the 'flatlands') and I was terrified of not having power and rolling over the side of this huge mountain. It's a long way down and I had all my dogs with me.
This morning, after a long wait for the car parts and getting my car fixed, me and the dogs go up the mountain for sunrise. THREE lights came on my car this time but I did get turned around and made it back home. Car problems in Costa Rica can be very frustrating....(you would know what I mean if you live here and have them, it's not the same as in the States by a long shot).
Thank you God for the beautiful sunrise and regardless, I still love living here.

Postnote: I called my mechanic and he is coming out to my house to check on my car. Now, like I said, it can be frustrating having car problems in Costa Rica but where in the world does a mechanic come to your home on a Sunday (with a broken ankle) to check your car? I made my 'almost famous' chocolate chip/oatmeal cookies for him and his family. I am so grateful.

Saturday, May 3

My Best Buds Back Home

I moved to Costa Rica in October of 2002. My good friends, John and Alfie, got together eight other friends and came to see me (and the "flora and fauna") for my first Thanksgiving living in Costa Rica (no CR doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving). They sung "it's getting hot in here, I have to take my clothes off" the whole trip. My cheeks hurt from laughing.
It was only for a few days but what a blast we had. John is the life of the party and always keeps everyone laughing with his antics and jokes.
They thought I had gotten too skinny the one month I'd been here so they went out and bought me a microwave and rice cooker. I didn't bring much with me, just my clothes and my animals. I shipped my stuff much, much later, after I bought my house. I had such a good time with them here, I'm ready for them to come back!! I love you guys!

Thursday, May 1

Sister Sulie

This photo was taken the last time I was home in 2006. My sister, Sulie, makes the absolute best cornbread and here she is in her kitchen. I hope she doesn't get upset with me for posting her photo but she is going through a rough time right now. Her father-in-law died recently and her mother-in-law is very ill. She is very close to her husband's family. Betty and Cecil practically finished "raising" her when she was first married almost 30 years ago (damn girls, we're getting on in years). Sulie is the salt of the earth, a one of a kind-kind of sister. She could write a book on her life's trials and tribulations. She could be on Oprah, it's that dramatic. She's one tough cookie and her faith keeps her strong and providing for her family.

I have such wonderful readers,,, I thought by posting her photo, you might say a little prayer for her and pass on to her some healing energy. She is one of those people that can't say no and will do anything for anybody. She has her hands full with her family and rarely takes time for herself (if ever). She doesn't "do computers" so she will probably never see this but I just wanted to put this out there and let everyone know, she is very special. My youngest sister, Leah, keeps me informed and it would be hard to live here without her correspondence with me. She's special too, I miss you both.

Photo of us "three sisters" was taken in 2002 right before I moved to Costa Rica.