Sunday, December 31

Sunset Sunday

The last sunset for the Year 2006.
Taken at Hermosa Beach, where the river meets the Pacific Shore.

Saturday, December 30

Black Beans and Rice

For my dinner, the last day before the last day of the year,
I decided to have the comfort food of Costa Rica - Black Beans and Rice.
Ask anyone over 30 years old from Costa Rica and they will tell you they
grew up eating black beans and rice and not much else. In general, people
here don't live in the same poverty as years passed but still they eat
beans and rice.
I made my beans and rice for my Gallo Pinto tomorrow. You have to
use rice cooked the night before. It's a ritual here and basically
it is the same procedure regardless of who makes it. It's only eaten for breakfast.
You need a Costa Rican to teach you. I call mine "Gringa" Gallo Pinto because
it's never exactly like I get in the Tico restaurants. Pura Vida.
My mother dog (from Florida) won't touch the stuff but her offsprings (sired by neighboring Tico dogs) wolf it up. I think it's good for them, protein.
I couldn't help but think while eating my beans and rice (with jelled cranberry
on the side and buttered bread), I am so fortunate to have realized my dream.
I could have anything I want for supper (within reason) but
I'd rather have this for my comfort food and remember where I am.
(Chocolate covered brownie for dessert)
I will be on a quest for collard (or turnip) greens tomorrow.
I have never seen black-eyed peas sold here so I brought some back
when I visited the States.
I don't want to jinx myself by skipping my Southern traditions.
(click here if you don't know what I'm talking about)

"Let's Get it Started"

The party is on in Jaco.
The Imperial Girls have arrived,
dancing on the back of a banana yellow Imperial beer truck,
cruising the Jaco Strip.
I was quietly having breakfast at a local Tico restaurant when I saw a rush of guys move to the street.
I had to check it out too!
I just happened to have my camera handy.
This one's for you...all you Bud beer boys.

Friday, December 29


Saddam is (almost) dead.
I liked his firing squad execution idea
but they say he'll hang.
Guess they'll film it for "proof".
I wish Jessie Jackson would just shut up
and go away.

The Fat Lady Sings on Wall Street - 2006

It's almost the LAST closing bell for a record setting year on Wall Street. It was a rollercoaster year of trading with the Dow setting an all time high, gasoline prices spiking, housing market slumping, back-dating options scandals, and a slew of other perils. I made it through unscathed and managed to have a nice little profit. That's no small feat considering I live in Never Neverland and between ICE (electric) and the Cable Tica (internet), it's a wonder I made anything. ICE has been replacing the wooden poles with concrete ones. Never a warning that there will be no electric for hours. As far as Cable Tica, I've heard they are replacing the internet cables "underwater" so somedays, no internet. It could be RACSA. It takes both to access cyberspace here... AND ELECTRIC (I need CNBC). Pura Vida, Trading in Paradise.

Due to the fact that Costa Rica has taught me to wait, I rode United Health (UNH) all the way down (options scandal) and all the way up again. I finally bailed out of my holdings today with only a $24 loss (including commissions) after having been down over $900 back in the summer. I jumped off Garmin (GRMN) today with a $150 profit on the 15 shares I bought when it slumped to $45. just last month. The going looked good today so I got out. Rarely can you make that kind of profit on a measly 15 shares.

Pretty much, I am starting the new year liquid and will be waiting for just the right time to jump back in.
I still have other holdings in my portfolio but for them, the waiting game continues. No more trading for this year. The market will not reopen until Wednesday due to Tuesday being recognized as the official day of mourning for the recent death of President Ford.

Thank you Costa Rica for teaching me patience. Now, I can sit back on the beach and continue eating my bon-bons. (That's a joke to all those back home that think that's all I do. It's really grapes, not bon-bons.)


Wednesday, December 27

April Fools in December

"Innocent's Day" it is called and it is tomorrow (December 28th).
Ever hear of it? I googled it and nothing but according to this
week's issue of The Tico Times (the last issue this year), Costa Rica
recognizes this day with the typical pranks of April Fool's Day.
Coins glued to the ground, you know, trucos (tricks).

The Tico Times did a "Year in Review" and one part was
"No Shortage of Weird, Wonderful News in 2006".
The title - "Giant Pothole Swallowed Taxi"
"A taxi driver suffered only minor injuries when the Isuzu Trooper he was driving plunged into an unmarked, two meter deep by three-meter side pothole near Nicoya, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, in late February.
The Tropper had to be removed with a crane."

For those of us living and driving here, we know this is no joke but can laugh at it anyway cause it could of been one of us. We also know the auto repair business (suspension, brakes, clutch, tires, etc.) is a great business here in "Potholes to Paradise".
"Potholes to Paradise" is an excellent book written by Tess Borner. I am reading it now. Although it was published in 2001, it is not outdated and most of her writings still apply. Suggested reading for those living or wanting to live in "Paradise".
There are plenty of trucos, EVERY DAY of the year. Pura Vida.

Tuesday, December 26

Ho Ho HO!!

Here's hoping you had a very Merry Christmas!
The Christmas party for the kids went great. They played games and were pretty orderly until Colacho (CR Santa) showed up. The frenzy for gifts was on and the big kids stormed Santa (not at all like last year). It was a fun time for all and much thanks are given to all that contributed to it's success.
A special thanks to Santa.
Thanks Cpt. Marcello, Owner of Jaco Adventures and The Tango Fishing Charter.
For more photos of the party, go to this link.

Tuesday, December 19

Vendors in Puntarenas

They were everywhere,
selling everything.

Santa Sighting

We went to Puntarenas yesterday to buy more gifts for the kid's Christmas party this Friday. I hadn't been to Puntarenas in awhile and was impressed how great the roads were. Even street lights. The town was buzzing with people doing their holiday shopping. It was crowded and HOT but when I saw Santa in his suit, I was grateful to be wearing shorts! Barely any Gringos in Puntarenas. My girlfriend and I are tall blondes so we stuck out like Santa on a Florida beach in July!
It was really crowded too!

It was incredible to see all the toys, pinatas, and Christmas decorations on sale. Costa Ricans love Christmas! They work all year for their Christmas bonus (one month's salary) so they have extra money to spend for Christmas.

Sunday, December 17

Church on Sunday

Where I'm from... it was always Church on Sunday.
This photo is for our Mom watching over us
and for you...hope you're being an Angel, too.

Saturday, December 16

It's Saturday

It's Saturday and like every Saturday, Jose shows up at 7 am to help me with cutting my grass and other handyman chores I have. He came by yesterday and told me he was returning to Nicaragua to join his family that left a month ago. Jose has helped me for four years and I have complete confidence in him to take care of my best interest. I write this with a heavy heart, knowing if will not be the same around here without his big smile and HONEST helping hand.
Guess who's going to be Jose now....ME! I may need an electric start, self-propelled mower. Oh yeah, and maybe some steroids.

Friday, December 15

Christmas Party Donation Drive for the Children

It's that time of year again and this is our second annual fund drive to help the children of Jaco area. We have the support of the Women's Center here in Jaco at the Municipal and since they are not allowed to ask for contributions, a couple of us Gringas have been going around town asking for donations. My friend, Trish, made a trip to Panama recently to buy some gifts for the kids (things are cheaper there). The party is next Friday and if you live in this area, please consider helping by contributing to the Officina de la Mujer (643-3500) located at the Municipal. Toys, clothes, food are needed year round. These are children (64 kids this year) from abusive homes, typically, living without the support of their fathers. These mothers need our help, please give generously.
Every child will receive a wrapped gift (value $10) plus we will have a party with a decorated tree, hopefully a Santa (any volunteers?), cake, cokes/juice, games and busting the Santa pinata (one pinata for the big kids and one for the little ones). They will also receive a Care Package with toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and useful items. Next year, we hope to raise enough money for food packages as well.
Last year was a good time for all. The mothers gathered in a separate room and did glass painting projects while the children had their party. Everyone was involved when it came time to open the gifts. We are hoping this year will be even more successful especially with the support of our community. There are needy children all over the world, don't forget to give from your heart.
Click here to see more photos from last year's party.

Sunday, December 10

Church on Sunday

Church near Esparza

Friday, December 8

Oxen Power

In the past, oxen were used here to pull carts loaded with everything from coffee beans to palm nuts.

Such gentle souls to be so huge.

Thursday, December 7

Liberation Day for the Turtles

Right now, well at around 7 a.m. every morning, they are releasing baby turtles. Some friends encouraged me to take a visit out at the Minae Turtle Refuge in Hermosa and check it out. If you've never witnessed the little ones being released to the ocean, it is something to see. They immediately head for the water, all the while getting washed back to shore. It's quite a struggle for them to be swim freely. My guide, Marco, said maybe 1% survive. I hope I didn't understand him correctly.
There have beds of turtle eggs and each day this time of year, they release the ones that hatch. It's a big part of the teams rescue effort to save the turtles from their predators before and after they have hatched.
I'll be returning for more info on the life cycles of the turtles and of course, more photos.
to see more photos posted on Flickr.

Wednesday, December 6

Tope in San Ramon

There will be another Tope this weekend in San Ramon.
The Calbalgata starts on Saturday at noon. See you there!
Thanks for the tip Jen.

December in Costa Rica

This month is full of activities. I would love to hear what is going on around Costa Rica. If you hear of an event coming up, please write me ( and let me know. I'd love to get photos!

This photo is of a one-back legged grasshopper. Here, they call them esparanzas and if you see one, it means something you have hoped for is coming.

Tuesday, December 5


This past Saturday, we had a Tope at Hermosa Beach. Hundreds of horses were transported here for this event from all over Costa Rica. It was absolutely spectacular to see so many gorgeous horses.
They all gathered at the Pig Farm in Hermosa. It was truly a beautiful sight to see so many horses riding down the beach in Hermosa. A dream come true for me to witness.
I've read that the annual Tope the day after Christmas in San Jose is cancelled this year. See this article in a.m.costarica. Please tell me this isn't true.
Here are some photos from the Tope at Hermosa Beach. Of course, Blogger is giving me a fit with posting photos so if you go to THIS SITE, you can view ALL the photos I took. The easiest way to view them is "Slide show"
You can click onto the photos here to enlarge. Use the back arrow (upper left) to get back to this page.

Sunday, December 3

Church on Sunday

Thanks for the encouragement Jen. Back to Blogging...
Church made of metal in Grecia.