Wednesday, October 31

Living Large

To me, someone that does everything myself, this is a real treat having the two surfers (Pelingo and Harry) set up my "office". How sweet! We had a little flash flood while I was taking photos and I had to run for cover. I went straight for the restaurant nearby and sat down for a "cafesito" (little coffee). The guys in the photo were setting it all up again for me after the rain. They know how long it takes me to do it!
I've been playing with the settings on my camera so I had everything all screwed up with the exposures today. I did manage somehow to get some decent photos of them surfing. I'm still working out the kinks with the camera (it's too smart).
I just love the "special" treatment from the surfers!

Harry lost his board to "Brok'in da Board Beach". That's what I named it years ago because I would always see guys walking (head hung low) with two pieces of a surfboard. IT IS ROUGH out there and one's surfing experience can be over in a split second. This is Harry's last day here and he returns to Brazil tomorrow. Sorry 'bout your board Harry.
Next time.

Today's surf photos are HERE.

Happy Halloween

Tuesday, October 30

Sunset Today

Playing with the different exposures on my digital camera.
This looks like a cross between a sepia and color.
"Darktime" is getting earlier. Photo taken at 5:15 p.m.

Sunday, October 28

SURF Sunday

Isn't that wild!?!! This is Leo's last day in Costa Rica. Great shot Leo, thanks.
Yep Yep, 'Surf Sunday' is here.
I discovered how to post the photos REALLY HUGE too! Hallelujah!!

Church on Sunday

Not a Sunday goes by that I don't think about church and my mother. You see, my mom made a promise to God that if he would give her a child, she would give the child back to him. I am that child and sure enough, I was on that front row seat every Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night, too. When the Lottimoon missionaries would come, I was at church EVERY night for a week. Basically, if those church doors were open, we were in there. She kept her promise.
I'll never forget the time I was living in Hawaii and the minister of a Baptist Church calling me to invite me to his church because my mother had called him from Florida. Even when she was on vacation, she would be in some church come Sunday morning, anywhere. My mother was amazing. She played the piano (self taught), sang in the choir (at times), and taught Ladies Sunday School and Bible Study. I remember she never read to me fairy tales, only Bible stories from beautiful picture books. My sisters know. None of us knew what 'a fairy tale' even was until we were much, much older.
This 'Church on Sunday' I post is in remembrance of my mother, Katherine. Also, I have a blog reader (Jen) that enjoys them, too.
Thank you God for giving me to my mom.

Saturday, October 27

Surf photos

Check out the surf photos at - Tica Macha Tours Costa Rica

Are you sure Hank done it this way

The only thing missing here is country music. This video sure is old. Reminds me when I saw Bocephus and George Jones on stage in Ft. Myers, FL and both of them were so drunk they had to sit on a stool to play.
It was still great! I miss country music, snake-skin boots, tall hats and big, shiny belt buckles. I thought Jaco was "country" and would have plenty of cowboys. I thought wrong. The only "cowboys" I see are the ones out there riding the waves.
Bocephus and Van Halen getting down and having some fun.

Friday, October 26

Panga Boat and Birds

Just a pretty picture.

Surfing Hermosa

Cropped shot of previous photo using the computer.

The intensity in which these guys surf is totally awesome. The real "Pura Vida".
I am in heaven on earth.
Thank you Beth for bringing to me my telephoto lens.
They all show off for the Hubble.
I took about a ga-jillon photos thanks to the 4GB Compact Flash card reader I got for my camera. (thanks again, Beth and to Tim who brought it) That card holds A LOT of photos. I took over 250 photos today and barely put a dent in it. It can record over a 1000 photos! (pixel size - 3456 x 2304)
I'm impressed. I just love digital.
It's a bit overwhelming how fast the photos are accumulating in just a few days!
Gatillo Alegre ("Trigger Happy" in Spanish)

Note: you can click onto photo to enlarge and then hit back arrow to return here

Tuesday, October 23

"Bright, bright sun-shiny day"

"I can see clearly now", what a perfect song to a perfect day at the beach today. Not a cloud in the sky.
"Blue skies, nothing but blue skies from now on", a Willie Nelson song.
I love Willie.
Here are some photos. Days like today remind me why I live here.

Saturday, October 20

Hermosa Surf Posse

It took my friend, 'Pilingo' (given name, Gerobohan), to get me and the 'Hubble' down to the beach today for some surf shots. I've been "meaning" to do this for some time but was waiting for a good reason and good weather. His visit here from Dominical to surf Playa Hermosa inspired me. He used to live in Playa Hermosa for years but now he's down in Dominical.
It's a grey day out today but I was able to get some good shots my first try out. Pilingo is an awesome surfer and my snap shots barely serve him justice.

There go the Long Board Boys.

The Champion, Gerobohan originally from Venezuela but now, Costa Rica.

Friday, October 19

Ain't just Ants in Costa Rica

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

(Reprint from my past blog)

Wednesday, October 17


The sun finally came out this afternoon and I thought it worth blogging about.
Rain or shine, Costa Rica is beautiful.

Monday, October 15


I'm sure my dogs wonder what is so fascinating about looking at a computer screen for hours. Sometimes, Max will come up and nudge my hand off the keyboard to let me know, times up. I am fascinated how they can play with the tubes (left over from the fence) for hours. They will pick a tube that has a live critter (usually a baby iguana) and terrorized the tube for hours. Max will pick up the end of the tube with his teeth and drag it around the yard. Mela has developed a clever maneuver of jumping straight up in the air and landing in the opposite direction, hovering the tube. Since these photos, I have stacked all the tubes and wired them together. When the rain stops, I'll probably let them play with them again since it does amuse them for hours and I can be on my computer undisturbed!

Sunday, October 14

Sunset Sunday

The sun did come out today. It was a gift. Now, the rain has come again.
This photo is from another day.

Saturday, October 13

The River Runs Through It

This is what the beach looked like the other day. It hasn't stopped raining long enough to go see what changes the new rains have created. Can you see the color change where the river comes out?

Down by the rocks looks totaly different. Most of the driftwood that was stuck down there has been replaced with sand. I was alarmed the first time the ocean swept the beach away but was told, "don't worry, it will be back". Somehow, the sand returns and it is now covering what used to be exposed rocks.

Where the river ends always changes. It totally amazes me how it can change so rapidly. The river goes where it wants. It now snakes along the shoreline.

This is paradise for me and my dogs. Even when it rains for days, and days,
I know the sun will shine again, one day (just not today).

Thursday, October 11

Too Much Rain

This is the main road, Costanera, coming into Jaco from Hermosa. This is a tricky road that winds around the mountains to Jaco. You never know what you will find on that road. Today, a tree had fallen off the mountain and blocked half the road. This spot in the photo is a very tricky area. The rain run-off from the mountain covers the road and extends to the other side. You just never know.

The above photo is of the river downtown Jaco. It's running red and widening daily.

The Rain Catcher

I have literally collected buckets and buckets of rain lately.
Anyone that lives here (my area), knows that when it rains, the main water filters clog with mud and the area is without water if they use the local water. It's a given. During the "dry season", well, there is no water then either. It's a definite problem but I have found ways to deal with it. The bright side is AyA is working on supplying water for us... soon.

I have a reserve water tank on my top of my house but I've used all it's water. It's on top of my house so I don't need a pump. It feeds water to the house by gravity. If you have a tank on ground level with a pump, the water tank is useless when there is no electricity. Plus, a tank underground can collaspe if it's not done right. Think tremors, earthquakes, mudslides... The earth moves here.

If we do have running water during the rain, it's muddy and not worth using. Check this out! The photo is of muddy water coming out of my faucet.

I catch rain in buckets to fill up my extra water bottles. At least I have water to flush toilets, mop, etc. I've even used rainwater to bathe but it's a real procedure that involves heating the water. It's cold.

It's part of "roughing it". I am lucky in some way because I have a big open balcony upstairs that collects the rain and a drain pipe that ends right above my front entrance. Poor design on the house but during the rainy months, it comes in handy for my rain catching.

Pura vida.

Wednesday, October 10

CAFTA - Better late than never?

I have mixed emotions about CAFTA. Mostly, all of them fairly uneducated.
Seems the country is divided on the issue and around Jaco, all you see are signs saying "NO". I'm sure they are referring to the vote. I've seen "No TLC" signs all over for over a year now. It really is a country divided on the issue but CAFTA passed - Yes 51.58%, No 48.42%.

I moved here because Costa Rica WASN'T like the United States. I didn't mind not being able to get some of my favorite things. I just learned to substitute and do without it. No problem. Now, I fear CAFTA will change Costa Rica into a country that is a mini-USA and escalating prices will follow. But what do I know.

I like things like they are (or rather "were"). Pura Vida.

Still raining......Chocolate Rain, that song is stuck in my head.
Good day to try out a new recipe for an all time favorite treat.

Tuesday, October 9

Chocolate Rain

Usually, I think rain songs, like "Rainy Night in Georgia", when it rains and rains,,, and Rains.
I made up a CD of my favorite rain songs but it was stolen. I can't remember them all now.
Got any rain songs to share to jog my memory?
I saw this video on A Broad in Costa Rica's blog and it just "stuck". Now I think "Chocolate Rain"...
Thanks Sally! (said sarcastically)
Actually, the ocean looks like chocolate with all the river run-off right now. ...Chocolate Rain

Still Raining

Non-stop drizzle.
Plus, we had a little tremor early this morning.
My dogs are nearly comatose from being in the house for days.
Me, too! Maybe I'll load them up in the car and we'll go get some
rain photos... or not.

Since posting the above, I have nixed the town trip and started working on my long time project of painting my bathroom glass. From there, I went back to sewing covers for all the dog beds. I'm working on another crocheted bikini, too. Lots of irons in the fire today. I'm a crafter and really, I should never get bored.
I can always finish the Hawaiian quilt I started when I lived in Hawaii TWENTY-SEVEN years ago.
Yep, I'm a professional procrastinator, too!

Monday, October 8

"Rain Check?"

Until recently, I haven't bothered to mention the rain. It's partly why I even started blogging, for something to do during the long rainy season. The rain is a fact of life in Costa Rica.
I've lived places where it rained but never like it does in Costa Rica.
Here, we got (spoken in 'Bubba Gump Shrimp talk' - Forrest Gump movie)
blowing rain, pour-down rain, outta no where rain, liquid sunshine rain, refreshing sweetwater rain, all hell breaks loose rain, monsoon rain, gully washer rain, a Real toad strangler rain, endless rain, sprinkle rain, soaking rain, all damn day rain, flooding rain, river running rain, wish it would quit rain, blinding rain, raining rain, raining tadpoles rain, wash out rain, mudslide rain, flood the streets rain, no school today rain, watch the grass grow rain, bored silly rain...
We got rain!

Sunday, October 7

Soft Shoulder

I'm from South Florida and we have signs that say "Soft Shoulder", meaning you may get stuck.
No such critter here. In fact, I drove over this same spot last Saturday night and it was fine! The next day they had a tree branch marking the road wash-out. It's too common here during the rainy season. No warnings. The road just collaspes during heavy rains at the rivers and next to the ocean. Also, BIG blouders fall from the mountains to the highways and mud slides to boot! It's just normal driving conditions here.

"REMEMBER WHERE YOU ARE" - I remind myself that a lot.
During a heavy rain, things change!

Today is a grey day with the storms lurking. My dogs tell me it could be a big one!
Unplugging computer - even though I do have a power regulator on my meter outside and a battery back-up/surge protector on my computer AND my house is finally grounded with the metal rod - both floors, you still can't be too careful during a good ole Costa Rican, poor-down, thunder and lightning, "toad strangling" RAIN.
Here come the rains.....

"A Real toad-strangler" is the correct expression.