Thursday, December 31

"Does that Blue Moon Ever Shine on You"

That verse is from one of my favorite songs. I forget now who sings it but Yahoo told me that the reason it is called a blue moon is because it is the second full moon of the month. I didn't know that. I've always heard the expression "once in a blue moon". That's tonight.
Read about Blue Moon here.

It has been a sad couple of days, very sad. It feels longer but yesterday afternoon, I learned my friend's young son was killed by a reckless, speeding driver while he riding his bike in front of his house on their dead-end street. It is so tragic, I can't begin to express my sorrow for them and their family. My middle sister's son was killed when he was only eight years old on a four wheeler. I saw, first hand, the despair of a mother. One can only pray.

From ever on, when I hear of a blue moon,
I will always remember those beautiful souls that were taken,
too soon.

Tuesday, December 29


This is much too heavy a topic to explore on my lunch break but I wanted to stop a moment and regroup, consider that lessons learned are "wisdom" and it is to be treasured and passed on.
My gift to you for this new year is.....
"attitude is the key to your survival".

My favorite is "change or be changed" but that's another blog...

Attitude - It has been a trying half day Tuuuuesday, so far. I painted my heart out yesterday on those bars with red primer only to find out that it is water based and it HAS TO BE oil based. Jose worked hours and hours sanding off all the rust. The bars are about four years old and not primed properly in the first place.

Here's a photo of Jose sanding off the newly painted bars with a "good attitude". For me, it's been one mishap after another this morning. I learned AGAIN, check everything when you go for supplies, half my order was wrong and I had to backtrack. Never trust anything, the bottom on the box opened and two gallons of paint fell out, one opened and terracotta paint was spilt everywhere.
Thank God only one opened.
Lesson Numero Uno: CHECK YOUR STUFF.
I came home and did a gratitude list of all the things to be thankful for. Like, water, I have water so Jose can do all this wet sanding. "I have a house by the sea and feel closer to Thee."
I'm getting things done, finally. We do the bars in the shade in the morning and the fence in the shade in the afternoon. It works. The sun in brutal when you are working. I did take a couple of hours Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed sunning on the beach in my beautiful beach chair!!

Happy New Year EVERYONE and keep a good attitude.
It can always be worse.

Thursday, December 24

Published Again

I'm always thrilled to see my photos published. The Christmas issue of El Chunche for Jaco and surrounding areas has my photos from the No Pro Surf in Esterillos this month for the orphanage in San Jose! Check it out!!

Here is a link to some photos I took from a tope (horse parade) that were published:
The BIG PARADE of horses will be in San Jose the day after Christmas.


I joke this is a "chain (link) gang" of one. Pobricito Jose!!

It's not beginning to feel a lot like Christmas because I have been totally focused on getting the fence painted and other odd jobs done around my house since Jose's arrival. I tried putting up my tree and got it half strung with lights. It occurred to me that I do this every year, cloak my house with Christmas decor, and this year, I didn't want to expend the time and energy with so many other things to do. So, I gave my tree and decorations to Jose and his family to use. I learned that they have never had a tree to decorate (or decorations) their entire lives! That felt good and I was happy to load it all in my car and take it to their home. Their little girl (8 years) was so tickled!!
This is what I've been doing,,, getting the fence ready for paint. Here, near the beach, if you don't paint your chain link, it will dissolve with the salt air. My fence has had a hedge beside it for years which has been a source of continuous work, keeping it trimmed. FINALLY, it is now GONE!
We are painting it with Jose on one side and me on the other. The fence seems to be getting longer as we paint. First, it was with brushes and now we have resorted back to using sponges as we did the first time it was painted five years ago. I end up with green paint from head to toe!!
So, keeping this in mind, please pardon my not blogging much. I think of blogging everyday, I just don't get to it.
I wish everyone a very special Merry Christmas and hope all you wishes come true!!

Sunday, December 20

Surfice Dog

Please take a moment to watch this. It is inspirational and heartwarming.
Thanks to Carol for sending to me.

Saturday, December 19

A Christmas Miracle

This is Jose working at a friend's place to get their septic up and running again. He took a two day break from my house to help out. Maybe to most, Jose and his family returning to CR doesn't seem like a "Christmas Miracle" but to me, it is the best present I could ever hope for. Jose worked for me for two years after I purchased my house some seven years ago. We got the rennovations completed and he went on to work at a surf shop down the road. He would come and help me out a half day on Saturdays, on his time off from his other job. Then, he went back to Nicarauga and then to live in Miami for two years, working for a landscaping company, learning to drive a truck and trailer on I-95. Needless to say, Jose returned here with a new perspective of how things are done in the States.

The real miracle is that his family is able to live in the same house behind my house that they lived in four years ago. I trust Jose completely and feel safe knowing he is now in shouting distance. So many projects are finally getting done around here. I've waited for Jose to return to help me for years and now, he has finally arrived and we are working on my house everyday. Thank You God.

Wednesday, December 16

So it goes...

I thought I'd post a photo and say it's all going well. This was a bit tramatic when the tree came down. In the photo, the palm has already been trimmed at the top. I love(d) this tree and it was the nesting place for many birds. It has left a void in my yard that many birds still circle around, looking for their spot.
And so it goes....
My computer is fixed, I think. I go get it today. Jose continues to work everyday, deligently accomplishing tons of projects I have saved in the hopes he would one day return to Costa Rica. (Jose helped me for two years when I was renovating my newly purchased house, seven years ago). Jose returned on Thanksgiving, with his family.
This has been a real blessing for me.

Friday, December 4

PA-LEEZE, no jokes or FWD:

Note to readers:
After publishing this, I received many helpful tools from the to fix my computer problems. It had already gone into the shop and I was not able to try any of these but these computer remedies are posted on the "comments". Thank you Bloke for all your efforts to get me up and running.

As I have mentioned, Jose returned and I am busy all day doing projects with him. He only speaks Spanish so I have to think and talk in Spanish all day. Yes, I should know it by now but I don't and it wears my brain out, plus the exhaustion from working. I can hardly put a sentence together in both English and Spanish at the end of the day.

It is amazing how quickly my emails pile-up with jokes and stuff that gets passed around. Most don't understand about our firewall protection here is not adequate. I have an antivirus program I use regularly but for some reason, after opening up such emails, my computer freezes up. This is a HUGE pain because at present, no one is in Jaco, that I know of, to fix this. So please, don't send me jokes, cutsey stuff, or forward anything someone has forwarded to you. Maybe this seems extreme but you would understand it if you lived my life here.

I am knocked off my computer with the photos and all my stuff so I am limping along right now and getting further behind on my blogging.

One more thing, I have to now monitor any comments you may make because the spammers are targeting me. If you leave a message, please wait for me to approve it and it will be posted. I do enjoy getting feedback, it fuels this blog.

OH WELL, Vote for Cesar - The Dog Whisperer every time you think of it!!

Wednesday, December 2


Please pardon me for not blogging. I am so far behind, I don't know where to start. And I don't know where to find the time to begin. It's all good and 'lots is gettin done 'round chere'. Bear with me. I'll be back.

In the meantime, please look over to the right side bar (or below or both) and vote for Cesar! He's like family around this house. We (me and the dogs) watch him and learn so much EVERY TIME!
Please vote DOG WHISPERER! Vote again and again.
I will forever be indebted to his program, El Encantador del Perros(The Dog Whisperer), books he has written with Melissa Peltier and the training DVDs. I have a couple of the books and DVDs and they ALL help change my life living with my four red zone dogs.
A Special Thank You from us to Melissa Jo.

This is my choice for:
Favorite Animal Show
Dog Whisperer

Thursday, November 26


I won't' be celebrating in my usual fashion by cooking this year. Costa Rica does not celebrate this day and I have a tree cutter coming to cut down a very old palm that is threatening to fall on my house at any given storm. This pains me a great deal to cut this palm due to all the birds that use it for their nesting tree. I have debated this for years and having seen many other palms near my home that were planted in the same time period fall to the ground, I fear this one could be next. This tree has provided me with many photos and sprung forth many baby birds. A geese has her nest up there now and was very upset when the tree cutter shot his line over the tree to pull the ropes.

Trust me, I'd much rather be cooking up a storm today than what is planned. As far as giving thanks, I ritually do that every day. I feel so fortunate that I did break away from the known and ventured here. It has been a blessing with the many lessons I have learned and the beauty I see every day.

To my friends: Check my comment

Wednesday, November 18

"Brokin' da Board Beach" Heartbreak

If you are a reader of Yo-Yo, you know I call my beach Brokin Board Beach. I named it years ago when I first moved here because I saw so many guys walking with their head hung low, carrying their board in two pieces.

Shannon was visiting here from Canada during the Billabong World Surf Championship and she caught this shot of exactly what I see often. She emailed it to me with the subject line, "Boy crying". That says it all. With her permission, I am sharing her photo with you. Ahhh, the heartbreak of good waves.

I am happy to report that Harry from Brazil made it back to Brazil with his board in one piece! Great fun Harry, thanks for getting me back out there on the beach with my telephoto. Harry left just as the waves were settling down and now it's a little flat. The waves are fierce at times in Hermosa and be forewarned.... they do break boards when they are on a roll.

Past post: Brokin Board Beach
Living Large - Two years ago when Harry broke his specially shaped Brazilian board.

Tuesday, November 17

Lucky Lapa

Today is the first time in a long time I have had a Lapa (Red Scarlet Macaw) come visit my Almendra tree. It was such a pleasure to watch him. He was alone. They usually are in pairs. I'm not sure which one this one is but around here, there is an odd number in the flock. They usually wake me with their squawking but I don't mind. They make me smile everytime I see them pass overhead. And to see one in my tree!? That's a gift.

Today I was responding to a comment on a past post about my own personal animal planet outside my house.
Here's that past post:
As I was typing, this Lapa showed up in that same tree as mentioned in that post.
Funny how things happen.

Monday, November 9

Toucan and the Iguana

Lately, I hear the toucans everyday, calling out to each other. It's an eerie call but beautiful. Typically, they are so high in the trees that I can't usually find them. In this shot, taken awhile back, I didn't even see the iguana until I viewed it on my computer screen. It's another life up there, high in the trees!!
A reader wrote in and identified this toucan as a Fiery Billed Aracari.
Thanks to YOU!! I learn so much from my readers!
And iguanas eat toucan eggs???

Friday, November 6

"All We Do Is Surf" - las Olas!!

That's Alberto warming up to slam some sunset waves... and then my battery died. Manana Alberto!!
This is Harry from this morning.
Having F-U-N again!

Thursday, November 5


Ya'll know I love iguanas, I love all the creatures that are part of my backyard. It's entertaining just to watch them in their daily routines. Right now, a red bellied squirrel is picking off almonds, scaling the shell, and dropping them to the pile of left over almonds on the ground. As promised, here are two iguanas sizing each other up for a rendezvous. They're so cute. They bobble their head up and down to see if there is any interest, then follow one another high in the trees.

I love feeding them bananas, pineapples,papayas,,, they even eat hibiscus flowers.
Amazing to watch, now you see it, now you don't.

I am totally fascinated with these prehistoric looking creatures!! I guess I have thousands of photos of them by now.

Wednesday, November 4

Board from Brasil

This is Harry's board. Harry has been hitting the surf everyday and it makes me wonder, how do these guys do it? Come here on vacation and day after day, get beat up, thrashed around like a rag doll only to go out and surf again the next day. Amazing. They are all warriors to me, the dedicated ones.

Saturday, October 31

Harry's Here!!

That's right, straight from Brazil and this time, he brought his wife, Christina. Today was my first day surf shooting since I can't remember when. My photos show it. Costa Rica always comes through and the waves picked up about the time they arrived. He brought back with him an identical board to the one the waves snapped two years ago.

Ya all (hence ya'll) remember? It was when my telephoto was fairly new and I still playing (still am judging by the photos I took today). Check it out when Harry was here if you missed that....

Let's all cross our fingers for Harry that his board can withstand the challenge of Hermosa's Brokin' da Board Beach.
It's so cool his name is Harry Costa!
Bíenvenidos Harry and Christina Costa!!!

Wednesday, October 21

Raining in Waves

This has been an unusually dry rainy season. Due to El Nino, we've had some incredible high tides, bringing in tons of beach sand. A couple of days ago, with the big rain and high tide combo, people experienced the ocean at their doors again! The weather has been so beautiful lately, I wondered if the rains were ever coming... well they did.... starting about two nights ago and they came with a vengence, BIG lightning and thundering. It's been raining quietly in waves ever since.

For those that think of us living in Costa Rica as lucky, I'm not sure it's luck but there definitely is a flip side you don't hear much about and that's how the rain comes and stays and alters your life for a couple of months. Beats snow any day!!

I compiled a running list of different rains way back when. Adding a new one, Wave Rain.
I don't have a "rain photo" so I'm posting the Lapas that fly over every day (except when it's raining).
As I published this, the rain just "turned off" again.

Saturday, October 17

Out My Backdoor

I don't have to look very far to find willing subjects to pose for the camera. This iguana is a regular.
Do you know they climb high in the trees? I've watched them come down from the trees head first and tail first, each one having their own style and finesse. Those sharp claws coming in handy on the descent. Sometimes they fall which can stun them into not moving for several minutes.

WHICH REMINDS ME to tell you.... Don't think an iguana is DEAD because he isn't moving. They play possum. REally! I have rescued many iguanas from my dogs and they will 'comatize' for about 5-10 minutes before coming back to life and escaping. It happened yesterday with a beautiful HUGE young green iguana. They are my favorite, very colorful. The dogs had him pinned behind some plants and he was "in the zone". By the time I got my camera, he was gone.

So, the next time you think about bagging that poor 'dead' iguana, give him a chance to come back to life.
He really may not be dead!!

Here are some past posts on Out My Backdoor:

Coming soon, photo of Iguanas romancing in the trees. Funniest thing to watch but photos don't do it justice!
Iguana -

Friday, October 16

Eighteen Wheelers

This is the truck stop between Jaco and Hermosa. No gas station, restaurant, bathroom, nothing. Just flocks of scarlet macaws passing over and the ocean breeze. One day while passing, I saw all the trucks lined up and just had to stop and get a snap shot. I hear them all the time coming off the mountain doing the "jake brake" thing. It's sounds like they're coming through my living room. There are no laws against jake breaking here like in Florida but hey, we don't have mountains in South Florida.

Check out the BEAU-TI-FUL lines on the highway. Yes, they are new. You know you live in a third world country when you get excited about lines being painted on the highway!! Nice lines. I got a photo when they were laying them down. I call it "Dragging the Line". It's after a song with the same title.
Dragging the Line

Wednesday, October 14

Fix Ya'll Some Tea??

I know I have been severely lax blogging lately. The rains are commencing so I'll probably get back to blogging.

If you've ever been to my house, you know the first thing I ask is "can I fix you some tea?" It's a Southern "thang", pushing over-sweetened tea and sweet stuff on people. You can expect to drench your thirst and be fed when you visit a Southerner. A virtual friend of mine, Shannon from Canada (Novia Scotia), sent me a huge box with books and CDs full of music. One of the books was "Culture Shock USA - The South". I'd say most of the stuff in it is true (although customs are different in other "southern" regions) but they sure did leave out a lot of stuff!! How can a non-Southerner truly depict the South? It's a funny read though and it's amazing how much I have forgotten or just thought everyone was like that, not just us southern hicks.

One of the things most difficult to adjust to is our water here in my area. They are working on a better filtration system but until then, when it rains, we get muddy water. I've posted about it before. My sister calls it Exorcist Water. Usually, they turn off the water during a big rain as not to clog up the filters. The water is red or as some refer to it, "chocolate". It's a joke of mine when someone comes over to offer them ice with their tea, either "Hermosa water" or "bottled water" ice.

When I bring out the tray of "Hermosa ice", I am always delighted in their surprise. It's not real Hermosa water, it's frozen tea. It's soooo hot here, ice last about a nano-second. I freeze tea in ice cubes so when it melts in the glass, I just get more sweet tea. People always choose the bottled water ice until I tell them my secret.

I've noticed Ya'll is 'spelt' by non-Southerners as Y'all. I know it is an abbreviation of 'you all' but that's not how real Southerners spell it. It's Ya'll, ya'll. AND we don't call it sweetened iced tea. It's just called 'tea' and we all know it's sweet (REAL sweet) and served with ice. I don't know many of "us" that drink hot tea so we don't even think to offer that!

O.k. I'll try and think up a better post next time. Ya'll come back now, ya hear!!
Oh, and we don't "prepare" or "make" anything, we "fix" it.

FYI - Here is what they have to say about the correct spelling of Ya'll.
Guess that makes me an idiot but hey, I'm used to getting that coming from the South.
Bless their hearts, they just don't know about Southerners.

Shannon called me and was shocked I had a Southern accent. I've tried to loose it but the older I get, the more I fall back to it. You should hear my Southern Spanish!!

Recipe for real Southern Ice Tea:
Boil water, take off the heat, add 5 small Lipton tea bags, cover and steep for five minutes. Pour hot tea over one cup of sugar in a pitcher, stir to dissolve sugar and then add more water to fill pitcher.
Guaranteed to make your teeth hurt and add a little zip in your step!!

Thursday, October 8

Seven Years

Time sure flies when you're having fun. Well, maybe not all fun but it sure goes by quickly when you stay busy. It's now been seven whole years since I arrived to live in Costa Rica permanently. The first couple of years were spent working on the house I bought. The rest, well, the days pass very slow and the years pass by fast. That's life in the tropics. I am definitely not the same naive person that stepped off that plane with two dogs and a parrot seven years ago. Costa Rica teaches you life lessons that you aren't aware you are learning until time passes. This has been the experience I was searching for when I was considering making the move. Starting over again, learning a new custom and language (failing poorly at Spanish) and discovering things about myself I never knew. Being married all my life (practically), I didn't even know what I liked to eat! It has been a real journey discovering myself and my new homeland.
Pura Vida. I wouldn't change a thing (except eliminate the crime here).

I thought I'd go back on my blog to when I first started YO-YO in 2006, when my blog was new and much better. Here is the post:

Great line - Colonel Jessep, from A Few Good Men.

So you think you may want to move to
beautiful, lush Costa Rica?
It takes a brave soul to "Sell off and
Sail Away" to a place you've never LIVED...

Visiting here is NOTHING, and I repeat,
Nothing like living here.

I think after living here two years,
one is not considered a Rookie
but not a Vet yet.
After 5 years, you show some tenacity
and (hopefully) gain the local respect
You're a Veteran.
You deserve some sort of special Medal.
Chances are, you'll stay here forever.

Some days, I still feel like Dorothy in Oz,
clicking my heels like hell to get "home".
I'm going on my fifth year soon.

I don't get this "ex-pat" status us gringos have here.
I'm not in exile - I'm a North American (from the South) in paradise.

Sunday, September 27

Sunset on Sunday

that's right.....I've been studing Photoshop. Correcting exposure is fairly simple, it's the watermark that has taken hours to figure out. Now, onto borders............

Saturday, September 26

Got Wood?

I couldn't resist posting this snapshot of a house I photographed while driving lost in Escazu a couple of weeks back. I took this photo as I was passing in traffic so no time to frame it up. It appears this guy cannot even get in his front door due to all the generous donations of wood.
The sign reads "No Mas Madera Gracias", translated "No More Wood Thanks".
Funny stuff.

Friday, September 25

Darling Ducklings

I now know what kind of duck this is, Black-bellied Whistling Duck with a pink bill and feet (thanks Carol A. for info). I had thought there was only one duckling but when I returned home yesterday, I let out two dogs and Macha found the whole flock of ducklings hovering in the corner of the yard, under the lemon tree and banana trees. It was a yellow and black blur of little fur bodies scrambling to get through the fence to the other side AWAY from Macha. Unfortunately, Macha is just too quick and already had one in her mouth. I rescued it from Macha's jaws but it died in my hands. The rest of the bunch hurried off into the tall grass. I spent the rest of the afternoon searching for them with a bucket in hand. I wanted to collect them and take them to the river but I never found them. Not being able to find them is pretty incredible since the chicks are brightly colored yellow with black spots and there were about 10 of them traveling in a huddle.

Late last night, I kept hearing a bird calling, for hours. The birds are quiet at night. It sounded like a toucan but with more lift and flurry. I was told this type of duck whistle when they take off (hence the name). As I tried to go to sleep, listening to this weary call over and over, I couldn't help but wonder if the mother was calling out for her lost duckling (the one Macha killed). I wondered if all the flock was in a safe place and if she ventured out away from the others to call to her missing duckling as not to endanger the others. There are many hawks in the area.
Life is a challenge in the jungle. It really is survival of the fittest and the strongest (and smartest).

Thursday, September 24

The Dotted Duckling

For all those that have kept up with my blog, you know I love nature and animals, especially all the living things around my house. These are my favorite subjects. This morning I looked out and a duck flew into my yard. I know they use the tall palm in my yard for nesting so I looked around for her ducklings. In the past, I have seen as many as ten little ducklings fall 30 feet (about 10 meters) from that palm tree and in a straight line, they follow their mom to the river. Those days were BEFORE the fence. I watched to see how she was going to get her one and only duckling pass the fence. The duckling dodge in and out of the chain link fence but the mom was blocked by her size and would not fly over so I went out and opened the gate for them. Momma Duck waddled pass me and ushered her little duckling into the free world. I was so thankful I found them before the dogs did. I'll keep watching for more ducklings.
She looked as though she paused to say "Thanks Macha" and waddled out with her one precious follower.

Sunday, September 20

Church on Sunday

Church in San Mateo, March, 2006
September, 2009
Recently, I made a trip to San Jose to renew my residency and on the way back I got a great surprise. The church in San Mateo has been under renovation for a long time. It was late so I couldn't stop and go inside but looking through the front doors, it looks beautiful inside as well. I'll have to return and take my time.

"Church on Sunday" is in remembrance of my mother.

Friday, September 4

The Last Frontier

Around these parts, I consider the vacant coastline down around the pig farm and out at Tulin ("Four Corners"), the last frontier. They tore down the deserted concrete buildings that have been out there for years. Guess, those people believed that electric/water was coming WAY OUT THERE. Well, from what I hear, it is NOW. Rumor has it, a wealthy guy from Pakistan bought all of that property and it is slated for construction of a housing development of 400-600 houses. Us good people here in Hermosa can thank this guy for improving our water system (so I hear). We are getting a huge water filtration system plus all the bells and whistles! I'd prefer to live with the dirty Hermosa water (after it rains) and keep Hermosa Beach just like it is, thank you. Progress sucks sometimes.

This is my water after a big rain. So you see, picking this water over the construction of housing that will bring us better water, is saying a whole lot!!

Post note: Seems Playlist (TeriTunes) is on a permanent blink. I cannot edit songs or play them on my end so I'll probably delete it. If you want to hear some music, Southern Rock, go here.

Thursday, September 3

Pura Vida - I learn from my dogs

Check out this past post:
I blogged about this way before Cesar Millan taught me that "dogs live in the moment". His show has been a gift to me and my dogs and I so much appreciate everything I have learned. Thank you Cesar and Melissa Jo (and others) for bringing dog education to humans.
This is my most favorite thing, to walk my dogs and watch them enjoying themselves. Never underestimate the power of the walk!! They are almost cured of fighting. No fighting for months now!! These are the two sister dogs that used to fight, running on the beach, loving life!

This is my Macha, looking down the beach to see if there is another dog to chase. Bad Macha!! Can't break her of that one,,, but I'm working on it. She chased a horse on the beach that day and ruined our little photo session!