While I absolutely love the hub bub of the holiday season approaching, this time of year really drains me, mentally, physically and emotionally.
In our 45 years of marriage, we’ve never lived any where near relatives….however, we’ve lived in 5 different states and have many friends still in those old haunts. And with Facebook, it’s a real treat to re-connect with old friends. Our family is scattered all over the US and it’s virtually impossible to do the family Christmases we had when the girls were little.
The worst part for me is the shopping. I like to do handcrafts and it’s just impossible to find fabric and all the notions, etc. in a one stop shop! Usually, I just get frustrated and head home – ticked that I can not get the things I want/need. Am slowly getting over that, tho’….or else the Pura Vida is slowly creeping in. Or I suck it up and pay the international shipping and then by the time my order makes its way to Costa Rica, I’ve forgotten what I wanted the things for.
Stopped at Payless Shoes yesterday because a friend was going to buy shoes for their “angel” from the angel tree; a pair of tennis shoes for a child was $26!!! It makes me sad, because the Costa Rican people we know and are friends with, can’t pay that for one child, let alone their family of 2, 3, or more children. I honestly don’t know how they do it – but they are so happy!
Am slowly getting used to the grocery shopping – still not quite sure what I’m getting in the meat department because “cuts” of meat here sure look different to me than they did in the Kroger meat department.
With Christmas approaching and it being the giving time of year, it would certainly be wonderful if every charity could spread out their “please give to me at this time of year”…..either that, or I need to learn to put aside a certain amount of money each month for the month of December. Probably will end up being the latter of that previous statement.
Our neighbor girls are excited about Navidad approaching. They come and go pretty much at will at our house – so I’ve really frustrated them! LOL Have started wrapping Christmas gifts so they have no clue who they are for! Mark said he caught Nazareth peeking in the window of the second bedroom looking at the wrapped gifts. This is the fun part for me. We’ve sort of adopted the two girls, Nazareth and Dylana, and their two cousins up the street from us.
Dylana will be graduating from 6th grade in mid-December. She wants clothes for Christmas….so I will take her shopping with the stipulation that she has to act surprised when she opens her gifts! Did that last year when I bought them shoes because I wanted them to pick out the shoes they wanted – and their expressions didn’t disappoint. As usual, Mark has no clue what’s in the packages, so he was the most surprised!
Maricela, the girls’ mother, has been asking me for two weeks, about the arbol de Navidad…she’s quite excited about the trees, yes, trees, going up soon. Last year was the first year the girls “had” a Christmas tree, even if it was at our house. They spent hours helping me decorate the trees. (One inside and one on the rancho.) And are eager to do it again this year.
Since a lot and I mean A LOT of people already have their homes decorated, I guess I’ll give in and get started with the tree decorating. According to Mark, he needs at least a 10 day notice to get all the bins, and boxes down for this endeavor! LOL
I was going to try and wait till after Thanksgiving, but think I’ll just jump on the bandwagon and go for it! Everyone will be happy! LOL And that’s what it’s all about, keeping everyone happy.
One thing that is really super wonderful here, is that all ex-pats take on “being your family”. We have so many wonderful friends here from all over. Disney is right, it is a small world!
Pura Vida for now as I give Mark his marching orders to get the Christmas decor down.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention that the girls and I made the 350 name tags for the Angel Tree Angels Christmas party! They love helping me do things like that!!!
Last Friday was Cuco’s (Maricela’s espouso) Feliz Cumpleanos and we were invited to help him celebrate on Sunday afternoon.
Maricela makes the best tasting Picadilla de Papa!!! Had rice, beans and chicken also.
After eating, the music started….and I’ll give you three guesses who the main entertainment was! Yep, you guessed it Nazareth!
Met a friend of their family named Orlando. He does sculpting out of any type of material; he’s made sculptures for Mel Gibson’s mansion in Costa Rica, of which I promptly said, “tell good ole Mel to pay his taxes he owes to Costa Rica”! (It went over everyone’s head!) He learned how to do this type of work in Mexico. He’s been all over the world doing various things. For those from Atenas, as you enter town via Hwy. 3 and look at the sculpture high on the mountain, that’s just one of his works. He has an ipad and showed us many, many photos of various works he’s completed. He is absolutely amazing! And Maricela is going to take Mark and I to his house. There’s an animal park in Guanacaste and he has some of his work on the grounds there.
Am frantically trying to get some things done in order to have a booth in the park on October 13th or at Nana’s Place. So far this is what I’ve gotten done this morning…..hoping to have some variety; Halloween, Christmas, etc.
So, if things don’t sell, and your a friend of mine that I give gifts to, (LOL), get your choice in of what you want!
Maricela’s cousin, Ivannia’s daughter is expecting a baby in the next 3 weeks. I was invited to the baby shower. I was absolutely flabbergasted when I arrived! The decorations were unbelievable, let alone the tables set for 150 people, family and friends.
I felt like it was a wedding!!! At one point during the shower we were all given small cups (like communion cups) for wine; I noticed everyone else sipping, so I sipped too….however, I then drank it all! I had no clue that the wine was for a “toast” to the mother and baby. So the hostesses brought me another cup, a larger one (LOL), so I was able to toast with everyone else.
Two clowns arrived and proceeded to entertain, the kids, anyway! Keep in mind all of this is in Spanish and I was able to pick out a few words….they needed to slow down to speak for the token Gringa! LOL
Baby showers in Costa Rica apparently are a huge, huge deal. Families come, yes, men included. I got tickled because the clowns were in charge of the games and were constantly seeking out men to participate in the games. It was fun and there were lots of laughs!!! Especially, when three men had to put on neon colored wigs, and then were diapered like babies by three women; then they added bibs, and bonnets….then the “babies” headed to a table with baby bottles with kool-aid in them to drink. It was hysterical!!
Another game that was played consisted of two men first blowing up balloons; sticking them under their shirts and then having to walk as a 9 month pregnant woman would walk. The guy that won was a new father of less than 6 weeks….
It last 5 hours – by then I had had enough; kids running around, lots of noise, mother-to-be opening up what seemed like a million gifts! Am sure they needed at least two vehicles to get the gifts home.
Friday, September 13th, four adventurous women boarded the bus to San Jose at 8 a.m. We arrived at the bus station in San Jose approximately at 9 a.m. – or as it’s called “the Coca-Cola building”.
Shirley was on a quest to get new drapes for her house. She knew exactly which “tela” (fabric) shop she wanted to go to because they had ready made drapes. However, she ended up ordering drapes to be made – and get this, it was probably 10-10:30ish when she ordered them and received a phone call around 1:30 p.m. that they were ready. Is this a great country or what?!
We went to The Grand Hotel, across from the National Theatre for coffee. From there we went to the National Theatre hoping to get a tour; however, there was an event planned and they weren’t giving tours in the afternoon.
Liena, knew of a bead shop across the plaza from the National Theatre…all I can say is WOW! I was so overwhelmed, I couldn’t think! I will be going back there to purchase, soon! LOL
Headed to a “sewing” shop and across the street from there was a “Chinese” shop; lots of pretty things at extremely reasonable prices….ie: jade jewelry, turquoise, etc. I even bought a pair of white turquoise ear rings!
From there we went to pick up Shirley’s drapes and then to the central market there for lunch.
As we were leaving the central market, it started pouring rain….the skies opened up and it was a deluge! We weren’t far from the bus station so that was good.
Headed home, tired but it was a “good tired”.
Always enjoy the adventures of the over 60 gals!!!
About 5 years ago, I discovered (not that I founded it, LOL) the organization, Kiva.org where you can lend money to people in other countries to help keep their businesses going and growing, for farmers to buy livestock or plants, for artists to purchase supplies; for people to add on to their homes, or just about any other reason.
Because I love doing knitting, handcrafts, etc., I have chosen to help those in need to purchase supplies to keep their art going. I have loaned money to weavers, to spinners, craftsmen, seamstresses, etc. – all over the world!!!
I’ve “invested” a total of $251 (my outlay) and today I received notification, I had more money available to lend.
In total, I’ve loaned $1,525! From that initial $251! I just keep the repayments rolling over.
I would like to challenge anyone reading this, to please check out Kiva.org and see what it’s all about!
Yes, you can start out with just a $25 loan….you can read about the person, or groups, you are loaning to.
If only there was a way to purchase some of the things that the people are making!!!
Pura Vida from Costa Rica
A friend is interested in learning to knit socks. I love to knit and was really excited that she wanted to learn too.
Too make sure I didn’t forget any necessities, I emailed a couple knitting friends that live in the states.
These are the two answers I received:
tape measure, small scissors, needle measure doodad, needles to sew ends in
Post its, measuring tape, flask, chocolate, big needle point protectors, page protectors,
high lighter tape
I’ve been looking on one of my favorite knitting websites, Knit Picks. I’ve made a list of items that I think she absolutely needs:
6 inch Harmony Wood Double Pointed Knitting Needle Set
Double Ended Crochet Hook set for picking up dropped stitches
View Sizer – this is a needle sizer, measures stitches and rows, and gauges
Heel Foot Cream by SOAK (This is the best stuff)
Sock Knitting Needle Holders – you lay your project down and get distracted and don’t get back
to it right away, and VOILA! – stitches are no longer on your needles…this stops that!
Knitting Needle Point Protectors
Knitting Stitch Holders – various sizes
Bent tip Tapestry Needles for weaving in yarn ends
Highlighter tape – this is great stuff because you can use it over and over, really good help
when following a pattern – helps keep your place
A small spiral notebook to keep notes in of the project you’re working on.
If any other knitters out in Yarn Land can think of a few more items, or accessories, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
All of the above items can be found at KnitPicks.com – except for one – highlighter tape, which can be found at other websites or even on ebay.
A few other websites I lurk around are JimmyBeansWool.com and SimplySockYarn.com – for you knitters outside of the U.S., these two websites ship Internationally. I love websites that ship Internationally!!!
Pura Vida from Costa Rica for now.