Archive for the ‘party time’ Category
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.
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.
Yesterday was actually my birthday; however, the celebrating is continuing today! Meeting Dra. Victoria (our eye Dr.) for lunch – we share the same birthday. And because of both of our extremely busy social schedules, we’re meeting today!
Went to Escazu yesterday afternoon. We needed to get some ink cartridges for the printer; went to Office Depot….alas! They don’t carry cartridges for US printers! Epson, get with it! However, a friend is in the states and has offered to get us some, whew, international catastrophe averted.
Picked up Mike and Joni for yesterday’s adventure. After being so disappointed that we couldn’t get ink cartridges, we headed to Multi-Plaza and wandered around AutoMercado; at one point, Joni commented, is wandering around a grocery store fun on your birthday when you don’t need to be at the grocery! LOL
Headed to the theatre to see The Lone Ranger. (yes, I saw it in the states, but it was showing in the VIP Lounge Theatre 1; we sat in really comfy recliners, and were waited on to get food. Mark fell in love with the recliners because they were finally long enough for him! LOL Guess we should go to the movies again and he can tell them they need to upgrade their recliners and he’d like to purchase one of the used ones! LOL
Enjoyed the movie even the second time around. Johnny Depp is so good!
Leaving the theatre we saw Dra. Candy and Jorge. She looked at Mike, Joni and me, and said “you should not be eating popcorn!” Then she turned to Mark and said, “but you can!” We got busted….Mike said it was a good thing she didn’t see what we ate before the movie! It was a neat experience and will now keep an eye on what’s playing at the IMAX theatre.
Arrived home around 10:30 p.m., which is very late for us! You know, the older you get, the earlier you go to bed and get up….
Two large iguanas are on the roof and Mark says they are in fighting mode – bobbing their heads up and down. I’m in the house and there’s a lot of running and sliding going on, or so it seems.
Off for another birthday celebration…..getting old has it’s advantages! When I turned 60, I think there were 10 days of celebrating!
Pura Vida from Paradise!
Maricela planned a surprise birthday party for me. She invited her relatives and a couple of ex-pat couples she knows. Her Aunt even came from San Jose with her three daughters! It was a fiesta!!! Balloons, food, and a pinata to boot!!!
And of course lots of little kids! We all marveled at how the kids “made” their own entertainment….playing musical chairs! Can you imagine kids in the US doing this? When someone didn’t get a chair, there was no pouting or anger because they were out of the game….they just quietly left the circle and sat in a chair till it was time to start another game. Was quite cute to watch!
Food, food and more food! Chicharones, rice, picadillio de papa, salsa, or course birthday cake….just a few of the foods – and chicken cooked on a tire rim with a grate – a true homemade grill! LOL And the chickens were from Maricela’s own flock!
Happy Birthday was sung in Spanish and English…..and the little kids thought that was so much fun – they were singing at the top of their lungs and grinning from ear to ear.
Mark said that while I was in the old country, Maricela and the girls were so excited about planning this party. They are such good neighbors and friends, like having our own family here!
I really appreciated the time and effort they put in to make it a happy day!
Back in the old country when I was but a wee lass……May Day, May 1st, was a great holiday. We spent the week before May 1st making May Day baskets. Then we would fill them with candy, spring flowers, etc. – on May 1st, you would deliver your May Day baskets, hang them on the front door or your friend’s homes, ring the door bell, and run like hell so they wouldn’t see who was delivering May Day baskets to you! Sort of signified the coming of spring in Michigan (for us, anyway).
I kept up the tradition with our girls for awhile too….of course, by then, people had no clue what was going on…hmmm, perhaps that’s the beginning of dumbing down America! LOL
Here in Costa Rica it’s ”labor day” and most things are closed.
With President Obama coming here on Friday, traffic will be a worse mess than normal; except for the closed roads. We live on the side of a mountain where planes coming in to land at Juan Santa Maria airport, make their wide turn in their approach. We are hoping to see Air Force One make that approach!
I had wanted to go and see the “parade” but decided to heed the warnings of traffic delays, etc. , so we’ll just stay home and watch it on TV.
Welcome to Costa Rica on Friday, President Obama…..too bad you can’t come to Atenas and meet lots of ex-pats!
Mark and I keep marveling at how we were told on our “due diligence” trip that we would NEVER be invited to a Tico’s home! Well, that’s not true!!! We’ve been invited to Maricela’s home for various celebrations! (And they have been invited to our home too!)
Last week we went to a fiesta at her Mother’s home – a ceremony for the children and to put away the nativity scene till next year. Music, dancing and most of all, the most tasty food! Whoever says Costa Rica doesn’t have good food, needs to eat at a person’s home!
Maricela served a chicken soup/stew with all kinds of veggies in it and garbanzo beans! She even sent some home with us! Had an eggnog type drink with rum, yum!
Nazareth can get me to do fun stuff! As soon as the music starts, she can’t be still; the hips and feet start moving and don’t stop until the music stops! She drug me out of the chair to dance…..I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, but Costa Rican songs go on, and on, and on, and on! Talk about exhaustion!!!
Saw some of the same people that were at the fiesta last week, along with new people last night.
And, we got invited to another fiesta on Thursday night in Los Angeles! Be still my heart (and feet)! Mark is not sure he’s going, but you can rest assured I’ll be there with bells on!!!
The people in Costa Rica have been so welcoming. Everyone is happy!!! And it’s contagious!!!
Still lovin’ our life here!
Maricela asked us to go to her mother’s house last night for ………..never could figure out what she was talking about!
So about 7 p.m. Mark and I trudged up the hill to her mother’s house – smacking my forehead because I can’t remember her name! DUH!
As we were arriving, a car with 4 men in it was arriving; they each had a guitar and one had an accordian. There were lots of people that had already arrived.
Unfortunately, we did not take a camera. Bummer!!!
It was some kind of ceremony signifying that Navidad was over and the nativity scene could be put away for another year. A priest was there to perform this, one of the guitar players. The four men faced the nativity scene and began playing their instruments, singing and the Padre was saying whatever it is he was supposed to say. Mark, Tonya and I were the only clueless people in the room.
After about an hour of this, the ceremony was over. Then the food started…..yum! Homemade bread, tortillas, and the wonder “potato hash”!
Then the musicians began playing and the kids began dancing. Nazareth cannot stand still when there is music!! This child desperately needs to be in a dance class….she has rhythm from the tips of her toes to the top of her head! Her mother convinced her to get me to dance with her…..what an uproar from the crowd; then Maricela convinced Mark to dance, and another uproar erupted.
It was so much fun!!!
Maricela is having a ceremony like this next week at her house! Oh boy!!!
We will have cameras this time.
When we were walking home, Mark said, remember when we did our due diligence tour here and we were told we would never be invited to a Tico’s house…..well, I think it all depends on the person! We’ve been invited to Maricela’s many times and now to her mother’s…..
We had so much fun…..Tico’s know how to have fun!!! We can never thank them enough for including us…
Our second New Year’s Eve in Costa Rica! Can hardly believe we’ve been living here for over a year and a half! And lots and lots of things have happened in that year and a half.
We really do enjoy it here; what’s not too like – while my friends in FL, yes, FL, and KY are freezing, we have the windows and doors open with a balmy breeze blowing through the house; yesterday was a “bad” day with the December winds – we’ve got more dirt, leaves, etc. than ever – IN THE HOUSE! LOL Sure hope Maricela shows up today to clean.
In early December, I saw the dermatologist. He “froze” 26 spots on my face and upper chest. I’m telling myself that for a week or so I looked like I was covered with beauty marks, ie: Marilyn Monroe style. Hey! It’s my mind and I can tell myself whatever I want.
Back in the old country when something was removed by a medical professional, we had the understanding that things would be removed by pounds; 1 lb. minimum; preferably by 2 lbs. at a time. I’m sad to report that these 26 beauty marks only removed .1 pounds. I see him again in February and we’ll be having a discussion regarding this.
Lots of resolutions for the upcoming New Year.
1. I am truly giving up Pepsi! This will be difficult but I know I can do it….the past couple of months I could go without it for a week or so; and then I’d cave in a buy Pepsi. It’s a big acid reflux cause for me! Altho’ I’m happy to admit that my 1820 coffee doesn’t cause any reflux problems; am afraid to try any other coffee because I’m happy with 1820.
2. I will definitely get a least one Christmas present made or purchased a month for Christmas 2013! None of this stress and panic like I felt this year. And I still haven’t completed my shipping or purchasing for Christmas 2012! Hmmm, maybe I could just ship stuff now and say “Merry Early Christmas 2013″ – keep this till December and put it under your tree. Just a thought…
3. Get my sewing room organized! Maricela is a good organizer so I think when the girls go back to school, she and I will get in there and tackle this.
4. I’m going to keep count of the people that I give rides to into town; that’s just part of my “Pay it forward”.
5. We will go visit some sites in Costa Rica – need to find someone to come to the house and stay with the dogs; it will be easier on them and us! LOL
6. Work on my Spanish…I know the words, I just can’t get them into sentences! Anyone that has young kids in their lives, have them learn Spanish! It’s so much easier when you’re younger than at our age!
That’s enough for now….but I might add some other resolutions later.
Took a break and fixed Maricela and the girls some breakfast. Dylana, Nazareth and I are headed into town in a few minutes. They are so good when I take them to town! Don’t beg or whine for a thing!
Adios for now and Feliz Anos Nuevo!
We stopped at Coope and they saw a “stuffed” Santa so I snapped a picture of them!
Mark made a quick trip to the old country a week ago on Saturday and returned on Wednesday. Daughter’s father-in-law was in the hospital; I had the Costa Rican crud and there was no way I could fly with a stuffed up head and chest – (in fact, I’m still coughing!) Happy to report he’s doing well!!!
Mark returned on Weds. around noonish; we were at Dumas’ school graduation at 3 p.m.; I had a dermatology appt. at 4:45 p.m. and then we were at Maricela’s for chichirrones to celebrate the graduation! Yep, one friggin’ busy day!
Then on Thursday, was our second annual 12 Days Before Christmas Party. Lesson learned, make more Sangria, lots more Sangria! LOL Lots of good snacks but as with any party, it’s the friends that make it.
Spanish class on Friday morning….can you say, Spanish wasn’t really on my mind. Georgia wasn’t either! LOL
Sunday, Lee and I ventured to Cemaco – all I’m looking for is a pastry blender; I’ve seen one down here but I can’t remember where! Nothing irritates me more than to need something and not be able to find it! Sheesh!!! And I’m still looking….
Today Maricela came to clean and it had already been set up that Dylana and Nazareth and I would go Christmas shopping in town. Because the girls are girls (LOL) and we’ve raised 2 girls, it’s evident that they know exactly what they want; so off we went in search of a Christmas gift for them.
I have NEVER EVER shopped with such patient girls in my life! Nazareth thought she wanted a toy – we went to three or four stores and she looked and looked; Dylana knew she wanted shoes; all of a sudden Nazareth decide she wanted shoes too. Of course, she wanted heels (she’s 7, and there’s no way I was going to buy her heels because I know she’d break a leg, ankle, etc.) She picked out some cute flats; Dylana picked out a pair of tennis shoes….and the whole time I’m reminding them – they cannot tell their mother! LOL They even picked out a pair for Maricela!
Heading back to the car I asked them if they wanted to buy their mother a gift; their eyes got real big and then grinned and nodded yes! They were so excited!!!
We went to Antanos for lunch; such well behaved girls!!!
All the way home they kept saying how they had to come to my house to wrap their mother’s gift!
It’s funny because I think they visit our house daily to see if there are more gifts under the tree!
Pura Vida for now…..it’s such a fun time of the year with kids!!!