Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for July 2011

Frances, from the animal shelter, invited to us to a Barrio Festival at their neighborhood church. They were also going to have a dog show.

Decided we would only take one dog with us today and it ended up being Sofi – however, we were not entering her into any of the contests….I thought the winners should be from their neighborhood.

When we arrived, they were having an auction of some neat and some not so neat stuff!  Attending an auction in the US is difficult enough for me trying to understand the auctioneer; WWWEEEELLLLLLL! Folks, try figuring it out in Spanish!  Once in a while I could decipher a number but by the time I searched in my pea brain for the Spanish number, the auctioneer had changed prices.  Talk about not understanding what was going on! LOL

Mark and I got tickled at three small boys, maybe the oldest was 7 and the youngest 4 at the most.  There were 4 calves tied to the fence along the edge of the road.  They were trying their darndest to rope a calf.  Finally, the youngest one grew tired of “the game” and dropped his rope/lasso and decided a puddle looked like more fun.  He had on jeans and cowboy boots and promptly went to the puddle and stomped one foot in…..his Papacito didn’t like it one bit!  I thought it was funny.

Sofi didn’t want to get down and so after holding her for what seemed like an eternity, we left.  But Mark noticed as I was walking through the crowd, people were checking her out to see if she was going to be the smallest….she wasn’t by a long shot.

I’m amazed at what a “dog country” this is!  When we drive into town through Guacimo, there are a lot of dogs, all sizes, some laying in the road with the mentality, that “ho hum, he’ll drive around me”… time when I was driving through, a dog about the size of Sedona was draped over a huge rock sleeping.

This is such an entertaining country!  I hope all my friends get the opportunity to visit!

As I’ve said before, this is not just one big adventure, but lots of little ones!!!

Pure Vida! As they say….ahhhh, the good life.

Today Mark and I picked up John and Pat (new friends that have moved here from Houston) and headed to Grecia to the feria there.

But first, we had the most wonderful Tico breakfast prepared by Pat!  Even home made banana bread with a squirt of lemon juice!  And she prepared everything without a stove….just a microwave and electric skillet.  Had pinto gallo (I think that was what it was called) rice and black beans with eggs over easy on top!  It was too die for….and the banana bread was scrumptious!  Thank you Pat and John.

Then we headed to Grecia.  Grecia is a larger town than Atenas, thus, a larger feria.  It had easy parking, and was under cover.  Gosh, such a variety of fruits, veggies, meats, and various other goodies.  Tried some new stuff too….of which I’ve already forgotten the name. It’s hell to get old! LOL

Tomorrow we’ll go to Antano’s for my birthday brunch!  And speaking of birthday’s…Happy Birthday tomorrow to Loretta and Lily!  We three share the same birthdate….we are so special.

Adios for now……







After my illness last week, I could no longer stand my hair. I think hair and nails grow faster when it’s hot weather.  At least mine do.

Bruce and Frances  told me about this Columbian hairdresser that’s very good; so I called to get directions to her place.  I knew of the area vaguely.

Called Mariana and had an appt. for 11 a.m. today; she said her English wasn’t good enough to give me directions.  Then she said “I’ll walk down and meet you.”

Off I go …. drive and drive and drive; finally I came up on “dos policia” and ask them if they knew where Mariana’s was.  One spoke no English, the other did “poco”.

So  with my “poco Spanish” and his “poco English”, I called Mariana and she gave the directions to the “policia”.  Then he said “follow me. You are a long way away.”

So off we go…the only thing better would have been if they had their sirens going; yes it was a 2-cop escort on motorcycles!

When we arrived at a fork in the road, there she was grinning from ear to ear.  She hopped in my vehicle and we drove the couple blocks to her shop.  I got a hair cut, pedicure and eyebrows waxed for a grand total of $18.00!!!  And happy with everything.  To get your eyebrows waxed, you go into a different room and lay on a massage table.

Just another glorious adventure!

Monday morning started out just like any other morning, birds chirping, sun was shining, a wonderful breeze…. Got a call that the car was ready to be picked up. Bruce came and got Mark and took him to the mechanics to pick it up.  Have I mentioned what a God-send Bruce and Frances have been to us?  Anyhoo, before he left I was in bed taking what I thought was a nap.

Hours later when Mark returned, having been to the bank, grocery store, vet to pick up meds for dogs, I was still in bed!  He came in the bedroom and I could barely open my eyes and say I’m sick.  He felt my forehead and said I burning up! After refusing anything to eat or drink, I slumbered on and on and on.

During the night I needed help getting to the bathroom because I was so dizzy.  I could hardly keep my head up and eventually passed out.  The next thing I remember, he’s in my face saying, ” Nancy, stay with me, can you hear me?”  Took some ibuprofen and he helped me back to bed.

Tuesday was even worse!  Couldn’t stay awake and constantly in and out of a deep, deep slumber.  He finally convinced me to go to a pharmacy (pharmacists here are M.D.’s and can handle minor problems).  The guard, yes, the guard at the pharmacy door let us in and thank heavens there was a couch!  I immediately went to it and tried to stay sitting up, but eventually found myself lying down on it. The pharmacist took one look at me and told Mark, “she’s very bad off, needs Dr. Candy”.

Dr. Candy is a Dr. in a “ER” type setting.  We went there and immediately she diagnosed me as dehydrated!  Out came the the IV’s (here they are called IB’s because there is no V in Costa Rica)…and we are called Ban Batten. LOL

Two bottles of fluid later and a bottle of dripping antibiotics, we were off to the pharmacy with  prescriptions in hand.  Came on home, Mark got me medicated and off to slumberland I went AGAIN! Awful, awful night….fever spiked and broke all night; very dizzy when upright so I guess my body knew I needed to be sleeping.

Weds. was no better and I needed to get to the lab for work Dr. Candy had ordered. Mark was using ice cubes in a wash cloth to try and get my fever down.

By Thursday morning we knew I needed to see the Dr. again…but first more lab work and then to her office.  Get this, if you have to be seen within 72 hours for the same problem, there is absolutely no charge!  Oh and house calls are made with a $30 charge!

I was dehydrated again; more fluids, and another bottle of antibiotics; plus lab work showed it was a bacterial infection so the antibiotic got changed.

To make a longer story short, it took me till Sunday to feel better.  New antibiotic kicked in and I was off to being well again….

We actually didn’t plan on having to find medical care so quickly, but we both certainly feel at ease knowing Dr. Candy is there. And….she called Sunday morning to see how I was feeling!

To those of you AFRAID of socialized medicine….don’t be too quick too judge because you’ve never experienced it.  Yes, I know I had a good experience where maybe other people have not, but you just don’t know until you’ve experienced it!

Seems like there are lots of things happening; however, things here are extremely slow!

Our new/old car that we had all of 3 days is in the shop!  Waiting on a phone call to see what that will cost…altho’ according to Costa Rica law, we have 30 days to return it if it’s not repairable.  However, in Costa Rica, EVERYTHING, and I mean, EVERYTHING is repairable!  However, there’s no guarantee on how long that repair will take….

Meeting other people that have made “the jump” to move here is fun!

We have also found that there are no plumbers in Costa Rica!  So American plumbers, come on down!!!

I’ve found more uses for clothes pins than you can imagine!  And not just for hanging out clothes! LOL   I love hanging out the clothes….the sheets just smell so fresh as well as the rest of the clothes.

I’m at the point where I need to start thinking about making my border run….at least I need to be watching for airfares IF I do a flight run….

In 10 days the container will be here and then the real work begins!  Unpacking all the stuff I KNEW I needed to bring.  Right now our house is only 700 sq. feet but we’ll soon be adding a larger master bedroom;  notice the word soon, again, things move slowly in Costa Rica!  I think if I had some stuff to work on, I wouldn’t mind the slowness of getting things done!  I’ve read 4 books in the last 2 weeks and played a bazillion games of solitaire!  10 days, I can do it!!!

Dogs met their new vet and new groomer on Saturday….they are lookin’ good!










I’ve been in Costa Rica since June 21 with Oliver and Sofi; Cheryl, friend from IL, came with me.  We spent a whirlwind 2 weeks, looking for a car, going to the Farmer’s Market (Feria) on Friday morning(s).  Have been to the every Friday I’ve been here.  Not sure what a lot of the “stuff” is, but eventually, we’ll try it.

Mark and Derby and Sedona arrived on July 2 at 5:30 a.m.!!!  Everyone is settling in pretty well considering the shell shock!

Cheryl left on July 6.

We finally found a vehicle, a 1999 Mitsubishi Montero Sport LX, and yada yada yada!  Found it last Friday; went to the attorney’s office…go figure, in Costa Rica it takes an attorney to purchase a car!  Can you imagine the backlog if that was the case in the US?

Have to go back to Grecia tomorrow morning to sign more papers at the attorney’s office and hopefully, by Thursday we should have our brand new old car! LMAO

Today we took an adventure and drove to Puriscal and to see the beach…it’s dirty looking sand and nothing to write home about…this is the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Stopped at some “fruta” markets and bought watermelon and pineapple.

When people visit us, I’m taking them to a nursery (vivero) and have them pick out something for my friend’s garden I’m making.  That way, I won’t feel that you’re so far away!  Cheryl picked out a lemon (limon) tree for me to plant…all of $2 and about 4 ft. tall!  The first person we met here were the people from the animal shelter, and I asked Frances to pick out something for my garden too…she chose oregano, saying it needed to be something useful.  So my garden is beginning….

Have also purchased two  gorgeous orchids…..and silly me put one in a pot, forgetting that they go in the ground here.  Oh well, they still look pretty.

Still learning our way around the customs, etc…and of course, the language!a

Adios for now Amigas….










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