Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for August 2011

Mark has been trying and trying to get us decent internet since we’ve been here.  Sometimes it’s like beating your head against a brick wall….but sometimes being stubborn can be a blessing in disguise.

Finally received some good word on possibly getting a tower built in our development.  As of now, we’re the only full timers living here; however, when the other people start arriving, sometime in Nov. we’ve been told, I’m sure they’ll appreciate having a reliable internet source too.

That being said, we’re not holding our breath for it to happen; we’re just encouraged that “talking and communicating” have finally been reached.  We’re looking at that as our “giant step for mankind!”

Painters arrived at 6 a.m., yes, on a Saturday, to get the roof of the bodega/carport painted.  Even tho’ we had been told the construction workers would be working on Saturday’s too, this is the first Saturday someone has shown up; voila, another giant step in this progression.

Living in Costa Rica means accepting baby steps in getting things accomplished.

A friend told us that you can have a list of 6+ things to get done in a day and if one thing gets done, you’ve accomplished a lot!  We think that’s a good motto.

Ciao for now!


Since Mark received his first Soc. Sec. check last Weds., (herein referred to as “cheese check”) he had to return to the American Embassy in San Jose to get the official paperwork stating he got/gets it.  In short, it needed to have stamps and seals, etc…..Costa Rica loves those things on official documents.  Then we will get that paperwork to our residency attorney and she in turn will file  it on Sept 2.  Then we just wait for the paperwork to get through the system.

Next week’s agenda will be to get Costa Rican drivers’ licenses….we will need bloodwork to obtain these.  As long as our US licenses are not expired or close to expiring, we can get them easily.  If they are expired or within 6 mos. of expiring, we would have to take a written test in Spanish.  Don’t think we’ll be doing that just yet!

The bodega/carport is getting painted today; and hopefully we can move stuff from the rancho to the carport freeing up some outdoor living space.  Won’t be able to move stuff into the bodega till the end of next week.

Sedona seems to be having a hard time adjusting – or it could be adjusting to medication from here.

Derby’s dog Tourette’s is the same. He just cannot control his bark once he gets started.

Oliver is the same, I just have to be in his sight…..

Sofi – well, she’s just Sofi!

Mark just called and he made it to the Embassy!

Ciao for now!


Dogs began raising a ruckus about 6ish a.m.; construction guys not here yet so who knows what their problem was.  Possibly a lizard scampering about…Mark finally got up to see what the problem was and of course, he could see nothing.  Since he was up he decided to go ahead and walk them.

He no more than got in the house and the darn electricity went off.  It doesn’t go off frequently for any length of time.  And usually it just flickers during some big thunderstorms….alas, the sun was shining brightly with a gorgeous blue sky.

Well, it was off for 3 hours, give or take a few.  I hurriedly jumped in the shower; then got the washer started…..hope the rains don’t start as early today as they did yesterday.

Mark is in signing papers for whatever he’s signing papers for….something to do with construction; however, they aren’t going to start on the room for another 2 weeks.  I guess they don’t understand we are having visitors and need the room, NOW!    We’ll get along, but it will require patience on everyone’s part!

The vet called yesterday and said Oliver and Sofi need a “recipe’ – prescription; to help calm them during the storms; they never had a problem in the states with storms. It’s something organic, probably St. John’s Wort.  When you get a “recipe” from the vet, you go to the farmacia to have it filled, which is a little different than we are used to….

Washing machine has stopped and it’s time for me to go to work…..


Famous last words! LOL

Remember how I was lamenting that our prized possessions weren’t here; well, now they are and we don’t know what to do with them!  LOL

Supposedly the storage and carport will be done and useable by the end of the week; sort of like yes, your container will arrive on July 28th.

It will certainly help if we’re able to fill that up;  I think when someone comes to visit, they will be going home with blankets, towels, hot pads….by the way, for someone who was hoping to do very little cooking, I brought tons of hot pads, pots and pans, dishtowels, etc.  Whatever was I thinking?  My guess is I wasn’t thinking, at least not clearly.

We’ve made great progress in emptying boxes.

A lot of things will not have a permanent spot until the extra bedroom is added….which we’re still waiting for that to get started.

Things do move slowly here – and we’re finding that we do too!

Adios till later!

Today is our 43rd wedding anniversary!  What an exciting day for us….we met our residency atty. at Multiplex Mall in San Jose.  And from there she drove, thank heavens.  San Jose is not a dream place to drive!

First we went to have photos taken…and OMG!  Do we ever look like we belong on wanted posters hanging in post offices in the US!  Had to remove earrings, and glasses… know sometimes glasses are a wonderful thing for sort of disguising those dark circles under your eyes.

Then we visited the US Embassy in San Jose…..weren’t able to get our paperwork there yet because Mark hasn’t received his first Soc. Sec. check yet – or as we call it, the cheese check.  So we will go back there and get the required paperwork once his first check is deposited this month.

As we were leaving the Embassy, we spotted the sign.  Asked our attorney to take our picture in front of the sign and she was immediately informed that was a no-no by security, which we all knew!    So eventually, we’ll get that photo posted.

Then to the Ministry of Security in San Jose to get finger printed.  She explained to us that this was the equivalent of the Pentagon in the U.S.  What a dilapidated building!  They took us separately to get in the system. Then we went to the “finger printing man”.  I’m not quite sure these were very good fingerprints….at least in my minds eye they weren’t.  First time for me to be fingerprinted.  Oh, but here’s the best, we moved to the shorter line because we are old!  Yep, in Costa Rica age is a good reason to move to the front of the line!

She dropped us back at the Metroplex Mall, a very, very, upscale mall.  Needed to find the Apple store because I needed a new charging cord for my iphone.  The store was called Icon.  It’s a huge mall and very few people in it….lots of stores and guess what we found!  A yarn store….and they were having a knitting class!  I’ve found a place that actually was stocked with yarn and needles, cross stitch stuff, etc.

Then we headed back to Atenas….and the best part of all this, we didn’t get lost today!

Because the state of IN did NOT authenticate my birth certificate, it had to be sent to the attorney’s contact in D.C. and it will be delivered back to her tomorrow.   Was sent to D.C. last Weds. so we think it’s remarkable that it will be delivered back to her tomorrow.  As soon as we get the Soc. Sec. paperwork, she says it will be 3 – 4 months and then we’ll have our residency papers.

Next weeks agenda will be to get drivers’ licenses.  Need to get them before we’ve been here for 90 days otherwise we’ll have to take a written exam in Spanish.  I have enough problems passing the written part in the US!

Another exciting day!

Adios for now.








I will not feel like we have really moved here until our “prized possessions” arrive. Still no word on it yet….big sigh, big, big sigh!

I hope I haven’t already written about this, so if I have, chalk it up to the permanent vacation mind-set.

You can actually buy: a motorcycle, bicycle, furniture, appliances, cell phones, and small appliances in one store!  And NO!, it’s not Wal-Mart. In fact, we have yet to go to Wal-Mart.

I have been to Pequeno Mundo…and I’m positive, that’s not spelled right, which is sort of like a Big Lots.  Muy, muy (very, very) many things there I’m sure I NEED!!!!

I sort of get unnerved when driving by the gas station and see security with machine guns…..I’m not a gun person….they scare me. Same with the security at the bank….but by the same token, it would be interesting to know how many bank robberies there are in Costa Rica. I don’t have the mindset of a thief, but I know seeing those gun toting men, would keep me from doing anything wrong.

And I’m pretty sure they know when the “gringa” is in town by the way I park my car….I tend to leave the tail end of the vehicle more in the street than in the parking space…..or else I drive around till I can find a spot that I can actually drive into (think the first space). Remember, I’m used to driving my Ms. Smartie and not a big SUV.

Adios for now…..








Having been here for a couple of months now, it’s time to figure out what do I miss from the US besides my FRIENDS!

Yesterday it dawned on me that I think I really miss my garbage disposal! LOL Seriously, I don’t like picking up slimming trimmings from fruits, etc., when I used to be able to shove them down the “hole” and flip a switch and voila! they were gone!

Another thing I really miss is a GOOD internet connection; but I’m assured “I’m working on it Nanc’!”

Will also be happy when the container arrives…..possibly sometime this week!  However, I’m not holding my breath on that….some friends were told there’s would be here last week and they haven’t seen it yet!  However, we used the same shipper and are wondering if they’ll deliver our stuff when their stuff is delivered…stay tuned folks for that update.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day in Costa Rica – a national holiday and a paid holiday for workers!  It’s ranked right up there with Christmas and New Years!  Is this a great country or what?

Bummer, just realized that there probably won’t be any construction tomorrow.

Adios for now…..Pura Vida!



Wouldn’t you think the dogs would be freaked out at all the different noises?

The green parrots show up frequently in the treetops – chattering like crazy!  At least 3 – 4 times a day…..lots of green parrots!

Various other birds have the sweetest sounding warble….so melodic.

And the howler monkeys! Have yet to see any but we sure do hear them….very eery sounds.

The sounds that freak out the dogs most….are you ready for it…..mooing of the cows! LMAO…seriously.  Of course, that could be because they are so close when they get loose.

Finally, have learned to keep the gate to the driveway closed at night to keep the cows from coming in….never in my wildest dreams of living in Costa Rica did I think I would need to “protect” the property from cows.

Just another adventure in paradise.

Mark is sick with the Costa Rican crude; if he is not improved by tomorrow, he will be going  to see Dr. Candy.

Obviously, something is wrong with Oliver too.  He keeps throwing up!

Heard from Barry, the shipper today, apparently, such a big word, our container is in Costa Rica now; it will be next Tuesday or Wednesday, possibly, another big word, before it’s delivered; and a couple more weeks before Ms. Smartie is in our possession.  Kind of scary that the car isn’t in “the book” for taxing, so they are going to make up a tax.

Had to go into town this morning to meet construction guy and make a down payment.  This involves going to the bank to “get the colones”.  Only so many people at a time can be in the bank….you take a “number” from the machine and then quietly sit waiting for you number to appear on the board telling which teller to see.  Oh, the bank door is constantly locked and unlocked during the day, to let people in, bags are looked in and your bag is “wanded” (think TSA) by an armed guard.

Mark was told on Monday to come back on Weds. to the bank to pick up our cards in order to pay bills on the internet.  We have a card in colones and a card in US dollars….sort of like being ambidextrous!  Then it was a major deal for my name to be on the account, which he set up last  April when he was down here to buy the house.

Yep, this involved seeing our attorney again to obtain a personaria in order for my name to be on the account!  So we went to our attorney, with no appointment; they immediately started working on the paperwork we needed for the bank…..and within a matter of minutes, we were on our way back to the bank.  And no charge to us!

So after about 45+ more minutes at the bank, we now have a joint account.

Came home; phone repairman was here within 5 minutes of us arriving home; said the problem is between the phone pole and our house and we needed an electrician. When Mark woke up from his nap, he picked up the phone and voila! we had a dial tone!

Today was just another big adventure……Pura vida!








Today marks the 6 weeks since the container left our house in the US.  According to shipper, the container will then be at your home between 4 – 6 weeks….is this another Tico myth?

I am so ready for “the things” to arrive;  becoming bored, tired of reading, etc.  Don’t want to shop because I know I have things arriving, supposedly.

Maybe I’ll find a decent airfare and head to FL to see Todd and Amy!

VOTE HERE! Bunco Women Gone Wild