Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for September 2011

Oliver has been very, very ill; he had two blood transfusions, CT scan showed enlarged kidneys and spleen.  It appeared he was going to make it but today he took a turn for the worse.

Mark was at the grocery when Doctora Sharon called to tell him.  He stopped at her office and said Oliver was just pitiful.  His eyes jaundiced, etc.  He called me and came home to get me so I could be with Oliver one last time.

When I walked in her clinic, he was laying sound asleep on the couch.  I immediately went over to sit with him and give him a hug.  Mark said his tail wagged when I called his name, I wish I had noticed it.  He was so weak.  His white cell count should have been 200 and his was 14.  His skin was even yellow, it’s just so sad.

I wanted to hold him while the vet “did her thing”.  He just went to sleep.

Mark is digging his grave as I type this.   He will be just outside the bedroom window.

When we came in the house, the dogs gave both of us a “sniff” test…..their last sniffs of Oliver.

I’m glad we brought all our dogs; I would have hated to learn something like this had happened if we had found homes for them.

I’m glad Oliver got to ride on an airplane.  I’m glad we rescued him from the horrible  home he was in for 3 years; he’s been a good dog in spite of his start in life.

I will miss him terribly; these last 3 days when he was at the vets, have been heart wrenching for me.  I knew this day would come eventually but I sure didn’t expect it this soon.

I am sad, very sad.  But in my heart I know it was best; he was in pain and no longer is; he’s in dog heaven with the rest of our other dogs.

We love you Oliver – good-bye from Sedona, Derby and Sofi; Sofi misses sharing a dog bed with you!

I miss you terribly already!



We had anticipated him getting to come home today, but that isn’t going to happen. The medication she had him on has thrown his liver enzymes out of whack so she’s keeping him another night.  Poor guy.  I know he’d be a little better if he could just come home!

Tomorrow is the day we’re shooting for his homecoming!  I think he should get a new toy for all he’s been through, don’t you?

When he comes home, besides medication, he’ll also be on a special food.  She said he wouldn’t eat much this morning, but the food isn’t very tasty.  Not quite sure how she knows that. LOL

At any rate, she said we’ll need to doctor the food with chicken, rice, veggies, potatoes….anything to get him to eat it.  No beef or fish.

I feel like I’m doing more cooking than I bargained for when moving here, and now it seems like I’m cooking for Oliver too! YIKES!

On another note:  construction guys yesterday tore the phone line apart; so we have no home phone.  And they’ve done something to the electric to the pool, so that’s not running.

However, the septic tank is installed; old one has yet to be drained, tho.  But the Septic Tank Party is still on for Saturday!  Woo Hoo….

Been stressful lately with making decisions on tile, bathroom fixtures, etc., plus Oliver’s illness.  Surely tomorrow will be a glorious day when he comes home!  Derby seems to be the only one that notices he is gone.  Most likely because he’s realized he doesn’t have to share the couch!

Costa Rica seems to be like Amy’s aneurysm recovery….two steps forward, one step backwards!

Adios for now…….




Yesterday a.m. Oliver became extremely lethargic and very ill; I wanted to call the vet because in my eyes it was an emergency. Mark said no we’ll wait till she’s open!  Which was 3+ hours later.

Oliver goes in to see Doctora Sharon; she immediately recognizes that he’s pale (did you know dogs can be pale); b/p was very low and he was very dehydrated.  She immediately tried to draw blood and couldn’t get any from the foot area so she went to his chest.  Mark said he just laid there, with the most pitiful look.  Normally, he would be extremely fiesty.

We had taken in some urine, that was very bloody.  She was very puzzled about his condition.  Kept inquiring if he could have gotten into some poison or bitten by a tick, but the answer is no.  I keep him cut very short and we pet him enough that we would have noticed a bug/tick bite. Oliver stays with Doctora Sharon.

Off we go with our builder to look at tile, etc. for the room addition.  The first place we stopped we got a phone call from the vet.  He needed a blood transfusion in order to make it through the night!  So of course, my mind is NOT on picking out things for the room, by now! I was ready to come home right then and there!

Arrived home around 6 p.m. – not having heard another word.  Finally a call!  He handled the transfusion well, she said.  However, she wanted to keep him over night.  He was still very lethargic.  He possible had an autoimmune disease.

The phone call this morning was encouraging. Said he ate a little this morning and was a little active; however, she wanted to wait till she got confirmation of it today; she still wanted to give him another transfusion; and take him to the University for a CT scan (originally, I thought MRI).

Doctora Sharon called again about 4 p.m. – it is indeed the autoimmune disease! She said the scan showed enlarged kidneys, which goes with the diagnosis and enlarged spleen which also goes with the diagnosis.  Diagnosis is a little bit better than 50/50; he will stay another night and we can bring him home mid-day tomorrow.

Oliver is 10 yrs. old (11 on Halloween).  He’ll be on medication and we’ll hope for the best and more time with him.

So it’s Pura Vida for now!




Dropped the dogs off for grooming this morning; knew I had time to make some phone calls. Friends, please remember that I can’t just pick up a phone and make a call, I have to drive into town and find free wi-fi to do it.

Called one friend, and yes, there was lots of noise in the background, she hung up; so I called right back and it went to voice mail. I was bummed to say the least! Background noise was a septic tank getting emptied! All of a sudden my life is consumed with septic tanks! LOL

So I called another friend, we got along just fine with the conversation and the background noise! Sometimes it’s just so nice to hear a familiar voice!

When I call you I’m calling on a skype number from the US so you probably won’t recognize the number; and the next time I call you, it probably won’t be the same number that appears; bear with me till this damn internet crap gets fixed.

If you think you’re frustrated when I’m trying to call you, it’s nothing compared to my frustration. I am not used to having to plan to make a friggin’ phone call! Everyone in Costa Rica has cell phones; yes, I understand that most are not trying to call the US. However, I’m at my wits end with trying to call friends!

Some of you answer my emails – some of you don’t. I have/had wonderful friends in the US and would like to continue the friendship.

Probably the best way for you to understand, is come visit us! LOL The dogs would welcome some familiar smells!

Just had to get that off my chest – and yes, my chest has now deflated!

Pura Vida!

This will be another milestone week!

Monday the dogs get groomed.  YAY!  Two less under foot for a few hours.

Actually, while they are at their day of beauty, I’ll be hitting a tile store or two in town.  Yep, it’s time to pick out the tile for the floor in the new addition!  And to decide on bathroom fixtures.  And to pick out the color for the walls.

Lalo, foreman, told us on Friday that the room would be done in 8 days! Not sure I quite believe that…..septic tank has not been drained and new one put in; roof and insulation not installed; electric isn’t installed; windows not installed; floor has to be leveled and then cement poured before the tiles can even be installed; but you know what, one can always hope!  I’m figuring it’s going to be more like 2 weeks!

I’ve always thought that when the construction guys are “throwing mud”, it looks like fun!  I got to “throw mud” on Friday. Lalo wants to contract with me …. !

Friends from Texas arrive in Costa Rica Tuesday night for a family wedding in Jaco.  They’ll be driving on the autopista, providing there are no landslides!, and will go by the Escobal exit, which is close to our house.  We’re meeting them in Escobal for lunch….excited to see familiar faces! They’ll arrive back in Atenas on Friday and will be staying for a few days.

We’re starting to plan our septic tank party!  Anyone reading this will be invited! LOL  Let me know you’ll be attending tho’.

Pura Vida!


IF, and that’s a very big word for only 2 letters, IF I were  to wear a pair of 4 inch heels, these would be the only ones that I would consider wearing.

I LOVE THESE SHOES!!!  Hmmm, wonder why, can you guess?


My 4 inch heels!

I was still in bed this morning and heard Mark go out the door to walk the dogs and immediately heard “SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!”  I yelled now what’s wrong.  His reply was “we have a flat tire”.  Keep in mind that only yesterday, he said “I think the next time we go into town, we need to get air in the tires”.

So, he has spent this morning changing the tire….convinced there is a nail in the tire because of the “flying nails” that come with the territory of construction. BUT, when he got the tire off, he couldn’t see a nail….to make a long story short, he has now gone into town to get it fixed.

Went to a small dinner party last night and met some interesting people; food was good, wine made me so friggin’ hot I could have undressed and still been hot!  But I survived intacked with clothes on.

Construction is moving along well; am still concerned/puzzled about when they are going to drain the septic tank and put in a new one.  Originally we were told that would be the first thing done.  Well, sides are up, roof should be completed today or tomorrow (famous last words) and the old septic tank is in the middle of the room being built!  We were told, being told something and it actually happening are two different scenarios, that Monday, they are bringing in a backhoe to take care of the septic tank.  We would almost like them to wait till next Friday, when our friends from Texas will be here!  I’ve been waiting for a month now to have a “We have a new septic tank party”!  Complete with party favors!!!

Life is still wonderful here, we LOVE the weather!  Have had windows open since arriving in Costa Rica.

By the way, yesterday was my 90th day in Costa Rica! We now have the expediente paperwork that shows we have a number and are “in the book” to get our residency!  WOO HOO for us!

Adios for now…..come see us ya’ll!






Today we went to our residency attorney’s home to pick up our Expediente paperwork.  Technically, we don’t have to carry our passports with us where ever we go, just this piece of paper. However, not wanting anyone to have the chance to deport us, well, me anyway, I’ll be carrying my paperwork and my passport.

On the way back to Atenas we got into a horrible rain storm….lots of thunder, fierce lightning, high winds, etc.  Even saw trees and good sized limbs down!  Reminded me of a little tornado, however, I’ve been assured, Costa Rica DOES NOT have tornadoes.

Stopped at the vet so she could check out Sofi, poor baby just can’t get rid of this breaking out, etc.  She now has 2 more pills, ointment, shampoo, etc.  Mark just shakes his head….he’s now realizing the time the dogs take! LOL

So after the vet, we headed on home, worrying about the dogs and the storm.  Oliver has developed a major fear of storms and I feel bad when we leave and it’s sunny and gorgeous and then the storm moves in.

I was driving Ms. Smartie; those that know where we live, know the road we live on is well, primitive, for lack of a better word.  Mark was in a panic; my car can go between ruts and over holes where other cars cannot!  I had everything under control!

Water was gushing down the mountain side like crazy; looked like someone had opened a vat of cappucino and it was escaping quickly.  Saw a mini-land side on our road; I had no trouble, drove around it.

Mark was upset because I wasn’t in a panic!  I kept telling him, you handle what you’re going through, and when it’s over, then you panic!  He still doesn’t get it.

Two milestones today; expediente obtained; drove through a real Costa Rican rain storm in little ole Ms. Smartie.

Expediente means we are “in the book with a number”…..they tell us this is a good thing!  To obtain our residency…..

Bad thing was construction guys only worked about a half day! Bummer…..come on rain, please cooperate!

Pura Vida!


Bruce and Frances wanted to take us to a “restaurante” called Casa Bavaria – north of Alajuela, up high in the mountains, where it was cool!  So cool that I saw men in jackets and knitted scarves; there we were in short sleeves!  Felt good to me! LOL

It’s a beautiful place with an absolutely unbelievable scenic view.  Many people were eating there; it was buffet….you name it, it was there!  Such unusual salads; had one with small strips of carrots, a few raisins, and tiny chunks of cut up pineapple with a dressing over it.  It was very, very tasty.

Best part was being able to sample all the desserts!  Personally, I don’t think desserts here are as sweet as they are in the states.  The Tira Misu was so yummy!  And we got try the Tres Leche cake, pretty yummy too.

We took the LONG way to get there but it was such a pretty drive.  Frances showed us places where she went to in order to rescue animals after an earthquake.  It was so nice to see they’ve got a new road, not like the autopista that is closed off and on for landslides.  I’m sure this road has landslides too, but you can tell that it’s a new road, with drainage for water and terraced hillsides.  The people that were responsible for building this wonderful road obviously did NOT build the autopista.

Saw lots of vivarias (nursery) that I want to go back to!!!

It was just a really nice day……not a whole lot of talking on the way home (took the short route home) but I think that’s because everyone had a full tummy and was more interested in taking a short nap! LOL

They have told us there are other places they want to take us to eat….like some biker bar that has the best shrimp! Can’t wait for that one!

Adios for now!


PS: I think retired people eat a lot!

Have friends coming to Costa Rica for a family wedding, their family, not ours! LOL  When they drive on the Autopista they’ll go by an exit for Escobal, which isn’t far from our house.  We’ll be meeting them for lunch at a restaurant right at the exit.  It’s just a little over 4 miles from where we live.  After the wedding, they’ll be returning to spend a few days with us. We are excited to see friends and anxious to show them our “new” lifestyle.

Decided to jump on the autopista and take a little ride “down the road”.  Ended up in Orotina. Found a great tile place there and took many pictures of possibilities.  Dread making the final decision which will come next week….ah, sleepless nights or dreams of great looking tile will be in my future.

Hadn’t actually been in downtown Orotina.  It’s a pretty hoppin’ town; found a feria there and made a few purchases; Amish bake goods… explanation needed! LOL

It was very hot there!  Very, very hot!

Oh, Queen Sofi went with us and was a hit everywhere we went!  She wears a name tag and in the tile store, the man waiting on us, kept saying Sofi, Sofi….do you think she even acknowledged him!  Mark carried her for awhile and she looked like she was trying to swim, legs constantly moving to get to me….I was in her eye sight….jeez, I need a break once in awhile from her! LOL

Arrived home and had a short rain shower.  Yes, with towels hanging on the line!  Let’s see, wonder how long it will take for them to dry now!  But you know what, time is plentiful here in Costa Rica….finally getting the hang of it.

There must be 2 dozen green parrots in the trees chattering away….they are NOT quiet birds.

Adios for now Amigas!


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