Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for January 2012

Yesterday we went into town to run some errands.

Stopped in at my eye docs place to see if she could put in the GPS the directions to my appointment today in San Jose to get a picture of my retina!  Doctora Victoria called the place and guess what?  The Dr. is out of the country – must be he needed to make a border run. LOL

Anyway, they claimed they didn’t have Dra. Victoria’s phone number to let her know.  Since I was standing there when she made the appointment and I know for a fact, she gave it to them, I knew that wasn’t right.

So, now my appointment is for Thursday. You betcha I’m going to call first thing in the morning and make sure I still have an appointment! LOL   Mark would have been furious if we had gone there to find out we weren’t notified of a cancellation….me, I would have taken it as “great, we can go shopping trip”.  For some reason, our minds don’t quite think alike along those lines.

We’re waiting on a call back from a guy that has a dryer to sell.  After last October’s 35+ inches of rain, we realize we need a dryer, even if it’s only used during rainy season!  I think that’s another “business” opportunity…..put in 4-5 dryers in a store front and only open it during Sept., Oct., Nov. – for people to use during rainy season!

And after the Christmas Parade, I can see there is a calling for a “drum store”……I’ve never heard so many drums!  And think of all the broken drum sticks!

So now, we’re just hanging out, LOL, waiting on the guy to call from Grecia and give us directions to look at the dryer.  Keep your fingers crossed, it can fit in the back of Old Bessie!

Pura Vida to all!


Friday night Frances called and wondered if I wanted to go shopping on Saturday.  Can’t recall ever turning down an opportunity to go shopping.

Off we went on Saturday….she ordered some absolutely gorgeous hanging lamps from someplace in Santa Ana – I do have the business card.  Gorgeous sinks, etc.

Then we decided to have lunch at Applebee’s….too friggin’ expensive….we don’t pay $15+ for lunch!  So we went to another place and of course, I have no clue what the name of it is; however, Mark and I had eaten there with Pat and John sometime back.

Then the adventure began!  She missed the turn to get on the Autopista and there was no place to turn around – so what’s a gal to do….but keep going.  And we did….and we went past quite a few places that where too interesting to pass up!  There was a parking place screaming for us to stop!

Yep, we did!  I bought a basket similar to what they use to pick the coffee; mine is a little larger because I want to use it for yarn. Yes, I could have bought every basket in the place and they still wouldn’t hold all the yarn I have!  But, I’m taking baby steps.

Went to couple more “shops” and I found it!  My toucan-tire!

I have been looking for one of these ever since I saw one a year ago!  Picture a fern growing in the circle part….it will be so darn cute!  And to think, I would still be looking for this if we hadn’t gotten lost!  Sometimes getting lost in Costa Rica can be good!!!

On another note, we heard from our residency attorney and she has an appointment to check on our status on Feb. 6th.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Yep, folks, life just keeps getting better and better!

From the land of Pura Vida!


Unbelievable, I know!  I’ve just finished the last 2011 Christmas gift!  But hey, it’s before the end of January….Christmas happened upon me too darn quick with everything going on here with the move, construction, etc.  It won’t be a surprise when she sees it here, but maybe, just maybe, when I give it to her, she’ll act surprised! LOL   So, if you know anyone named Pat that built a cathedral, it’s yours!!!!!

Another gorgeous day in the Central Valley!  Nice breeze blowing and it’s 85 degrees.  Doesn’t get better than this folks.

We love living here and  meeting new friends every day it seems.

Pura Vida….Adios for now!

We are so lucky to have a good friend, Pat, who is fluent in Costa Rican Spanish. Otherwise, we might have to hire a translation service to conduct some daily business.

Dinia is our lawn care guy’s wife – and like all good marriages – apparently in charge of the finances.

She came calling today wanting to be paid for last month’s service. Fair enough. Between her writing and our limited Spanish we could figure out that the bill was from December 8 to January 8.


But we wanted to retain Mario and his mow-boys for a long term deal. We wanted a contract for his services.

Since Dinia and Pat are very good friends, it only made sense to bother Pat to do a little interpreting. When Mark showed Dinia the phone and said “Patricia” she got tickled.

After Pat and Dinia chatted for a little, Pat got Mark on the phone and said if we wanted a contract, that Dinia and Mario’s son Myron would call to firm up the details.

Myron speaks English. He is Mario’s translation service. 

We’re trying with our Spanish, we really are. Both Mark and I find ourselves understanding more Spanish everyday. For example, Dinia explained that her son broke his arm.

Not only did we understand that… we understood that he broke it when he was riding his bicycle near the Multiplaza in San Jose and he crashed because he was on the phone when he hit some speed bumps.

Mark has decided that he needs to work on his Spanish verbs.

I need work on nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs… but I’ve made a lot of progress on numbers because I like to shop.

So far, no need for a translation service to help with my shopping.

Our U.S. guests left bright and early Tuesday morning.  It has taken me this long to catch up on my sleep!  I’m thinking that planning something for every day was not a bright idea! LOL

But it was fun!  And you know what?  I can catch up on sleep later.

Made a quick run into San Jose today to pick up a package at the central post office.

Stopped at Don Yayo’s for a quick lunch; Pat called and said “come by and see the casa construction”.  WOW!  Is it ever going to be nice!!!!  Seems like there’s lots of room.  I know that when the roof gets on and it seems you can’t see the “big” progress, the time will drag for them.  They are currently living in 300 sq. ft., but they do have a large rancho (cathedral) that they can escape to when needed.  LOL

The wind has died down and we now have gentle breezes blowing.  It’s about 82 degrees.

There’s a Chili Cook-off on Feb. 12 that benefits the Orphanage here.  Can’t wait!

For now….Pura Vida to all


Thursday, we headed to the National Park where the monkeys “steal” your stuff if you are not watching.  No pictures because I’ve posted them before when we’ve been there.  Since school kids are on summer break now, there were a lot more people and families on the beach.  And the monkeys…..most we’ve ever seen!  Watched one monkey scamper down a tree and head for a table where no one was sitting, but it was piled with bags of food, etc.  Yep, the sneaky little monkey grabbed a bag of potato chips and headed as quickly as possible to go up a tree.  A guy at a neighboring table started yelling at it and the monkey dropped the bag of chips but DID NOT even look back and climbed that tree to safety!  It was funny.  And the nice thing:  there was a granizado cart there on the beach; so Sally got a granizado!  Mary Kay took a beach chair and headed  near the water.  After a while, she decided she had had enough sun and we packed up and headed to The Crocodile Bridge.

Lots of cars and people walking along the walkway to see the crocs sunning.  They were all sizes.  Pretty cool to see.  Turkey buzzards were circling so I figured one of the one’s we thought was sleeping was either near death or had died and they weren’t about to have “lunch” with the live ones hanging around.

Friday, I took them to Grecia to see the “red church” that is made out of an old battleship.  It’s just beautiful!!!  They took many pictures and thought it was very pretty inside.

Saturday we sort of hung around the house.  We went to Mass Saturday evening.  The church is beautiful inside and was full! Oh, first we went to Antano’s, before going to church, to have dinner.  We had a little time to kill so we walked around town for a short time.  Sat in the park about 20 mins. till we decided to go into the church.  I am not Catholic and it was very interesting.  I’m proud of myself because I could pick out words and phrases that the Priest delivered.  (ie:  all women should have what ever it is they want!)  Afterwards we went back to Antano’s and finished the evening with an iced coffee. Won’t be doing that again, because I couldn’t get to sleep.

Sunday we had made plans to go to Palmares to a “biker bar” to eat shrimp!!  One couple ended up not being able to go.  But Sally and Leonard joined us.  The 6 of us  had a good time!  And came away stuffed!!!

Wasn’t sure what Sally and Mary Kay were up to for today.  They decided we should go to Jaco to souvenir shop.  As usual, it was HOT.  Showed them a beach when we first arrived and the waves were practically non-existent.  Then we headed to the “shopping” area.  They both bought “stuff” – I didn’t buy a thing!  Can you believe it?  Anyway, on our way out of town, I drove down another street to show them a “different” beach – waves were beginning to get big and we saw guys toting their surf boards to go ride a wave!

We headed for home but not before stopping at Mola’s again and eating at Art’s Deli that is beside it.

Mark has just put the chicken on the grill….Sally and Mary Kay have been “in the wine” since we got back….they are a little freaked, to put it mildly, because we don’t have an alarm clock! LOL  They want to get up at 3:45 a.m., yes, A.M.  They were told to be at the airport 3 hours before their scheduled flight – they leave at 8 a.m.; We’ll leave around 4:30 a.m. to head to the airport…..

It has really been a fun time for me to have people around I miss!  I sure hate to see them leave, but I think they are ready to see their spouses!  Go figure!! LOL

Weather has been good while they’ve been here…..they enjoy sitting on the rancho and “rocking” away….that’s what life in Costa Rica is…..Pura Vida.

Adios for now.



Sally and Mary Kay arrived around 8 p.m. Tuesday evening; their flight was supposed to have arrived at 5:40 p.m.  They were delayed  in Miami – something about a snow storm in Chicago.  At any rate, they arrived on a plane from Boliva…and thus, their adventure began.

I know the way to the airport and the way home!  However, everything looks different in the dark of night. LOL  Yep, missed the turn off at La Garita and finally realized what little I could see in the dark DID NOT look familiar.  So after driving what seemed like many kilometers to find a place to turnaround, we were finally headed in the right direction.  But not before going through a road block with the ever so friendly transito!  Gave them my Costa Rican drivers license; he looked at it, and proceeded to walk around the front of the car.  Then he came back and gave me the license back and motioned for me to move on.  Inquired about how far La Garita was and apparently he has no clue where it is.

We continued driving and all of a sudden I realized I should be exiting!  YAY!  It was the right exit.  These poor women were exhausted from getting stuck in the airport and I added to it by getting lost.  Didn’t think about taking the GPS till I was already through Atenas.

And I got stopped in a roadblock in La Garita on the way to the airport but was motioned on through with out showing anything.  I still get a little nervous when the transito is holding a machine gun.

Arrived here around 10 p.m. – after chatting a little bit, everyone headed for bed because I had scheduled a tour of a coffee farm the next morning.

We convinced Tom and Lee to join us on the tour so we had 6 in our group.  We had the option of staying for lunch with them and we all decided that would be an added bonus to our adventure.

Our tour was the El Toledo farm, that uses an organic and ecologically way to grow and produce their product. This is Gabriel, the son of the man that owns the coffee farm.  He’s very knowledgeable and spoke English well so we could understand it easily.  The “platters” in front of him are dried coffee beans.  At first they looked like Spanish peanuts to me!This is Gabriel’s wife, sorry, I don’t remember her name.  We started our tour with coffee made the Costa Rican way.  She put the ground coffee in three different “pots”  (for lack of a better name) – light, medium, dark roast.  Then she poured water that had been boiled and allowed to sit so it was no longer bubbling into the “pots”.  These are actually cloth filters that the coffee then runs through.  We were all allowed to taste the light, medium and dark roast.  I think in our group, it was the light and medium that won!

Mary Kay decided she would “try on” the basket that the coffee pickers use.  There was a belt-type thing you put around your waist and then hook the basket around so you have some support.  This is a wicker basket, but Gabriel explained some pickers now use plastic ones because they are lighter and cheaper.  Remember, sometimes, these baskets hold upwards of 100 pounds of beans, yes, 100 pounds of beans.
While walking through the coffee fields, Gabriel was very informative about the type of trees they use to shade the coffee; he explained how when you plant coffee, it needs to be planted 3 days after a full moon in March.  When the coffee blooms, it’s a pretty white flower that produces the beans.  We were allowed to “taste test” a bean; sort of sweet and if it was held in your hand, your hands became sticky.


This is the roaster for the beans.  When we pulled in the driveway, we could smell the coffee!  YUM!

We all agreed that the day was well spent….we’re so knowledgeable about coffee now! LOL  I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to see the operation of a coffee farm from tree to finished product, to take this tour.

Pura Vida!

Adios for now….



A few year’s ago, the new road from Atenas to the Autopista was closed by landslides.  It is now being worked on to clear the debris….I think President Laura Chinchilla purchasing property in Atenas has a lot to do with that…..nah, politics has nothing to do with it, right?

And another rumor is that her relatives live not far from us and our road will eventually get paved! Woo Hoo!!!  And a casino is going to be built!  And a winery, and a chocolate farm….are we progressing or what?  And a golf course!  I hope I’m still upright when that course is built and able to play golf! LOL

Of course, when this all happens is a big mystery!

I honestly do not know where the time goes!  It seems I’m busy, every day, all day, and not getting anything done…but, you what, there’s always tomorrow!  My motto used to be “it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it”.  I’m going to add another one, “there’s always tomorrow”.  I can use those motto’s; however, Mark cannot; if I ask him to do something, he cannot invoke my motto, “there’s always tomorrow”.  Needed to clarify that ASAP!

Went to a Chicken Fried Steak lunch at Tom and Kay’s – it was very yummy!  Then that evening, we went to visit Tom and Lee to see their new abode.  Holy Freakin’ Ge-Hosa-Fat – it was unbelievable!  No matter which side of the house you were looking from…..gorgeous view from the back; gorgeous view from the front!  And big!  They are so lucky to have found it.  Living in Costa Rica is “all about the view”.

Sofi is still not cleared up; we’re trying some vitamins that promote healthy skin in hopes that will help.  She’s such a drama queen!  We’re back to bandaging her foot to keep her from gnawing on her toes! Sheesh…..and that causes more drama! LOL

Had an email last night from Frank and Delores that were going to Wal-Mart this morning and did anyone want to go…you don’t say shopping to me and have me turn it down!  However, they took me to a Semaco (I think that’s how it’s spelled).  It’s a real upscale Bed, Bath and Beyond type store.  I told them that Mark will never let me go with them again!  I can’t wait to get back there and really shop!!!  She said it was really pretty at Christmas….rest assured, I will be visiting that store again and especially at Christmas.

Of all things, I needed, yes, needed! was a dish drainer that I could actually fit into my sink; my sinks are like all Tico things, small and it was difficult to find one that fit. HOO-RAY, they had it.  This is not the Semaco that’s in the Multi-Plaza, but a stand alone store…not far from the airport.

Have friends coming on Tuesday, late afternoon; will be nice to have company now that the construction is done.

So long for now… in Costa Rica is certainly Pura Vida!




Made this baby wrap for my niece’s new baby who has yet to be born!  Due date was last Friday.  Now I need to find something to mail it in and get to the P.O.  Also finished these “surfboard/beach bum napkins this morning.  They are much cuter in real life!!

Now I’m exhausted. I guess retirement does that to you….you get so wiped out finished things that you’ve started.  Actually, I love sitting at my machine and doing the embroidery, applique, etc.

Need to find a good place in the Central Valley to shop for sewing notions tho’.  It’s very weird here because they have lots of fabric stores but that’s all they carry.  No patterns, no scissors, no thread, etc.  And until I can figure out where a “notions store” might be, I have to scrounge around and see if I brought “the stuff” with me.




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