Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for July 2012

I absolutely cannot believe I am 65 today!  I remember thinking people that were 65 were really old!  How things change!

Yesterday our housekeeper reminded me that today was my birthday, LOL.  I kept saying “anciano”, “anciano” – she assured me in Costa Rica you are NEVER considered old till mid-80’s and into the 90’s – it’s common for people here to live into their 100’s!  Guess no stress living does that to you!

I keep reading how to keep old age at bay; one thing that seemed to be prevalent was “keep your mind active”.  Anyone that knows me, knows I have a vivid imagination – not sure if that’s what “they” mean.  However, I keep seeing that one needs to keep your brain active to hopefully keep Alzheimers away – and since that’s very prevalent in my family, I’m taking steps to do that.

One way was to learn a new language!  I’m telling you right now, it ain’t easy at this age!  But I will do it, I WILL DO IT! Parents of today – make sure your children learn another language – it’s so much easier when you are young!  I do confess that playing Words with Friends does make me think!  And I have been known to put in Spanish words, which it promptly rejects!  But I’m proud that at least a part of my brain is thinking in Spanish.

One thing I do need to do is walk on a more regular basis.  When I wake up at “O-dark thirty”, I should throw on clothes and head out to walk – instead of lying in bed, reading email, playing words with friends, etc.  Or I could walk in the evening….but for sure, not during the heat of the day!

I am still knitting, and am attempting to remember how to crochet; sewing, etc.  Some of these things are difficult to do here because supplies are not as readily available here as in the states.  And I’m finding very few websites are willing to ship to Costa Rica.  However, those that do, I’m keeping their mail rooms busy!

No big plans to celebrate….being without dependable transportation puts a damper on everything!  For now, we’re just looking on the internet for possible “new” cars – “new” is a very loose term!  Our days of driving new cars are over because they are not feasible to purchase here.  In hindsight, we sort of wish we had bought a car in the states and had it shipped with our other belongings.  Yes, we shipped Ms. Smartie, but she has found a new home; she just wasn’t conducive  for our road.  Had we chosen to live in town, I’m sure we would still be driving her.  So I’m telling people that read my blog and are potentially looking at Costa Rica to live, think about bringing a car from the states where you will know the history of it, etc.  Here you’re at everyone’s mercy – one person says one thing, another says another, etc.  – you fall into the category, who in the heck do I believe?  According to Mark, everything will be fine, it just takes time….

Back to being 65…..wonder how my Aunt Barbara feels knowing I’m 65?  I’m sure she can’t believe it either! LOL

Anyhoo, turning 65 sure beats the alternative!  A lot of people don’t make it to this “old age” – so I’ll embrace it and carry on!!!!

Ah, I now can take the bus in Costa Rica without having to pay!  Hey, that’s a bright side. But the fee is so nominal, I’ll probably keep paying! LOL

Pura Vida – and muchas gracias for all the birthday wishes!!!







We’ve had Ms. Smartie for sale for about a month; lots of inquiries – one guy wanted to trade us a fairly new 4- wheeler for her!  I think not!

I love/loved Ms. Smartie – had lots of fun going places in her – till Old Bessie started to act up and has been with mechanics for the last 18 days!  Thus, we realized that having Ms. Smartie as our only means of transportation for about 3 weeks, well, let’s say, she’s not conducive to the road we live on!  If we were in town on paved streets, even those with potholes, we most likely would have kept her.

Last week-end Mark received an email from a guy in San Jose inquiring about her.  To make a long story short, we ended up driving her to San Jose for the guy to look at it.

Imagine our surprise when we drove to the parking lot where we were to meet Jose, an attorney, and there was a white Smart parked there and yep, it was a convertible too!  He had one and wanted to surprise his wife with her own because she wanted to drive his all the time!  He imported his from Miami.  It did make me feel a tad better that she went to a home where they already had one! LOL  I hope his wife knows how lucky she is!!!  Mark asked Jose if his wife would like the color red – he assured him, she would love it!!!

In talking with Jose, he flies helicopters, airplanes, has multiple homes and vehicles!  He bought a helicopter in Phoenix and flew it to Costa Rica!

Anyway, the deal was sealed on Thursday, yesterday and as of this posting, we are now carless!  Sure hope Old Bessie comes home today!

Now we start the process of looking for another car.  Mark hates car shopping!  I don’t mind it one bit!  I can be shrewd if I need to…just ask beach vendors! LOL

Wonder if I had a friend go car shopping with me  what a dealer would think when 2 women walked in to have a look-see!?  LOL  Probably, thinks, yep, a sucker born every minute!

I was very sad to see Ms. Smartie go – many fun times in tooling around town with her – like in Bowling Green, KY, everyone here stops and looks, smiles really big and waves with a thumbs up sign!

Gosh, I really miss her!!!

I would end with Pura Vida – but today I just don’t feel Pura Vida!


Tom, Lee, Mark and I have ventured on the quest to learn Spanish. Yesterday was our first class.

William, from La Garita, who is a linguist teacher, is assisting us….

OH MY!   We have our work cut out for us!

But, there’s no pressure, he’s very patient, has a sense of humor and most of all, I felt like I have already learned something.

Yep, we’ve got homework – which is just practicing.  If you don’t try to use it, you cannot learn it! Yep, we’ll make mistakes, laugh about it, and carry on.

If anyone is interested in joining us, that would be great.  It’s $5/hr. – we meet for 2 hours weekly.

Tom and Lee have graciously offered to host it at their house.  William will be more than happy to meet with you to bring you up to “snuff” with our first class…..or if you’d like to just sit in on the class, to see how it works and how he works, you’re more than willing to do this too.  This is how we “found” him!

For the next 3 weeks, we’re meeting at 10 a.m. – noon.

Let me know if you’d like to join us or sit in on a class…..

Yep, we’re off and running with Spanish!


Pura Vida!

Yadixa, my favorite waitress at Antano’s, my favorite restaurant in Atenas, has been after me to take her a ride in Ms. Smartie.  Since Ms. Smartie’s days with us are numbered, yesterday was the day she and I took off on an adventure.

Off we went up into the mountains with the top down!  She loved it – especially when I turned on the seat warmers, which are not needed in the area we live in.  She giggled and giggled as the seat heated up.

We ventured to a little restaurant in the mountains called La Casita, which is “related” to Antano’s.  Ordered iced coffee drinks and gazed at this view.

I became enlightened on Costa Rica and education here.  It’s very good and I can tell you that the teacher’s don’t put up with the nonsense that’s in US schools with kids bratty behavior and I know you can’t touch me!

After leaving LaCasita, she wanted to show me the town that she’s from. Higher up into the mountains we went…and I can’t remember the name of the town. Shame on me….too much to absorb all at once.

She took me to a spot that you can see the Pacific Ocean, if only it had been a clearer day!!! I will go back there and get to see it…because of the haze, you could just spot the edge of land and the water blended into the clouds.

Starting down the hill, she inquired if it would be OK to stop and see her Mom.  And we did!

What a gorgeous little house and yard!  I was able to catch a butterfly feasting on one of the many butterfly bushes in the yard.


Then I saw the most gorgeous orchid bushes….so delicate and the most sweet fragance!


The next thing I know, Yadi’s Mom is coming out with a shovel and machete….I’m going to get a planting from this beautiful bush!

This bush had the “toughest” roots…..but eventually they got me a planting…..


And my “Yadi” orchid is now planted in my yard….thanks to Yadi, her mother, and Mark!  I wish you all could smell and see this delicate orchid.

It was a wonderful morning and I enjoyed it immensely!  Yadi, we’ll be doing another adventure soon!

A big thank you to all involved!!!

Pura Vida……




Yesterday was the 60+ ladies adventure.  This month we traveled to Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro in Sarchi – for most of you, this mean the Oxcart Factory.

Their machinery is operated by a water wheel and some of the machinery is dated to the early 1920’s. Yep, it’s the old fashioned way of creating their works of art – it’s amazing to see!

There is a wonderful gift shop – a very extensive gift shop from woodworks to clothing to leather handmade sandals, etc.

Behind the souvenir shop, they have many easels set up to give painting classes.  You paint a small wagon wheel….it’s fun   but it does bring back memories of the 80’s when I attempted to take tole painting and just couldn’t quite get the hang of it! Painting or art is in the eye of the beholder, right?

After the class, we took a trek to downtown Sarchi and ate in a wonderful little restaurant; I’m sure the owner was thrilled when all 10 of us were served and on our way!

From there we walked across the street to the park to view the world’s largest oxcart!


World’s Largest Oxcart, Sarchi

We all wondered how many oxen it took to move this from the factory to the park!  It’s HUGE!  And so vividly painted.  A must for everyone to see. (It’s on our tour when friends come to visit.)

After oohing and aahing, we headed back to the cars and then headed to another factory, the mattress factory.  Frances and I have been here many times – when the owner/manager of the factory (a female, I might add) comes over to hug you, you know your welcome! LOL  Anyway, Bruce had a bedspread made and it was ready to be picked up.  Besides mattresses there, of all densities and sizes, they make sheets (fitted and flat), curtains/draperies to match the bedspreads.  It’s fun to walk back into the factory part and see the machines in motion.  What I wouldn’t give to have a cutting table just 1/4 of the size they use! LOL

From there we were headed to the Feria in Grecia; it’s a lot bigger than the one in Atenas!  I love getting fresh brussel sprouts from there!  One vendor has any kind of lettuce you can imagine.

After wandering the Feria, we climbed into the cars and headed for home.  Everyone was thrilled with the exciting day we had.

We left Atenas at 9 a.m. sharp and we’re back by 4:30 p.m.  A full day for 60+ ladies! LOL

Wonder where our August adventure will take us?

Pura Vida!



Some people think these toucan tires are just plain tacky!  I don’t think so and obviously Terri doesn’t either! LOL  We went on an adventure to find the place where I got mine, and voila!  She had a bunch to choose from.  Not sure if she’s named it yet, but it’s hanging and has some gorgeous flowers in it!


I really enjoyed her being here and it’s taken me till today, Thursday (she left on Saturday), to accept she’s back in Bowling Green and no longer in Costa Rica!

Pura Vida to all!


The hubster forwarded the above link to me and I feel compelled to respond!

I get more knitting done during the NCAA Basketball Tourney and during the NBA playoffs.  Knitting while watching basketball is relaxing to me….it doesn’t mean I’m not watching and unaware of what is going on in the game!  And there’s no disrespect to those playing the game, no matter what the sport is!


Woman can multi-task a lot more than men can…..and if it’s disturbing the players, then they have a concentration problem!

And yes, I will be knitting away during the Olympics.

For heaven sakes, many baseball games now encourage Knit Nights!

If athletes are more involved in watching what is going on in the stands, they are in the wrong profession! Perhaps they would prefer to be in the stands knitting!

Just my 2 cents worth….

Pura Vida…..


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