Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for the ‘Alajuela’ Category

Thursday is a Beach Day and I decided I needed to have a hat that would cover my face – more than a baseball cap would.

Asked Denise and Michele if they would like to go to MultiPlaza on Sunday; they agreed to go. Spent most of the day there….yes, during the World Cup, we were shopping!

I look stupid in hats; just plain stupid!!! Felt even more stupid when I tried on “visor-type” with the top of my head sticking out. We searched and searched; into any store that had hats. Most hats are too big for me unless I stick my ears inside the hat, which is uncomfortable. However, if I “sit” it on top of my head, one gust of wind and off it will go!

Tried many hats with various brims sizes; finally settled on one; has any one bought a hat for themselves they have to alter so it fits right! Well, I did!!! Need to sew a “sweat band” possibly inside the hat so it fits…..and I’m going to decorate the brim.

This would be a perfect hat for a Kentucky Derby party!!!!

Am going to work on “altering” it today; and when it’s done, there will be pictures.

I hope I’m not mistaken for Sofia Vergara on the beach!!!

Now the adventure begins! The drive home! Never thought about the Autopista being closed to west-bound traffic; which sometimes happens to allow all lanes into San Jose. Only one word for those trying to go west-bound, well, 3-words; It’s a bitch!

GPS kept wanting to make us turn around to get on the Autopista; however, the GPS doesn’t understand that on Sunday’s you sometimes can’t go west on the Autopista between 4-7; sometimes 2-7;

As we came up on the barriers, Denise wondered if we knew we couldn’t go west. Well, I never thought about it because I was desperately looking for a stupid hat! So we had no choice but to get off. Michele kept saying just follow the cars, they will take us someplace! DUH! LOL And she kept assuring me (us) that it was a good road because there were relectors down the center.

We would put different towns in the GPS that we knew how to get home from but the GPS kept wanting me to turn R onto gravel roads….Michele was against this, so we trudged on. Frankly, I wasn’t quite sure we should go down those roads either!

We kept climbing and climbing; into the clouds; went past a cute little shop full of baskets, etc. If I hadn’t been in a big line of traffic, we would have stopped. I kept thinking that the shop looked familiar and I had been there before….as we kept climbing, we started seeing signs for Purical; which is the town on the other mountain ridge that we can see from our house.

We drove and drove and drove and started seeing signs for Orotina, which we knew where that was…..then we saw a sign for Atenas; I heard sighs of relief from Denise and Michele; then we came down a road that was worse than the one we live on; but then the question came whether to get on the Autopista to Atenas or go all the way down my road and into town; everyone agreed that the Autopista would be faster…..till we reached the toll booth! I don’t understand why or how the traffic gets so backed up; but it does, just one of those Pura Vida things I guess!!!

Got off and took the radial into Atenas; was just beginning to get dark….as the driver, I was glad to be back in familiar territory.

Michele has accepted the task to find a different way home IF this happens again!!! Actually, we should have just turned around – gotten on the Autopista heading back towards the mall; only getting off at Santa Ana and heading to the airport.

But, living in Costa Rica is all about being adventurous!!! Yesterday was one of those days!

Pura Vida!


Left about 9 a.m. this morning to drive to San Ramon to renew our drivers’ licenses. San Ramon is higher up in the mountains and it was much cooler; am sure if we lived there, we would wear long pants and long sleeves sometimes.

We went with our Passports, copies of our Passports, and our medico number from the physicals we needed; there are all kinds of medical places within 2 blocks of where you renew your license if you are inclined to wait till you get there. And there are men everywhere to direct you if you can’t figure it out!

Went into the “banco” at the top of the hill; paid 6 mil ($12) each and then walked down the steep hill to see le jefe (the boss) to get the process started.

Waited about 10 minutes because le jefe must have known the man in his office at the time because they were chatting away and having a great time.

Finally he came and motioned for Mark and I to come into his office. After exchanging pleasantries, a must in this country, he got down to work. Basically just pulled up the info from the medical report, and info from our old license, changed the number on our licenses’ from the passport number to our cedula number; then we went out into a room; sat for a few minutes and were called in for picture taking!

We were back in Atenas by 11: 30 a.m.

It really is a Pura Vida day!

Dear Paypal…..

I live in Costa Rica; it is in Central America; it is part of the real world!!!

I’m wondering how many merchants that use Paypal are aware that they may say “ship worldwide”; but when I try to purchase something and have it shipped to Costa Rica, I get a notice saying “Paypal doesn’t ship to this country”.

First of all Paypal, you aren’t shipping anything; you’re just collecting the money; but to top it off, I can’t even put it on a credit card because “Paypal doesn’t ship to this country”.

And yes, I have money in a Paypal account and would love to be able to spend it; but again, “Paypal doesn’t ship to this country.”

I’m going to start notifying the merchants that even tho’ they ship worldwide, Paypal won’t accept the order… saying “Paypal doesn’t ship to this country.”

Again, just what is Paypal shipping?

This has happened twice today….and yep, I notified both merchants!


Headed into town shortly after noon today to go to the Post Office and a few other places.

Stopped at the P.O. and voila!  I had a small package… exciting!  There were 4 males and one female in the P.O. laughing like crazy.  Two of the men were laughing so hard, their shoulders were shaking – you couldn’t help but giggle at them. I have no clue what they were laughing at; but, it was infectious!!!  Smiles were all over in the P.O. this afternoon.

Then I headed to Dra. Victoria’s to get my glasses adjusted. She was really busy!!!

Saw Julie and Norman next door at Dennis’ and Gerardo’s….said they had finally recovered from Bunky’s party on Monday.

Then on to Coope…as I was checking out, the checker grinned and acted like she was sniffing the air – you could hear raindrops on the roof; not enough to get anything wet, but they were raindrops.  She broke into a broad grin and explained that when she was pregnant, she loved smelling the rain because everything smelled fresh!  Yep, I understood what she was communicating!

When you go into town, everyone is happy!!!  I remember when Terri came with me to house hunt. We were sitting at Don Tadeo’s and watching people in the park.  She remarked “look everyone is happy, everyone is smiling, no one is walking hunched over” – Costa Rica, or at least Atenas is “home of the happy people.”

A Pura Vida day for sure!

While I absolutely love the hub bub of the holiday season approaching,  this time of year really drains me, mentally, physically and emotionally.

In our 45 years of marriage, we’ve never lived any where near relatives….however, we’ve lived in 5 different states and have many friends still in those old haunts. And with Facebook, it’s a real treat to re-connect with old friends.  Our family is scattered all over the US and it’s virtually impossible to do the family Christmases we had when the girls were little.

The worst part for me is the shopping.  I like to do handcrafts and it’s just impossible to find fabric and all the notions, etc. in a one stop shop!  Usually, I just get frustrated and head home – ticked that I can not get the things I want/need.  Am slowly getting over that, tho’….or else the Pura Vida is slowly creeping in.  Or I suck it up and pay the international shipping and then by the time my order makes its way to Costa Rica, I’ve forgotten what I wanted the things for.

Stopped at Payless Shoes yesterday because a friend was going to buy shoes for their “angel” from the angel tree; a pair of tennis shoes for a child was $26!!!  It makes me sad, because the Costa Rican people we know and are friends with, can’t pay that for one child, let alone their family of 2, 3, or more children.  I honestly don’t know how they do it – but they are so happy!

Am slowly getting used to the grocery shopping – still not quite sure what I’m getting in the meat department because “cuts” of meat here sure look different to me than they did in the Kroger meat department.

With Christmas approaching and it being the giving time of year, it would certainly be wonderful if every charity could spread out their “please give to me at this time of year”…..either that, or I need to learn to put aside a certain amount of money each month for the month of December.  Probably will end up being the latter of that previous statement.

Our neighbor girls are excited about Navidad approaching.  They come and go pretty much at will at our house – so I’ve really frustrated them! LOL   Have started wrapping Christmas gifts so they have no clue who they are for!  Mark said he caught Nazareth peeking in the window of the second bedroom looking at the wrapped gifts.  This is the fun part for me.  We’ve sort of adopted the two girls, Nazareth and Dylana, and their two cousins up the street from us.

Dylana will be graduating from 6th grade in mid-December.  She wants clothes for Christmas….so I will take her shopping with the stipulation that she has to act surprised when she opens her gifts!  Did that last year when I bought them shoes because I wanted them to pick out the shoes they wanted – and their expressions didn’t disappoint.  As usual, Mark has no clue what’s in the packages, so he was the most surprised!

Maricela, the girls’ mother, has been asking me for two weeks, about the arbol de Navidad…she’s quite excited about the trees, yes, trees, going up soon.  Last year was the first year the girls “had” a Christmas tree, even if it was at our house.  They spent hours helping me decorate the trees. (One inside and one on the rancho.)  And are eager to do it again this year.

Since a lot and I mean A LOT of people already have their homes decorated, I guess I’ll give in and get started with the tree decorating.  According to Mark, he needs at least a 10 day notice to get all the bins, and boxes down for this endeavor! LOL

I was going to try and wait till after Thanksgiving, but think I’ll just jump on the bandwagon and go for it!  Everyone will be happy! LOL  And that’s what it’s all about, keeping everyone happy.

One thing that is really super wonderful here, is that all ex-pats take on “being your family”.  We have so many wonderful friends here from all over.  Disney is right, it is a small world!

Pura Vida for now as I give Mark his marching orders to get the Christmas decor down.

UPDATE:  Forgot to mention that the girls and I made the 350 name tags for the Angel Tree Angels Christmas party!  They love helping me do things like that!!!




Am frantically trying to get some things done in order to have a booth in the park on October 13th or at Nana’s Place.  So far this is what I’ve gotten done this morning…..hoping to have some variety; Halloween, Christmas, etc.

So, if things don’t sell, and your a friend of mine that I give gifts to, (LOL), get your choice in of what you want!

Pura Vida!

A friend is interested in learning to knit socks. I love to knit and was really excited that she wanted to learn too.

Too make sure I didn’t forget any necessities, I emailed a couple knitting friends that live in the states.

These are the two answers I received:

tape measure, small scissors, needle measure doodad, needles to sew ends in

Post its, measuring tape, flask, chocolate, big needle point protectors, page protectors,
high lighter tape

I’ve been looking on one of my favorite knitting websites, Knit Picks. I’ve made a list of items that I think she absolutely needs:

6 inch Harmony Wood Double Pointed Knitting Needle Set

Double Ended Crochet Hook set for picking up dropped stitches

Stitch Markers

View Sizer – this is a needle sizer, measures stitches and rows, and gauges

Heel Foot Cream by SOAK (This is the best stuff)

Sock Knitting Needle Holders – you lay your project down and get distracted and don’t get back
to it right away, and VOILA! – stitches are no longer on your needles…this stops that!

Knitting Needle Point Protectors

Knitting Stitch Holders – various sizes

Bent tip Tapestry Needles for weaving in yarn ends

Highlighter tape – this is great stuff because you can use it over and over, really good help
when following a pattern – helps keep your place

A small spiral notebook to keep notes in of the project you’re working on.

If any other knitters out in Yarn Land can think of a few more items, or accessories, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

All of the above items can be found at – except for one – highlighter tape, which can be found at other websites or even on ebay.

A few other websites I lurk around are and – for you knitters outside of the U.S., these two websites ship Internationally. I love websites that ship Internationally!!!

Pura Vida from Costa Rica for now.

VOTE HERE! Bunco Women Gone Wild