Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for the ‘Animals in Costa Rica’ Category


Sedona, 15 years old, had to be put down yesterday.  Dr. Solano told us that she had had a long life for lab.  He assured us that we had taken excellent care of her.  Ours dogs are family and this is why it’s so hard.

I got Mark Sedona for Father’s Day many years ago….a few months after Dudley, our sheep dog, had passed away.  She was one of a litter of 11!  And the runt!  Only she and brother were the blonde color and the brother was tall enough, and Sedona small enough, that she could actually walk under the brother.  The other 9 puppies looked like Border collies and were black and white with long hair.

She was adopted from the Bowling Green/Warren County Animal Shelter.  My friend Joanne Walton would go with me to visit her after I had picked her out. At that time, that particular shelter would ask for references, especially Vets, to make sure you’re a good dog parent.

Joanne had lots of experience with dogs and convinced us to get a crate.  We had never done that before with our other dogs, but I was working then.  Best thing we had ever done.  Except, one day we both came home from work, and found a wall demolished!  She had been scratching at the drywall most of the morning, apparently, bored!  Lesson No. 1: don’t set a crate near a wall that can be reached by the dog.

We named her Sedona, because we love Sedona, AZ and it was a suggestion from Todd Ofenbeck, our son-in-law.  And our dogs are so much a part of the family, that they have middle names!  Sedona’s middle name was Joanne, named after my friend.  She would crack up when I would call her Sedona Joanne and like all good mother’s used the middle name when she was in trouble.

Because she was the runt,  silly me, figured she would be small! One of the vets said she might be 30-40 lbs. and another vet said “many times, the runt ends up being the largest” – well, she was large, 75 lbs.

She was a great dog, minded well, etc.  She would even walk me to the bathroom in the middle of the night!  (Like I didn’t know the way.)

The last 3 days, it had become apparent that something had to be done.  Her hind legs were extremely weak and many times we would find her splayed on the floor.  And she wouldn’t make a sound so we had to keep checking on her.  We would help her up and she would gain a little energy and be able to walk again.  It had gotten to the point that we were afraid to be gone from the house and come home and find her splayed on the floor.

When Dr. Solano was giving her the shot, I held her head and whispered to her that it was OK to go; and I was thinking, wouldn’t it be great if people had the choice to not live a productive life any more because of illness.

Hopefully, she has caught up with our other dogs, Whiskey, (yes, our first dog was named Whiskey!), Tramp, Dudley and Oliver at the Bridge and they are playing happily again.

RIP Sedona, you were a great dog!!! I will miss you forever!
click on image to see more photographs of Sedona…
Sedona the dog

Animales Atenas had a different kind of fundraiser. It was called Dinner for Two; or Four or Six! Basically, volunteers  cook a meal and deliver it to the winners of the raffle.

I thought this was something Maricela might like to do. So in my Spanglish, I finally got the message through that this was a fundraiser. I would buy the supplies and “we” would cook in my kitchen. She was in 7th heaven!!! Not sure if it’s because she was cooking in my kitchen or she just likes to cook! Anyway, we came up with a typical Tico dinner:

  • empanadas with chicken, beans and cheese (empanadas con polo, frijoles y queso);
  • arroz con pollo (rice with chicken),
  • Picadillo de papa(a potato concoction, I think I could eat this once a day!),
  • ensalada de Verde (green salad).

We grocery shopped on Monday and after checking with the winner of our meal, decided to cook it on Wednesday – the girls had no school on Monday and she wanted to cook without the girls around, I guess. So Wednesday morning comes and Maricela, Nazareth (no school that day) and her 17 year old son, Dimas showed up.

Nazareth may only be 9, but she sure was a great help. She washed dishes, peeled potatoes, etc. At one point I caught her at the kitchen sink eating a mouthful of potato peelings! LOL

I told Mark I felt like I was fixing a Thanksgiving dinner. I do confess that I bought enough of everything, so Maricela’s family and Mark and I could eat too! LOL

When I was in the states, I bought a bunch of wooden Christmas ornaments because I decided to give Maricela one of my three Christmas trees – they’ve never had a tree before. So during a slack time of cooking, I pulled those ornaments out and Nazareth began coloring them; the next thing I know, seventeen year-old Dimas is in the kitchen sitting beside her coloring them too! LOL Next day, thirteen year old Dylana colored hers.




Our kitchen smelled so good…..had intended to cook the meat for the Picadillo de Papa in the crock pot overnight, but mother nature provided us with a storm that took out the electricity; so we ended up cooking that on the stove.

Actually, my contribution to the cooking, besides paying for the food, was stirring.  I’ve learned, I’m a “great stirrer”!

Maricela, Nazareth and I delivered the food and heard from the winner, complimenting the chef!!!

It was a really exhausting day for both of us…..and Maricela was here bright and early to clean on Thursday morning.

I do think I might try making the empanadas myself!  Maricela’s were perfectly round and then folded…..there is an art to it, no rolling pin involved, all hands-on!

All in all, it was a great fund raiser, about $2500, which goes to support the animal spay and neuter and rescue.

When we first moved to Costa Rica, we were advised/warned/told that if we had a list of things to get accomplished in one day, if we were able to mark off one item, we should consider it a successful day!

Today we were able to accomplish A LOT!

Sofi and Derby were headed to their day of beauty with Stephanie; got them to her house and that only left us with one dog in the car. Sedona needed to go the vet for a check up on her nose, which has healed nicely.

After dropping off the “diva dogs”, we went to the ATM…..then the Post Office…..then to pay for our WIFI…..then to Centro Farmacia…..then to Coope – Mark needed to re-charge his cell phone; I stayed with Sedona in the car because we had the car parked in the shade….it was wonderful! Then I went in to the grocery – only two check-outs were open but they were filled with people with full carts – I think I waited longer in line to gather the few things I was buying.

Then we headed to wait for the dogs to be finished….since we were close to Mike and Joni’s, we stopped there because I needed to go to the bathroom. DUH!

Stephanie called and the dogs were ready; picked them up and called in a take-out order of Arroz con Pollo at Antano’s; home now, have eaten lunch and ready for my first nap of the day!

I don’t think we should have accomplished all those errands in one day….LOL

Pura Vida from Paradise!

This past week has not been a good one for me!  Dylana was here on Monday and had been sick. You guessed it! – I caught what she had….went to the Dr. on Monday – was told I had what everyone else in town had, but the good thing is I would be well by Christmas!  Came home with antibiotics every 8 hours for 2 days.

Wednesday  I was worse so back to the Dr. I go;  said I needed a stronger antibiotic one every 12 hours; this morning I woke up early (normal time) and am not nearly as congested as I was the day before; however, I still sound like I’m in a barrel when I talk…but things are looking up. Guess the older you get, the longer it takes to recover.

Woke up this morning to beautiful sunshine (as usual); hearing the howler’s down by the river; green parrots chattering away and a few toucans making their clacking noise.  So peaceful and sounds like home….

Last night I had a three nightmares!  Of course, this morning I have no clue what they were about – sometimes I yell or mumble during these times.  Sofi, my little princess, always comes to my side and gentle puts her paw on my cheek as if to wake me.  She did this three times last night!

There were fireworks in the valley last night when Sofi insisted on going outside at 12:30 a.m. – so pretty.

It’s now 7:30 a.m. and someone is already shooting off firecrackers….not the pretty kind, just the noisy kind. Tis the season in Costa Rica for everyone to celebrate!

Yesterday the washing machine decided to act up. Have suspected something was wrong with it for about 3 weeks; yesterday the last spin cycle didn’t work.  Not exactly what I want to have to purchase at this time of year!  Am running some clothes through another wash  cycle in hopes that it’s just something was out of whack!  However, if the same thing happens, I’m off tomorrow afternoon to get a different washer.

All the windows and doors are open, gentle breeze blowing through the house, and the sounds of Costa Rica! Doesn’t get better than this folks….so for now…..

Pura Vida!

Maricela and Nazareth visited last evening. She’s headed to the Clinica today and will clean tomorrow.  I had just popped some corn, the old fashioned way, you know, sort of like Smith and Barney!  Shared with them and even sent some home with Nazareth.  Dylana is at a football (soccer) tourney this week.

Apparently there was another earthquake here during the night….we slept thru it! AGAIN!  I guess it doesn’t faze our dogs because no one made a whimper.

Derby is going to get his mouth glued shut!  That’s the only way I can think of to keep him from barking!  6:10 a.m. he started in…..the construction guys sometimes egg him on, I think.  If he’s in his crate, he doesn’t bark…..guess, it’s sort of like time-out for a toddler!  At any rate, I’m very irritated with him!!! Should have sent him home with Velma! LOL

Still recovering from company being here….the older I get, the longer it takes to recover!   Used to be able to recover in a day or two, now it seems like it takes days!!! But, I really, really enjoy having company!  It was sad when they leave; but I do realize I have good friends all over the world!

Need to start thinking about Christmas…..

Maricela and the girls have Christmas lights out and have hung some ornaments on the large cactus in the front of their house.  We went down there Friday night for the “lighting of the lights!”  And they sang and danced to Jingle Bells! It was so darn cute!!!

The girls will be helping me decorate the trees in a couple of weeks.  Maricela said they’ve never had a Christmas tree!  I have some stockings that I’ll be putting their names on too…..I told Maricela she could not come to see our trees, yes, I put up two trees, about 6 feet apart; one inside and one outside!  She can come when we turn the lights on!

When I was in the old country, I bought two felt kits of ornaments so the girls can make some ornaments too!  It will be fun!!!  If we’re lucky, Mark will go into town and get us pizza!  We’ll play Christmas carols and decorate like mad fools!

Off to hang out some clothes!

Pura Vida!!!


Pat gave me some ear plugs to ward off the bathing birds in the gutters. Apparently they work – haven’t heard them for 2 nights! Thanks, Pat.

Last night I fell asleep before putting them in…thus starts the story.

Somewhere in the night, near O-dark thirty, I heard a critter on the roof.  Dogs weren’t aroused, and I was too sleepy to get up and see if I could tell what it was.

Then I heard “it” fall off the roof and scamper away….running into a metal drying rack outside.  Still wasn’t curious enough to get up and see if I could tell what it was. Then it must have gotten over the fence because as it scurried away I heard the gentle rustling of the bells on the gate.

Woke up pretty early this morning 5:45 a.m.; still didn’t think anything about it.

Then when I went to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, I looked out the window and the damn critter fell through the awning on the outdoor swing – yep a nice big hole in it!

Next decision, do I have someone make a new one or do I attempt to do it.  If I attempt to do it, it’s last in line behind all my other projects.

It’s just so darn exciting here in Costa Rica.  I wish everyone could experience living here, even if it’s just for a short time.

Pura Vida!


P.S. In my mind I’m thinking it was a Coati.

Last evening while walking the dogs down the street behind our house, I saw a Bufo toad on the road.  This is the first one I’ve seen on the road.  Since I’m not coordinated enough to be able to walk all three at once, I took each of them individually.

Not one dog even noticed the Bufo .  After the last dog was walked, the Bufo had not moved.  I knew where the “Bufo Stabber” was and quickly got it and headed back to the spot where Mr. Bufo was sitting.  I just walked by him, then circled around behind him, hey, I don’t watch NCIS, and CSI for nothing!

Having watched Mark do it many times, I knew to stab and twist it….they have extremely tough skin.  Once I was confident the knife was all the way through him, I lifted him in the air and carefully walked to the drainage ditch that is in the road….heaven forbid there be any covering on that draining ditch.  Made quite a splatting noise when he went down the drain! LOL

I normally wouldn’t go along with killing them except for the fact, they kill dogs!  No one, not anyone, nada, messes with my dogs!

However, Derby, is close to losing his vocal cords!  I swear that dog can bark at wind blowing and once he starts, he just can’t control it!

That’s how the evening started….

Then about midnight, the damn birds starting flapping in the gutter….how they can make so much noise is beyond me!

I think tonight will be a melatonin night for me…

Pura Vida!

Since today is our son-in-law’s birthday – Happy Birthday to Todd!

I deemed it also Nancy day.  Mark is in the old country helping with Amy’s needs till she can get back on her feet.  She’s made great strides in physical therapy this week.  Mark and Todd are marveling at how well she’s doing.  In fact, he probably won’t be gone nearly as long as we thought! YAY!

Enrique, the resident iguana living in our roof, is going to have to find a new home – or quite bringing home “guests”. Sheesh!  The noise he/they make is unbelievable.  And the last two mornings, birds have decided to make the gutters that run along the bedroom wall, their “new roosting” place.  Nancy is NOT  happy with that.  Apparently they think the gutter is full of water and decide to take their morning “bath” before the sun is up – that means it’s still dark!  And there is no water to be bathing in….I’ve checked.

The only time Nancy is happy getting up in the dark is to catch a flight for a trip!

Not sure I can do much till Mark gets back to get these little things taken care of.  For now it’s Pura Vida!

So by 8:30 a.m. I had done 3 loads of laundry and have them on the line.  Nice breeze this morning so it won’t take long for them to dry.

Decided to work on some embroidery projects that I’ve been asked to take to the old country.  And, as normal, I’m having all kinds of problems zipping/unzipping the designs.  After 2 hours, I think I’ve got it figured out.  This isn’t something that’s new to me, apparently, it’s just been too long since I’ve done that! LOL

Getting ready to head into town to pick up a few groceries.

This week, will be just as busy as last week, I guess.

Monday will find me back at the bank trying to get a money transfer completed that was done 9/13!  And this will be the last attempt I make at that.  Mark originally did it, then 5 days later, it still hadn’t showed up.

Tuesday I’ll be at Poco Cielo helping Frances get some wedding decor ready.

Wednesday, UGH! Dentist…’s not the dentist, it’s the thought of it.  But a friend has asked me over for lunch afterwards and we’ll “sit and sew”.  I probably will knit because I’m working on some socks.  That should keep my mind occupied. Unlike Mark, who thinks he needs valium to go to the dentist, I tough it out!

Thursday is open, oh my!  And so far, so is Friday.

I honestly thought I would be looking for stuff to do with Mark gone; that hasn’t been a problem at all! LOL

Pura Vida for now…..


This morning I had a dental appointment in Atenas.  As I was getting dressed, I heard a sound that sounded like the dog crates were rattling….then I looked at the ceiling and thought “oh, crap, Enrique (the iguana that lives in our roof), has a “live-in”…..then Sofi came running to me to be picked up….then I realized, the house was swaying and rolling.  Ran to the rancho and the pool water was “rolling” too.

Mark was down on all 4’s pulling some weeds….. he stood up and said “whoa!”  He just kept repeating “whoa, whoa, whoa!”

Neither of us were in a panic, why panic, because it is, what it is!

Kept telling Mark, “this is a biggie”, “this is a real biggie”…….I was not frightened, but in awe that the ground would move like that.  This is the first one we’ve felt since we’ve been living in Costa Rica.   Our friends that live in town have felt other small ones and we’ve just shrugged our shoulders and figured our little side of the mountain must be fairly stable!

I left to go into town to the dentist, hoping there were no aftershocks as I was driving in….don’t know if you feel it when in a moving car, but I suspect as much as the ground was moving this morning,  you would feel it.

As I was driving past Maricela’s mother’s house, I hear “Nancy”!  So I stopped and backed up.  Maricela needed a ride into town to pick up her girls from school. Centro Atenas school was sending everyone home.  Glad I could help get her to the girls!

As I was dropping her off at the school, the thought struck me, what if there’s an aftershock when the dentist is working on me! YIKES!!!

Apparently there have been several aftershocks, however, we’ve not felt any.

We do have friends that have had things broken from falling.  Our bathroom mirror was a little crooked and so far, that’s all we’ve seen “moved”.  The burlap coffee bag I had framed with a double wooden frame and glass front, didn’t budge!

Stopped at Wednesday’s Women Lunch at Kay’s on the way home; and of course, everyone is talking about the swaying! Some people lost 3 inches of water in their pool, some lost all the water!  I guess an earthquake is like a tornado in the fact that it hits different places with different intensities.

Feel bad for those that lost some things, but as one friend put it, “it’s just stuff”.

It’s a little after 3 p.m. and Mark has gone to pay the water bill.  You must go to the church salon in Guacimo (500 hundred meters east of us) and pay the bill in person! LOL  Yep, all $4-$6 of it! LOL

As I’ve said many times before, just another adventurous day in Costa Rica!

Pura Vida!


These are Mark’s thoughts on the temblor!



Today was day 2 in looking for a different car.  Drove a Nissan Pathfinder which would be just fine, however, the airbag light, door light, etc. kept coming on and flashing; probably a sensor problem.

Then headed to another dealer to see an Exterra….which after we had been there the first time today, had been taken to a mechanic for a “tune-up” – for one thing when we looked at it, the battery was missing.  So when we back to drive it it was gone; Russ and Shirley were with us and they were going to stay in Grecia and do some shopping so the plan was they were going to stop by there after 2 p.m., we had been assured it would be back by then!  This is Costa Rica and it wasn’t.  But both places were willing to take the Montero in on trade, which is a plus because we wouldn’t have to bother trying to sell it.

Tomorrow morning we have Spanish class – Sofi needs to be dropped off for a day of beauty after Spanish class and we may head back there to try and drive it.

I always used to think buying a different car was fun and exciting! In Costa Rica it’s extremely stressful and a royal pain in the patootie!  It’s a crap shoot on what you get; the condition of it, etc.

When you open the hood of the car, everything and I mean everything appears to be brand new!  They scrub and shine up everything; old cars look really good – key word is look.

Anyone reading my blog that is thinking about moving to CR, move your car!  Or buy one in the US and bring it on down here.  At least you’ll know what’s been replaced with new or used parts….

Came home after a great lunch….and no I can’t remember the name of the place but I know how to get there – that’s the most important part, right?  We will be back there to eat!

Dogs were quite glad we had returned…..

Sat on the rancho and studied Spanish……another mind-boggling, stressful time.

Then we decided to walk down the hill and see if Maricela and the girls were around; as we approached the gate to the entrance of the development, I could hear  lots of commotion in the trees across the road.  At least 5 white faced monkeys were frolicking in the trees and munching on the mangoes. They would take a couple bites and then drop it – wasteful little critters they are!  Saw some that were for sure adults and at least 2 smaller ones….they sure kept an eye on us.  I had Sofi in my arms.  I think they thought she was one of them!

Another full day tomorrow…..

Pura Vida –



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