Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

We spent our first Christmas in Costa Rica in 2011.  Going to the festivities in Atenas was a fun time for us.  Loved the Christmas parade and told Mark that maybe we should go in the business of selling drum sticks!

What really surprised me was everyone was bundled up.  Coats, jackets, scarfs, hats, and I thought the little babies were really over bundled!  There we were the Gringos with short sleeves and shorts on!  Thinking these people are crazy, it’s not even chilly.

Well, things have changed!  This year, I had on a denim jacket!  Guess my blood has thinned or something has happened.  Mark was fine.  But again, people were bundled in jackets, scarves, hats, etc.

I think I’ve become a Tica!

Felez Navidad to all.


We have a regular dentist that we’ve been using.  They claim they will call us every 6 months for a cleaning; however, I have noticed that the only time they seem to call us is during the season when they don’t have as many patients, such as rainy season.

Since we are paying for CAJA and they have a dentist there, I decided it was time to use what we are paying for!

Steffi was kind enough to allow me to borrow Ana Cecelia to go with me and show me the ins and outs of getting an appointment.

We arrived about 6:45 a.m., yes, a.m., to stand in line to get an appointment.  Appointments are given out starting at 7 a.m.  There may have been 10-12 people in front of us, but a lot more behind us.

I had our cedula’s, carnets, and receipt of payment for July.  When it was our turn, Ana Cecelia just handed her the carnets.  Never asked for current proof of payment or our Cedula’s.  So, just like that, we both have dental appointments for July 16th.  WOO HOO!!!

Before I left to meet Ana Cecelia, Mark had asked when I thought we’d get an appointment….I figured it would be great if it was August or September.  I realize our age got us earlier appointments.

Just a little side note:  I’ve never seen so many people walking around holding their jaw as if they were in pain.  Pretty sure extraction was in their future.

All in all, a huge thank you to Steffi for letting me borrow Ana Cecelia; was fairly easy to do; standing in line and waiting is just part of the Pura Vida life!

I have spent at least 30 hours, yes, 30 hours looking for a pair of Hi-Tec sandals on the internet to replace the ones that are worn out!  Apparently, no one, at any website that carries these type of sandals had a size 6 in stock.

Went to town this morning and look what I found in the shoe store across from Casa Blanca!  Made me such a happy camper….so I’m absolutely positive, these are the only size 6’s  in the world!  And I found them in little ole Costa Rica!!!  And they were the same color as the old ones were…..Is this a great country or what?  Pura Vida!newshoes

Since we’ve lived here, WOW, almost three years ago, we’ve been getting emails about going to Beach Day.  Finally, we went to one that was held at Pelicano Resort in Esterillos Este; an hour and a half to a two hour drive because of Saturday traffic.

It was unbelievable!!!  There were about 30 people that ventured there from San Ramon, Grecia and Atenas; and some people even brought their 4 legged friends!

beachI love that the beaches are tree lined because believe me, that sun is HOT, HOT, HOT!!!

Mark and I  walked out to the water – it’s quite a ways because the tide was out. We were very happy we had on flip flops – the sand was unbelievably hot – as it came over the top of the flip flops, it burned your toes.

A lady from Canada decided to walk to the water with NOTHING on her feet.  As she got maybe 20 ft. from the shaded sand, she began to scream, it’s burning my feet, help me!  A friend threw her some flip flops as she was headed back to the shade and she ignored those. So she kept walking and screaming.

She kept screaming the skin is burning off my feet and was she ever right!!!  I’m wondering if maybe she had neuropathy and it took awhile for her to realize the sand was burning her feet.  She kept saying, “I’m from Canada and the sand doesn’t get that hot!”  She actually had black spots on the bottom of her feet.

The resort was bringing her bags of ice and cold water to hopefully help stop the pain….a worker there even picked an aloe plant, but she kept screaming, “it’s burning, it’s burning”.  Come to find out ice is the worst thing to use, just tap water or cool water.   The aloe didn’t even help her.

Finally the ambulance came, Cruz Roja, and they were going to take her to some clinic, not sure where.  There was also talk about taking her to the hospital in Grecia where she was either vacationing or living.  At any rate, her vacation, if it was a vacation is ruined….last I heard she was trying to find a wheel chair, poor lady.

Back to Beach Day…..they had a grill set up and cooked beach side or you could go to the restaurant and order lunch.

We had a great day – but you know after you’ve been to the beach, there’s just something that makes you exhausted!  I took a nap after we got home late afternoon!

I will also be shopping for beach chairs to take to the next one!!!

What’s really nice is there are people there if you want to talk, if you want to read everyone respects that… was just a nice day!!!

Can’t wait till the next one!

Pura Vida…..and remember, at least flip flops are needed when you’re walking at the beach!!!



For probably a couple of months now, I’ve been telling Mark that something is wrong with the A/C in the car…..and of course, this falls on deaf ears, because it’s just “me”.

Well a week ago, Mark had the oil changed in the car and while waiting he  was thumbing through the car manual….please keep in mind that our car manual is in Korean, NOT English or Spanish.

Since I don’t think he reads Korean, he must have come upon an illustration that indicated that there is a filter for the A/C….in the glove compartment.

He said it was packed with dirt….we live on a dirt road…doesn’t surprise me it was full because I was sure something was wrong with the A/C.

The first time I drove the car after getting the filter “blown” out, I could tell a significant difference in just backing the car out of the drive-way.

Those clever Koreans and their illustrations!

At any rate, it’s wonderful now….and I even don’t have to have the A/C on the highest setting…..

Pura Vida…..

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!

About a month or so ago, my sewing/embroidery machine started acting up; not all the time, just every once in awhile; it seemed to be only when I was using a USB for embroidering.  Then this week,  the light bulb went off and I thought, why not try a design that came with the machine.  It didn’t work either.

So after much researching on the internet, we ( yep, had to get the husbter involved in finding this), found some machine repair shops that worked on Brother sewing machines; my machine is a Babylock Ellisimo, which is the same as the Brother Quattro.

Pat, one of our friends that is fluent in Spanish, made the call for us to see if they worked on my type of machine.  It was a yes and it will be diagnosed while you are there.

So today, we headed to Alajuela (there is one in San Jose, also) to check it out.

When we walked into this shop, we were both astounded at what we saw.  Seems like every machine imagineable was there!  From basic sewing machines to fancy embroidery machines with many needles, to sergers, etc.

We were promptly taken to a table to put the machine on so I could show “the Dr.” what the problem was.  I set up the machine, and started embroidering on it and you should have seen the crowd of people that work in there come to check out the “el grande maquina”…..I looked at Mark and said “perhaps I should give classes!”


This is a picture of the store front – the repair shop is also located there – and get this, there is a Singer repair shop that’s attached to the repair shop – so it’s a 3 – stop place!  And quite easy to locate also.

LaBobina2The “machine doctor” says it looks like you have a virus and it needs to go to the electronic dept. which he will take care of .

It was just unbelievable seeing all the machines they had available for sale.  There were all kinds of parts available in the display cases….Mark says he wishes auto mechanics carried such an inventory here!

At any rate, we both felt a sigh of relief when we walked in and I had no qualms about leaving it.  Now to wait for it to be repaired.  I will most likely be in the states when that happens, but call me Miss Pollyanna, I’m holding out for sooner, rather than later.

They had extra hoops for sale, all kinds of scissors, glue guns, glue sticks, thread, lots and lots of thread.

They also had 3 machines for sale called The Butterfly….from China, of course. However, the machines looked like old Singer machines and were even in wooden sewing machine cases/tables for around $300.  I made the comment that I’m almost tempted to buy one of those so I’m not without a sewing machine!  I should have taken a picture of his face and the look I got….it was one of those priceless moments!

Then we headed to Jalepenos – Normans in Alajuela for a great lunch.

Pura Vida for now – I’m a really happy camper having found La Bobina!

VOTE HERE! Bunco Women Gone Wild