Sunday, April 29

Church on Sunday

The other week, my girlfriend and I returned to San Jose to get our driver's license. When we arrived, their system was down AGAIN so we drove around waiting for time to pass and the power to come back on. We spent over an hour driving in circles due to all the one-way signs (and we're blondes, AND I was driving).
We passed by this church a couple of times and I jumped out and got a photo. (Notice the house beside the church) I'm not sure where we were, just in the San Jose area. Word of advice, if the power goes out in San Jose, DON'T try and drive around when the traffic lights are off. It is a total mess! Horns blowing, people driving like they are crazed. We stayed lost on the backroads so it wasn't such a problem. The unmarked one-way streets were though. (click onto photo to enlarge)

Thursday, April 26

"No hitching post"

This was just too good not to post. Seems this guy in Germany had a few too many beers and decided to get 50 winks at the bank's warm ATM machine's space before heading home. "There was no hitching post" so he brought his horse inside with him. I could see this happening in Jaco if the ATM spaces were bigger. We have no hitching post here either.

Wednesday, April 25

DOW HITS 13,000

It hit right after the opening bell but fell back under 13,000 shortly after. It was just over six months ago that I reported it passing the 12,000 marker.
Yesterday was the day I pulled the trigger and finally jumped back into the market after sitting on my hands for the first part of the year. I am heavy in defense stocks now. It makes me feel safe.
I'm still waiting for Boeing (BA) to pull back but it seems it's on a tear right now with all their new orders.
I really have some catching up to do on my blogging but right now, I'm on my way to the vet to get antibiotics for Macha. Yes, they had another fight the other day. Three against one. What is wrong with my dogs? They seem all happy and then something triggers a blood battle. At least Mela licks the wounds she inflicts on Macha. Wish they would all just make nice all the time.

Tuesday, April 17

Cooking for Love

Some may think this is extreme but when you don't have a family to cook for, you can always cook for your friends and YOUR DOGS, I do. Lately, I've been on a banana pudding cooking spree, I ran out of brownie mix. Costa Ricans make banana pudding (budin de banano) but you can't buy it in the sodas (restaurants). Around Eastertime, I had a real urge for some down-home cooking. We had a pot-luck dinner and I made my mom's banana pudding. It was a hit and surprisingly, one girl from Canada had never heard of it before. You know the dish, layers of vanilla wafers, bananas, wafers, bananas, wafers and then pour hot pudding over it and refrigerate.
Umm, um good! "Tas-tes" like home. (My sister's, Sulie, southern expression).

As you know, I have a problem with my "family" of dogs. They are all from the same litter and I have the mother pit-bull/chow that still tries to rule them with an iron jaw. In order to establish MY position as THE "ULTIMA" ALPA DOG, I decided to make them a real treat. I've had a recipe for dog bisquits for a year or more and finally remembered to buy the liver it calls for when I was at the grocery the other day. I whipped it up, baked it in the oven and realized, I didn't need a timer to tell me it was done. I had all four dogs sitting (jumping) around the oven waiting for their treat. NEVER have I seen them so excited! I cut it into bite size pieces and they literally wolf it down. I'm sure they taste it with their nose because they engulf the treats.

So, you want to be a hit with your dog buddies, try this:
1/2 lb liver (raw)
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
Blend liver and eggs in blender. Add meat mixture to the dry mix in a bowl.
Mix well and turn into greased baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes
or until the dogs tell you it's ready. It should be brown.
Cut into bite-size pieces.
You can substitute 1 cup of cooked rice and reduce the amount of flour and oatmeal
by half. Have fun with it. I store the "love bisquits" in the frig.
I'm sure cats would love it too!
Do Not expect them to go back to eating store bought dog bisquits. My dogs drop those on the floor and wait for me to bring out the good stuff.

Sunday, April 15

Church on Sunday

Do you know where this church is and it's name?
Photo taken in 2003
Photo taken in 2006

Thursday, April 12

Down Day

Looking out my window, it's dark and dreary. It's threatening to rain but can't quite muster up those clouds. A perfect day for me to garden and putter around after a grueling day in San Jose yesterday.

The trip to San Jose is about two hours but with the road under construction, it took a lot longer.
Our only mission: get our Costa Rica driver's license renewed.
THAT can be an all day deal.

We hired a taxi to take us to the bowels of San Jose where EVERYONE in Costa Rica gets their license (no satellite offices that I know of, YET). The place hadn't changed much from last year except the line was out the door and down the sidewalk (in the morning sun). NEVER try and follow a taxi in downtown San Jose unless you have good insurance and nerves of steel. The taxi wanted my girlfriend to ride with him and I followed... very close. Once a bus tried to cut me off and I pushed onward almost scrapping the side. Traffic is NOT normal in downtown San Jose. It is totally unnerving for me. Too many taxis and too many buses! Too many pedistrians that just stand in the street. TOO many one-way streets! The taxi driver in front of me barely used his turn signals and his car looked like 200 other taxis. I think he WAS trying to shake me after my girlfriend told me he flirted with her. Machos and "Machas". Ticos love blondes.

In my limited knowledge of Spanish, I could understand the other Ticos complaining about the "system" at the driver's license place. I've heard others back home complain about the DMV there and I WISH they could experience it here. They would never complain again. Guess it was just our (un)lucky day yesterday. After standing in line for over an hour, they announced the computers were down and they didn't know when the system would be up again. Maybe two hours, maybe tomorrow, maybe Friday. We've both lived here long enough to remember "Pura Vida".

Sunday, April 8

Church on Sunday

Basilica of Our Lady of Angels in Cartago
Click onto above link for the history of this Byzantine style church.
Photo taken Nov. 2003

Friday, April 6

Dry Country

This is what Max X Menos and other stores that sell alcohol will look like for the next few days. No alcohol is sold. The displays are covered with cardboard or plastic and "officially" sealed.
Those that plan to drink stocked-up before this past Thursday. Actually, they over-buy and typically, over-drink.

I just love Semana Santa here in Costa Rica. It is a very peaceful time.

PEACE and Quiet

It's hard to imagine but the traffic in front of my house is almost non-existent today. Not ONE semi-truck has passed by. I love the tranquility and I only get to enjoy it at Easter and Christmas. Doubt I'll leave my house just so I can enjoy every minute!

FYI - The photo is a sign I recently saw in Jaco. Not a clue what it's about.
I'm sure it has nothing to do with my blog but I'm using it anyway!

Thursday, April 5

Jaco Beach

"Before" photos were taken last Thursday. Today, it was crowded with families enjoying the beautiful beach and great weather. The weather is cooler lately. Everyone camps out for the long weekend. There are public showers and toilets nearby but they're not the greatest. With the changes and construction happening, this scene may not be here next year. A casino, hotel/condos are going up there. The trick in Costa Rica is if there is a camping park within so many meters of a hotel, then the people can not camp on the beach in front of the hotel. We'll see what develops. Costa Rica's beach are for the PUBLIC. No private beaches.

Check out one of the new signs they posted last week when they cleaned the beach.
"No camping", huh? Well, maybe just this LAST time.
............................"pave paradise, put up a parking lot"

Wednesday, April 4


The Cavalry has arrived in Jaco. I circled around Jaco today and no, I didn't see any policemen on horseback (good idea, though) but they were VERY PRESENT. I, for one, am happy to see re-enforcements arrive.
Just their presence makes me feel safer.

They bring in this one mobile unit (photo) for different occasions and set it up at different locations. This Semana Santa, they are in the heart of Jaco strip. The "Downtown" part. Usually, they set up near the "red zone", north of town, but the bars will be closed tonight at midnight. I didn't see the Paddie wagon they bring. The last "sting", they hid it out of town until they made their "sweep". I just hear all this stuff, I don't do the bar scene here in Hookerville. I DO KNOW, YOU don't want to go in the Paddie wagon! That would mean a trip to Puntarenas Prison. Scary.

Isn't the little Keystone Cop car CUTE!!
One day I'll share my story of how "The Force" inside the "808" cop car (a police car just like in photo) probably saved my life. Some people criticize the police as all being corrupt but personally, I love the boys in blue. They are my heroes.

Thunder rolls outside and I've already had two mini-outages (I have battery back-up). I don't like the surges. I think "the rains" are coming. When it rains, it pours in my windows. Off to batton down the hatches.

Dr. Jose Manuel - The Jaco Vet

That's Jose Manuel Jimenez Mora on the left and his assistant for many years, Pablo, on the right. I've been taking my dogs to Jose Manuel since my first days living here. He's seen Brindy through all her accidental pregnancies and has even come out to my house to vaccinate a few different litters because they were just too much for me to take to him. He is special. I remember when he had his clinic in a barn on the main street of Jaco. He has now moved to a nicer facility and has expanded his services and products. He is an exceptional all-around vet, treating horses, cows, you name it.

The dog fight incident yesterday probably would have cost me a couple of hundred dollars in the States (Naple$, FL). Jose Manuel charged me $10. (c5,000 colones). Today, he didn't want to charge me for Macha getting more injections for infection/pain. I didn't want to offend him by demanding he take money so, Macha and I went to the bakery and brought back some real sweet treats for him and his assistants.
I am so grateful he is here.
Old location on the left,
new clinic on the right.

Tuesday, April 3

The Final Bloody Battle

I was told that the most dominant dog is established when they fight. I am hoping this is Macha's and Mela's last fight. Each time, it has been increasingly more violent and dramatic. Today, it was just over the top.
I could not separate them and I was shooting water up their nose with the garden hose, yelling bloody murder the whole time.
They were locked up, "going for the jugglers".
All this was over an iguana escaping up the tree.

After about five minutes, they finally conceded. I guess the one with the most stitches is the loser. That would be Macha, the "dirty" blonde one. I think the Vet sutured three or four deep wounds on her. Macha is covered on her face, neck, and front legs with bites. Mela had one stitch, some slashes under her neck, and more than a few bite marks. From what I witnessed, they both were a match for each other and neither would "say uncle".
Just horrible.

What is EVEN MORE disturbing is that NO ONE came to see what was happening. Here I am, screaming at the top of my lungs and NOT ONE SOUL asked if everything was o.k. It is not only heartbreaking to have two sister dogs fighting but the totally apathetic reaction of my neighbors (two different businesses on both sides, many men) well...., is inconceivable to me.


I'm proud to be a University of Florida Gator these days!
TWO National Championships!! Good goings and thanks to Beth from Ohio for bringing it to my attention! You Go Gators!!

One Dry Winter

Some of you that live here will recognize this as the gator pond near the stilt houses in Hermosa. Next to "the tree" where everyone surfs. This photo was taken at the beginning of March when the spoonbills were feeding in the pond. I bought a book on Costa Rica birds but gave it away to a guide so I really don't know what kind of birds these are but they were there and happily feeding.
Now, it's so dry the ground is cracking. Similar to my yard except I have brown grass. We had a quick rainstorm last night (out of the blue) so maybe the birds will be back. A few Ticos have told me that the little rains will come right after Semana Santa. I can't wait! I spend hours daily, dragging the hose around my yard watering and trying to keep my plants alive lately.

I haven't seen the residing gator for awhile. Wonder where he goes off to when it's so dry? He's really a crocodile. Not many gators here.
I found this photo from Dec. 2006 of "the croc" that usually lives at the pond. He just lies around with his mouth open, waiting for a bite to eat. He's been there a few years so I hope he will be back soon.

You can click onto photo to enlarge.

Sunday, April 1

Church on Sunday

This is the Catholic Church in Jaco. Most of the time, it is so crowded that people spill outside the door. Today, being Palm Sunday, they had a full house. As everyone was leaving, they each carried a palm frond wrapped around a candle. This week of Semana Santa is taken very seriously by most Costa Ricans. Most businesses are closed and no alcohol is sold after midnight on Wednesday. It is a time for family and a time for prayer. They often go door to door praying in front of each other's homes. I don't see it much here but in most towns, people set up a prayer spot outside of their home with a replica of Jesus on the cross and a candle burning. A most spiritual time. One in which the traditional Costa Ricans do not watch t.v., drive a car, drink alcohol, eat red meat or do practically anything except worship with family and friends. Of course, tradition has pretty much gone by the wayside with modern Tico families and they head for the beach.