Monday, July 30

The New Tyson

This settles it. From now on, Macha will be known as "Mike Tyson". My sister dogs had ANOTHER really, really bad fight yesterday and Macha about bit off Mela's ear. It was a horrible scene and I'll spare you the photos of the bloody mess. Fact is, I didn't even think to take photos this time.

It happened about 1:00 in the afternoon on Sunday while I was peacefully making peanut butter cookies for the guys next door. One of the guys next door brought his Beagle dog to work and they were making dog howling sounds and cat cries (the guys were doing this) to get the Beagle to howl. THIS makes my dogs crazy! Not long after, my dogs turned on each other when they couldn't get to the dog (or the howling guys). Grown men acting like idiots! I'm beginning to think they LIKE to see a dog fight!

My grand plan for "the next fight" was to turn the fire extinguisher on them but after I tested it the other day, all the pressure leaked out so that was out. In the scramble to separate them, I got a bite this time, on my right hand. I can't imagine how these dogs keep going at it. Dog bites are very PAINFUL!

My regular vet was no where to be found so I called Katjia who heads up the Jaco McKee Project. They have just completed their new clinic for the Jaco Area Animal Rescue and Vet services. I am so glad I did because this was so severe, I don't think my regular vet would have handled it in the same way.

Both dogs had to be anesthetized so he could suture their wounds. The ears and eyes were the most delicate. He also hooked them to an I.V. for electrolytes. The whole process of patching them back together took about four hours.

I thank God we have the McKee Project and a 24 hour vet in Jaco. Dr. Victor is absolutely fantastic. The facility is like a REAL hospital with all the bells and whistles. Very sanitary and VERY professional. I have supported the McKee project in the past but nothing like I plan to do in the future.
They are Life Savers.
Thank you so much and I plan to do a special post just for them real soon.
They are having a fund drive tomorrow night and I WILL BE THERE (with camera).
Please visit their website: The Jaco McKee Project

LEERBURG is the best site I have found on dog fighting problems and it has great info on dog training.

Friday, July 27

Costa Rica and Cooking

One consistent thing about living is eating. It was also the hardest thing to adjust to when I moved here from Florida. Truly, I had at least 10 drive-thru fast-food places within spitting distance from my house there. I worked then and worked hard. The drive-thru was a perfect quick fix that I really took for granted, looking back now. Here, I've learned to cook again. Not exactly Costa Rican cuisine but my adapted version from things I recognize at the local market. You'd know what I mean if you've ever shopped here. Yes, our major local grocery recently renovated and is now a part of Big Daddy Walmart, but BEFORE, it was totally alien to me. AND it was NOT air-conditioned and it had low low lighting. You had to check your purse/bags in at the entrance door. Really. They gave you a claim ticket to retrieve your stuff on the way out. Totally different world. There are still no drive-thrus where I live now and I've adapted.

Of course, everything at the store is in Spanish but they do have pictures and now they are starting to sell more and more products that I recognize. There is a premium for it being imported (and available).

You would think the produce would be easy, right? A carrot is a carrot wherever but they have exotic fruits and vegetables here. Have you ever seen a guanabana? It's a fruit and looks like a spiny watermelon. The inside is white. So much of the produce is "foreign to me", I usually go for the sure thing. Especially when I see pretty tangerines. You'd be surprised to know how much is imported.

The meat department was a whole other issue. They lay out the meat on trays. Normal to me is everything individually wrapped with a sticker saying the weight and price. Here, you tell the guy what you want, he scoops it out and puts it in a plastic bag. Sounds simple but if you don't speak Spanish or know what a kilo is, it can be challenging. The choice of meat is pretty slim as well. The beef has hardly no fat. You add bacon grease if you want a burger to taste like a real burger. The texture is different too. Cows are raised on grass, not grain fed and the texture/taste is different. I've gotten used to it and I'm still learning how to ask for it and prepare it.

I am probably eating healthier than I ever have in my life living here. I ate in restaurants all the time when I was a newbie but now I've learned to enjoy making my own meals. We have open-air kitchens at the restaurants and I finally realized what really does go on in the back. I trust my kitchen plus I get what I want (within availability) and I make things you can't buy at the restaurant. Like chicken 'n dumplings.

Kentucky Fried Chicken was my favorite back home. I used to buy the family meal just to get the big chocolate cake. Me and the dogs would eat chicken for days. Love those biscuits and gravy (cake, too).

I was so thrilled to see KFC come to Jaco, I photographed all the stages of it's construction (no drive-thru). It was slow to open and I checked nearly everyday to see when. Every time, they would say "manana" (favorite word). It's finally open. My comfort food and yes, they have REAL KFC mash potatoes with gravy and biscuits.
Big chocolate cake, too
. Thank you God for cookie-cutter chain food restaurants.

This post about cooking in Costa Rica was to share one of my favorite tropical recipes:
Take a chicken, whatever parts you like. Clean, remove the skin and lightly salt. Sprinkle with flour, lightly. Brown in olive oil on high heat and then cook slowly until done.
You can substitute ribs, pork chops, hamburger or fish for chicken.
TROPICAL SAUCE: In a bowl, mix equal parts Russian dressing and pineapple (or apricot) preserves. Add finely chopped onions (Lipton's onion soup mix if you can get it) and mix well. Add enough water to make a thick liquid consistency.
Remove meat from pan (drain any grease). Heat sauce mixture in same pan over medium heat, stirring often. Add meat to sauce or pour over the meat. Fast and easy.
Dress it up with pineapple slices and cherries or red bellpeppers (for color).
It's Um-mm Good with buttered rice and broccoli.

Wednesday, July 25

One Creative Blog

Simply titled.....Rejection

Recently, I came across a featured blog on Blogger that is truly creative.
It is called Bent Objects . You can click on the name and it will take you to this site. Terry's work is worth noting and I have listed him on my Website Sharing (left side column). I know you will enjoy his work!
This one is titled "Little Polish Girl".

Monday, July 23

Fishing in Costa Rica

Where I come from, guys fish with a rod and reel off a boat. It's always "bigger is better" and so much money is spent on bigger better fishing gear. They do that here too but the Real Tico fisherman doesn't have all that equipment and fishes "Cuban Style". They use a spool and fishing line. They use their bare hands and the spool to reel in the fish, usually right off the rocks or standing in the water. It's pretty amazing to watch them bring in the big fish with practically nothing but skill and might.

No, this isn't "sportfishing", it's food for their family.

This is Eric. He used to come by my house with his big catch so I could take photos. This day he caught a huge Snook and he KNOWS I love Snook (after Snapper). He cleaned it up right in my backyard and wanted me to have it. I know Eric and I know he must need money, otherwise he would have taken his catch on into town to show it off.
He caught it down around Esterillos near the river (secret spot). I can guarantee you that it wasn't caught using no Shimano either. Just a simple rig, I'm sure. I insisted he take some money for my filets and he still had plenty to take home (or sell). I was happy, he was happy and I got a great photo to show off to my big-time snook fishing brother-in-law WITH ALL the bigger better Shimanos, etc.
Check out his t-shirt. Now that's COOL.

Sunday, July 22

Sunset Sunday

This one's from my archives. It's a real toad-strangler here for today's sunset.
("toad strangler" is a southern expression for a real hard, pour down rain)

Friday, July 20

The Prince Returns

I could hardly believe my eyes this morning when I saw the dog's water dish all murky looking. I know what that means.... the big frog is back. I went on a search and sure enough, he was in his usual day spot, under the lawnmower. How on earth did he find his way back?! I know you are thinking it's a different frog but it's the SAME ONE. He has lived here for years and no matter how many times I have taken him to the river, he returns. Last time, I took him way down the river to a nice little spot that looked like a frog paradise to me. Obviously, his paradise is sleeping on my secured patio, eating leftover dog food every night, and sleeping in his own little private frog pond.
Live and let live. Honestly, I was happy to see he found his way back home.

Wednesday, July 18

Blue Crabs

One LIVE mad crab!

Photo taken of a crab underwater in my friend's pool.

Monday, July 16

Cameo Camera

Yep, this is me all bundled up taking photos of the surf contest we had this weekend.
It was raining the morning I went out and I've been sick so I dressed warm.
Photo taken off of a friend's website (
I probably had the most clothes on of anyone there!

Trade talk. I won't be doing that much more. I was told you don't talk about your trades or you will jinx them. Not being superstitious, I did it anyway. WELL, Garmin Technologies hit ANOTHER 52 week high today ($85.05) and I'm left holding the short end of the stick. The only thing I have going for me is time and my friend, , dancing it down for me. Wish me LUCK!
There's no skill involved in this trade (except for Sally's dancing).

Sunday, July 15

Church on Sunday

Church on Esterillos Beach

Saturday, July 14

Surf - Rain or Shine

Surfers are a special breed. They truly live to surf. It's the adrenaline addiction. They will buy board wax before they buy food. It's THAT important.

Today is the Roxy Surf competition at my beach and the turnout is pretty good considering it is raining.
A slow, steady drizzle with a heavy down pour every now and then.

I saw them setting things up yesterday and this morning at 7 am, I could hear the announcements and music coming from this roving boom box.

There were some decent waves but I don't have a telephoto lens so this is what I got. You can click on photo to enlarge. The first photo was cropped with my computer. I really want a telephoto!

Watching the finesse of these surfers ride the wave to the end is Awesome!
I guess you have to live it to love it. Pura Vida.

Friday, July 13

Friday the 13th - "Midnight"

Have you ever heard of friggatriskaidekaphobia?
Say THAT three times. Sounds scary!
Friday the 13th is just another day in paradise living here.

This has been a rip-roaring week in the stock market (new all time Dow, Nasdaq, S & P highs) and I've watched Garmin hit new 52 week highs nearly every(damn)day. Truly, Garmin has whipped me this time since I traded against it. There's still time before my Oct/70 put options expire. GRMN has ramped up over 10 points since I bought my puts a couple of weeks ago. :(
School starts back next Monday and I'm almost over the flu. Not much of a vacation for me but at least I can take it easy and I have gotten plenty of rest.

So today, get out, have fun and forget about silly superstitions. Reality is what you make of it.

The photo is of "Midnight", one of my sister's cats. He is now living his 10th life in cat heaven.

Thursday, July 12

Cattle Crossing

Photo taken on the main road to Manuel Antonio National Park near Hermosa Beach.

Street Sweepers

These photos were not taken in Jaco. I think one was taken in Puntarenas and the other in Alejuela.

Wednesday, July 11

Street of Jaco

A boy and his dog taking the tour horses to the south end of Jaco. The locals run horse tours on the beach.
It is not legal to have horses or cars on the beach but the law is not enforced. Check out how BEAUTIFUL the main road is. No more potholes since they repaved it properly last year.

Tuesday, July 10

Mel Gibson in Costa Rica

Mel Gibson met with Costa Rica's President Arias yesterday to discuss relief efforts for the native Indians. Read about it here.
The Bribri Tribe is one of three indigenous Indians (Bribri, Cabecar, & Boruca).
If you'd like to learn more about the Bribri people and how you can help,
please visit this site:
El Puente, The Bridge
If you'd like to see some photos, check out Colin's blog photos.

Monday, July 9

Jaco Snapshot

Every now and then, I like to throw in a photo (or two) of the "Street of Jaco". It still amazes me what can be seen just driving through town. I've lived here for a few years. Most of it just seems normal now. This scene of the loose horses, potholes, car doubled parked "backwards", it's all just typical Jaco. It looks like it rained before the white paint dried on the billboard wall in the background of photo.

Nothing else like it in Costa Rica.

Sunday, July 8

Church on Sunday - Esterillos

Photos taken on Sunday's drive with dogs to Esterillos. All THREE Esterillos.

The "green grass" is rice. It grows beside the highway during the "green months". "Living fences" (trees straped with barbwire) on the right side mark the bounderies.

Most properties are marked with this type of fence. You can judge how old a fence is by how big the trunks are. The tree trunks in this photo were trimmed recently and the bushy green top is the new growth. This fence has been here for years.

This is a common site - construction. The workers live in the tin shanties.

Just a photo of an old corral. I liked the lighting and lushness.

I wish I knew what these typical Tico fishing boats were called.

It's all GOOD

There are many words for "good" in Spanish.
The trick is knowing when and where and which one to use.
"Who, what, when, where and why" is another tongue twister I
challenge Spanish speakers when they tease me about my Southern Spanish.
("This, that, and the other" is another tongue twister for them)

Saturday, July 7

WILD SEX in the City

Don't let the title fool ya.
I'm just playing around, a shameless attempt to boost my blog hits.


ONCE UPON A TIME, there lived a girl in Naple$. She had two dogs, a parrot, koi fish, and a pet box turtle. They all lived in harmony. One day when she returned, she noticed she had TWO turtles. They looked identical but the features of the new turtle were more "pointy". The new turtle was aggressive and quickly mounted on top of her pet turtle. He hooked his toes under her shell and there was no escaping his grip. In typical turtle style, he jabbed her a few times, yawned, and fell over sideways, landing off the deck. She, being connected, followed his roll-over.

The two love turtles trolloped around in the garden and then, one day, they were gone. They had escaped together to live in the nearby lake.

The girl was walking her dogs and she saw her pet turtle. All alone, squished on the road. Just a few yards away from the lake. Her pet turtle had almost made it to paradise.

The stud turtle returned and the girl ran him off.

Click here.......This is the end.

Friday, July 6

End Week Wrap-Up

WHO KNEW, when I bought Puts on Garmin about two weeks ago, GRMN would have a 52 week high nearly EVERYDAY!
"If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all". Garmin KEEPS making tops even when it has been downgraded.
"Patience, my dear, patience."
It's still painful to watch. Never short a stock you love. The pain is even greater.

Schools out for vacation! They let out last week for two weeks. We don't have "summer vacation" in the "summer". In fact, I think it's considered winter right now. School is out around Christmas time for their "summer vacation". Although I haven't been volunteering at the school for long, I was ready for a vacation. Time to regroup and make a plan for action! I didn't realize how hard teaching English could be. The hardest part is not understanding Spanish very well.
No one speaks/understands English at the school right now.

Say farewell to "Froggy". Tom confirmed that he IS poisonous so today, I take him far enough away that he can't find his way back home. He's lived here for years but he's just a frog and it's time he hopped along.

I got a real shocker this week. My girlfriend (for 16 years) and her husband are buying property here in Dominical. I am ecstatic. Anyone know of any sites with a checklist of "what to know BEFORE you buy"?
We Love Costa Rica is a good site. "How to Buy Real Estate Without Losing Your Shirt" was written by the site's owner, Scott Oliver.

I've been sick with "gripe" (gree-pay, aka-the flu) and I'm finally going to the doctor today, she comes once a week to Jaco. The fighting dogs (Mela and Macha) go back to the vet for injuries from their last fight last Saturday. Second trip this week. I have a trick for them next fight. I have my fire extinguisher ready to put out the fire in their fight! I'm pure sick of it and don't want to give up either dog. "Peace, Love and Harmony", my motto.

So, that's it in Pura Vida land. Buen Vida to all.

The cost of "gripe" turning into respiratory infection:
$40 - Doctor visit
$48 - Elequine 750 mg (5 tablets)
$22 - Singulair 10mg (10 tablets)
$6 - Perebron cough medicine

Not coughing my head off - Priceless.

Thursday, July 5

My Blog Bar Chart

Isn't this something? It's the visits to my blog this past month. It doesn't mean much to me. I guess if I were a real blogger, it would mean more. I like checking it to see if it correlates to whether I write (or not) or if it's totally random, just hits. This meter also documents where, when and duration of visit. Now that's totally cool. I know EXACTLY when my sister checks my blog. I'm waiting....

This post is for YOU! There you are, somewhere on that chart. Thanks for checking back when I don't post anything for days, weeks. I'm still working on what is "blog worthy" and I go through spells of "blogger's block". I had intended for my blog to be more adventurous. I seem to stay too busy to play tourist. Same as in Florida.
Stay with me, I'll take you somewhere. I promise.

Right now, the NY Stock Market is back trading after being closed a day and a half for the 4th of July holiday. The narcissist (me) has other charts to check.

Wednesday, July 4

The Star-Spangled Banner - USA National Anthem

Days like today, I miss "home".
I miss seeing all the flags flying free.
I miss the barbeque and family/friends get-together.
I miss the fireworks and the excitement.
Days like today, listening to the Star Spangled Banner
brings tears to my eyes.
I am true blue American, even though I live in Costa Rica.
I will NEVER consider myself an "Expat" no matter what they call me.
I am from the "Land of the FREE" and the "Home of the BRAVE"!
God bless America. All the Americas. Amen.


"I'm free to do what I want any old time"
Those special lyrics from the Rolling Stones' song have been looping around in my head for a few weeks now. Not enough can be said about FREEDOM. I love the fact that my life is what I make it and I am free to make the choices to make it MY LIFE. I have realized my dream of living in a foreign country and recently became a "resident" of my beloved Costa Rica. That really just means that I am FREE to stay here as long as I like without having to leave. My plan has been to live the rest of my life here, for better or worse.

For all of you celebrating the Fourth of July wherever you may be....
please remember those willing to die to ensure our FREEDOM is safe.