Monday, December 29

Choosing Chores

As the year's end draws near, I am reminded of all the projects and chores that were started this year and left undone. Living in Costa Rica, the land of Pura Vida, I have managed to take my procrastination skills to a new level of expertise.

Resources (and $) are not as plentiful here so I rely on myself to get things done. No garderner, no housecleaner,,, I don't even take my car in to get detailed. It all gets done by me. Having a two-story house, four dogs, car, garden, and a big yard, I am overwhelmed at times, like now with all the Christmas stuff to be put away as well. I'm NOT complaining, I do feel blessed.

I remember growing up, us three girls NEVER told our mother we were bored. That was the word (BORED) that would spring our mom into reciting this arm's length list of chores she wanted us to do. She was raised on a farm so she knew chores, like milk the cow stuff. She believed in giving us our daily chores to complete before we could play after school. The "I am bored" chores were stuff like cleaning windows and screens, racking pine needles in the yard, sweeping the driveway, and 20 plus other things she would rattle off in one breath that needed doing. She amazed us.

Stuff like that never leaves you. I was resting from completing a hard project and a million other little projects kept spinging to mind. They were popping up like flashcards so I decided to write each one down on a slip of paper, fold them, and put it in a vase I painted. It eased my mind and let me let it go for now.

Turns out, this is a fun way to tackle projects. Most projects can be completed in 15 minutes or less,,,, amazing when I put off doing it for MONTHS. Somehow, by making it a game and randomly picking chores/projects, it's working! I did put some notes in the vase for fun stuff, too. That lead me to consider making a similar set-up but this one would be "Just For Me". All the things I never get around to doing, just for myself. The slips would include things like beachtime, massage, photo excursion, call home, that sort of stuff. Things I put off doing for getting my chores done first.

This next year it is all about making the time to do the things that bring peace, love, and harmony in my life. (goodbye clutter)

Note: When I pick a chore that can't be completed at one go, I do as much as possible and then mark the date on the slip and return it to the vase for another day. Really small task are written on small pieces of paper.
I think this "Pick a Project" would work great with children. They don't understand the difference between 'work' and 'project' and would probably think washing the car is fun. Sometimes, it is.

Thursday, December 25

Merry Christmas to All

Photo taken at Poseidon Restaurant where I ate grits today. Only restaurant I know in Costa Rica with grits.
Hoping you have a wonderful Christmastime.

Wednesday, December 24

In Search of Bokeh

I have been trying to capture the effect of Bokeh this Christmas. Bokeh is not a Bohemian name for Santa, it's an effect with light and lens in photography. I've had a very stress-free Christmas so far, making treats like Rompope and chocolate covered goodies for my friends. The recipe for Rompope (eggnog) is here: Melekalilimaka Here's hoping your Christmas is filled with magic. postscript....the Slideshow I originally posted is now defunked, so was the link above to Bokeh,,, jeeees! (date corrected and referenced - Dec.15, 2012)now it's not doing hard returns,,,,, go figure.

Saturday, December 20

Children's Christmas Parties

Two shows and two photo storage sites below (Flickr and Slide).
You can click onto orange link to view and download the photos at Flickr.
I put some photos on Slide for the blog so you can look and listen.
Music playing on Teri Tunes is the great Reba with "The Christmas Guest",

Herradura Elementary School

Municipality Garabito/Jaco
I would love to hear from my readers. If you don't know how to leave a comment, just click onto "comments from nice people", type your message and your name and click "anonymous". Blogger should accept it. Thanks and Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 13

Blue Moon AND tope

I've always wanted to take full moon shots but last night, I actually did it. It was fun trying to catch the moon lit inbetween the clouds passing, especially since I had the timer on (it snaps 20 seconds later so the clouds have moved). Anticipating the moment is the fun.

It never fails when I see a big full moon like last night...
that Toby Keith's song "Does that Blue Moon" goes off playing in my head. Great song.

There was another Tope in Esterillos Oeste today! It was wild, up on the mountain with the gorgeous beach down below. Lots of photos. Big turn out, too, considering it was not advertised and no directional signs were posted to find it. You just had to know where to go I guess. So it goes.
Pura Vida. Enjoy the picture show with music (Toby Keith).

Slideshow cuts off the vertical format shots so some of the feet are cut off.
Photos are a little fuzzy because they are downsized for faster upload to Slideshow.

Friday, December 12

New Traffic Laws in Costa Rica

I don't know about the rest of the country but around here, they have been busy marking parking for taxis, painting double lines in the middle of the roads, painting directional arrows and the like EVERYWHERE! I knew something was going on when I saw them pouring a long sidewalk by the school on the main highway. They are busy everywhere, putting in new huge drainage pipes - just where is the money coming from???? (China?)

A friend stopped by and was telling me all about the new fines if you are caught without a seatbelt ($350), run a red light ($450), pass a car on a double line (big bucks), get caught driving and drinking (BIG FINE and/or JAIL). I couldn't believe it. If you've lived here, you know traffic laws are barely enforced. In fact, I've been in a taxi when he passed a police on a double line. Nothing happened. I was doubly amazed that the fines were set so high because the average Costarrican makes this amount in a MONTH. We have to pay Marchamo (car tax) at the end of the year and for most, this is a struggle (lots of cars are up for sale this time of the year because they are unable to pay the tax). If the tickets are not paid, they cannot get their Marchamo sticker and the car is worthless on the road (BIGGER tickets if caught, scratch that, they TAKE YOUR CAR if you don't have that sticker on the front windshield at the beginning of the year. Yep, Transito (traffic police) sit at points with the tow truck and check EVERYONE).

I'm puzzled about the new fines that are going to be "imposed". For "whom" are they intended? I checked the resource blog for CR info "The Real Costa Rica" and it's all there. Check it out and BUCKLE UP! or pay up! The link to The Real Costa Rica is two years old (I forgot to check) but here is what the Tico Times recently published regarding the new laws:
Thanks Mike at for doing the research and catching the date on that 2 year old blog post I blogged.
NO MORE ZIGZAGGING to avoid potholes, it's considered "reckless driving"...

Teri Tunes - Willie's playing - "On the Road Again"

Sunday, December 7

2008 Jaco Tope

'Twas a long day and I didn't stay for them to mount up and ride for the "real" tope ("toe-pay"). The fun for me is watching all the horses arrive and their riders getting them suited up for the group horse ride parade. All of the participants pay to enter and are given a numbered card to wear on their back. The proceeds from the event usually go to help someone or something in the community. It's a very old tradition in Costa Rica. One year, I want to be one of those privileged riders.

Waylon's on the tunes here, TURN IT UP! (sorry, but the music cuts off when you go to the comments. That's just the way Blogger is step up but you can minimize this page and listen while you do other things)

Surf Sunday

I guess I've become a 'Gilbert Groupie'. He was great today at the finals in Jaco and what was more impressive..... after his run, he walked around with a plastic bag picking up trash off the beach, talking to people, all the while photographers snapping his photo. Gilbert is pretty amazing and I got some great shots of him today out there on his board.

Friday, December 5

Jaco Tope this Sunday

Usually, we find out about events after the fact so here's an FYI, we are having a Tope in Jaco this Sunday. It's the first one in quite sometime. I will be there snapping photos, of course. One day,,, I'll be on a horse in the Tope but not this Sunday.

If anyone has any info on a Tope in Playa Hermosa like two years ago, please let me know. For sure, I'd like to ride in that one!!

Click onto photo to enlarge for information. It should be a beautiful event!!

Monday, December 1

Heads Up to the Sky Tonight

Be sure to look to the skies tonight if you want to see something spectacular. Venus AND Jupiter will be very close to the crescent moon. Check out this description click here


Saturday, November 29

Where are yucca from?

That was the "question" for our Thanksgiving get together,,,
"Where are You from?". Here, everyone is from everywhere, a melting pot like Hawaii.

I was over at my friends, Jack and Beth's beachhouse yesterday and her worker pulled out of the ground some yucca and she gave me one. I went home and cleaned and skinned it, then boiled it till tender in water with salt. Mashed it up and added butter and milk like I was making mashed potatoes. I thought I had never had yucca before but come to find out, I've had it many times in restaurants. I just thought it was weird potatoes. Beth boiled and then fried her yucca and said it tasted like french fries. Yucca may grow where you live. Check out this link:

I've been here long enough that I should know all the veggies by now but I'm still on that learning curve, discovering new things all the time.
It's a wonderful life!!

Wednesday, November 26

Thanks Oprah!!

Today's show was all about the Holidays and Cristina Ferrare was cooking with Oprah her great recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner. If you click on this link, it will take you to where Cristina's recipes are listed with the links to preparing them. She makes it easy cooking. I am changing my traditional stuffing and adding carrots this year. I never actually 'stuff' the turkey with the stuffing.

Also, Oprah has for a gift on her site Holiday Hits 2008, a free music download, for the next 48 hours of Christmas songs.

Thanks Oprah.

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

Sometimes I feel like I live in a country that is 50 years behind the times. Especially when I get a newsletter from a friend back home and she is featuring her new V-Bot that is a little robot which vacuums. That is The Jetsons type stuff and a little gadget I could really use with four dogs. She bought it at Amazon for $70! I did bring my Rainbow vacuum cleaner with me and even though it needs me to push it around, I feel very grateful to have it here with me. If you've never owned a Rainbow, you don't know what I am talking about. I love my Rainbow (link-

I remember coming back from a visit to Costa Rica back in the year 2000 and looking in my over-packed garage (no room for a car with all the stuff) and thinking, how on earth could I be grateful for what I have since I haven't a clue what all I have stuffed in my house. I used to shop out of boredom. Just pull out the credit cards and go to town. Buying on a whim. Returning clothes that I would buy off the rack, try them on at home, didn't fit, take them back, buy more, try on, wouldn't fit, take them back, buy more. It was a vicious cycle. The shopping, the rotating credit card balances, the whole consumption thing. No More! I don't have one credit card balance and probably have lost all my "credit" by now. (good)

Eight years later, I can hardly recognize my shopping habits. I shop for clothes at the grocery store or anywhere I can get them (most clothes here are skin tight and made of Lycra). A couple of ladies (Angela and Sandy) made a few tops for me out of men's Hawaiian print shirts I picked up at the Ropas Americana in Parrita. For those of you that don't know, these are clothes that come in HUGE bags from the Goodwill in the States. $1.50 for a BEAUTIFUL shirt made in Hawaii (I bought them all). I have great plans to cut them up for beach bags, more tops, little skirts or whatever. I'm a crafter.

Back to the point of the post, I have never been so grateful for the things I have in my life. Here, it is all about survival. Those that don't know how to get by on "not much to nothing" don't last here. I have everything I have ever wanted. Well, all the important stuff (sin mate). I absolutely love my house and it's close proximity to the beach. I never thought I would ever live so near the beach. It's rough on appliances, electronics and computers with corrosion killing everything but It's Worth IT! The beach is my lifeline.

Costa Rica has a rich bounty of nature, fruits and vegetables. I have never eaten so wisely in my life. I actually cook great meals for myself, very healthy. I'm stockpiling recipes right now for local dishes and trying to identify the items I see at the market for sale. Like, I just learned how to prepare Chayote.

I could go on for pages about how much my life has improved living here where things are not as accessible and learning how to get by and improvise. I am so grateful I had the courage to move here when I did.
It has been the life for me.

Here's a recipe for those that want to make turkey dressing:
Southern Cornbread Stuffing:
Serves/Makes: 8 | Ready In: 30-60 minutes

1 baked pan (8 or 9 inch) of cornbread, cooled and broken into chunks
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 green onions-white and green, chopped
2 red or green peppers, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped - chop some celery leaves
3 tablespoons butter
6 pieces toasted white bread, tear into pieces and/or seasoned croutons
1 teaspoon dried or fresh sage
4 boiled eggs, chopped
16 ounces of either canned chicken broth or homemade, to moisten OR
broth from boiling turkey parts and turkey drippings OR
chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in water, poultry seasoning to season
chopped turkey parts (or chicken)
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the onions, peppers and celery in the broth until tender.
In a large bowl, crumble the cornbread and toast/croutons,
add the onion mixture and sage/poultry seasoning broth, a
little at a time, mixing until moist but not soupy.
Add the eggs and mix well. Turn into a baking dish and smooth top with a
spoon. Top with Paprika or pimentos for color.
Bake at 350 F until golden brown (about 20 minutes).

This can be made the night before and kept in the refrigerator
until ready to bake.
Wanna make it Costarrican? Just add cilantro (culantro)
and cooked chayote squares. And maybe that "Achiote" red stuff that comes in a tub or ground (molida) in a bag. Instant Pura Vida.

The REAL TRICK here is the cornbread. I finally figured out how to make it here
using "their" cornmeal. Let me know if you want the recipe for that!
I was so tickled my sister called me for Mom's dressing recipe. It reminded me of when I lived in Hawaii (1980-82) and I called home for Momma to explain how to make Hush Puppies.
You can take the Southerner out of the South,
but you can never take the South out of a Southerner.
Actually, I'm more south here being 9 degrees from the Equator.

Photo: My frig - Thanksgiving in Costa Rica 2007

Wednesday, November 12

42nd CMA Awards

I just love this night of country music t.v. from TENNESSEE.
In fact, this year I get to record it on DVD. Yippee!!

Entertainer of the Year: KENNY CHESNEY
Guess country folks like that island sound!

Reba joined in with Brooks and Dunn singing "Cowgirls Don't Cry".
(I put the version available on Playlist, without Reba, on the "Teri Tunes" song list -
temporarily--- so 'turn it up')
What a tear jerker that one is! Reba always comes through.
I saw her perform in Ft. Myers and it was one of the best concerts I've been to.
She changed outfits nearly every song in about 10 seconds flat. That was back when Reba had the back-up singer that was almost as good as her. They sang a duet that was totally awesome. (the song - Does she love you,,,)

I missed a few people at the awards, like Dolly. Like a lot of them. Country is changing. It sounded at little bit rock and a little bit raggae at times.
It's still country when it's sang with a twang from the heart.
I'm so tickled I have some country music now to watch, again.
WE DON'T HAVE COUNTRY MUSIC HERE. I do really miss that part.

Little House on the Prairie

This horse used to come visit me all the time before I put up my fence. At night, I'd look out and there he'd be, looking in my windows or standing at the front or back door. I do believe, he would have come right on inside had I let him. I don't think he knew he was a horse. He acted more like a dog. I've watched him look both ways, twice, before crossing the main highway. He liked my grass and would come visit me regularly. I'd also give him carrots and apples for treats. I called him Ed. That was before all the dogs I have now.
Ed was like a pet.
He's gone now, someone stole him.
This is my first attempt at watermarking my photos. I can't figure out how to do a batch operation on many photos but 'poco por poco', I'll get it figured out.

Tuesday, November 11

Surfer Evan

Now, I have to get to 'work' on my photos editing them. Enough play with Slide.
This format almost gives you the feeling of action.

Surf Sequence unedited

Still playing with it.

Monday, November 10

Slide test - something new

This is just a test.
Not sure if I like this format for displaying photos. What do you think?
Hit "View All Images" to go to the site. It might work well for sequence surf shots.

Friday, November 7

Loving Your Work

I've always admired people that earn a living doing what they love. I want to be one of those people. It may be hard to imagine for some but surfing is hard work. To be a surf pro takes drive and determination, not to mention tenacity and pure grit! Although I have better surf photos of Gilbert Brown, this is one of my favorite. Why, because he looks like he loves his work, even the falls.

I met Gilbert yesterday, shook his hand. He had on really dark sunglasses and he looked like a rock star. He was really nice. I was starstruck and tongue-tied. I didn't tell him his photo hangs on my fridge to remind me of what it takes to succeed. It was my pleasure to finally meet him.

I am working on a project so if I post, it will probably be surfing photos for awhile.

Side note:

Sunday, November 2

SURF Sunday

Surf champ Gilbert Brown ROCKS!!
It's always exciting taking photographs when he shows up.

Sunset Sunday

Those of you that know me, know I had this on my "calling card" for YEARS. Well, not exactly this photo, but one from that series. I was a little upset when I saw my photo posted on a local real estate site without my permission. Your "good" photos are funny little creatures, they are like your pets. If you let them go, you want to know where they end up and you still want some control over the matter.
I enjoy sharing my photos with all of you. It makes them come to life when I post them on my blog. Especially when people comment on them and I get feedback.
I know, it's just a picture but when you take photography seriously, it's becomes more than just pics and you become protective of "your babies".

This photo was not "Photoshopped" except to insert my name.

Photo taken March 2003 with a crap camera (I consider it "crap", since then I've bought a Canon SLR camera, digital, of course).

Saturday, November 1

"Nothing Runs Like A Chevy"

This truck was in front of the Jaco post office for a long, long while.
I've always wanted to do something with this image like make it sepia toned.
Now I can with Photoshop! AND make it look like it was shot in B & W with a red filter on and "sepiad". HOW COOL is THAT!
Ahhh. I remember the 'darkroom days' back in the 70's when I would be in another world processing black and white film and printing for hours. Technology, it has really gotten away from me living here.
Photo taken Feb 2006.

Friday, October 31

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween to those that celebrate.
I celebrate the days following Halloween, All Saint's Day, and hope to get some photos of all the beautiful flowers put at the cemeteries on Nov. 2nd.
All Soul's Day is the second of November.

While rereading my post on Halloween two years ago, I noted Google passed the $350 marker in the stock market.
Well,,, "we're (GOOG) back there again".
The STOCK MARKET is surely Trick or Treat these days! Hanging in there...

Wednesday, October 29

Sleeping with a Spider

I recently acquired a macro lens and got this photo of a VERY tiny spider camping out on one of my plants. I think I may have a spider sleeping with me because I wake up every morning with a new bite. I've battled ticks and ants but never spiders,,, yet. Seems they are coming out of the woodwork (that's just an expression, my house is concrete except for the ceiling). I do think it is the season now for the spiders because I have been seeing more and more of them lately. I sure hope it's not the "the kissing bug" (see Chagas pastpost) that has been biting me! Guess I'll never know. I do know my sheets have never been washed so many times in one week! AND I don't hang them on the line outside to dry ever since I read post about the botfly.
And I thought Florida had lots of bugs!

Friday, October 17

Sharp Dressed Car

I just love this car that comes to Jaco!

Rain all over Costa Rica

We all know it rains here during this time of year. Yesterday, it came down hard and fast and the news all over Costa Rica was about flooding. In Jaco, our main grocery downtown closed due to flooding. You would think someone would have a water extraction business here by now but no, the girls were whisking water out of the store with a dust pan. Many people's homes were flooded. That is sad.

Thursday, October 16

RAIN, rain and more Rain

"By the grace of God, I go." I say this too myself alot but ESPECIALLY TODAY. I was borderline late for my monthly women's group meeting and the rain has not let up. I warn people all the time about the mountain road/rain and wash outs but today, I saw it first hand. In fact, it happened right in front of me and it made me thank God, I wasn't passing just seconds earlier.

This shot is my view from the driver's seat when I came up on it.

"Luckily", there was a bus full of workers and they all pitched in and cleared the way so everyone could pass. Gracias a Dios.