Friday, December 31

2010 El Zarpe

Friday Sunset, December 31, 2010

'El Zarpe' means the last one and this is the last sunset of the year. Hope you are reflecting on a great year in 2010 and looking forward to an even better year in 2011.

Sunday, December 26

Santa Gringos in Jaco

I saw this video and wanted to share it here with you. What a great thing these guys went out and did on their own AND made a video!! I publish it here to inspire me and others .......what just a couple of guys can do to make a difference!!

Saturday, December 18

Take it to Heart

"Sunrise Sunday" 2008 post link

I have to stop and wonder, why does some news hit me so hard? I came to the conclusion that although it is terrible about the bicycle accident that happened recently in Jaco, it is not uncommon. Many people are killed in this country on bicycles, motocycles, and just walking down the road. For so many people, they have only bicycles for transportation and given the road conditions in some areas AND the way some people drive, it's surprising not more are killed.

I figured out the reason his death struck me so hard were issues I had not faced when my father was killed in a car accident. My dad's car was t-boned after a driver motioned for him to cross over a busy highway. He died in the hospital due to blood loss and a severed aorta. I won't go into all the details but it was tragic and a huge shock. I was his only daughter/kid. Twenty years later, I realize I never really accepted his death or was at peace with it. He was my hero.

This time last year, a friend of mine's son was killed while riding his bicycle in front of his house. He was only eight years old. I grieved for weeks for his mother and his family. I realized later, it was my sister losing her eight year old boy in a 4-wheel accident nearly 20 years ago which was the real source of most of my grieving. Unhealed heart.

Life is mysterious.
Things we choose to deny at the time,
have a way of repeating somewhere down the road.

It is a magical time of the day, early morning.

"The Wave - Digital to Canvas" post link

Monday, December 13

His name is Matt

Sometimes, there is something so tragic that happens,,, it takes your breath away and the weight on your chest is so heavy from your heart that you have to think to take a breath. That is how I have felt since I opened up an email on Sunday morning and read Tom's letter to me about his friend being struck by a car while he was riding a bicycle in Jaco. It was their last day here and they were returning their rental bikes. Both were here vacationing and were to return to Connecticut the next day when this happened. Matt would have been back to work today at the firehouse.

Lt. Martin "Matt" Dirrane was a firefighter for 16 years at the West End Station on Sisson Ave in Hartford. I had breakfast with him and his friend Tom eariler that morning. I cannot believe something so tragic happened and I mourn for his mother, his family, his friends, and his fellow firefighters.,0,576205.story?track=rss-topicgallery

December 20th, 2010:

Martin K. "Matt" DIRRANE

DIRRANE, Martin K. "Matt" Martin K. "Matt" Dirrane, 50, of Waterford, passed away tragically as a result of an accident in Costa Rica, Saturday (December 11, 2010). Matt was born in Hartford, and was raised in East Hartford. He graduated from George J. Penny High School and attended Daniel Webster College of Aviation prior to going on to Indiana State University. Matt was an Ironworker for Local 15, Hartford, for 13 years before becoming a Hartford Firefighter. He was proud to have served on the busiest Tactical Rescue Unit in the United States. He was promoted to Lieutenant and served at Ladder Company 5. Matt was a proud member of the following organizations, the Hartford Firefighters Emerald Society, the International Association of Firefighters, the Patrol and Firemans Association, the Police and Fireman's Association, the Fireman's Benevolent Society, the Firefighters Local 760, and the Firefighters Protective Association. He was also a past member of the Irish American Home Society, Glastonbury. Matt leaves behind his adoring family, to include his mother, Theresa (Faherty) Derrane, a sister, Pauline (Derrane) Wyatt and her husband Tom; his cherished nieces and nephews, Summer, Mary Grace, Megan, and Joseph Wyatt. In addition, Matt is also survived by a son, Kevin, in California, a large extended Irish family, and many close, dear friends. He was predeceased by his father, Joseph Derrane, and his two brothers, Joseph and Robert Derrane. Matt was known for his adventurous spirit, love for life, had a great passion for fitness and sports, along with a tremendous sense of humor and being a skillful practical joker. No one, from the very young to the very old, was safe; he played jokes on us all. Matt had a gift of making everyone feel great. At the very least, you smiled around Matt, but typically you left laughing. Matt was larger than life, and was loved by all who knew him. He was a strong hard worker, who was proud of his Irish heritage. Above all, Matt was a guardian, extremely loyal and loving to his friends and family. He was our rock, who will be missed forever. Now, he is our guardian angel. A Mass of Christian Burial, celebrating Matt's life, will be held, Tuesday (December 21, 2010) at 10 a.m. in the Church of the Incarnation, 544 Prospect Street, Wethersfield, with Rev. Fr. Michael Galasso officiating. Friends are asked to go directly to the church. Interment will be Wednesday (December 22, 2010) 11 a.m. at Jordan Cemetery, 240 Boston Post Road, Waterford. All are welcome to attend. Friends and relatives may call on the family at the Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, 34 Beaver Road, Wethersfield, Monday, December 20, 2010, from 3-7 p.m. Memorial donations in Matt's name, may be made to the Hartford Firefighters 20 Club, 778 Maple Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114. The Derrane family wishes to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation, for the overwhelming love and support we have received and given to Matt from so many of you. We would also like to extend a special thank you to the Hartford Fire Department, the Hartford Police Department, Dan Nolan, Neville Brooks, and Greg Kelley. To extend online condolences or for further information, please visit

Published in The Hartford Courant

Monday, November 8

The Old Bridge in Parrita to Quepos

My friend, Marco, my "Ticopedia", works down in Parrita and provided me with these photos from his cell phone. The old bridge is now under the new bridge and the water lines running under the old bridge are broken. Parrita is a low area and they suffered severely from the rains. People say it's the worst in 60 years. Marco is o.k. but his place there was flooded with six feet of water. Some lost all.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

That's some lyrics from an old song by the Temptations. I sure miss not having my playlist on here. Yes, the sun finally came out yesterday and everyone flocked to the beach (those that could). Even in the darkest times, the light shines through. The clean-up efforts and collections for those who lost their homes are still in progress.
Here are some photos from my beach yesterday.

Sunday, November 7

Tribute to Andy Irons

Paddle out in Puerto Rico

Kelly Slater dedicates his historic 10th world title to his friend and rival Andy Irons.
A final goodbye at the final event in Hawaii at Pipeline in December.

Here's what they said on the news in an interview with Andy's close friend.

Saturday, November 6

Me and Marley

You may think I am talking about the book/movie but no, it's Bob.
Bob Marley.
His music soothes me, cures me, and helps me to remember it's a better day, every day. Something most don't know about me is... I always make brownies to Bob Marley music. AL-ways. Today I was making a batch and just as I was about to stir in the chocolate and walnuts, "Stir It Up" came on. Don't cha just love when that happens. I made "Stir It Up" my official Brownie Anthem today.

Listening to Bob, I remembered how I've learned Costa Rican people (Ticos) are very resilient. Rarely do they tell you their problems and if by chance they do confide in you something bad, it's followed with "Pura Vida". Amazing people. So much hardship is endured here on a daily basis. That's what struck me hardest when I moved here. During the rainy season, it is especially hard and unpredicable. Regardless, you will see the Ticos smile. They know Pura Vida.

Friday, November 5

Rain without Mercy

Jaco Beach today

Playa Hermosa today
It's been days since I've been out so I loaded up the pups and we went for a ride to check things out. I didn't get off the beaten track because I know there are lots of mudslides and wash-outs everywhere! The rivers are widening and taking everything with it.
Jaco town looked pretty good. All the recent road blocks for drainage construction work on Pop's road paid off. I'm sure some of the shops downtown have been flooded due to this rain but it looked good in town compared to years in the past.
I came home and watched the news and saw just how fortunate we are (unless you live by a river) in Jaco and Hermosa. I took photos of the images I saw on the news. I could not believe my eyes and the tears started to swell.
So much suffering.
Some of you can't watch the news here and so I am posting these pictures for you so you know what is going on.
I've posted the pictures on Flickr.
Click HERE to go directly to the set "Rain without Mercy".
After seeing this, the rain sounds like Angels crying.

"God Bless Americas"

(Jaco photo from 2008 rainy season)

That is how I am singing that song today, God bless Costa Rica, Central America!
We have had so much rain, it has caused deaths and hardship for many people living here. Yesterday, I received this notice from the Chamber of Commerce in Jaco:

Dear members and friends,
Due the rains that have been affecting Garabito the last days and specially last night, Daystar Properties, Red Cross, Jaco Canopy Tour, Municipal Police, Fuerza Pública, Fire Department, Ministry of Health, Chamber of Commerce and Catholic Chuch have joined forces and created a temporary station at the Daystar Properties offices. In order to help the people affected by the rains they are requesting for non-perishable food and water mainly. Also they need clothes, baby diapers, toilet paper, bath towel, personal hygiene items, toothpaste, toothbrush, blankets, among others. Please help these people that need it. Your donation can be delivered in the Daystar Properties offices located 50 southeast from Municipality of Garabito. For more information please call at 2643-1213 Municipal Police, 2643-2853 Chamber of Commerce or 2643-1290 Daystar Properties. Thank you very much!

I've lived here awhile now and have seen mudslides and people scooping mud out of their houses. One house I saw, the lady had water almost waist deep, carrying her puppy out of the house over her head. It is tragic when the rains come and stay for days unending. I am safe and dry. All the work Jose and I did with digging a trench around my house and filling it with rocks has really helped with the drainage. In fact, most of the work Jose and I did while he was here was to prepare for the rainy season. Thank God, all is good and I have a warm, dry place to sleep at night. Many folks here don't right now.

See this article published today in La Nacion:
Aludes y lluvias dejan 21 muertos y 19 desaparecidos

(you can translate)

God Bless Americas, my home sweet home.

Thursday, November 4

"Rainin' all over the World"

Yes, that's the lyric that comes to mind on days like these days lately. The rain has not let up a bit to let the sunshine even peek through. It reminds me of why I even started this blog, it was during rainy season... many, many moons ago.
I was feeling isolated and the steady sound of pouring rain for days on end was making me a little nuts. I escaped into cyberspace and figured out how to make a blog. I'm so glad I did. I have inspired and been inspired in ways I would have never dreamed. You wouldn't know unless you read from the beginning.
Pura Vida.
You all know how I love to take nature pictures and just love the iguanas around my house. I was shooting through the window screen at one of the iguanas grazing on my hibiscus (Amapola) hedge, in the rain, when a hummingbird popped into the viewfinder for a super quick cameo appearance.
Don't cha just love when stuff like that happens!

Luckily, I am a crafter and a creative person so on days like this, I can find one million and one things to do while listening to the rain.
Here's some rain music.
No, this is not Ray Charles playing Rainy Night in Georgia...
but this guy sounds good. I couldn't find Ray singing this on YouTube.
CHOCOLATE RAIN - another one of my most favorite rain songs! Now he has Cherry Chocolate Rain.
Now it will be stuck in my head for DAYS!

Comments are edited before published so please wait for your comment to appear.
(that's funny,,,, I only get SPAM!!)

Monday, October 4

Last word about Spammers

Screw you, if you want to try putting spam on my blog, I can't stop you but I do have a VERY BIG DELETE BUTTON!! You are wasting you time if you spam this blog.

Friday, September 24

NO MORE SPAM and Independence Day for Costa Rica

I spend all my time deleting comments from my blog from those that sell everything you can imagine to directing my readers to sex sites in Japan or WHEREVER.

To my readers, I am working my way back. It took me three days to figure out how to sign back on to Blogger. They have done something and now I can't access my account "at will". Somehow, accidentally, I got back on. Miracle of miracles. Also, my new Hewlett Packard bad ass computer got fried from the power surges. Yes, I have a UPS but obviously ICE has greater power (ICE- our source of electricity).

I'm so far behind, I haven't blogged about all the things that keep happening.

Here's one, I rushed to Jaco to see the Independence Parade and they didn't have it on Jaco strip as usual. It was at some undisclosed location known only to those that were "in the know" or passed by and saw the small precession. Money's tight all over I guess, but judging by other's response, some things we NEED to keep traditional for all to see, LIKE THE PARADE!!

I did get to see the "running of the torch". It brought tears to my eyes and chill bumps seeing these kids run down the highway. VIVA COSTA RICA!!!

Tuesday, September 7

The Old Fashion Way

I love this scene of the oxen pulling the cart of palm nuts with the two dogs following behind. It's sooo Costa Rica. Photo taken around Quepos area yesterday.

Tuesday, August 24

Three Little Birds

This title is from one of my favorite songs of Bob Marley's. I taught the words to my niece when she was about six years old, sooo cute. Every morning when I come down the stairs, I open my curtains to see these same three guys in the same spot, rain or shine. It's a reminder of the more simpler things in life which are both amazing and special. I always called them "Morning Doves" and until recently, I didn't know any better after all, I see them in the morning every morning. Now, I know them as Mourning Doves and it seems so appropriate that they come to see me everyday these days. I miss my Brindy girl. She died. Brindy kept her three puppies under control and without her, the pups just seem to have lost direction. They always followed her lead. She was the pack leader in our house, no doubt.
Now, when I call them to come upstairs and they won't come, I just whip out "Brindy says" and they jump up and come. Steadily, I am regaining control of my pack thanks to Cesar and El Encantador del Perrors (The Dog Whisperer). Cesar's methods WORK!! Especially "THE WALK". I am working on walking them all at the same time.

And then there were three......

For those of you who miss the TeriTunes music here (I do, too), here is a YouTube clip from an artist from the 70's, Harry Nelsson. He was truly unique. I can still remember ALL the words and the song is stuck in my head for weeks now.
Early In The Morning, Harry Nelsson

Monday, August 23


The sky is ablaze with color when these beautiful Red Scarlet Macaws pass overhead. We call them Lapas here and now they are feeding on the Alamendra (almond) trees. When they pass over my house, I try to count them but their numbers have increased and now there are more than twenty. They usually flock in pairs but for years, there has been an odd one that flies with the group. You can always hear them coming or figure out their location by their squawking. It's a great sound, especially when the Toucans chime in. I have found paradise.

I appreciate those readers who have hung-in with my YO-YO blog even when I didn't post anything for weeks at a time. Thanks everyone. If I can't write, at least I'll post a pic for you!!

Sunday, August 22


It's been awhile since I've posted and I offer my apologies. Life can be busy, trying, and a blessing living in paradise. These guys always make me smile.

p.s. I have been targeted by spammers. If you want to leave a comment, please do but you have to wait for me to publish it. I had to block everyone from automatic commenting to weed out a few Aholes.

Sunday, July 25

Surf Sunday

Brokin' Board Beach Hermosa

Photos from yesterday, to much to retouch. So Happy to see George back out there!!!
I got my 20D camera back from Canon and it still has some problems...
Click HERE to see more photos.

Pura Vida!

Monday, June 21

Daily Wonders Part 2

I am fascinated by the critters that find their way into my home. I had been discussing the power of attraction with a friend and wondered, did I attract this?
Remember my last post about cutting down the hummingbird nest from the tree? The same day, after I posted that, one of those hummingbirds flew into my house through the upstairs opened door. Of course, he/she flew straight to a VERY high window.

Clearly, he/she did not understand the concept of glass and kept trying to fly through it. It was so frustrating not being able to reach up and capture the frantic bird. I have a telescopic pole I use to open and close those windows so I taped a bandanna at the tip and swooshed it around to get him/her to come away from the window. All the other curtains, I closed in advanced and I opened all the doors.

The poor little thing was exhausted from his/her escape efforts and probably traumatized from my efforts to free him. There were many distress calls and I could see his/her mate outside calling as well.
Finally, he/she took flight again and flew up into the transparent dome at the highest point of my house. There was NO WAY I could reach him now. I was stumped so I thought about what to do. I thought about what it must be like for a bird, unable to fly when this is what they are born to do. I thought about if this tiny creature believe he/she had reached the limits of the sky and could only sit and watch the clouds pass. I thought long and hard how to free him/her and then it hit me!
The dome has air pockets all around for the heat to escape.
The hummingbird was free already. Such is life in Pura Vida land.

Saturday, June 19

Chan - Something different to drink

I've been on a little health kick since I've been watching Dr. Oz every morning.
Dr. Oz's site is fabulous with videos from his show, explaining how things in our body work, in everyday terms.

I first started watching Dr. Mehmet Oz on Oprah and now he has his own show. He didn't talk about Chan but when I was at the grocery looking for Flax seed, I found Chan seeds. It peaked my curiosity so I bought a pack and looked on the Internet to see what to do with it.

Here is one method I found for how it is prepared in Costa Rica.
Add 2 tablespoons of Chan to 5 cups of water and
bring to a rolling boil for one minute.
Remove from heat and let it set uncovered until it cools.
In blender, combine liquid, lemon/lime, and honey (to taste) and liquefy for seven seconds.
At this point, if you do not want the pulp, strain.
Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.
It's better than you think to drink instead of sodas or sugary drinks.

If anyone knows of another way to prepare this, please DO tell!
The lemons came off my tree and work great! (lemons have loads of other uses)
I'm also growing ginger and interested in what to do with that, too!

Check out this link for foods that are good for you!

Daily Wonders

I noticed two hummingbirds buzzing around my patio the other day. It was right after I chopped off some of the big limbs on the Alemandra tree (almond). One branch I cut had a tiny, perfect empty nest attached by just a thread to a limb. It was already cut down when I discovered it and I gave it to the kid next door. I am thinking now, it was a new nest and these hummingbird parents were letting me know, I took away their home.
Lesson learned, check the branches before chopping!

I'm still getting over having to cut down the big palm tree in my yard. I'm glad I did because a couple of weeks ago we had some tornado winds. It caused quite a bit of damage south of here in Parrita and Manuel Antonio area. I still see the geese passing around and they have found a new tree.

Maybe most of you know but this time of year, we get the start of some heavy rain. In July, it calms down for a couple of weeks and then the rain is on in earnest until November/December. The road to San Jose was finally opened and I had the pleasure of traveling on it twice before the big rain came and washed out part of it and they closed it down. Some say the construction of this highway connecting San Jose with Orotina has been in the making for 40 years!! Of course, I took photos of the "before" because you can clearly see that the road is too close to the mountains and they have a hodge-podge of various methods for holding back the rock and clay. There is no date set as to when the road will open again. Pura Vida. Here are some pics....

Can you see the man on the side of the mountain?

I am staying busier than ever since Jose left catching up on some sewing projects and getting the yard back in shape. All the focus was on the house when Jose was helping. It was too dry then to do any planting. Now, with the rain, there are weeds everywhere and I can see the grass growing as I type! The moat we built next to my house is working excellent. We dug a ditch and put down plastic and filled it with big and small rocks and gave a direction for the water to run. The other water run-offs are working as well. I checked them again this early, early morning, when we had a big rain before daylight! The rain water no longer stands six inches on my property!