Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sleeping and Fairy Rings

My life can  be summed up by something that happened when Stefan was visiting us. He and I are sitting in the bank, waiting for the lone bank officer so Stefan can buy one of those 8 percent CDs when a woman came up to us and spoke to me.

Lady: Spanish Blah Blah Blah (spoken so rapidly I got maybe one of out of every three words)
Me: Nicht verstahen (German for I do not understand)
Stefan: bursting out in laughter says 'Why did you answer in German?'

Because that is where my brain always goes. My brain has decided that German is my bedrock foreign language and will route me to it every time if I'm not paying any mind to it.

The last few days have been pretty horrible. I picked up something that filled my lungs with fluid and caused me to cough bark every few minutes. Last night after five days I drug my ass off to the doctors offices. Unlike the states you can see a doctor here 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It took a long time even if there were no emergencies of decapitated digits or sea urchin stings for a change.

I have a two-fer, whooping cough I've picked up from some  not vaccinated child. Not my first rodeo with this. Being on immunio suppressors means I have picked it up twice in the States. It got me that delicious cough syrup that is essentially ground up vicodins in a sticky sweet sauce.

The other part is bronchial pneumonia. Just five days from a tickle in my throat to being Typhoid Annie.

Today I was every bit as confused as the day I answered in German.  I slept all night, I slept most of the day. Hell, I fell asleep watching a rerun of 'Dance Moms' if that tells you anything. Abby's yelling put me to sleep.

But I'm up now, feeling marginally better, crunching and munching some delicious raisin bread toast from the German bakery, hoping to stay awake long enough to fold clothes and pick up all the snotty kleenex forming fairy circles around my desk, the sofa and my bed. Life is good.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Haven't posted much because immediately after we dropped off Stefan I started coughing. I have Whooping Cough AGAIN! I wonder which idiot anti-vaxxer here's child gave it to me. I've been in the bed sick doing nothing, reading a pile of shitty books.

This morning though I laughed so hard I made myself go into another coughing fit. Jim fell out of the bed, Kaboom~~ and the earth shook, The only thing injured was his pride.  How hard to you have to be sleeping in fall out?

He's on my list right now, you know the list, for telling me on the way to church that I've been too bitchy lately. Dude I am still recovering from my stroke and I am going to blow up a lot easier if I have zero chill and too much pressure to do things. I can only do what I can do and it if pisses him off that's too damn bad. He's been less than sympathetic, wanting me to return to my pre stroke level of activities. That's not happening.

Fall out of the bed a few dozen more times dude

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Fuck the Sounds of Non-Silence

Well, he showed up. Jim's friend Stefan from Germany.  We knew him well back in 1986 and 87 before he flew off to work the German pavilion in Disneyworld's Epcot Center. Stefan turns up like a bad sweary penny every so often. His last visit was a disaster because all he did was scream 'FUCK!' and behave like he had lost most of his marbles. This was just much of the same.

He'd been saying for months he was coming the first week of January, and contacted us to let us know last week that his schedule had changed and it was very unlikely he'd show. Whew, I relaxed just to have him phone on at dinnertime on Wednesday to say he was at the Penas Blancas border crossing and would be soon hitch hiking his way to us. Scrambling to put out clean towels and make sure the bed was ready.

Aaaaaaaaaand we wait, and wait some more. The crossing is only 90 minutes or so from the house. De nada. About midnight we get a call from Stefan. He is waiting for a ride in Belen, a good twenty minutes away. I know Belen, there's a bakery, a small grocery store and a gas station, that is it. We headed off to fetch him.

He reeked, so badly, the stench was incredible. I knew he'd been hitchhiking for weeks, but I'd assumed he'd at least stopped to wash clothes. Nothing doing. I spent a full day doing his laundry, tent, sleeping bag and clothing, hitting it with everything I had in the laundry room. He smelled better by the time he left. Now I just have to do all the bedding in the room. There is a lingering scent and it ain't a pleasant one.

At first it was fine. His screeching and cursing were minimal that first night, but I did go to bed immediately after arriving home, smell or no smell. The stroke has taken the starch from my sails and I'm in my cozy beddy bye at 10 pm usually.

The next day was a horror fest. Screaming, yelling cursing, running about to get him a license plate from a local car and find out about the Las Bolas. The Las Bolas are a nine hour drive south I kept telling him. Thankfully Jim took her off for a few hours because I'd started getting Jim's four weeks of lung crud.

Had to lay down because when we'd been out and about I faceplanted right on the blacktop at the busiest intersection in Tamarindo, tripping on my shoes and falling down amid buses, tourismo buses and oodles of tourist vehicles. Honking horns with streets shooting off towards Villareal, Langosta and Noguis.  Messed myself up pretty badly. I have gravel in my knees and palms of my hands plus my stupid back didn't much like it.

By the time yesterday morn had come I was just done, done, done entirely. I think Stefan has some sort of diagnosed thing going on. I don't know if he's schizo or what, but the boy ain't wrapped right. Yesterday morning he was yelling and screaming about how incredibly fucked up Germany was now by the influx of Muslims and I had to just walk out. Took my blood pressure and it was 139/90, too damn high~ Lay down for five minutes with a pillow over my head and it dropped to 90/60, my usual. I know yelling and noise affects everyone differently, but I have to have a large dose of silence daily to feel right.

He talked continually. He talked at such a high volume it was like being a hapless recruit being yelled at by a hostile drill instructor. I started to get the shakes.

On Stefan's last morning here he was almost tolerable when we were out taking photos of the reproduction pre-Comlumbian art work. That guy I could have tolerated because of our mutual love of art, but it was straight back to the yelling.

We took him back to the border with Nicaragua, up to Penas Blancas again. Never have I ever been so eager to dump a guest again. The next time he visits I am going elsewhere and leaving Jim to deal with him. He is less effected by it.

It's hard being around people because of the stroke. I feel many days now like an electrical system with stripped wires. Usually the wires have their nice plastic coating, but now they have nothing, sparking spitting wires that erupt when you least expect it.

I did learn one thing new about myself. I have to have some quiet daily. Large stretches of peace and quiet. Once Stefan got out of the car and carried his bits and pieces towards the border checkpoint I turned to Jim and told him not to speak for the next hour. He laughed, he know what I was talking about. We drove back in silence mostly, just sometimes speaking about how bizarre the visit was.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

More Waiting

We're at home, waiting again. For what? Well, do you remember about four years ago when we had an old friend from Germany visit and it went super sideways to the point where the folks at the diner asked me never to bring him again? Yeah, him.

I'm not sure how we're hosting him again, but he called up and he is hitchhiking in from Penas Blancas this evening. House isn't perfectly spotless, mostly clean, clean enough. His bed is made, I've resigned myself to several days of madness and crazy which I will be documenting here.

Having the excuse of recovery from my stroke will come in handy this time. I'm still not quite myself yet. I am allowed to finally get in the pool and hot tub, but I'm still having issues with energy. In fact last week I had something of a meltdown over several days. It dawned on me that I've stopped improving. I talked to everyone I know who has had a stroke and the general consensus seems to be a) doctors lie about recovery and b) everyone is tired and loses energy rapidly.

I cried on Jim's shoulder, but he wasn't that sympathetic. Went for a long drive in the car, stopping on the cliff overlooking Playa Pan del Sucre and cried. I was strangely calmer when I got back. It is what it is. I am what I am and I'm still in only able to do so much mode, saying no to obligations left and right. I need to.

Thankfully I'll be able to pass off Stephan to Jim now. If you need me I'll be in my sewing room working on a big bastard of a California King quilt.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019


BYOB no longer stands for 'Bring your own bottle' in this house. It's been replaced with 'Bring your own bag' as in trash bag.

I'm going slightly stir-crazy here. Jim still have pneumonia and the drugs weren't helping much until about an hour ago. He's moaning, he's coughing, he's snotty, just an absolutely miserable wretch to be around. As we all would be if we were as sick as he is. He has reason enough to be miserable.

Had to take over his tasks, watering the plants, cleaning the pool and hot tub, doing all the driving back and forth. I am not annoyed by that because I like doing those things in the first place. He also takes out the trash, but we're just piling it right now by the guesthouse. There's been no trash pickup for the last two weeks.

Why? A perfect story illustrating the nature of the Ticos. Because the first of the year was when you had to pay your Marchamo, the taxes and insurance on your vehicle, or the policia takes the plates on your vehicle and you have to pay a big fine on top of your Marchamo. We paid ours within a few days of their starting to accept payment because I don't fancy problems with the cops. Apparently the government of the state of Guanacaste did not, the whole damn state did not pay and now their vehicles, including the garbage collection trucks cannot be out on the road. This is so typical I just had to shake my head and laugh.

You know what else is typical? This morning. The Clean Wave group called for a beach clean in Tamarindo, calling for as many of us that could come out to do so and pick up trash. I showed up on the dot of nine am, andddd...... no one. I waited at the Monkey Bar five minutes, then ten and decided to go walk the beach and pick up trash. Did I mention I was eager to leave Jim to his own cranky devices?

I walked the beach and filled up my bag. Took a long walk on the beach even if it was unusually crowed on the estuary side beach. Talked to the two cutest older gay men in Speedos. We laughed over a San Jose tourist clutching a beer walking across the estuary. Not very safe to do. There are warning crocodile signs everywhere and two tourists were bitten in the last six months. Tastes just like chicken!

I walked back to where I was parked about 10:15 am and right into the sleepy arms of my fellow trash collectors. Well, the early bird and all that jazz. Plenty of trash left to go around. Pura vida. Never expect anyone here to ever be on time.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Mourning and Laughing

It's been another kind of weird day.

Jim is still sick. We just got back from the doctor's office. He had some sort of walking pneumonia type infection and has been in the bed for days now. Antibiotics, antihistamines and cough syrup. He'll live.

I've been laughing most of the day, but that's okay because I've been watching the mess on YouTube between hate-mongering pastor Steven Anderson and a whole long laundry list of folks. Every few hours I'd check, he'd have issued a new response to someone, I'd update and laugh.

Around  4 pm, just about the time I was nagging Jim that he needed to go to the doctor because his face was very red I received some disturbing news. Steve Gupton was dead.

Steve is one of my online friends I've had forever it seems. He'd pop up whenever there was any weird news having to do with the IFB and Steven Anderson. We'd laughed so many times over Anderson's shenanigans. We spent most of the day on Friday laughing over Anderson because of the Donnie Romero scandal. He'd disappeared and I'd sent him a message yesterday and today asking him where the heck he was because Anderson was going nuts.

He was a class act, and he never failed to make me laugh. I value laughter and those who can make me laugh. We spent many hours in conversations about just about everything you could think of. I've talked to him through two relationships, one engagement and worry over his kids. Good times.

51 years old. Damn, here he is Mr. Martial Arts, slim and without health problems getting ready to take the long nap. I'm fat, I have so many things wrong with me they're about to name a wing of the doctor's office for me and I'm still here. Life is so unfair and so short.

Lit a fire under me to get Jim to the doctor and to tell him I love him. Been one of those odd weeks where I've been feeling lower than dirt.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Mostly Silent House

Jim was sick again yesterday and spent the majority of the day and night in bed. I rattled around quietly doing my thing, trying not to wake him.

He has chest congestion yet again, just like he did before the trip. It comes, it goes, he refuses to go to the doctor, just like a man.

Went out in the morning and was pleased to note that I could actually walk around the store. I had no trouble parking and there was no one arguing over booze prices. The San Jose tourist horde has officially departed!

Mostly I organized. I bought smaller plastic boxes to put our Christmas things in along with tools, assorted household repair items. I'm washing all of our beach things and packing them away. But the most important of my organizing is thing I always do after - my toiletries bag.

I learned years ago that we travel frequently enough to dedicate a small zippered bag to the things I need when I travel. Instead of rushing about grumbling tossing toothpaste and hairspray into a bad last minute I just pick up the bag and toss it in.

One of the things I do within a day or so of coming home is to make sure the bag is clean and fully stocked, getting travel or sample sizes of the things I need, from laundry soap to shampoo and everything in between. It makes travel so much easier to do it this way.