If you're here for the porn you're about to be very sorely disappointed. No porn.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dry Season

If we're not in official dry season yet we're at least flirting with the edges of it. This morning I got all my dry season chores done, scrubbed pool deck and covered lanai, dusted off the cobwebs on the lanai teak ceiling, cleaned out the bird feeders and bird bath and hauled out my outdoor drying rack.

And I was paid back magnificently right afterward. I got to see an orange-green small parrot taking a bath. While fighting off angrily all comers. Birds circling. So beautiful.

The rest of the day was a goat rodeo, a two-step to an out of tune honky tonk band with a disrhythmic drummer. While I was sweating my ass off watering plants and watching the birds someone called and said they were coming over to swim, RIGHT THEN!

Please, please, please do not invite yourself over to other people's houses to swim. Or if you do give them more than five minutes notice. I had to dash inside to don a bra and other clothing. I don't care if Jim sees my sagging boobage and assorted bits flopping around in a tank with no bra and a pair of old short shorts. But I'm not ready to share that with everyone else. Ain't nobody got time or eyeballs for that!

The rest of the day was swirled away in a terrible time suck that was The Transformed Wife's Lori Alexander saying any number of horrible things about female cops and female soldiers. Even if I did a pile of other things, like errands, like making beef stew and bread from scratch, like working on some clothing repairs and watching news I kept circling back around mind boggling at the things spilling from her fingertips. I see now that it's all down. I suspect Facebook removed it, spanked her and put her on a time out.

I hope so because she just ain't wrapped right in the head to be saying so many of those things.

Salty Salt Life and Bingo

We've been busy. Eating out with friends, the usual running of the errands and Jim drug me to bingo. BINGO! THE! HORROR!!!!!!!!!!

He loves bingo. I'd rather have a long slow root canal with no laughing gas than play bingo. Particularly at this local joint. Gringo prices, slow slow servers, so-so food. Jim's bingo obsessional friends are a pretty dull bunch. But I did manage to have a good time this time.

It was the usual suspects, the girl named after yogurt, the girl that climbed "Machine Pikachu", the guy that is so clearly insane he's climbed Everest a bunch of times, the man that works out six hours a day and assorted others. Dumb millionaires. Nice people, just not my type at all.

Usually I end up playing Candy Crush and cruising the internet on my phone while playing bingo when I go. No one there worth talking to usually, and the few that are are so  focused on bingo that heaven forfend you make an innocent inquiry into how their dog, surfboard, or spouse is doing, or what they've been up to.

It does not help that I'm a raving introvert. I like to people watch, but only for a limited amount of time, and only if it does not involve conversations with small talk. I hate making awkward small talk and I'm terrible at it. Socially retarded. If someone is yammering to me about balancing their chi-whi, or the best plastic surgeons in town for their dogs, or how they cured their warts and hiccups with 'sound bathing' it's all I can do not to laugh and roll my eyes. The richer they are, the more bizarre some of the ideas.

I've also heard this week about shooting evil Mexicans coming over the border, prosecuting the owner of the Baby Trump balloon for high treason, and a lot of other crazy right wing talking points that get more bizarre the more beers the teller has consumed.

I am usually massively bored. But I met a new friend and we connected. A guy from Brooklyn who made a joking reference to Spock, Kirk and the Pon Farr ritual on the original Star Trek. I was the only one at the table that got it, burst out laughing and then we were off and running happily discussing Sci Fi. We weren't speaking Klingon, but we might as well have been for all the folks around us knew about our conversation.

No games won, but I did enjoy talking to this man most of the night. Jim was bummed. Last couple of times he won us a gift certificate to get tacos and waffles. This time denada.

It's not just at bingo that you run into people that give you serious pause by their conversation. Yesterday I'd been getting our twice a month bottled water refilled at the water purification place only to have a guy with dreads down his back start lecturing me that I should add a tablespoon of Himalayan Pink Salt to the water.

I had to ask why, and he claimed that the filtered water held no minerals, or nutriments when they filter out the chemicals. Dude, water is sort of chemical in and of itself. Everything in the world is  a chemical. I have bouncing blood pressure, I ain't adding salt to anything.

Can you drink the water here? Sure. But after the vet started pointing out that the water here has a high calcium and mineral content, which is not completely removed at the filtration place, just reduced we started with the bottled for drinking. The calcium levels are so high that guys like Jim with kidney stone problems shouldn't drink it, and we're not even supposed to give it to our cat to keep him from having urinary problems.

All I can say that I have learned for sure here talking to oodles of people is that I'm a big fan of the middle way. Not too extreme towards either edge. Sure, let's drink bottled water, but I am not adding a thing. I'm not having plastic surgeon, dying, tucking or lifting anything, climbing anything, buying a diamond coated Range Rover, or taking tantric sky diving lessons. Just let me stay home with my books.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

And They Called it Puppy Love

Yesterday morning when I got up I was pretty bummed out. I'd spent most of the night thinking about that poor little puppy. In tears during breakfast talking to Jim about the situation.

Once Jim went away to Bible study I looked up the animal rescue people here I'd had contact with and called them about the puppy. They agreed to take it if we couldn't keep it.

But when Jim came home he told me that he'd persuaded our friend to call up his housekeeper and find out about the puppy. According to her the puppy is eating and drinking and behaving normally. I wasn't aware that it was nearly two months old because of the small size.

The animal rescue people are going to see if they can intervene and help out with some of the issues this poor dog will face as it grows. Starting with treating for mange first.

To me that is one of the very difficult bits here. The way animals are sometimes treated here. You're talking about a population of people who are too poor to properly take care of themselves, much less defenseless animals.

Fortunately it's not everyone here. It's been my experience living in Guanacaste that the farmers do a fantastic job caring for their horses and cattle. Yesterday I saw the sweetest thing. A farmer preparing to take his two cows across the road. They worn only the thinnest twine through the rings in their noses. They were both big and powerful enough to trample the farmer and break that twine with one toss of their heads. But they did not, they stood placidly by the side of the road as the farmer rubbed their heads and waited for traffic to ease. Lovely healthy with very shiny coats.

Even the tourist beach ponies here look better than in many places.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Sad, Happy, Sad and Sweaty

Today was filled as usual with ups and downs.

A down that turned into an up. Sometime a few months ago we had people in the house caulking and repainting the ceilings. One of the painters went into my closet while painting the ceiling, opened the closet, opened the small drawer at the bottom, got into the box I had hidden my jewelry in, and took a number of items. One of those items was my wedding ring, the engagement ring and ring guard, custom designed I'd had for the past almost 34 years.

Most of the other stolen items save for the other ring, tanzanite, diamonds and platinum, were small potatoes. A pried out of the setting blue lapis, a small emerald pendant with a poorly colored emerald, a very small diamond and tanzanite pendent, a garnet pendent.

He left a dematoid garnet necklace likely worth more than the house, a complete set of 10mm Mikimoto pearls I've had forever, a set of alexandrite and diamond earrings, a set of pink sapphire and diamond earrings, a set of ruby earrings over over a carat each and assorted other gemstone earrings and pendants. I know all of this sounds obsessive, but you have to understand much of this is inherited jewelry from my great grandmother, some brought from France by her mother.

Now everything left with the exception of the amethyst jewelry and pink sapphires and the jasper and pearl earrings are locked in a safety deposit box in the bank here. I have to retrieve my better pieces if I want to wear them. Through the years I've had some reset, some need resetting, like the large over a carat emerald earrings where one of the emeralds is cracked. I will have it made into a pendent or a right hand ring.

New ring, garnet earrings and amethyst earrings. Only piece I am keeping here with a few others. Hopefully karma will let me keep these.

So today we went into town to pick up a friend and I got a new wedding ring! Instead of a round European cut diamond just under a carat I have a much larger cushion cut surrounded by smaller diamonds. I am agog! I feel like a spoiled princess tonight. Went with platinum setting instead of gold this time. I never dreamed the day would come when tight with a buck Jim would spring for a ring like that. I feel married again with a proper ring.

Jim's suffering mightily with a cold, but we'd agreed eons ago to pick up our snowbird friend Bryce from the airport. After buying the ring, getting a few things at other stores we arrived at the airport just in time for his flight.

It was so great to see him again, and we rapidly drove back to Tama. Here's where it gets very sad again. Bryce wanted to stop by his Tico friend's house. They'd been taking care of his dog for six months. Bryce left money for medicines, vet visits and food for the dog. He returned to find the dog with mange, and a month old puppy.

It's the puppy that is breaking my heart, and I'm not even a dog person. Strictly cat lady. The puppy has a deformed leg, and something wrong with the size of it's head. Pitiful and pitifully yipping and wobbling around. Bryce took one look at his dog and this tiny pup and said "Nope! Not taking any puppy!" and departed with his dog, his nursing mother dog.

I cannot get that poor whimpering puppy out of my mind now.  I've been talking to Jim about going back and getting it. Likely it will not survive, but taking it to my vet and a little TLC it might have a fighting chance. I haven't ever hand raised a puppy, but I'd done foster care and rescue of kittens for many years. How different could this be?

If I cannot persuade Jim I'm hoping to get the rescue folks out there tomorrow to pick up the puppy. I doubt I'm going to get much sleep tonight thinking about that puppy.

One thing I know is that I am a big believer in karma, universal reciprocity. When we got to Bryce's home, not too far from ours, his renter had trashed the place and absconded with his car and some of the furniture. I don't know for sure which way that karma is cutting, towards Bryce for his lack of animal love and care abandoning his dog for six months and the whole puppy thing, or if he's now managed to be on the plus side because of being ripped off.

That's another reason I am not too angry over the disappearance of my jewelry. It's just stuff. This is a desperately poor place, and the young Nica painter that took the stuff had a greater need of the money than I did. It kind of changes your perspective when you see how great the needs around you are. I'm likely to never wear any of that junk again anyway, well besides my wedding ring and purple earrings.

Maybe I've done enough shitty things in my lifetime to have earned a karmic realignment via the theft. I just don't know. I hope that young man got a good price for it all and the money helped him. The funny part of it all was that I was starting to wonder if I should have insisted on a new stone for my wedding ring. We used the diamond from the engagement ring my late father gave my mother. I'd been wondering if perhaps the it would have carried negative energy all this time.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Responsible Responses and Being Prepared

I've been cleaning yesterday and cooking today. Why? Well, we were scheduled to have lunch guests today, and it got pushed back to dinner guests. But not as fervently and crazily as usual.

Normally I would be reacting all over the place, but for once I was able to not react like a rat in a maze chasing cheese. I'm sort of kind of proud of myself for once.

During my formative years, in my childhood I picked up some rather weird anxieties and reactions. Example, someone coming over and I would go into a frenzy of cleaning and cooking. On Friday when I started to go into that very weird space I thought to my self for the first time ever, "Hey wait one cotton picking minute! My house is clean enough, just need to dust and turn on the Roomba. These people know me, they know I'm a scatterbrained artist. They like me, and they aren't coming with white gloves to make sure I have polished the underside of the pipes or anything nitpicky like that!"

I cannot tell you how incredibly transformative it was, having that thought. It completely deflated that crazy pressure I always put on myself over dinner parties and guests. It took just a few touches to be super clean for guests. No need to reinvent the cleaning wheel, or to stress out. A few scant minutes and I was done.

The other thing that usually will get my mind racing is wondering if the persons are actually going to show up. This one is huge for me. Because of my mother.

Don't know if I have shared here, but I always knew any time my mother promised to do something, or come over, or go out to eat that there was a large chance it would not go down. I spent my childhood waiting on the sofa for her to emerge from her bedroom, or as an adult sitting around waiting for her to show up. Eventually I learned not to expect anything. The one time it happened that was particularly bad was one Thanksgiving when I was a starving student working full time. I knew again she was likely not to show up, and I'd already taken steps to put plan b in place so my daughter and I could have a Thanksgiving meal. I sighed, and reheated the meal I made when I realized she was standing me up yet again.

So for me when people ghost me, stand me up, change plans suddenly it's usually a big honking deal. I go right back to that childhood place of waiting on the sofa thinking if I was just prettier, smarter, or whatever my mother would come on out and we'd be together. I was always conscious of not being enough as a kid. Not being what my mother wanted me to be. She still plaintively inquires if I'm ever going to go to law school and be the lawyer she always wanted. Sad to say that will never happen. It's her dream, it's never been mine.

In my head I know it has nothing to do with me, it's whatever is going on in my mother's mind, but it still can be hard to take, and it rings my insecurities as an adult.

I should have been anxious today, because the family coming over for lunch/dinner are not known for their punctuality. Reminders back and forth, changing the time, and a few other things indicated their usual crazy life was in full rapid swing.

Instead of getting wound up about that I simply filled the crock pot last night and let it cook on, and said to myself that if they didn't show up it was them, not me and it would be 100% okay. Jim's sick with a cold, and I was tempted to cancel once I got on platform to perform and my back ache returned, but nope. I didn't worry, didn't fret, told Jim if they didn't show up we were having some delicious lovely soup and salad. We have enough left over where I'm not going to have to cook for a day or so.

Turns out two of them ended up at the doctors this afternoon and the entire thing got cancelled. That's fine. And that's truly fine. I'm just happy I didn't go into that weird dark self tormenting space I usually do because of my childhood so many years ago.

Baby steps. I don't know if we ever really get over the bad things that happen as a result of our childhoods. But we try.

Friday, November 01, 2019


Having some sleep issues. Passing out unintentionally too early because I've stepped up the workouts. Waking up at 10 pm all drooly and confused tangled in my too long hair. I'm just  a laugh riot!

Tempted to give myself an extreme hair cut soon or else I'll have to come up with some sort of elaborate Game of Thrones braided style. It's just too heavy, too hot and too much in my way. Up in the standard huge messy bun all the time now. I look like some deranged granny.

Yesterday was more than a little scary, and not just because my wrinkled sagging old self was on the beach in a swimsuit scaring folks either. Jim and I went for a walk on Tamarindo Beach yesterday. We've been limiting our walks to Grande, and some of the smaller more remote beaches. Jim needed a massage and I was finally able to put down the muscle relaxers from my own back hijinks and start walking again.

It was low tide and quite interesting. Like I said I've seen a very early uptick in tourist activity and crowds. Low tide was all Norte Americanos on the beach. It's just about the time the first of the Canadian snow birds start arriving.

The only problem with that is that during low tide sand bars appear just off shore. You can easily walk across from the end of Tama, at La Garita to Playa Grande. The tourists were busily annointing themselves with copious sun block and making for the sand bars.

There's just one little problem with doing just that. The signs all marked "No Swimming - Beware of Crocodiles" in three languages posted at La Garita that they were ignoring. And about once a year someone, usually  a tourist, gets bitten. One surfer four years ago lost the lower part of his leg.

I'm walking, staying off the sand bars, picking up sea urchin shells and large turkey wing shells, and just dipping my toes in the surf. As I got just past the tourist horde I spotted a weird looking patch of tangled vegetation washed to the shore in the area between the sand bar and the beach. Every now and then nostrils and eyeballs would emerge. Several smaller crocodiles lurking and hiding, mere feet away from tourists.

I had fun on the walk back saying "Hey! Did you see the crocodiles not ten yards away over there?" and watching people scrambling for the beach once they realized that floating log tangled in old sea weed had a nose and eyes.

And this is hardly the only place with crocs. I would venture to say any beach with a nearby estuary dumping into the Pacific has beaucoup crocodiles. Last week a six foot long croc was spotted openly cavorting on Playa Flamingo near the Jimmy Buffet themed hotel.

The work outs are scary. I've increased them again and am now swimming between a half mile and a mile daily and walking. Why? The MS. Those people I know with it doing the best are not the ones to get the stem cell replacement therapy, or those with the newest drugs. It's the ones that work out hard three or four times a week and follow the anti inflammation diet. I've joined them. It does help.

The problems being it hurts worse to work out while it's going on. I have the thing happening now where the pressure of the water against my chest triggers some odd nerves and I can barely tolerate the feeling. My stupid body.

We're still looking at properties to buy for the mountain home, but I think I've hit on something else here. The mountain top directly behind our house, I can see it from the house, is for sale and it has that coveted ocean view. I'm going to see if I can twist Jim's arm into considering it for our mountain home. Build a house, a custom house smaller than this one but with the things I want, a bathtub, a better kitchen, and another pool/hot tub and turn this house into the rental. It's way too big for the two of us.

Jim wants it away from here, and I kind of do too, because of the traffic in tourist season and the crowds. But a ocean view might be worth it. Be close enough to take care of anything going haywire and to check on renters.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Someone Sounds Jealous

While doing my random round of reading Quiverfull blogs this morning I found this on Doug Wilson's blog:

Oh Doug! That is not at all why people decamp to places like Belize and Costa Rica. It's not some sort of silly one-up-man-ship. It's not to show off. It's to have a better quality of life. It's the same reasons why people from poorer countries head to the United States. Likely why your ancestors took a boat from whatever white European country they arrived from.

People want to live where they can be happy, without fear and with enough financial resources to live well. This is why older folks love Florida so much. Of course Doug makes it all about something stupid, trendy and counterculture. People want to be happy. It's as simple as that. I think Doug is just jelly-ousel, ooops, jealous. He's pushing a book about EvanJelly-fish, whatever they are.

Today would not have impressed anyone, or made anyone jealous here. It was pretty miserable. I ran into town to pick up some art supplies, and supplies for fruitcake. It's almost Halloween, time to bake fruitcake and pickle the hell out of it in brandy to have it ready for Christmas.

We're getting towards the end of rainy season here, but there's still a lot of rain. Mucho lluvia. Crazy crazy traffic, it seems almost like tourist season started early this year. Most folks do not arrive before late December or early January, but town was cram packed.

Visited my friend at the art supply store, picked up a few things, bought both brandy and extra candied fruit before attempting a box pickup at the post office. Crazy crowds so I gave up retrieving my Amazon box for another day.

That crazy traffic? Even crazier when I got to the turn for the main road in and out of Tama. As I was waiting to turn at the only intersection in all of Guanacaste that desperately needs a stoplight there was a bad accident right in front of me. Right at the intersection. Traffic backing up even furture. There's just one paved road into Tama, and a couple of dirt backroads in and out. I took a back road.

I'd gone down it the day before to pick up friends for church, wondering how it was because I usually will not take that road in rainy season. It fords a small river. That river isn't always very small in rainy season. But it was fine the day before. You just have to make sure you don't stop at the river, and the road leading down to the river is washed away, crumbling to one lane.

Today was a completely different story. The road was even more crumbling away. At least six times I thanked the celestial powers that be for four wheel drive because I was definitely off road a few times. The river was up, so I had to decide if I should cross there are just slip across twenty feet downriver where it's much more shallow. Shocked how much road damage there was from one simple storm late yesterday.

We are supposed to be getting another one of these doldrums tropical storms late today and into tomorrow with lots of rain. I think I'm going to have to avoid that back road.

I came home and happily started the first rituals of fruitcake making, right down to a nice afternoon nip from the brandy bottle. Half the fun of making fruitcake is drinking the left over brandy.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Kicking and Screaming

Today I almost fell over at church. The pastor preached a sermon I had suggested on unity and no gossiping. First I was surprised he'd taken my suggestion, but it was needed in light of some of the machinations of others I'd been witnessing. It was time.

I'd been sitting there during the sermon writing in my notebook about the word "Bitter" and Evangelicals. They use it as a cudgel and a control. Will explain at No Longer Quivering. Sitting there writing about bitter and put down the words "Friendly Fire" describing how accusations of bitterness over issues of spiritual abuse, and those same words describing something very similar came out of his mouth. It's so weird when your thoughts and the thoughts of others line up like that. Always spooks me just a hair.

Third week not singing on worship team. Second week with the crazy back. I have discovered that muscle relaxers and singing do not mix. Oh lawdy, I cannot sing on key to save my life if I'm full of muscle relaxers. Screws horribly with my voice.... and I morph into 'that' lady, the one singing off key and ear splitting volumes that everyone winces. 

We're getting down to the nitty gritty of the Fantasy Football fall, with Jim rushing about screeching like a puppy with his nuts caught in an old fashioned wringer. He stresses me out when the yelling and hollering. I tend to drift into a another room, far far away from Jim on football Sundays to keep my nerves in tact.

But late afternoon he did the dumbest of rage dances I've ever seen in his years of Fantasy Football. He rushed into our bathroom and started beating up on the toilet. On the TOILET! Slamming, kicking, screaming.  I had to ask him what in the hell did he think he was doing. It's not like if he breaks the toilet or the ring we'll be able to replace either quickly or easily. A 68 year old toddler!

He's currently laying in bed yelling at the tv so I'm about to go swim for awhile. Lord help me live through football season. I don't get it.