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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Political Cartoons

I'm a big fan of political cartoons - both drawn and written. The art of lampooning politics and politicians goes way, way back in time. I so admire how the artists can depict a politician and their beliefs with a few slashes of their drawing pens and make a big statement at the same time, and the editorial writers do the same thing with their words.

Having said that, 2016 and now 2017 have brought about an avalanche of political opportunities for lampooning. I often save to my Facebook page what I think are really funny jabs at Canadian, USA and Russian politics. No doubt I have offended some people.

But I am here today to say that I personally do not want to offend anybody. Politics are politics.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Backpacks

A couple of years ago, our good friend and neighbor, Sharon, gave me a beautiful backpack. She knew I liked to walk into Atenas and a pack would be so useful. It was embroidered in designs with beautiful colors and made in Costa Rica. It saw a lot of use.

Here it is:

 

Unfortunately, it was stolen during our house robbery last year. I've really missed having it.

This Christmas, Sharon handed me a wrapped gift. Inside was a new backpack, woven in bright colors, and also made in Costa Rica. It's gorgeous. Thank you so much, Sharon. How fortunate are we to have such wonderful friends and neighbors. Here is the new backpack:

 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Dinner 2016

This year, our Canadian friends Diane and John invited us to their house for Christmas dinner. We are very fortunate to have such generous friends here in Costa Rica and we've been the recipients of many good meals at their house.

 
 
The turkey was perfect:

 

Lineup of selections - potatoes, ayote, sweet potatoes, stuffing, salad, plus cranberries and gravy.

 

Left to right: Carlos, John pouring wine, Diane, Travis, Carol, Lance.

 

I made Nanaimo bars but, well, the center didn't set properly. Oh well, they still tasted good.

 



Saturday, December 24, 2016

Orchids and Christmas Eve, 2016

This is our sixth Christmas Eve living in Costa Rica. We have blue skies, Christmas winds, and the temperature where we live at 2:00pm is 82F/27.8C. The Christmas winds refer to the trade winds that blow fairly strongly at this time of year.

An orchid I purchased about two years ago from someone who was moving to Florida has finally flowered for me. It had no name tag on it so I've just been waiting to see what the flowers looked like to help in identification. They are gorgeous and I believe this orchid is one of the diverse genus of Dendrobium. It has inflorescences (flower stems) coming out the top, sides and bottom of the basket, cascading down a foot or more and covered in small yellow and white flowers.  In my blog post of December 4, 2016, "After Hurricane Otto", I asked for assistance in identifying this particular orchid so hopefully someone can help.

This is what it looks like. In the early morning light, the entire basket appears luminous.

 

These are the small yellow and white flowers up close:

The flowers up close. 

Here are a couple of photos of two phalaenopsis that are presently in bloom. Phals are so dependable and seem to bloom almost constantly.

 

 

 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Beach Day - 2016

A couple of weeks ago, a group of expats from Atenas and San Ramon, Costa Rica, met at Playa Dona Ana for a day of sun, ocean swimming, relaxing, chatting and just enjoying living in Costa Rica.

I made a short video of our day there. The monkeys were particularly bold ... I've never seen them coming down on the ground to grab pieces of bananas before. 

If you wish to watch the video full screen, click on the Youtube icon.




Monday, December 12, 2016

Bread Making

I decided to make a loaf of bread today to go with our dinner salad this evening. Bread making has not always been successful for me at our elevation here in Atenas, Costa Rica. But I had recently purchased yeast and I found this recipe which looked easy to do with minimal work.

I added garlic to the dough and fresh oregano from my garden to the top before baking. Here is the finished product:

 

Lance said it is like the fresh bread served at high end restaurants. This loaf was crusty with soft innards. I had to let it rise longer then the recipe says ... so go with your bread making instincts. I think I will make this once a week.