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Monday, March 30, 2015

Little Gecko

Look at this lovely little creature:

We noticed something small moving on our coffee table:

He was shy but came out from under the paper:

So tiny and delicate. Normally our house geckos live up along the tops of our walls, keeping our house clean of insects and chattering at us, usually at night. I'm assuming this is a young gecko because of the small size.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Works in Progress

Here is what I have on my easel today. The grey Brahma is almost finished. It's a large canvas - 36"x36". The one with two young Brahmas is smaller, 11"x14". This one is being donated as a prize at our upcoming annual Atenas oxcart parade. Because of the small canvas size, it has been faster to paint.




Friday, March 20, 2015

Scruffy Friday

For those who may not know, a few years ago a little dog, now known as Scruffy, appeared on our road. He had no collar, seemed lost and disoriented and was lame. He was wary and hard to approach. He roamed around our neighborhood looking for food. Neighbors started feeding him and he became more trusting.

Eventually, he decided to adopt our neighbors Rose Mary and Tony as his guardians. They had him neutered, checked out by a vet, had vaccinations, worming, etc., and took him into their home. He now sports his own blue collar with ID tag and Rose Mary keeps him supplied with a variety of jaunty neck scarves.

If Rose Mary and Tony are away from their home, Scruffy comes down the road to stay with us. He just wanders in and lies down on the dog bed we provide for him or sometimes he goes and sleeps under our bed.

Today, he decided to spend some time with us. Here are Scruffy Friday photos to enjoy.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is not a Costa Rican celebration but North Americans who live here usually try to mark the occasion. This year, we were fortunate to be invited to Jean and Bill's bash and everyone had a great time. There was Irish music, the weather was of course fantastic, and there was food galore. Thanks very much, Jean and Bill.

I'll post a few photos of the occasion but, first, Scruffy has something he wants to say:

For those who may not know, Scruffy appeared on our road one day a few years ago - collarless, confused, lame and apparently abandoned. He eventually decided to adopt our neighbors Rose Mary and Tony as his new guardians. They had him neutered and checked by the vet. Now he is famous in Costa Rica and elsewhere. Rose Mary supplies him with colorful bandanas to wear and here he is in his St. Patrick's Day best. He's a small dog with some obvious terrier background.

Here are the other photos.

A big welcome.
Of course Scruffy had to be there.
There were games to play.
View towards Atenas, partially obscured by smoke from a fire on a nearby mountain ridge.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pizza Night

This past Friday, we decided to order in a pizza for our dinner. We use Pizza Olivera in Atenas, open from 10:00am to 10:00pm, express 2446-5930. They are located west of Banco Nacional.

We have ordered from them before - the pizza was very good and delivery was prompt, the pizza arriving by taxi.

Lance placed both orders and said the first call was Spanish speaking only and the second call was Spanish with some English.

Since we liked our first pizza so much, we ordered the same again which was the Olivera Especial, grande, 16 slices. Price 6,900 colones (about $13.00) plus whatever tip is given to the taxi driver. This is one big pizza, loaded with cheese, ham, ground beef, mushrooms, pepperoni, red peppers, onions and something called locineta and I can't find a translation for that word.

So far, we have had two meals (four servings) with this pizza and the remainder is in the freezer for one more meal for two people. Our $13.00 pizza has/will provide us with six portions at a cost of about $2.16 per portion. An excellent bargain and yummy to boot.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Volcano Trouble in Costa Rica

It appears that the Turriabla volcano in Costa Rica is acting up. It can be found on Google Earth.

I have been hearing complaints ranging from swimming pools being dusted with a bit of ash, to farmers concerned about their crops and livestock being endangered if the situation becomes more serious.

Today (March 12) my husband Lance had his own complaint. He often works in his outdoor patio office as opposed to his indoor less laid back office. But, for the first time and over the span of a few hours, his computer keyboard and mousepad have been continuously speckled with a very fine grit which could be ash from Turriabla. Lately, the winds have been in the right direction for this to occur.

As the crow flies, we in Vista Atenas are only about 43 miles (69 km) from the Turriabla volcano. The situation is not particularly serious for Lance (poor boy – he might have to move inside the house), but for others closer to the volcano the economic consequences could be devastating and that is sad – especially if the volcano really blows its top. For a current update from "The Tico Times" go here.




Monday, March 9, 2015

Visitors From The Frozen North!

Cathy and Ken contacted us not long ago. They follow Gloria and Paul Yeatman's website, Retire For Less In Costa Rica, and found us through them. Like us, Cathy and Ken are Canadians. They are from the Great Lakes area and were travelling around Costa Rica and thought it would be fun if we connected in Atenas.

Which we did ... iced mocha coffee drinks and one latte at La Carreta (these are not on their menu but just ask for them). I am sorry but I cannot find a web site for this restaurant so cannot provide a link. Just ask someone for directions. It is not far from the central park and has the Friendship Library (free lending library). Cathy and Ken were travelling around the Central Valley and parts of the Pacific Coast the way I think everyone should do it (at least once) and that is by bus and taxi.

They are my idea of perfect tourists ... fitting in, enjoying the culture, interacting with the Ticos, observing the bird and plant life, and just enjoying everything.

A few days later, they came over to our house and we talked about living here and just things in general. It was nice to connect with fellow Canadians. Oh, and thanks for the Canadian maple syrup! I made pancakes this past weekend just so we could enjoy the syrup.

Ken and Cathy
Diana and Lance


Monday, March 2, 2015

An Honest Man

The Greek philosopher Diogenes wandered around ancient Greece in daylight, carrying a lantern, and apparently searching for "an honest man". Ironically, he lived in Athens, Greece (also known as Atenas where we live in Costa Rica).

Today we met yet another of our Atena's honest people. I had a busy morning today. Withdrawing money from Banco de Costa Rica's ATM, then going into the bank to deposit money into our landlady's account to cover our rent for March. I also needed to recharge my cell phone with colones and then go and get groceries. So I had all sorts of things on my mind and wasn't paying close attention to a number of things.

Back home later this morning, I received a phone call from a fellow speaking only Spanish which rapidly became problematic. He wanted to speak to Deeana (my Spanish name), wanted to know if I lived in Vista Atenas and said many other things that were beyond my baby Spanish level. I put Lance on the phone, but he ran into the same trouble. We did manage to figure out that the caller would be at our house in one hour and left it at that.

An hour later, a white cab pulled up to our gate. Lance went out and the driver said he wanted to speak to Deeana. Out I went and the driver held up a small leather wallet wherein all my credit and bank cards reside, including my Costa Rican driver's license. I must have left it behind at the ATM.

I had no idea I had even lost it! This lovely gentleman did not even want to accept a reward from us and we literally had to force some reimbursement onto him. He went out of his way to locate me and drive his taxi to our house and then back to Atenas. With all that was going on, we neglected to get his business card and name. I want to send a thank you to him and his taxi company.

There are several taxi companies in Atenas ... the red taxis, the white taxis and I think there are blue ones.

Today could have turned very ugly when I discovered I had lost so much. Imagine trying to cancel and replace all those cards. I need a better system. One positive thing I had done, though, was to include a card in my wallet that had all kinds of important information on it ... telephone numbers, contact names, etc.

But one thing is for sure ... the Ticos are looking after us.