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Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday in Atenas

This morning, we went to the Atenas feria (farmer's market) and we bought two yellow melons, three cucumbers, a pineapple, a big bunch of radishes, and four apples. The apples were imported and we rarely buy imported goods. But, we like apples so that is our one imported guilty pleasure.

The amount of food we bought seems small but with really fresh food, it has to be used up fast or it just goes to waste.

We're having one of the melons for dinner tonight, along with sauteed prawns. Tomorrow, I'm going to make pineapple carrot muffins.

As an aside, here is a photo of very small orchid flowers.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Costa Rica always has nice surprises for us.

Yesterday, a Tica arrived at our gate carrying a bucket, the contents covered with a dish towel. She removed the towel and revealed her treasures - tamales that she had made herself and was selling for just one mil (1,000 colones) for a pair.

Costa Rican tamales differ from Mexican tamales, which are small and wrapped in corn husks. Tamales here are the perfect size for a light dinner and are wrapped in banana leaves. They are labor intensive to make, taking up to two days, and are usually made at Christmas.

Two tamales tied together are called a piña. We will appreciate the labor of love by our Tica lady as we enjoy our tamales with a cup of coffee.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Eyes on Costa Rica - Update/April 15, 2016

Yesterday was a bit of a landmark. Until then, visits to this blog from all ten Canadian provinces and two of its three territories had been recorded. The total was over 5380 visits from over 370 different places in Canada. But, there had been no recorded visit from Nunavut - a huge, mostly barren, sparsely populated territory in the far northern part of Canada.

A visit has now come from Cambridge Bay in Nunavut. Second only to Tromsø, Norway, it is one of the most northerly places in the world from where a visit has been recorded. However, while Tromsø wins by a small margin on distance north, Cambridge Bay wins on coldest weather. The climate in Cambridge Bay is characterized as being "polar". In Tromsø, it is merely "subarctic".

As of 10:00 am today, Cambridge Bay was showing a temperature of -9°F (-23°C). Concurrently, Vista Atenas where we live in Costa Rica was showing a temperature of 85.5°F (29.7°C). Both Tromsø and Cambridge Bay could be jealous of that.

Meanwhile, first visits to this blog have also come from three new countries: Angola and Guinea‑Bissau in Africa, and Lebanon in the Middle East. The total number of identified countries is now 110.


Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (


Monday, April 11, 2016

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Lately, I haven't been posting as much as I want to. My excuses are:

I have to finish preparing my Canadian income tax forms and have them in the mail before the end of April. For me, this is torture.

We've been experiencing a bit of a heat wave the last couple of weeks. Today the high was 92.1F. The nights and mornings are always wonderfully cool (below 70F) so we aim to do chores before 11:00am or so. This could include having the laundry done and on the line to dry, going into Atenas for groceries, cleaning the house and so on. The rest of the day, for me, will be spent lolling in my hammock doing the New York Times Sunday crosswords, watering my orchids, thinking of a cold meal to prepare for dinner ... sounds so lazy but I love the life.

We've been doing a fair bit of pet and house sitting lately and all the properties have had a pool so I can include swimming several times a day as a cooling exercise.

Good news, art wise. Our Atenas Painters Association is presently in the planning stages for our second annual art show to be held August 26th, 27th and 28th at Colinas del Sol, where we held our very first and successful art show two years ago.

I will have four large paintings on display (one pig, one goat, one Brahma, one young Hereford cow) and two smaller oxen paintings. Also hope to do a horse painting.

Look at this:

Our dear neighbor Sharon gave this to me this morning. It's a hand carved cow head made by a Costa Rica artist. I just love it. We're going to be house and dog sitting for Sharon starting this weekend (the famous Diogi Border Collie).

Our lives here are very rich.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mr. Pura Vida Pura Vida

We are house sitting at Pica Flora, one mountain ridge over from our house, until early next week. This morning we drove to our house to feed the foster cat and wait for the fish man, because I wanted to buy shrimp from him. He hits Vista Atenas (where we live) early every second Saturday. Bought the shrimp, fed the cat, and went back to Pica Flora. No, that's wrong - fed the cat first.

When the fish man showed up some hours later at Pica Flora - he took one look at me and laughed and laughed. What are you doing here? Where are señor and señora?

So we got all that sorted out. I call him Pura Vida Pura Vida, because that's what he always says when I ask him how he is.