Health Update & Trip Tomorrow

My daily nature post was earlier today with the skipper butterfly – now a personal update from cancer surgery & radiation therapy, plus the coming week that I’m excited about. 🙂

Health Update

As we say here in Costa Rica, “Estoy mejor poco a poco.” I’m better little by little. Most of my taste has returned after losing all of it from radiation. Food is not quite as “tasty” as I remember it being, but so much better now and I can eat almost anything. And my swallowing ability has also greatly improved if not completely normal now.

I still need to sleep long hours at night and sometime nap in the day with not near the high energy I used to have physically. But again it is so much better than it was at the end of June! And I’m still having to accept that being 81 years old might have a little bit to do with my lack of energy or physical ability now. 🙂

Overall I am feeling so much better than I was going into that July trip, plus this trip will be to flat land with no hills to climb! And generally a more “laid back” or relaxing place than my July mountain-top experience! 🙂 Plus right now I’m planning on no tours or side trips, just relax in the forests and beaches of the hotel which I overview below if you read on after this 2019 photo from there . . .

Beach from walk down the “beach road” — Featured Photo Header is Hotel Beach.
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“Country Lane” – The Road

“Country Lane” is in quotes because it’s my personal name for the extension of 8th Avenue Atenas through what has been farm land but getting more houses. It ends as a gravel road at Radial 27 Highway across from the Farmer’s Market. I’ve shared photos of many things along this road but maybe not just the road itself, so here are my shots of the actual road in different locations. For more photos of one of my walking places, see the gallery titled: “Country Lane” – Avenida 8. Walking is sweet! 🙂

“Country Lane” – 8th Avenue, Atenas

And a slide show of the road from Saturday’s walk . . .

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El Bastón del Emperador

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.

Psalm 7:17

This Spanish name of what English-speakers call “Torch Ginger” flower, “El bastón del emperador” has stuck with me from my first hearing of it. The English translation is “The Emperor’s staff” (or king’s scepter). And since most of the time I have at least one blooming in my gardens, it is a reminder of who my king is and my early pledges to follow Jesus as my life guide, ruler and “King” if you please. And what better “scepter or staff” for Him than a beautiful tropical flower! 🙂 Here’s the one blooming this weekend:

El bastón del emperador

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods

Psalm 95:1-3

¡Pura Vida!

My Flora & Forest Galleries

Extraordinary Moments from My Past

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.

~Aaron Rose


When I searched my old photos, all made before moving to Costa Rica in 2014, I quickly chose 125 photos without even going through all and decided to stop looking. Then I made cuts down to 40 photos that had “the right light” and I considered “extraordinary” and still too many! 🙂 I arbitrarily told myself “No more than 20!” (hopefully fewer) and the last cuts were the most difficult! 🙂 So forgive me for doing a post with 20 photos, but the chosen ones are all below in a gallery where you can click an image to see it larger. The feature photo in the header is my favorite Clouded Leopard shot from Nashville Zoo and this sample below for the email recipients (who have to click “Read More” to continue) is one of many extraordinary shots from 2 safaris in the Masai Mara . And these are not necessarily favorites but seem to fit in these two locations. 🙂

African Elephants taking their Children to bed for the night, Masai Mara Reserve, Kenya.
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Old Enough to Read Fairytales

The WingFeather Saga

You may not know that my favorite kind of books or stories are the ones written partly for children or maybe it is “the young at heart!” JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and JK Rowling. I was about to start re-reading Tolkien (the most difficult of the above) when through the sharing of friends in the Goodreads club/blog I discovered The WingFeather Saga (link to author’s description of the books). They are children’s books in this general fantasy/adventure style of the above three mentioned authors, with it quickly obvious that the author, Andrew Peterson, admires CS Lewis the most and would like to create a Narnia.

The 4 Books of The Wingfeather Saga

My Review of Sorts . . .

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Slowing Down

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

– Mohandas K. Gandhi

So what does an old man “Retired in Costa Rica” do with his time? Especially since cancer and the dreaded cancer treatment forced a slowdown? In short, I have slowed down! And those who know me well may find that hard to believe. 🙂 It is easier said than done for the hyper-active little boy who is sort of who I am. So this blog post will be My “Essay on Slowing Down” or more accurately on “what it is like for me to slow down.” I have now learned to “Enjoy the Moments” here in Costa Rica and hopefully I can share the joy of living slow in Costa Rica! 🙂

My Terrace Where I “Enjoy the Moments” Daily
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From my “Merriam-Webster Word of the Day” email today:

resilience – noun | rih-ZIL-yunss

  • the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress

  • an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
  • And this is the effort or goal of my body right now, much longer after the radiation treatment than I expected, as my trip the last week of July showed.

    For the rest of the year I have only 2 trips, both very relaxing places that I have already explored, so I plan to truly “take it easy” in September on the Caribbean or Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica in maybe my most relaxed hotel here, Banana Azul. I have reserved “The Howler Suite,” like a tree house on the second floor with a large private deck overlooking the forest and the beach where I plan to hangout more this time, with my “hikes” limited to beach walks and I may even use room service for some meals in my room and use the in-room Jacuzzi this time! 🙂 I was “too busy” the last time there! 🙂 Maybe read two books this time!

    Christmas week I’m back on the Pacific side at another favorite hotel, Cristal Ballena in Uvita, overlooking the bay of whales and the “Whale’s Tail Beach” (feature photo at top) along with a lot of birds right outside my room and with even better food! As much as I love where I live, I function better with a change of scenery every couple of months or so. And I believe both these places will help me immensely with my continued efforts of “Resilience” after cancer! 🙂

    Two Trees beachside at Banana Azul Caribe say “resilience” to me.
    And “Feature Photo” at top is a Pacific View at Cristal Ballena, Uvita.

    “The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”

    ― Robert Jordan


    ¡Pura Vida!

    “TRANQUILO” – My Favorite Spanish Word!

    Tranquilo calm, quiet, peaceful, relaxed, laid-back, unfazed – are some of the English words the online Spanish Dictionary ( lists as equivalents.

    Above: Tranquilo Sunrise at Macaw Lodge, Carara NP
    Feature photo at top: Tranquilo Sunset on Calle Barroeta, Atenas

    At first I wrote a lengthy essay on my need for “tranquilo” and how it has changed me, then decided it was “too much.” 🙂 So I’ll just let the photos speak for . . .

    A “TRANQUILO” life of “Retired in Costa Rica.”

    ¡Pura Vida!

    Blog, Website, Gallery, Bookstore

    Or Just the Photos


    The Blessing of “Heart Treasures”

    This beautiful Sunday morning I allow nature to wake me with the sunrise and sounds of a variety of birds in the trees around my casita. I eventually walk out on the terrace to witness the golden glow of distant hills around Atenas as the sun rises and I feel the refreshing cool morning air enter my lungs. I scan the trees and flowers for any creature stirring and then I prepare my breakfast to eat on the terrace, absorbing more of God’s natural beauty.

    Morning on my terrace.

    “The true blessings of life are the treasures hidden in the reservoirs of the human heart.”

    ~T. D. Jakes

    Let me tell you about more heart treasures including a big new one coming this week . . .

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    Mid-day Walk “Leaf Collection”

    Tuesday I had a morning doctor’s appointment in San Jose, getting back a little before noon and took a walk on my nearby “Country Lane” extension of 8th Ave. As I entered the road I asked myself, “What can I photograph today?” Almost immediately my eyes fell on a leaf! And so I tried to see how many different leaves I could make photos of with my cellphone. Here are 13 that were accessible and I purposely did not include fern fronds since I did a post on them last week, nor palm fronds because most are too high to reach with my cellphone! 🙂

    Here’s one for the email and then you go to the full post for the gallery of 13 leaves!

    A leaf growing alongside a country road.
    Continue reading “Mid-day Walk “Leaf Collection””