Second Guessing the Builders

Armchair Building Contractors:   Everyone who walks through Central Park Atenas regularly simply must try to figure out what the builders are doing now and what will come next. In the first photo I thought they were ready to start the construction of the “Kiosk” or Band Shelter – the center area was level and looked good to me, Then the next day heavy equipment is in there removing more dirt! So the contractor or architect had other ideas and they are now going deeper it seems. Us “sidewalk contractors” will probably stay entertained for most of a year as we continue to “Second Guess” what is really happening. Fun!  🙂

Now, really, doesn’t that look level and ready for a bandshell?

 

But the next day they were in there digging out more dirt with more dump trucks to haul it off!

 

Constructiveness is the human way.  

Dalai Lama

¡Pura Vida!

Is the Color of Christmas Red?

Last year after Christmas I took the potted Poinsettia I had had inside and planted it in my garden. When I recently asked my gardeners to “thin out” my garden, well . . . they really thinned it out including the removal of my poinsettia which was not doing well anyway.

So today I looked for another poinsettia in town and found only one little plant store that had any and they were expensive, but I got two anyway. They add to the “Christmas Spirit” around my house and I already had in mind putting them immediately in my garden, which I did. Well, the rain seems to have stopped (we might get 1 or 2 more) and the wind has started blowing (think March in the states). The petals or really leaves on the poinsettia are be thrashed by the wind and already look weathered.

Oh well, I meant well and in my thinned out garden there is not much color now, so they have been added to my two other now-blooming red flowers: Red Ginger and Torch Ginger or in Costa Rica El bastón de emperador. So maybe all this red in my gardens is my Christmas color for this year!   🙂

 

See the Photo Gallery of My Home Gardens for more of my flowers and they’re not all red!   🙂

 

“What is the colour of Christmas?  Red? 

The red of the toyshops on a dark winter’s afternoon,
Of Father Christmas and the robin’s breast?
Or green?
Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house,
dark shadow of summer in leafless winter?
One might plainly add a romance of white,
fields of frost and snow;
thus white, green, red- reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle. 
But many will say that the significant colour is gold,
gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer, 
For the true colour of Christmas is Black.
Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind,
black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight.

― William Sansom

¡Feliz Navidad!

The Gringo’s Hawk

Excellent first person account of living in the earlier, wilder Costa Rica as a twenty-something, then adapting and growing older here. Especially good for nature-lovers like me as a “Retired in Costa Rica” senior adult blogging about it at charliedoggett dot net. ¡Pura Vida!

—      Goodreads Review by Charlie Doggett

And I read the real book on paper! It is not available digitally for my Kindle. Thanks to a friend here in Atenas who loaned the book!

Supermercado Adds New Giant “Tree”

La Coope Supermercado built this giant tree which is really to enjoy only at night and I don’t go out at night – but interesting! 🙂
This is their standard entrance tree, possibly a repeat from last year. Plus they have smaller Christmas ribbons, bows and signs all over the store!
And the same nativity each year in the parking lot.

Christmas is a really big deal here in Costa Rica! And the week between Christmas is like a week-long holiday with most businesses closed and many Ticos on vacation at the beach. ¡Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad de Supermercado La Coope

 

Income Idea for My Fellow-Retirees

Someone just wrote me asking that I share this link with you in case you are interested in renting out a room in your house while at home or renting out your whole house while traveling or otherwise away, using AirbNB. It might be a good idea for you wherever you live as tourists visit all parts of the world now. (NOTE that I am not doing this nor recommending it.)  Here’s how:

https://www.bankrate.com/retirement/retiree-guide-to-hosting-airbnb/

City Hall’s Christmas Decor Features Famous RR Bridge

The new Christmas Tree at Atenas City Hall this year features our famous Railroad Bridge over the Rio Grande River  complete with a little model train going over it! Very Christmasy and Very Atenas! Link above is to a Google search of photos of the real bridge, no longer in service.

2018 Christmas Decorations at City Hall, Atenas, Costa Rica featuring  our famous bridge:   Puente Ferrocarril Rio Grande Atenas

 

Photo copied from TripAdvisor of our famous   Puente Ferrocarril Rio Grande Atenas       

Bridge is also featured in our Atenas chamber of commerce video:

“Atenas: Best Weather in the World.”  

¡Pura Vida!

 

Merry Christmas!

Keel-billed Toucan visiting for breakfast – my home terrace one morning.

HAPPY, HAPPY – – – to you and your family, friends, and communities this Christmas! While some of you enjoy a White Christmas, I will be enjoying the beaches and rainforests of Manuel Antonio National Park and the private Wildlife Refuge of Si Como No Resort there.   – – – HAPPY, HAPPY!    🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Untamed Costa Rica

National Geographic has been producing a series of 5 minute videos, first about wildlife in the states, now on much of Costa Rica’s wildlife called “Untamed Costa Rica” for use on their TV Channel and available online at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/untamed/

Wow! I just watched the first in the series about the negative relationship between the Olive Ridley Turtle and the Jaguar in northern Guanacaste at the Santa Rosa National Park here. I’ve bookmarked the website and will watch episode 2 soon which is about hummingbirds.

If you love nature but are short on time, a 5 minute nature fix may be just what you need! Give it a try!

Or come visit one of our hundreds of parks and reserves for a live nature fix here! Costa Rica is truly THE PLACE for Nature Lovers!

 

 

And here’s a 2 minute intro to the young dudes making these videos. They started first in the USA as shown in this intro:

And the Tico Times Newspaper article introducing Untamed Costa Rica to me is at:

http://www.ticotimes.net/2018/12/01/national-geographic-highlights-costa-rica-in-untamed-series

¡Pura Vida!

And oh yes, this month Costa Rica Celebrates 70 Years Without an Army!     🙂

New “Murals Parking Lot”

Earlier I showed a photo of one side that was being painted as a mural, but had no idea it would become like this and it appears to be nearly finished. Click an image to see it larger and/or start a manual slide show:

Atenas is a small rural town where people expect to park on the street, but as it has grown and gained a lot of rich foreigners with multiple cars, parking lots are becoming necessary, though people everywhere are slow to adapt. This colorful place to park should help those not wanting to change and pay to park. It is colorful like our beautiful little town. See also the “old town” in the video below in the right column, titled “Atenas: Best Weather in the World.”  A cool place to live!

¡Pura Vida!

 

Two Gifts This Morning

I opened two gifts this morning – my eyes.

 

Photo is of a Caribe sunrise, Hotel Banana Azul,

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

 

My prayers go to the Bush Family in their loss . . .

. . . a truly great & humble man!

George H. W. Bush

Humility is not thinking less of yourself,

it’s thinking of yourself less.

~C. S. Lewis

REPORT ON MY BIOPSY:  After removing the 10 stitches from my arm (where all that cancer was confirmed removed) and the two stitches from my face for the biopsy, Dr. Gamboa gave me the facial biopsy report:

In brief, it says I have another carcinoma cancer on my face which is a smaller and slower growing type than the one on my arm. No problem waiting until January to remove the rest of it (the biopsy took most of it). Because of the delicate and thinner skin location next to my eye, we will be doing a more complicated and more efficient (more expensive) “Mohs Surgery” with two doctors doing it with a pathologist standing by to make sure they get all of the cancer as he examines each layer as removed (continuous biopsy). It will not be in his office this time but in a clinic, hospital-like, operating room, but still out-patient. He is checking on availability of other doctor and the clinic for the week of 21 January – after my Boca Tapada trip.  Remember —  the doctors work around my trips!  🙂    Important! That is where I sleep in a tree house 5 nights!

Dr. Gamboa also “PRESCRIBED” wearing a wide-brim hat instead of the ball caps I’ve been wearing and of course sunscreen every day when out. I sure love sunny Costa Rica, just 673 miles north of the equator, but with the value of the sun also comes with some potential dangers for someone like me who loves the outdoors. I have already become more careful, even though the doc says these current growths and cancers were probably caused by sun I got as a child or teen, more sun now can make it worse, so I must be cautious.

¡Still Pura Vida!    🙂

Parajeles Bridge Done Nicely By The Monkey Space

This street I cross almost every day in Atenas ended at one street and across the vacant lots you could see it continued on the other side of that block. I wondered why they didn’t just continue the street or connect the two ends. Then one day more than a year ago they started.

First they graded the land on either side of the creek running down the middle of the block. Then they brought in a bunch of huge concrete culverts, placing two rows of them down the stream. Then covered those with gravel and dirt and more on top of everything until they finally black-topped a street where there was none. I figured they were finished.

No, they then added sidewalks on both sides of the street which is unheard of in Atenas. Still not enough! They built these beautiful stone walls above where the culverts were placed to make it look like a bridge. Finally (I think), they added ornaments, a 150th Anniversary Logo and a Municipal Council sign on the stone walls and someone else painted a mural on the wall protecting a house with a little sign saying “The Monkey Space.”  I looked it up and found their Facebook Page as a gathering place for young adults wanting to volunteer in the community. Totally cool and another wonderful little spot in Atenas!  What a cool town I live in!

Mural on the wall by “The Monkey Space” next to new bridge

 

 

 

 

Photos of New Street & Bridge

Click images below to enlarge or start a manual slideshow: