My CANCER Adventure Book

Mostly my real time journal and blog posts plus photos and other information that is meant to be inspirational for someone else going through cancer, especially my specific Parotid Tumor Cancer with 68 pages and 87 photos, including a few of my nature posts during that time. 🙂

I also emphasize the value of nature in healing for me. And the title “True Grit” is explained in the book and on back cover, kind of funny! 🙂

You can see a free electronic preview at Or click the cover image below:

Me in front of Radiation Machine on book cover.

You can also browse through all my nature photo books while in the bookstore or click on Bookstore on the menu bar above.

¡Pura Vida!

San Jose Finale

Final for this trip or purpose here, but I will be back! Everyone who lives in the country has to go to the big city sometimes. 🙂

And because nature walks have helped me get through this cancer treatment more than maybe anything else, I chose nature shots from my last couple of days here. And for those who don’t know, today was my last radiation treatment and that is why I can return to Atenas and enjoy the nature there while taking possibly months to recover from the side effects of radiation. I will report on that progress along with the joys of nature in my little coffee farming town of Atenas. Pura vida! And now, MY LAST NATURE SHOTS FROM THIS SAN JOSE TRIP . . .

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Another Summer Concert & Health Notes

Friday and Saturday (after I’ve gone back to Atenas) the hotel is hosting another concert weekend featuring Debi Nova singing on Friday night from the stage in the swimming pool! Since the Ministry of health is not allowing public venue concerts because of Covid, the hotel gets around that by renting rooms with balconies overlooking the swimming pool, priced by quality of view! 🙂 And a max of 4 to a room. The above link on hotel’s site has photos of earlier concerts with people watching from balconies and below is this Friday’s singer Debi Nova . . .

Debi Nova

There won’t be a crowd of thousands but a fun experience for a lot of young adults I’m sure and a tiny boost to one of the many hotels suffering from the Pandemic lack of tourists. Below are my photos of the setup as it looked on Thursday and I won’t be here to photograph the concert. 🙂 . . .

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Hotel Art

As Friday’s post featured a few works of art at the Radiotherapy Clinic, this post shows some of the art I’ve enjoyed being around at my hotel during this therapy time. It’s not a replacement for visiting the closed museums, but it is always enjoyable to be around good artwork anytime and anywhere!

Breakfast Bar Art

And a short slide show of more . . .

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Oxen Art

At one point in the early 2000’s it seemed to have been a popular community art project to create a bunch of statues of something representing a community or state and have an art contest with local painters. Well, that was done in Costa Rica sometime prior to 2009 and the oxen animal (not the more famous ox cart) was chosen. A winner is chosen with his/her cash prize and then all the entries become “Public Art” placed around town in parks or other public places or businesses and individuals can buy with a large donation to “Public Art” in that community. (See below how that was done 3 times during my years in Nashville.)

Long story short, one of the “Art Ox” ended up in the gardens of Best Western Irazú it was called then, now Best Western Plus San Jose. FYI, that is coffee beans painted on the side of the oxen and the basket he is figuratively eating out of is one of the traditional coffee bean picking baskets used by workers to harvest coffee beans when ripe. The only other painted ox I have photographed was at Hampton Inn Airport and I can’t find that photo.

Ox Art, Best Western Plus, San Jose, Costa Rica

A Similar Public Art Project in Nashville 3 times

And with those three contests and additions of art I managed to photograph most if not all of the entries which are now public art like the oxen here in Costa Rica:

It is fun to live in places when neat things like these art projects happen! Just a small part of my many memories of 37 years in Nashville!

More Art in Costa Rica Galleries

¡Pura Vida!

Empty Nest

It could be either good news or bad news, and I hope good news! I just read that a baby Yigüirro can fly at one week of age (they were older) and are usually independent by three weeks old, thus, even if motivated a little early by the noise and lights of a rock concert Saturday night, I think they flew away and are safe somewhere.

Below is what the nest looks like mid-day Monday from Room 407 and the second photo what it looked like mid-day Friday from the same Room 407. The concert was Saturday night with the band only 30 meters away. so if the birds were still there then, the band could certainly have been their motivation to “grow up” and fly away. 🙂 I hope so! We will probably never know. But still glad I left my “nest” before the concert! Or I might have tried to fly away too. 🙂

Empty Nest Monday Mid-day
Full Nest Friday Mid-day

Other Birds at Best Western San Jose

¡Pura Vida!

Are they Growing?

My last photo this week of the baby Yigüirros and Mom. I’ll check again tomorrow when I return, but they should be growing fast since all the mother does is bring them food all day! 🙂 I’m enjoying this opportunity to watch a nest which doesn’t happen real often.

Mother & Baby Yigüirros, Best Western Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica

See more birds in my gallery, Best Western San Jose BIRDS

¡Pura Vida!

Balcony Concert Tonight

I am missing the final concert for the Summer (May begins Winter here). It is the last in a series of hotel concerts called “Summer in the city – From your balcony” or really “Verano en la ciudad – Desde tu balcón” with a Covid-safe Rock Concert at my Best Western San Jose Hotel and they’ve been doing it once a month since January or December. See the hotel’s website photos & videos of the concerts.

The only way you can see/hear the concert is to rent one of the 150 upstairs rooms with balconies overlooking the pool and watch the concert live from your balcony! Pretty cool ideal that helps both young adults have fun during the pandemic and a struggling hotel with no tourists and almost no customers fill several rooms at an advertised “special price” of $61 USD (more than I’m paying) with a limit to 4 per room/balcony. Tonight, Saturday, May 8 is this month’s concert and the final one in this summer series.

Friday before I left I snapped these cellphone shots of them setting up the stage over one end of the pool. This month American Express is the sponsor.

The stage under construction Friday.

And more photos . . .

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Blue-gray Tanager

The Blue-gray Tanager (eBird Link) is another bird I’ve seen here in San Jose, first on the other side of “the big tree” or Indian Laurel, thus not good photos with the distance and then later a little closer but with bad light. He is a common bird we see frequently all over Costa Rica and is found only in Central America and Northern South America. I have a lot of much better photos in my Blue-gray Tanager Gallery from all over Costa Rica! 🙂

Blue-gray Tanager, San Jose, Costa Rica
Blue-gray Tanager, San Jose, Costa Rica

And more photos . . .

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Sparrow Brings Back Memories

This Rufous-collared Sparrow (eBird link) is Latin American, found from the hills of Chiapas, Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including throughout the central hill country of Costa Rica. Every time I see one, I remember my first trip to Costa Rica in 2009 when I saw and photographed my first one at Savegre Hotel, San Gerardo de Dota. Memorable because it was a mother bird feeding her juvenile an earthworm. You can see that photo and others in my Rufous-collared Sparrow Gallery. Or in my travel gallery, 2009 Birding Tour. Pura vida from that very first visit here!

Rufous-collared Sparrow, Best Western Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica

And more photos . . .

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