“And now you know…the rest of the story.”

Only people my age remember Paul Harvey and his feature news stories he called “The Rest of the Story.” And just like then, sometimes there is more to a story than what you first read . . . including my stories and blog posts.

On October 9 I had a post titled Progress? (my second time to use that title I realized later.) And the premise both times was that big business is coming into our quaint little farming town, tearing down family houses to build modern, commercial buildings, ruining the character of our little town. Well . . . I deep down know better than to make assumptions like that when I don’t know all the facts, but trying to be idealistic I did it anyway and was wrong.

WHAT I DID WRONG: I posted my photo of the nice new modern office building between two family houses and declared that the house that had been there probably raised several families and now that family thing is gone and made more difficult for the two houses left on either side of the big new modern office building. Much of that I just implied.

MY HAND WAS CALLED: A few days later I received a friendly but firm correction to my story from a lady whose husband was in the second generation of children to grow up in that house they just tore down to build an office building for the business she and her husband started when they were married. She explained that the house was old and riddled with termites and was going to have to be torn down anyway, plus (as I did say in my story) that whole street is rapidly becoming commercial anyway. She went on to say that if the grandparents were still living they would be very pleased with what their grandchildren decided to do with the old house they had built and keep the property in the family.

After I apologized, she gave another very kind response to my response. But the best way to see is read the comments at the end of the post Progress?

Me and my big mouth! Maybe I will be more careful in the future, at least for awhile! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

New Pot Plants

When they start looking “scraggy” I like to have a fresh start! And I recently did that with these two pots, one outside and one inside.

The inside one has had several little palms from the beginning that never lasted more than a year, if that long – evidently needing more sun. So I replaced the palm with a Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss Cheese plant, which is in the philodendron family and can better handle the lack of sun, as already shown in one of the shady areas of my outside garden. A nice tropical change from the palms that kept dying!   🙂

I don’t remember the name of the green plant we removed from my outside frog pot, but it evidently needed more water than that little pot could hold and kept turning brown. So it has been replaced with a type of fan palm that is supposedly easy to grow. But with a smaller pot, I still need to be more frequent with the water!   🙂   And the green plant removed is now doing well in one of my outside gardens!

Monstera deliciosa or Swiss Cheese plant

Fan palm in frog pot.


“A dried plant is nothing but a sign to plant a new one”
― Priyansh Shah


¡Pura Vida!


See also My Home Gardens Photo Gallery and for the inside if my house:

My Rent House in Roca Verde  Photo Gallery.

“New” Chairs

Okay . . . not really new, but like new to me as my 5 year old rockers on the terrace had become faded by the sun to nearly white in color and the old cushions were dirty, ugly and too small. I threw the old cushions away and hired one of my very skilled gardeners to sand (even in the little grooves of the carvings) and re-varnish the two chairs on his own time (he had earlier painted 3 of my flower pots much to my satisfaction). I am very pleased with his work on these two matching chairs and their “new” look now.  🙂


Sometimes when you are “quarantined at home” the little things make a big difference!   🙂   Social distancing from my house in tropical Costa Rica . . .

I enjoy the small things.

~Michael Buble


¡Pura Vida!

See also the photo galleries of my house:

P.S.   I’m writing posts 2 or 3 days ahead now, but decided last night to add this postscript note that I hope to get up at 5:30 this morning and go walking for birds again on Calle Nueva, so look for that birds post in 2 or 3 days! A friend walked it yesterday morning and saw a parrot and a trogon. Hope I’m as lucky!   🙂    I am so blessed! Retired in Costa Rica!

Tico Casa & Heredia Central

I had a great dinner last night with Vera and Daniela off and on with others out – it was arroz con pollo or chicken and rice with a typical Tico breakfast this morning of Gallo Pinto or beans and rice with egg and coffee and bread and a big plate of fruta and glass of juice! I ate breakfast with Jose, I neat young guy from a little village an 8 hour bus ride south of here near the Panama border. He works for a robotics company and goes to the university in night school for more robotics skills. Lots of different things are manufactured here in Costa Rica and there are some really sharp young people here!

If there is any downside of a boarding house it is sharing the bathroom with many other people. No wait for my shower this morning, but after breakfast before leaving for school I could not brush my teeth because it was occupied. It is all part of “being family” or sharing which is ultimately a joy!   🙂

I had a good morning at school today followed by a tour of downtown Heredia with lunch at the Central Mercado, a typical lunch plate called a “casado” which is your choice of meat and an assortment of vegetables, rice and salad served for lunch everywhere in Costa Rica, like what Mamma would serve you at home. The word “casado” literally means “married” and implies that if you are married this is what your wife will serve you for lunch.  🙂  I will report on the school tomorrow and Wednesday I’m going to the Toucan Rescue Ranch for another interesting experience. Never a dull moment! Even when learning!

Casa de Garcia

A 4-bedroom Boarding House Apartment


Heredia Central


And of course I have a “Trip Gallery” of photos from this week, titled:

2020 February 22-28 — Heredia for Spanish Immersion

¡Pura Vida!

Exploring Rental Houses

A new friend who visited Atenas once and is coming back for 3 months to find if this is really where he wants to retire and maybe find a specific place to live long term. He asked me to check out a rent house he found online listed by owner and I made him a temporary Photo Gallery of the House. I just sent him the link and then thought that others might like to see what you could rent in Atenas for less than $600 a month! Just click the gallery link above. It is 3.9 km from the center of town.

His possible rental house overlooks a beautiful valley and is
surrounded by nature and a mountain resort next door he can use.
Atenas, Costa Rica
Having butterflies is important to me and there were
several right in front of his potential house.
Red-Spotted Patch Butterfly
Atenas, Costa Rica

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly in One Morning!

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
On Heliconia in my garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

Yeh, it is unusual for a hummingbird to stay still very long, especially on a flower! Thanks Lord!

Bark Scorpion
On my kitchen floor, Atenas, Costa Rica 

Both of these shots were made before breakfast this morning. The scorpion crawled out from under my electric dishwasher. You can see that on his tail and left hand he has collected some cobweb.  🙂  I just used the broom to sweep him outside off my deck or terrace. In 2 1/2 years here it is only the second scorpion I have seen, both in my kitchen. I am going to spray under my dishwasher, stove and frig, the best hiding places. Though, last night I opened two cardboard boxes of old genealogy books and that is also a good place for scorpions. Part of living in the jungle!  🙂

Check out my Birds photo gallery and my Other Insects photo gallery for more creature shots.

My House Location

My House Location  (Red arrow)
The big orange roof above & to left is my landlord from Montreal.
Little orange to right & down is Anthony of Indiana. Big gray house is Richard from England.
Towards mountains is downtown Atenas, white church steeple seen, top center-right.
I walk this whole valley almost daily, one great advantage of not owning a car!
Life in a rural small town. Pura vida!

Note that it is the end of dry season which is therefore the wildfire season, But we are starting to get some rain. Had a shower early this evening. Happy days are here again! (Rainy Season! May-Nov.)
Note to my relatives in Warren, Arkansas (Where I was born): Atenas is the same size town as Warren with about the same population (6,000 +/-), farming community, county seat, 4 supermarkets, 2 or 3 hardware stores, and only small shops for other needs with a 45 minute drive to Alajuela or hour drive to San Jose for big shopping and hospitals. Small towns are a lot alike around the world! Though we have a different kind of immigrants here than does Warren. Never thought I would be an immigrant in a small farm town! Life is full of surprises! And I did not consciously have this in mine when I chose Atenas. 
Check out the “official” video on Atenas, just 2 1/2 min.
See my photo gallery of Public Art & Graffiti in Atenas

Or the general gallery on Atenas,     or    Walking in Atenas (flowers/trees),

Or the People & Fiestas of Atenas

New Bug in My House

Unknown Insect
Inside my house, Atenas, Costa Rica

There are thousands of species of insects in Costa Rica and I came back from Bijagua with bites from half of them!  🙂   But this one waiting on me at home was a new one for me. I swept him out. Don’t know if this is one the geckos like. But the geckos go outside some during the day, so they still may get him!

Like bugs? Check out my Costa Rica Other Insects photo gallery for all I’ve photographed here other than butterflies that get their own gallery! There are some really interesting bugs!

At Alajuela Hospital today I received a big manila envelope of reports from my cardiologist on the various tests he has done. I am to take the envelope to the Cardiology Department at Hospital Mexico in San Jose Monday morning where he wants me to get an angiogram. I am assuming that they will give me an appointment for  a time to do it if they like all the documents in my big envelope.  🙂  I’ll report back on that Monday night.   ~Charlie

A Pleasant Evening in Atenas, Costa Rica!

Overlooking my house on a cloudy sunset around 5:15.
 “And all is well on the western front!”  🙂
Yep, the sun shines from between 5 & 5:30 AM to the same in PM
Every day, year around – 12 hours of dark & 12 hours of light! Nice!
That’s because we are close to the equator. Same sunrise/sunset daily.

And to my fellow Americans, forgive me for saying I was ashamed last night. The election did not go the way I thought was best, but God just may have something much better in store for us! So today I posted on Facebook the following quote and Scripture verse that better reflects my faith:

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come and
the mountains crumble into the sea.” Psalm 41:1
¡Pura Vida!