Live like a Sloth

“The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections–with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds” 

~Carl Honoré

Photo by Charlie in the Caribbean

—  As vegetarians who eat slow and move slow, Sloths conserve their energy and live happy lives. So maybe we humans can learn something from them at this often busiest time of the year!   🙂   Or just “Retire in Costa Rica!”   like me!   🙂

See my collection of sloth photos in two galleries:

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth   (the one always smiling)

Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth

The featured photo at top is one I took at Banana Azul Hotel in the Caribe Sur. There are sloths all over Costa Rica but more at lower elevations and especially along the Caribbean (Atlantic) Coast.

My friends at Costa Rica Expeditions

have a nice sloth message for you who love baby sloths. See their emailed promotion to visit in January-February when sloths have their babies at:




And one of my favorite T-shirts:



¡Pura Vida!

Stress to Tranquility

¡Tranquilo!  is a favorite Spanish word in Costa Rica and is used in many ways to encourage or recognize tranquility and the easy-going ways here (except in the big city). My day started with a little bit of stress (in the big city) but ended very tranquil! (in a forest)

A different driver than expected picked me up early today which was good because of pre-Christmas traffic, but when I got to the airport the new girl at the counter told me my flight had been cancelled. What?! (Feel the stress building? She did.) But fortunately the supervisor she called over was exceptionally kind and helpful and not only got me on another flight but gave me a discount! Then I go and wait and wait for the plane which was 40 minutes late leaving with a driver waiting on me in Quepos. And being a Tico, he was not upset that the plane was late. ¡Pura Vida! Then when I got to my expensive hotel they could not schedule all the tours I wanted for various reasons (grrrr), but fortunately . . .

The Spa had space for one more person this afternoon and I got my “Relaxation Massage” and then went to a lovely dinner with monkeys entertaining and the nice sunset beside the building my room is in, with an ocean view by the way! 🙂

Phone Shots Today

All’s well that ends well!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!


See this TRIP GALLERY   2018 December Si Como No.

“De Cabin in de Wata” Next Week

Next Thursday I’m back to the most laid back part of Costa Rica, Caribe Sur! That’s the South Caribbean and my favorite hotel there, Banana Azul (in their best room overlooking the beach!) And now there is a new video about the town it is located in (best seen fullscreen):


And the first song (De Cabin in de Wata) in that video is an original Costa Rica Caribbean and not Jamaican like so many of the singers there use.  I immediately thought of the theater movie Güilas, which I wrote about earlier that used this same song in their Limon Province story. The song also has its own video that’s as good if you like more nature instead of people and this one includes the words on the screen:

De Cabin in de Wata

And the same Costa Rican singer, Walter Ferguson, also has this nice song:


Everything is very relaxed and authentic on the Caribbean side. I try to go every September or October when rain is lowest there and will go again in February to another favorite place, Tortuguero. Part of my . . .

¡Pura Vida!

Patience is Costa Rican!

Your have heard me brag about the tranquility and great weather of my little farming town of Atenas – and the “muy amable” or very kind people here. But one thing that many hyper and efficient Americans don’t always realize when they move to such an easy-going society, is that to be that way means everything and everybody moves slower here! No rush! ¡Pura vida! To not adapt to this slower way means you will not be happy here. Always frustrated at the inefficiencies!

My example of this today is my efforts since Monday to pay my surgeon for the work he did. (No pressure from him.) I made arrangements in advance with my Credit Union in Nashville to move the needed money from Savings to Checking so I could easily pay with my debit card. Hospital payment was quick and easy as I had planned, but the doc requested to be paid separately. Okay.

The doctor comes in my room with his little portable credit card machine, saying he doesn’t like to wait for the hospital to reimburse him if I pay through them (the most efficient way), saying they sometimes take a full month to forward the money to him. Okay. He tries repeatedly and his machine doesn’t work or at least he blames it on the machine and not my card which had just worked for the hospital. He leaves and returns in a little while with a bigger machine he plugged into the wall (still dependent on hospital WiFi). And it did not work. He then says we will take care of it when I see him at his office later this week (Wednesday). It still did not work there. He then gives me his account number at Banco Nacional and asks that I just transfer the money to his account from my account – but that account (my SS check auto-deposit) is just for housing costs, so I still have to get the money from Nashville.

Thus Wednesday afternoon I go to the bank with my CU debit card and ask them to get the needed money from it and put into my local account so I can transfer it to the doctor’s account. Sure! The teller aims to please, and tries repeatedly (7 times – service is important!) and he continues to get “denied” or “acceso denegado.” I call Nashville and they raise the cash advance limit (I thought they had already done) and say everything else is cleared – it should work! It did not! I told the patient teller (not the long line of people behind me) that I would return tomorrow and try again. Lo siento señor, mañana es un día festivo, no estamos abiertos. And I reply, Hasta el viernes.  Tomorrow is a holiday and we are closed. See you Friday.   🙂

Well, Thursday was Virgen de los Angeles day, (patron saint of Costa Rica) with only Christmas and Easter being bigger for Catholics here, when thousands make the pilgrimage to Cartago Cathedral to touch the black stone Maria. So nada yesterday! (Click above link to learn about the holiday.)

This morning I call the Credit Union again and make sure the card is good for a large amount of cash on this day and I’m assured it is. I go to the bank with teller lines going outside onto the sidewalk and street, more than an hour wait for a teller, so I tell the guard I need the “special services desk” and go wait nearly an hour for it, but those persons are more accustomed to “different” transactions like mine and I figured they could handle it better, maybe quicker, and once I finally got to a desk, it worked very smoothly, though taking another 25 minutes to do it! Remember – everything is slower here! Why rush? But she did go ahead and let me pay my monthly CAJA (public healthcare) with her and not have to go wait for a regular teller to do that.

Sooooo . . . an hour and a half at the bank, another chapter read in my latest book (which is so, so), my doctor bill is paid AND my monthly CAJA (public healthcare) bill paid! I breathed a sigh of relief and headed home for a more relaxed weekend! Pura Vida!

And, if you are wondering, the reason I didn’t use CAJA for the surgery, is that I would still be waiting to see a surgeon and I chose not to have patience for that!  Choices and Patience! Retired in Costa Rica!   🙂   ¡Pura Vida!



Inside Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles Church

In the Garden This Morning

Some mornings start out cloudy, but usually not all day.
Atenas, Costa Rica


Teatro Nacional Celebrates 120 Years by Planning Renovation
And I personally will celebrate it by attending a special presentation of “Swan Lake” by the 72 person ballet of Havana, Cuba on October 15.

Read this interesting article on “The Origin of Name Costa Rica AND phrase Pura Vida.”

This Morning in the Garden

White-winged Dove
In My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

Blue-gray Tanager 
 In My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

In My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

In My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

In My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

In My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

In My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

In My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

In My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

One of my favorite things to do is to sleep until I wake up, shower, eat a liesurely breakfast on my terrace admiring flowers and the visiting birds. So, after a busy, early, hard day hiking yesterday, I had one of my relaxed mornings today (23rd) and recorded part of it in the above photos. There were other birds and more flowers, but this is a good sample for today.

Enjoying Retirement in Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

3 Great Birding Trips Planned + Little Theater

I continue to love my garden!

No new birds or other nature photos to share in last couple of days, just slowing down and relaxing a little since I was getting low on energy and not feeling my best. But tomorrow I go with a group of expats to San Jose for the Little Theater again for a play titled “Little Wars” by Steven Carl McCasland, that takes place in 1940 based on a real dinner party with 6 well-know women at the time: Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, Gertrude Stein, Agatha Christie, Alice B. Toklas, and Muriel Gardiner. (I get to see what women talk about when they have too much to drink!) Then we go out to eat at a nice restaurant.

I’ve also been busy planning future birding trips:

In March: Rio Celeste Waterfall & Cañon Negro on Rio Frio, staying at Celeste Mountain Lodge. where there are many birding trails on their property (4 nights). Getting there and back on public bus.

In May: Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park. Staying at the Aguila de Osa Rainforest Lodge (5 nights). Getting there and back on small public plane.

In July: A return visit to a pure birding lodge, Rancho Naturalista near Turrialba, Costa Rica, in the shadow of the active Turrialba Volcano (4 nights). Getting there and back on public bus.

When you live in Costa Rica,



And Retirement is called “la jubilación”



Live Slow

My latest T-shirt
I live in T-shirts & cargo shorts!
This one features a Costa Rica Sloth and
my new way of living.
“And so taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn’t come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself.

For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.” 
Alexandra Potter, The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather
“Wisely and slowly; they stumble that run fast.” 

Hugh Howey, Wool Omnibus

“Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.” 

Patti Digh, Four-Word Self-Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives

¡Pura Vida!