Day before yesterday my gardeners came with several upgrades for my garden which, like lots of my projects, started with just one flower and then, well, I kind of kept expanding it! 🙂 It started with this flower I saw at Chachagua Rainforest Hotel and liked so much, I wanted one! I sent this photo below to my gardener. He told me he could get one and then when he was here and we talked in person I “remembered a few other things” I would like for them to do when they bring the new flower. 🙂
My extras ended up being the biggest job (and expense), but I’m so glad that I got all of this done! This is where I live and I’ve slowed down a little on traveling, meaning I want my home to be a tropical paradise – my continuous vacation place! 🙂
I think it was the same day I posted the recent park update that they added an electrified SUN sculpture to their concrete structure. I know it is electric because my taxi drove by it on the way home from dinner Saturday night and it was lit up a bright yellow! 🙂 Kind of shocking in a small country town, like a gas station sign downtown! 🙂
I got some daytime photos this morning and I plan to go back tonight to get a night photo before posting this, if still lit behind the construction fence. I hope they don’t cheapen the park with too much “neon” color and lights. I suspect now that the ATENAS letters will be lit up also, in their bright red color. I guess it will add to the party spirit of the many fiestas, concerts, festivals, dances, etc. that will take place in the park after Covid! I just hope the new, very modern park does not eliminate all of the quiet, sophisticated places in nature that it has had. We will see! Maybe a little of both! 🙂 If it helps people interact, then that is good! 🙂 And recently lots of people are using the park as it is while still wearing their masks! There’s always a group of old men talking and after school a lot of both children and teenagers.
And hopefully the last day of round-the-clock rain as Eta moves on toward Florida. At breakfast on the terrace this morning, the rain had stopped but all was wet and I tried to capture a little sense of the wetness. After breakfast the sun started peaking out and you can see a little of it reflecting off the wetness in the pix. It is the first sun in many days and a pleasant relief! Maybe today will be a more normal “rainy season” day with rain only in the afternoon or early evening. Then before we know it, December will be here with the rain stopped for months and soon after we will be wishing for the rainy season to start again! 🙂 Fickle humans! 🙂 While the cycles of life continue in a now very green Costa Rica! ¡Pura Vida! 🙂
Featured photo is a rain wet Princess Flower in my garden by Charlie and Haiku Poem is also by Charlie. Slide show is of the wetness observed on my terrace this morning at breakfast, just one more beautiful aspect of nature!
Psalm 19 The Message (MSG) A David Psalm
19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure. Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar.
(Emphasis is mine.) Sharing what struck me in my devotional reading 3 mornings ago as I read this Psalm. And really, everything in nature has God speaking to me whether in a Bible passage or a famous quotation or not. I am in closer harmony with God in the natural places of Costa Rica than anywhere I’ve been before – like an anteroom to Heaven! 🙂 No predictions intended, but I’m ready! 🙂 Being close to nature is one of my ideas of heaven!
is what the Dermatologist says about the cause of skin cancer. But he also says if I continue to get too much sun it will make it worse, so my two wide-brim hats and 60 SPF Sunscreen, called El Protector Solar here or informally protección de sol. I dislike it but when I know I will be in the sun much, I use the sunscreen now and wear my big hat everytime I go out!
SKIN CANCER SURGERY ON MY FACE THIS TIME
The only other skin cancer removed was from my arm a month or two ago and it was comparatively easy with a lot more skin on the arm. Sorry if the photo below grosses you out, but I was really surprised at how much this facial growth had grown with this big of a scar or “more than 15 stitches” said the doctor, though I counted more like 20 or 21 in the photo. My eye is partially swollen and partially closed but it will get back to normal soon. I went back to the doctor the day after surgery (Wed) and he changed the bandage which I will permanently remove Thursday. Air helps healing. And he prescribed a cream I put on it twice a day for at least two weeks when I see him again for a checkup, after my next photography trip of course! 🙂 I have to keep my priorities straight you know!
It was Mohs surgery Tuesday which the link describes or basically it is a pathologist there with the surgeon doing biopsies on every bit removed until there is no sign of cancer. With this he is now more certain he got all the cancer and didn’t remove too much “good skin” which is more limited on the face. He was prepared to graft a piece of skin from my cheek if necessary, but thankfully it was not. And in two weeks or so I will be back to normal with a noticeable scar on my face. No problem! Just call me “Scarface.” 🙂
The 15+ stitches
Surgery day bandage
That’s Life! – ¡Así es la vida!
And tomorrow I will go back to sharing more from my great trip to Maquenque Eco Lodge!(Link is to the Gallery)
And oh yeah, that sunset photo above is one I made at Arenal Volcano National Park. After all, this article is mostly about the sun! 🙂
My dermatologist (after 2 skin cancers) says I have to wear a wide-brim hat everytime I go out along with sunscreen. Bummer – but here’s my first one (a Dorfman Pacific Safari Hat) which is like what a neighbor wears everyday, so I won’t be alone! 🙂 Then with a Christmas gift certificate I ordered a Panama Jack Safari Hat which might be more stylish. The price you pay living close to the equator! ¡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.
Ate lunch around the corner from these trees at the Catholic Church Atenas
There probably is no such thing as a “typical” day in anyone’s life, never-the-less mine! But this relaxed Monday in Atenas, Costa Rica seems worth reporting as almost one for me.
As always, I was awakened early by the birds singing, but stayed in bed until about 6:30 when I got up for a shower, breakfast of fresh fruit, nuts, cereal, and some Costa Rica Coffee, while overlooking a vista of the Atenas Valley and mountains, and watching birds in my trees. I put all the trash in one big bag making it easier to take to the gate and put in our big metal basket where we place only bagged trash for pickup.
With a backpack of Spanish learning materials, sunglasses, and my Panama Hat today (David calls it my “bonita sombrero.”) I walk the 1.1 mile under a sunny blue sky at around 80 degrees to my Spanish class in town. It is always a fun 2+ hours with two new students today and the temporary loss of others who are traveling for awhile. After class I walk back to my old apartments, Hacienda La Jacaranda, to return two cups I accidentally packed with my stuff and pick up my last electric bill there.
Then I walk to the center of town to the Post Office to see if a letter has arrived that was sent 4 weeks ago from the states. It has not. Make a note to tell people to use the Miami PO Box to get mail to me quicker! Then two blocks away (or here we would say 200 meters) to the Vargas & Sons Hardware for a couple of items I need for the house. Then I decide to eat lunch out today since I have not in awhile, preparing most of my meals at home. I was going to try a new place but it is closed on Monday, so I go to my old standby Tico restaurant, La Carreta.
For a little over $5 I get a casado (plate lunch) of fish, beans, rice, mixed veggies, and instead of my usual green salad, I choose the Picadillo de vainica y zanahoria, (right click on site for English Translation) always liking to try something new and it was great! Its a green beans and carrots relish or salad with delicious seasoning, my favorite item on the plate today. As always here, the meal was served on a banana leaf in a tray. But of course that was not all for this sweet tooth guy! For just the second time for me I ordered a Lechemulla which is their version of the Horchata rice & milk drink, but they use vanilla ice cream instead of milk which adds to the cinnamon flavoring and wow is it good! During all this delicious eating, I’m both watching people walk down the street and reading more in the lengthy Lord of the Rings book. I finished both the Happier than a Billionaire books which were fun, but I’ve had enough of Nadine & Rob for awhile! And yes, the Rings books are heavy and lengthy, but also some great writing and story-telling! My Kindle Fire says the typical reading time for it is 27 hours and I’m about half-way through.
Then I walk all the way back past Su Espacio, where my Spanish class took place, to CoopeAtenas supermarket for my little shopping list and pay the electric bill. While finishing there it begins to rain really hard. So I call a cab for the trip home with enough groceries that walking would have been tough anyway. It was about $2 for the taxi.
It was a good long rain, more than usual, that I’m sure made my new flower garden happy. Sun is shining now. After writing this, I have some bookkeeping to do, then may read or try to photograph birds from the balcony or walk with camera through the neighborhood. By then a sunset snack and more reading or time on the computer before bed. I haven’t watched a single TV show here and no Netflix movies since moving to new house. Real life is more fun! Plus I’m working on three different books and about to have my shipped boxes delivered, so never a dull moment! And I have done very little of the traveling around Costa Rica I expected to be doing by now. Maybe soon!
I’m looking at the Strangler Fig Tree outside my office window and continue to be amazed that I really am living in Costa Rica! It is not paradise or perfect by any means, but it brings me more joy and relaxation than any place I have ever lived. The rain just cooled it off, the birds are singing happily while I smile and think to myself what a wonderful decision it was to move to Costa Rica! Pura Vida!