Saturday, January 25, 2014

Return to Winter

January 18 arrived - nothing we could do to stop it!

The drive back to San Jose was simple – left at 6:40 am - a few slow point with vehicles, but made it to Avis in 3 hours 20 minutes and were through customs by just after 11.

Apparently American Airlines doesn't have a business class lounge in San Jose so we found a couple seats in the corner and read and internetted etc.

Flights were fine – both arriving early – but Miami airport - - OMG!

They weren't clear on where to send us for passport clearance – US citizens here and everyone else there (a line that had 3,000 people snaking in a room and another 3,000 in a line down the hall) – 3 minutes later – US and Canadian Passports here and everyone else in the long line.  So out we come for the line of hell and into an area with electronic kiosks – through in 10 minutes – then baggage – not a problem but really slow (ours were first out but almost 40 minute wait.

Now to the customs line – 2 exits with 4 customs officials each and about 10,000 people – the lines we so long that the ends of both lines (from opposite ends of the hall) merged in the middle and there were almost fists thrown as people jockey’d to move in one direction or the other - - an hour to get through that!!  We landed at 5:20 and finished with customs at 7:20 – lots of time for the next flight but 2 hours of my life I will never get back! No fun at all.

Walked in the door in Toronto at 1 am - - a very long day

Cats are happy and seem well cared for - - very interested in some petting and purring

So for the winter issues - Just as we were leaving Miami James texted – he was at the house – the outdoor faucet in the backyard had burst and was spraying water – the neighbour noticed it and called him – he came and turned off the inside valve – some water in the basement and next door’s as well, but apparently no real damage - - - such fun!!

Then - Polar Vortex 2.0 - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - high of -22 to -17 before windchill. Experiencing a 55C shift in temperature in 2 days is no fun!!
Today and tomorrow - we are supposed to get snow

Miss paradise already - 34 days is very attractive!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Lizard's Tale

So I spent the afternoon on the patio reading while Lisle was working with Christian.  It started to get dark, so in I come to close up the screens and settle in for the evening.

Something moves on the floor - - our first in-home gecko (actually I think it is an Anole, but I wasn't checking credentials).

I tried chasing it out with a broom - stamping at it - throwing a pillow at it - a jumpy little thing that scampers and freezes - impossible to catch and even harder to try and herd out the door

Lisle arrives home and I introduce him to our new occupant - "Did you try ...."  Of course I did but he is a fast little critter.

One might say - why not just leave the little thing be - - well, they make a clucking sound and leave behind droppings that look like thin beads of black caulk!  Not well behaved house guests!!

Lisle's solution?  We'll suck him up with the shop vac!!!!!
Approach slowly and move quickly as he runs from the major sucking machine!!

Some magic wand action and Voila!! Gecko gone!! - - Vacuum goes outside (just in case the sneaky bugger crawls out)

Well actually NO!  45 minutes later, he was sitting on the counter

Another attack with the giant sicking machine over the fruit and vegetables, around the blender and cornered behind the fruit bowl - a few jabs of the wand for good measure and DONE.  I shift all on the counter - no Gecko - all good.  Vacuum back outside. (no photos as he was doing all this in his underwear!)

6 am arrives and I venture down to open up and make coffee.  Something move in the clean dishes drying on the counter - the Gecko leaps from under a bowl and lands on the rim of one of the plastic tumblers.  Slowly I pick up the tumbler and walk it outside - the little thing doesn't move (either injured or traumatized by the events of last evening) - set it on the table come back inside and close the door - I look 10 minutes later and it is gone - a Gecko-Free home once more (or at least none we know of!)

Friday, January 10, 2014

On the Map!

Well almost!

The current edition of Digits - a cross between the white pages, the yellow pages and a tourist reference guide - has a great map of Ojochal - actually accurate!  Businesses pop up and disappear quickly, so most maps are out of date, but this is good.  An now that there are street names it isn't just a bunch a squiggles!

Unfortunately, they only show the municipal roads, so I added us in - just a little bit off the main road.  Come find us!!

BTW - Digits is apparently up for sale - maybe the beginning of my publishing empire?!?!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Like I said - rainy days provide beautiful sunsets - - this one from the pool patio at El Castillo!

Another overcast day - can't really see the ocean - but no rain yet!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


It is funny how when the rain stops it is so silent!

The rain is so loud - especially the heavy tropical rain like we just had - and yet suddenly it stops and all is silent - and very still.  The birds aren't chirping, and trees aren't moving, and there is none of the usual breeze.  Bits of cloud hang in the mountain valley barely moving.

Doesn't last long - 5, maybe 10 minutes - then the birds start - a call here and there - soon it is back to the normal chatter.

Today was a rainy one - was over cast when we woke up, started raining around 10 and just let up now - 1:15.  Good heavy rain - Lisle moved the car out of the carport so it could get the dust rinsed off!  Brighter over the ocean now - hopefully a better afternoon!

It has rained almost every night this week - mother nature seems to be fighting off the dry season - the rain isn't a bad thing - keeps everything green - but is keeps the humidity up as well.  The good thing about overnight rain is that the horizon starts to cloud over late in the afternoon - while you don't get to see the sun slip into the ocean, you do get spectacular sunsets.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Blank Slate

So, out with 2013 and in with 2014.

Last night was a dark starry sky filled with fireworks from the village and music, food, drink and chatter at the neighbourhood party.

A gathering of the usual suspects at Casa Faust - Dean and Michelle, Keith and Karen, Bruce and Barb, Dwight and Wendy, Doug and Samira, and Lisle and I - brought a grand pot luck feast - dips and nachos, ceasar salad, green bean salad, pulled pork, meatballs, breaded chicken, BBQ sausage, cheesy mashed potatoes, lemon cheesecake - - - along with way too much wine.

Add the requisite Roy Orbison and the evening was complete.

As enjoyable as it was, even with an afternoon nap, staying up until 1 am here is almost impossible!!!

2014 dawned at 5 am with the howlers - very close but still hidden - calling until almost 5:30, when the birds started - screeching and chattering - - waking the jungle - - then at 7 - silence!  another hour of sleep.

So I read yesterday that 2013 NYE was an especially momentous evening because it coincided with the new moon - something that happens about once every 20 years - - entering the new year with a blank slate all around.

While his last day in the office was December 13, retirement begins officially for Lisle in late January - a big change for us both - the start of a more permanent shift to Costa Rica - - this year will bring the sale of our home (hopefully soon and easily!) and the sorting of family responsibilities (Lisle's 94 year old father still needs support) - - I like the idea of a blank slate - - time to write the next chapter!!

Happy New Year to all!