Friday, May 29, 2009


It seems like just yesterday I was holding this big guy wrapped in a little blue blanket! He was born weighing 7lb.13oz. and he was 23" long! Now he is 6'7" !!!! He was a wild crazy kid, and he has not changed a bit.

He is definately the most determined person I have ever met. When he makes up his mind about something it is set in stone. He is pretty ambitious too, so he is already up to something. Lately just working and riding his big red bike.

When he was three we bought him a little red bike with training wheels. The next day he took his daddys tools outside and took off the training wheels. Off he rode into the sunset, and fast! A couple of years ago I bought him a big red bike. He took off on that and is still riding it. He is brave to ride it in Costa Rica, but has discovered some great places to ride and some fun riding partners.

That guitar he is holding is his birthday present by the way! I certainly wish him a happy birthday and an awesome year with lots of success, and of course fun.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


It appears that earthquakes are contagious. Today was an earthquake in the Roaton area of Hondurus a 7.2 on the scale. That is a pretty big one, and I'm sure it was pretty scary for everyone there.

So far according to the news reports there have been 4 deaths reported and many homes lost. Like that country needs anymore natural disaters. I am happy to report that all the inlaws are fine, and their house sustained no damage.

My son-in-law and daughter were concerned because the houses in their parents neighborhood in Tegusegalpa were already pretty unstable because of Hurricane Mitch. It left all of the homes there on very unstable foundations and an earthquake could easily bring them down.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones and their homes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


My baby tells her dad that he has to call her "Princess School Girl". She likes the whole thing also, not just part of it. Everyday we walk her the half mile to school and pick her up three and a half hours later.

I was worried that she would get tired of all the walking and complain. She loves it. She tells us stories about school and we sing songs. Today the neighbor lady asked her how kinder was going. She told her bien and the lady asked how her Spanish was going. She said good.

Then the neighbor asked me how my Spanish was going. I told her awful and told her that the baby translates for me. She got a kick out of that and we heard her go into the house to tell all them about it.

It is great to see her making friends and forging bonds with our neighbors. When we go to school she is supposed to take a nutritious snack. So we stop in the corner store and pick up a yogurt, or drinking yogurt, or a strawberry milk for her to take to school. Every time we go into the store the store owner greets her and asks her about school.

She is growing up fast and it is good to see that she is not at all intimidated by living in a foriegn country and having to learn a new language. Today she learned the traditional Costa Rica dance and is excited to show it to us. Can't wait to see that.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


There is a "game" tonight! You may wonder what kind of game, unless of course you have ever lived in Central America, in which case you would automatically know it is a futbal game, or better known as soccer.

What can shut down an entire town, tie up every taxi in town, and cause people to throw bags of pee and all other sorts of vile behavior, again soccer games. It can get these otherwise laid back totally pura vida folks fired up like none other.

All the cars are driving around with above colors on their cars, all the stores decorated, all the people painted and wearing hats and clothes. To say it is an exciting moment is an understatement.

We have acclimated accordingly and are totally into it ourselves. There are weirder traditions.

For example at dinner last week my 5 yr. old baby said that they had all, the girls that is, unbottened their dresses and buttoned them back up in class. O.K. so I was pretty cool about it and did not even choke on my food. Upon further questioning she said that the boys did not see anything because their teacher made them sit behind the girls while they unbottoned their dresses.

It would not be a big deal but the dresses button all the way down the front. She was very adament about the fact that the boys could not see them because they were sitting behind them. I was still a bit confused about why they would be doing this.

Yesterday my hubby talked to the teacher to find out why our baby was unbottoning her dress in school. The teacher explained it was an exercise to practice their buttoning skills. I don't know about you but we used little wooden dolls with shirts on them to practice our buttoning skills. I am afraid of what they will do to practice their zipping skills :)

Monday, May 25, 2009


Here is a shout out to all those who have fought for our countries freedoms. Our freedoms have been hard won and definately worth fighting to save. My inmate son has made the comment that having been incarcerated he can understand what drives people to go defend the freedoms of others. He would be willing to fight to keep anyone from going through what he has been through.
Maybe we have had it made for so long we have begun to take our freedoms for granted and do not realize what we have. I believe that before too long we will wake up and wish we would have been more cognizant of our freedoms and worked harder to protect them from those who would want to take them away.
There is a movement to take the rights of parents and give them to the govt. In the case of the boy who the docs have decided needs chemo. The govt now knows more than the parents and therefore can require people to have medical procedures that go against their beliefs.
I have a feeling the next step will be forcing parents to get their kids immunizations. We have always gone through all the hoops with our kids to keep them from having to get immunizations because we feel they are not all they are touted to be in fact downright dangerous.
Because of this we are in the habit of always asking for a consent form anytime we sign the kids up for school or anything else. I have a feeling the days of offering these is numbered. I am really glad that most of my kids are grown up and I sure feel for those raising young kids in this climate, going to be a land mine for sure.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I love rainy season here in Costa Rica! Don't get me wrong I will be singing a different tune in a few months. But for here and now I love rainy season! It is so warm and beautiful in the morning and I get a great run in. We get all the errands done and try to get home and tucked in before 2:00 when the rains come. It is starting out slow which is always a good thing.

The last couple of days it has rained just about one to two hours a day. A couple of days this week were heavy downpours, but if that just happens a couple of times a week I can handle it. Now when it is the majority of the days it will get a little old, but for now perfect.

It is a good thing we are able to run in the morning when it is hot since the marathon we are training for starts at 5:00 a.m. and it will be really hot and humid before we get done! Now if I could just figure out how to do a marathon in three hours it would be no problem, we would get done right in time.

Oh well guess a little sweat never hurt anyone.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Did you know old karate teachers never die? No they actually go on to be cardio kick-boxing teachers because they just can't leave the karate behind. Or they can also become yoga instructors. One way or another they never leave fitness and teaching it behind.

When hubby closed his karate school down he said never again. He was done with karate and ready to move on to less painful things. So he has done yoga for a couple of years now after getting certified as an instructor at Samasati here in Costa Rica.

While I was in the states he took up "cardio kick-boxing". After doing a couple of classes with him I can see that he is easing his way back into karate. It is in his blood. He started karate when he was 16 and ended up with five black belts 20 years later. And of course lots of broken bones and bruises to show for it all.

The best part was free lessons for all our kids. The older ones all got to brown belt and the younger not so far. The thing is they are all pretty confident and that confidence shows. Well, usually except when my daughters' boss had someone guy come up from behind and grab her for her cell phone. That was another story, and my daughter is doing penance for that one.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


When I was 11 I got tired of asking my mom to get my ears pierced, and being told no, so my best friend Karen and I took things into our own hands. We got some ice, a clothes pin, a needle and some thread and got to work. Too bad they did not have google back then would have saved lots of pain. Anyway after icing, and clothes pinning, to numb the ear she did the poke! Oh yeah and we had a half potato behind the ear to keep it from moving.
After my mom saw my ears with the thread in them she finally felt really sorry for me and took me to buy some really cheap earrings. About two weeks and lots of pain and pus later I took out the earrings and gave up on pierced ears.
A few years later I got brave again and went to have them done professionally. I even bought the really expensive gold earrings and hoped for the best. Two weeks and lots of pain and pus later I took out the earrings and once again gave up on pierced ears.
About six years ago I decided that maybe I could trick my body since it was older and maybe pull off a pair of earrings. I did not even wait two weeks this time, after a couple of days I could see that my body was once again rejecting foriegn materials and it was not going to work.
Not to mention the fact that while swimming laps with the masters in Flagstaff I turned to take a breath and pulled one of the posts clear out of my ear on the lane line! That was a sure sign to me and I have not even considered trying ever again.
Well my kids have always felt sorry for me and totally compensated for me not being able to wear earrings. They have pierced ears, and not just with earrings they have used gauges, pencils you name it. They have pierced noses, eyebrows, lips, chins, chest, nipples, tongues and probably other unmentionalbe places.
Why on earth would they subject themselves to this pain? I have not figured that one out yet to be sure. My son came home last week with "snake bites" in his chin and a thingy in his eyebrow. I have watched him nurse those holes with all kinds of remedies in including ibprophin. Seems crazy to me.
I did see a special on the t.v. about piercing places where they actually "hook". They put a meat hook looking thingy through trigger points in your back and chest to release endorphins. The people getting hooked said they felt really high for days after wards! I am wondering how they felt once the high wore off and they started feeling the pain from the holes???????????

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I am trying to decide which is better to eat white rice or brown rice. I know all the benefits of whole grains and the fact that the vitamins are not processed out of them etc. The problem is if it does not get digested all the way, how is it better for you?
In Ayurevda they teach that white rice is superior because of the fact that it is easy on the system. Easy to digest and assimilate. It does not matter how good something is for you if your body does not assimilate it.
So not to be gross, but if you eat a big bowl of healthy brown rice and poop it all out whole, did it really do you any good? I don't think so.
Since moving to Costa Rica we have been eating pre-cooked white rice because it is the healthiest white rice available. It has a good flavor and actually digests. I will certainly continue researching this as I did bring back some really tasty Basmati brown rice from the states. It sure tastes good.

Monday, May 18, 2009


My son, the extremely tall handsome one is a hero! That is right he is like the hero of Heredia at this very moment. Saturday night I returned home after a month in Arizona and Texas and I was warmly greeted by the clan. It was a great welcome home party, but the tall one was missing.
About the time we finally decided to eat we got a phone call. He was calling to tell us that he had to go to the police station. You can imagine our gut twisting with this call, having one in jail in the U. S. is bad enough! But he then went on to tell us the whole story.
Apparently he had just gotten off the bus from San Jose in downtown Heredia and was walking over to get his connecting bus home. As he was walking down the street he noticed a couple. The guy was bear hugging the girl from behind and she was screaming. At first he thought they were a couple arguing, understandable since he still does not have mastery of Spanish. He kind of paused and looked closer as she called for help. He finally asked her in Spanish if everything was alright. She just looked at him and yelled in English no HELP! That was all he needed. He jumped on the guy and shoved him away. The guy actually came back and tried to grab her again. He was after her cell phone by the way. He grabbed him and pushed him again, this time hard enough to knock him down.
I guess he finally decided that he had had enough and he took off running. Two guys that were also watching joined in the chase and the three of them knocked him down and held him until the cops showed up.
When the cops got there they actually took all of them down to make a statement against the guy. They probably let him go five minutes later, but at least that was one less cell phone they got that night!
There is a movement among the youth to take the streets back. There have been about three incidents my son has witnessed where the people are chasing the robbers off and sometimes pummeling them pretty good. He even saw two cops taking care of a guy with their fists.
I am just proud that my son had the sense and courage to help someone. I did ask him to hold off if they had a gun or knife.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Noooo don't stir it yet!!!! This is the perfect example of a hyper grandma working with her hyper grand daughter! Poor little thing brought home a note from her preschool teacher. Apparently she is not "listening".
Well being her grandma I am inclined to believe they are not explaining themselves well enough. You have to remember here her first language is not Spanish and cut the kid some slack. Of course there is the point my daughter brings up that she does not listen in English either. Poo poo!
Now we are all tossing around the adhd thing and looking at her every move under a microscope. And the good news is after all the serious studies of her behavior I just declare her very much like her grandma!
There is nothing wrong with that, I spent my whole dang elementary school years with my head down on my desk for talking and causing trouble. Hard to believe for those who know me, but true.
The fact of the matter is if they had known then what they know now how many of us would have been medicated? Except my hubby of course who was medicated, before it was even fashionable. I did not even know they mad ritlan that long ago or maybe he was one of the test subjects!
At any rate we really don't have to worry for a few more years, until she is flunking all of her classes and getting into trouble or something worth worrying about!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


If you did not see her little long legs all tucked up under her you would believe I really have a baby! I still call her baby and she gets really angry, "I am not a baby!" I just tell her she has to be my baby forever, even if she is a big girl, she will still be my baby.
It is so hard to think that she is going to grow into a teenager in just a matter of years, it just breaks my heart. Not that I mind teenagers, just different set of cards to be sure. I have definately decided I will never be able to leave her for more than two weeks. This trip was four and it did not work for either one of us.
Thank goodness I missed the first couple of weeks of rainy season. That may not sound like a big deal to miss two weeks out of six months, but it is a big deal! Every two weeks count when you are drowning to death. I'm just not sure if I am ready for rainy season, but not sure if I have a lot of say in the matter.
By the way excuse the previous post, my daughter wanted to see what her new tennis shoes looked like. I think she misses me a little bit. Now she will be more focused on missing her tennis shoes, takes her mind off missing Mom!

new shoes

Monday, May 11, 2009


"God does not have borders". That was a friends reply when we were discussing the great move to remove the "illegals" from our USA. I had to agree with her and she and I continued to share horror stories about families ripped apart and people even killed all in the name of cleansing the nation.
A couple of days I picked up a novel at the airport to read on my flight to visit family in Texas. It started out pretty slow but has picked up and is a pretty good read. The part that chilled me and made me stop and think I will quote below. The guy telling the story was a Jewish fellow who had survived the holocaust.
"We as a people underestimated the power of propaganda and hate. There was a worldwide depression, jobs were scarce. In order to rise to power, the Nazis needed someone to blame it on-a scapegoat. And the Jews were convenient as they always had been.
Jews who stopped good Aryan men from being able to put bread on the table for their families. Convince a man that someone is attacking his family, and he will gladly break the windows of that man's business and his home..... and then it is not such a far leap to break his bones and smash his teeth".
Does that sound familiar to you? It sure did to me. I have seen a family torn apart by this very thinking, my daughters family to be exact. Maybe I am a bit of an idealist, but I still believe we are all brothers and sisters, no matter what nationality or color.
I guess being back in the states for a visit brings it all back to me.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there who are near and dear. I think about all the mothers that have been influental in my life including my own Mom. There was my best friends mom when I was a kid. They lived across the street from us in Calif. When I was 6 and my father passed away her father was there with us. Her Mom was always there for us. She would take me school clothes shopping with her own daughter and buy me clothes for school.
Then of course there was the mother of my hubby. She was raised in a boarding school in Canada. She had a very rough childhood and then married a very difficult man. They relocated to the U.S. and she did the best job she could to raise four children far from home and family. She has not had an easy life but continues to try and be cheerful and lift those around her.
Of course there are the mothers of my grandkids. My daughter-in-law is a saint. She endured the first five years of marriage and three kids with an alcoholic husband. There were times when she was the sole bread winner as well as trying to take care of my son. Now she is happily a stay at home mom and loving it.
My own daughter of course is awesome. they always say that you know you have done a good job of parenting if your children are a step above you. I think I must have done something right because she is a great Mom. Being the provider for her family, as well as the spiritual leader and going to school full-time. Lots on her plate and she keeps up with it all very well indeed.
And of course a happy day to my own cool mom. I have talked of her often and bragged about how cool, and totally awesome she is. I have decided she is and always will have to be the caregiver, but it is good because someone has to do it.
I just wish a happy and peaceful day to all on this special day.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Well it is on to Texas for a few days. It is very humid here and feels great! I actually missed the humidity while in Arizona. The flight here was so nice. I am so used to the international travel with all it's hassles and forgot how simple it is to fly little.
I am still working on my inmate and trying to get him settled. Evidently there was a mix up and the jail people "accidently" moved him into a pod he did not want to be in. Everyone had agreed that he would spend the remainder of his time in the same pod he was in, but someone missed the memo.
The mentality in jail is such that change is very difficult and they know that. Sometimes they move people just to make their lives miserable. As if losing everything and everyone near and dear to you is not punishment enough. So when I visited him he was very agitated about being moved.
He was in lockdown and could not make phone calls or anything. For his own good of course, since he had just taken a plea. The deal is all the lawyers had agreed he would stay in what has become his home over the year he has been there.
The fact that he will be there for at least six months more is not helping. First time I've ever heard someone beg to go to prison. Anyway the facts and figures of his plea and a great picture of him are all on in archives for micah neumann. He's so freakin cute!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Can you believe it, yet another muy guapo son! This is our Flagstaff, artist, super duper laid back son. I got to get an early Mothers Day present and hang out with him for the whole day! It was certainly a treat that I will cherish for the next few months until I head North again and see him again.
Another great mothers day present was being able to see my "inmate". He did not know I was going to be at his hearing today so was very surprised to see me sitting outside the courtroom. I told the rest of the family that I would not have recognized him without the shackles!
His hair is grown out long and shaggy and he has lost so much weight. He has been working out like crazy and is very proud of his six pack and huge arms. At least he has something to think about. It was good to see him, and he got a plea that we were very happy with.
You can catch all the news on it on his blog at or the azdailynews will certainly have an article tomorrow, hoping it is not too rough on him for sure. I am so thankful for all our friends who were there for moral support it was great.
Going through this has made me realize how important it is to say something at a time like this, even if you're not sure what to say. My inmate said when I visited that he would be visiting inmates for the rest of his life once he gets out in a few years. We both talked about how we did not even know the difference between jail and prison before all this happened. Hard way to get educated, but I'm sure the bigggest jail advocates are the ones who have been there and done that.
Again thanks to my son, and friends who attended and offered their moral support!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Here are Spongebob and Sandee at it again! I have never met a mom that could play with her kid so long, impressive! His favorite game is to pretend that mom is Sandee and he is Spongebob, funny. Kids are sure a joy that keep us young.
I remember when this sis was young, especially since she is the same age as my oldest. They had all kinds of fun together when they were little, will have to drag out the bathtub picture. Got into trouble together as teens and see each other occasionally. My how quickly they grow up.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Easy to see why I could get homesick for Costa Rica. The desert has its own beauty, but it is not the one in my blood for sure. I am just aching for a little humidity. Not only that of course, I certainly miss my family I left behind.
Everytime I talk to baby she gets all whiny. I think it will be awhile before she lets me out of her site once I get home. I have never left her before and it has been difficult for her and I to be apart.
Then of course I get a call from the teen wanting me to come home now because she is not feeling good and is sure she has swine flu! That and of course all the drama that goes with being 15.
The hubby I have to tell "call me" and then maybe he sort of, kind of , a little bit misses me. Or maybe just at meal time when he has to think of another way to fix beans and rice. It was pretty funny because when we talked yesterday we had eaten the exact same dinners. Great minds think alike.
Of course I trained my kids early that Sundays are bean days. Most days are bean days these day, but for sure Sundays. Usually it was taco salad with beans, but sometimes bean tacos. I love, love, love, love bean tacos. They are in a complete food group all their own.
The problem was I had bean tacos with pintos. I used to love pintos, missed them terribly when we moved South, but now I would kill for a pot of black beans! About time to head South.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I had a blast today! I got to spend the day helping folks with massage and hanging out with old, by old I mean past, friends. When I came I was going to just work some corporate world massages at the local mall location. Thank goodness I did not sell out. Instead I contacted my clients of past here in the Valley and got to reconnect with them.
After being out of the business for so long it has been very gratifying to work with people again and help them feel awesome. Just love that feeling when they get off the table and feel like a new person.
Don't get me wrong, teaching people how to help others is great also. But this is just a little more "instant gratification" if you know what I mean. Brought back lots of memories of when we worked in Mexico on the house workers and helped them be ready to lay more block the next day.
The friend organizing the appointments for me also runs a non-profit that builds houses for poor folks in Mexico. When we used to volunteer and go down it was one house a year. They are planning on building six houses this year, cool!
Once they discovered I was a massage therapist, and specialized in injury prevention and sports massage they put me to work. During the day running around doing errands, all evening doing massage on the hurting people that were laying block, some for the first time in their lives doing manual labor!
Of course it was all worth it when you saw that little family being so thankful for that little block house and coming the next year to help with the next house being built.
Just thankful I could help out with the gift of massage and using my hands for that work rather than laying block ;)

Friday, May 1, 2009


My sister took a tumble and busted herself up good. She landed on her elbow and her head on the tile floor. Poor thing. The worst part was her son is here for the weekend and she is afraid she will have to stay in the hospital. She is there now with a lot of pain in her back where her stint is for her kidney stones.
I shared dinosaur chicken nuggets, gross, and now he is just playing waiting to see his mom. She had not seen him in two weeks and they were both looking forward to spending the weekend together. We kept telling her to just sit down and stop stumbling around. She is on lots of pain pills for her cancer and gets a little un-graceful at times.
For sure she is going to have a heck of a goose egg on her forehead. Her elbow looked like it had grown a golf ball under the skin. As my kids know I don't do well with gross injuries, so i just told Mom to take her in. Looks like it was just the bursae sack swelling, wow learn something everyday.
As for the head she will have a heck of a headache. Actually not as she is on soooo many pain pills we probably could have kept her home and she would not have felt a thing. The docs may have accused us of abuse when she had her appt on monday though.
Just glad I was here. When I decided to come out to work I did not really know how things would work out. "Man plans and God laughs". I could not work because I do not have as a state license. The good part is I have enough clients here in the valley to keep me busy. At least I have paid for my ticket. A free vacation is always good.
Then I thought oh good I can catch one of my sons hearings. I talked to his lawyer this morning and his hearing may be cancelled next week. Begining to look like Mom prayed me here to sister sit while she took her trip. I am going to make sure and tell her next time she decides to pray me somewhere pray a little more money into the equation.