Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Man oh man do I hate earthquakes! The first earthquake I had the privilege of being part of was when I was a kid in California, of course. It was early in the morning and I thought my older brother was shaking my bed. I woke up and looked around the bed and figured out it was not him. Then I heard talking and headed into the hall, where my mom was telling us to stand in the doorways. I was pretty scared.

We have had a few small tremors since moving to Costa Rica, but the biggie came in January. Me and the girls were laying in my bed talking and the girlies were running around playing. Suddenly everything was rocking and rolling and I freaked out. I was unfortunately not calm and yelled at everyone to get in the doorways. We did have a quick moment of worry for Jeo who was working out on the front porch.

Hubby was at the airport and said everyone freaked out around him. He had just been told his flight did not have room for him and if he had been thinking quickly he would have told them, "that is what happens when you don't get me on my flight". But instead he just stood and watched everyone running around the airport screaming.

So when I see all the earthquakes going around us I feel for these people. How scary to be not only part of a earthquake, but then on top of it you have the tsunami that follows. I have had a prayer in my heart all day for the people of Samoa as well as Indonesia. What a horrible time for these people.

Our power went out for a short time tonight and I realized that we are the most unprepared Mormons I know! I mean I could not even find a candle. I have been part of these earthquakes and still I am not prepared for anything. Something to work on along with my garden!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I have realized that one of the main things I miss about no more babies, is no more baby showers! I remember with fondness the cute table settings, placement card holders and the great gifts for the party goers. My last baby shower was a doozy! My friend had it for me and there were the cutest baby shower favors as well as tons of pink clothes.

My friends had gone all out because we all knew I was not having any more children and had barely survived this one. Everyone had asked me what I needed and I told them all "pink clothes". I had been the lucky recipient of three boys in a row and was very excited to finally get a baby girl.

The fanciest baby shower I ever went to was one thrown by a friend in Flagstaff. She went all out, and I mean all out. She had cooked for days and had a huge spread of food. The games were a hoot. My favorite was one me and my daughter won. You had to cut a string the length of the mommys belly. It was so fun to see how short and how long some people cut it.

Here in Costa Rica we are always searching for an excuse for a party. I have been thinking about a party for my daughter once she is pg. The only problem I am having is, is it appropriate to have a baby shower for a surrogate mom? I mean we could all bring gifts for the mommy, as the baby will be going to Europe to be born and live. I have seen on one web site lots of gifts for moms, like pedicure sets and pretty pajamas and etc. I guess I will have to check on a miss manners site to see if it is kosher.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Today I decided it was time to put in a garden. We had a little plot, but I decided to turn the rest of the backyard into a garden. It is not a very big backyard and I have lots of food I want to try and grow here in Costa Rica and see how it does.

I believe the biggest problem will come in the form of crawly things. The bugs will surely give me a run for my money, as the cutter ants have already proven. They can clean out a whole plant in one day, or night.

I am planning on tomatoes, squash, onions, garlic, peppers, and potatoes. Of course I also have to plant some watermelons and strawberries for the baby. That should about fill up the whole backyard, we will see.

Another problem here is the birds. Even though we have a closed in backyard the birdies fly in through the rails and will demolish any seedlings. I am thinking about using mosquito nets to cover the baby plants to protect them from the birds, I will see about that also.

All in all we will have to see how gardening in Costa Rica goes.

Friday, September 25, 2009


There is a "Peanuts" episode where someone calls Snoopy "fuzzy face". He goes around all day trying to figure out why someone would call him that and what they meant. I know I should not, but I am doing the same thing.

Talking to my Mother, who can throw around terms faster than you can turn your head. She is telling me that she showed my pics from Facebook to my aunt. She said my aunt did not believe it was me. Just could not believe that was Robbie.

My mother responded in classic mom style, "she has just never seen you looking so brown and stringy". Now I am going around shaking my head and figure out what someone means when they call you "brown and stringy". Somehow I don't think it is a good thing, and I should just not even try and figure out what it means because it is not good, of that much I am sure.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Yeah it finally started raining again. We were getting so worried. The guy at the fruit stand told hubby that they were looking at drought because of the lack of rain. The food is always going up at an alarming rate. Like I have said prices have doubled since we moved here three years ago.

There are more than drought problems with no rain. There is the problem of no electricity. Once we get to the end of dry season, around March or April we will start having rolling blackouts. If we watched the news we would know when they are coming, but we always miss the memo and get caught unawares.

One night baby and I were walking home in our old, rather scary neighborhood and all the sudden solid dark. I mean think about it, power out in the whole country! I just grabbed her hand and stood still for a minute to let my eyes adjust. Suddenly right in my ear I heard someone say "buenos noches mi amor". I immediately jumped out in front of a taxi and got in. There was even someone in it, but the driver let us in.

This year our Spanish will be better, we will have plenty of flashlights, and we will be ready!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I received an email yesterday that just blew my socks off. When we left Flagstaff three years ago I sold my wonderful massage business to one of the nicest girls on the planet. I had called my alma mater and asked if they knew anyone who would be interested in buying a business in Flagstaff. They knew just the girl and she was a student of theirs from Flagstaff.

It turned out I knew her soon to be hubby from triathlons and I knew the minute that I met Jill I would sell my business to her. I had worked 11 years to establish my thriving business and it was like my baby. I had already rejected two people who wanted to buy it, they weren't the right fit.

Jill and I worked together over the next couple of months to make the transition for the clients as easy as possible and she took over and off! Due to the economy she lost a few of the clients, but I believe we had a successful "takeover".

The email I received was from Jill. She informed me that she is battling brain cancer. Whoa! Another thing that I liked about Jill was her health ideas. She is one of the most health conscious individuals that I know. My first thoughts were if she can get it, we are all pretty much dead.

I went and checked out her blog and what an inspiration she is. She has managed to run, and bike through chemo, radiation and all that goes with that. They did brain surgery on her and she had 38 stitches in her head, then on with the cooking. What a strength she is to everyone lucky enough to know her. I for one feel very lucky to be counted as one of Jills' friends and will certainly be praying for her recovery and return to health and of course to the clients who are probably missing her something terrible.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I found the following article on Spark People and figured I would share it with those of you who are in this boat, or even getting close to getting in this boat.

I'm not really sure if I am in this boat, but I guess judging by my age it should be pouncing on me anytime now! I'm not looking forward to it at all, just to it being done.

An Active Approach to Managing Menopause
Get Moving to Relieve Discomfort
-- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer

"You’ve heard the jokes and the horror stories. But often, faced with the onset of menopause, most of us don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Luckily, if you’re determined to stay fit—or get fit— there’s no time like perimenopause to begin a sensible physical regimen.

Physical activity, the most effective alternative therapy available for women who experience menopausal symptoms, allows women to manage both their bodies and emotions. When you exercise, your adrenal glands are stimulated to convert the male hormone androstenedione into estrogen. Just four 30-minute exercise sessions per week are enough to keep you "topped off" with estrogen.

Regular exercise can benefit you in a number of ways as you pass through menopause: strengthening your heart and bones, avoiding or minimizing weight gain, improving your mood and sense of overall well-being. It also reduces the duration and intensity of those infamous hot flashes. In a recent Swedish study, researchers found that postmenopausal women who exercised were able to handle menopause without Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT); in fact, some of them did not experience hot flashes at all. Other studies have found similar beneficial results, including mood elevation in pre-, peri-, and postmenopausal women. Indeed, studies have shown that regular physical activity benefits not only women going through natural menopause but also those on HRT.

On the other hand, being sedentary as you approach menopause opens you up to a host of potential problems. Sedentary women are far more prone to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity; they’re also more likely to suffer stiffness and chronic back pain, irregularity, poor circulation, shortness of breath, weak muscles, depression, and sleep disturbances. Walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, biking and other aerobic activities help circumvent these problems. What’s more, studies have shown that women engaging in aerobic activity or strength training have reduced mortality from cancer.

Being active will also help you keep osteoporosis at bay—thus lowering the risk of bone fractures in your later years—since bones diminish in size and strength if you’re inactive. Because exercise stimulates the cells that help generate new bone tissue, bone mass lost through disuse can be re-built with weight-bearing activity. In fact, even postmenopausal women can help preserve bone mass in their spine with regular exercise.

Physical activity also raises the level of endorphins in the blood, enhancing your mood and allowing you to respond positively in the face of stress. Partly the result of estrogen in a woman’s body, these "feel-good" biochemicals also help regulate body temperature—which in turn can diminish the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. In one study of postmenopausal women who were physically active, severe hot
flashes and night sweats were only half as common.

Last, but certainly not least, regular exercise may allow you to maintain better mental agility by increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the brain. A study comparing older women who were sedentary with older women who exercised regularly for four months, found that the active group processed information faster when tested. In addition, exercise may slow down the loss of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which helps prevent shaking and stiffness that come with old age.

What type of exercise routine should you plan if you’re gearing up for (or going through) menopause? Generally there are three components to a healthy routine: appropriate stretching exercises to improve and maintain flexibility, resistance training to delay loss of bone and muscle tissue, and aerobic activity that will strengthen your overall health and help you maintain a sensible weight.

The bottom line is that whether you crave solitude and independence on an early morning walk or an exercise class that’s always a social occasion, you’ll be much better prepared to soar through menopause if you’re taking care of the body you’re in. You may still have those flashes— but they may be warm rather than hot, and a lot easier to endure!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Happy Day of Peace to one and all! I like to think that maybe just one day of awareness will spread to two or three or more. Wouldn't it be great if we could actually tip the scales to more peace than war and killing? I believe in the hundreth monkey concept, that one person can make a difference. I hope everyone enjoyed a beautiful peaceful day today.


I was working on my schedule today and realized that the time for shopping is quickly arriving. In Oct. we have two birthdays, Nov. we have three, then is Christmas and in Jan. we have five birthdays! That means tons of shopping for a mom that hates shopping. I mean most women talk about how much they love to shop etc. and I hate shopping.

Enter the internet. I love to shop via the internet. You don't have to try anything on, or even think about it. You just look at the picture and decide if you want to try it out. Once you get it most places offer free return shipping and you are covered.

Since moving to Costa Rica we have used online shopping exclusively for our shopping needs. We can get everything for our teenager, five year old as well as getting stuff to ship to our kids and grandkids in the States. I found this great online store Daily Deals that offers something for everyone. A great resource for those of us who love to shop online.

Friday, September 18, 2009


How can you have seven kids and never, I mean never have the same problems with them? I mean really can't a couple of them be somewhat similar? They did come from the same gene pool, so they should think somewhat alike. But oh no, no way. They all come up with their own challenges and requirements.

My first born was perfect until the day he turned 16, and from there it decreased by about a year for each one. Then the teen years began and we were on high alert for the following three or four years. Of course it does not end there, it is just that they are "responsible" for the choices from that point.

The problem of course is that responsibility could make or break them for a lot of years. You sure can't tell them that though when they are in the middle of the growing pains. It's funny that they won't even listen to older siblings, who have had similar stories. Because of course theirs is just different enough to give them the excuse not to listen to anyone!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Have you noticed the whole world is full of fighting and bickering? I am about ready to take myself off FB as well as quit reading the news, too disheartening. I thought FB would be fun to catch up with friends and see what is happening. But I find more people arguing as well as just trying to incite people to get angry. Maybe it is just my friends :)

I guess I am so discouraged by the state of the world, and I see that in my friends on FB, but so many react with anger and fighting. It seems everyone wants the same thing, but since there are so many different ways to get there they feel the need to fight and argue over it.

It's like Rebekah said, she wants a news channel that only tells good news. Now how popular do you think this would be? I guess I feel the same way. Even though our rights are being eroded at an alarming rate, the wars are not ending only growing, and the politicians just keep up the lies, can't we just focus on what is good?

Or is that just sticking your head in the sand and hoping for the best. When we look back at the past patriots I am sure they were of the same mind. They just wanted to be left alone to live in peace and hang out with their families. When do we say enough and join the fight?

We have a five year plan here, so for two more years I can hide my head in the sand and hope for the best, unless I get angry and join in the ruckus!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My daughter is married to a Catracho, or Honduran. He has not spent much time living in Hondurus since he left at the tender age of 17, but his family is still living there. Or trying to live there. La Gringa tells it best on her site.

It is amazing to me the lies never stop, and what are we supposed to do about it? People are so sick to death of being lied to and taken advantage of they don't know where to turn or what to do.

In the U.S. the people are marching by the millions to try and have their voices heard. Over one million marched on Washington D.C. and with signs and their voices tried to raise awareness of their frustrations.

The media lies, the politicians lie, but the pictures do not lie!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Happy Independence Day! Here in Central America today is a day of celebration. We began our day in Costa Rica with a tipico dance at school. The kids were so cute, and you can see baby was having a blast. She loves to dance. After the dance and pledge we headed up to the centro for the parade. The kids walked around and did their "viva, viva, Costa Rica", cheer. It was so cute. Then off to the house to bbq and hang out, a nice day.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Two days later and I am still tired. Of course last night I could not sleep because of big blisters all over my lips. You would expect blisters on my feet after running a marathon, certainly not blisters on my lips. It is a, or I should say my only, flaw. My lips break out at any provocation. It is really a drag and the main reason I quit cycling. With running I can wear a hat and only break out from really long runs, but with cycling no hat and constant fever blisters.

Other than that I am a little sore and tired in the quads, but otherwise none the worse for the wear. Rebekah said she is pretty recovered now also. I also have some chub rub I am still dealing with. For some reason I got a bad rash under one arm pit, only hurts when I sweat though, which is just every time I walk out of the house.

I have actually been asking myself, when do I say when? What age will I be done running marathons and crazy stuff like this? Will there ever come a day when I just hang up the tennies, bike shoes, or whatever and say that's it? I can't imagine that, but never say never.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Two marathons down and not sure how many more I have got in me. Of course I must remind myself that it is very similar to childbirth and by this time next week I will be thinking of a new training strategy and planning the next big one. We did have a great time though and Tamarindo was great. We rented a house on the beach for a hundred bucks a night and it was well worth it. Should have gone for the extra night but Bekah had to work today. I am one sore puppy but it is all good.

The race was very poorly organized and very hot and very malo. The biggest disappointment was that they decided, since doing their web site evidently, that they would not offer cash prizes. Bekah and I both placed third in our age groups, which made us eligible for the 150.00 prize. I actually beat a couple of people, I think it was the ones they carried off in the ambulance, but hey! Anyway they also ran out of medals, and told us we could pick those along with our plaques up in downtown San Jose at the sports store. Huh? What the freaking heck is that? We were pretty angry to say the least.

The last couple of water stops were gone, yeah cleaned up and gone. The food was put away and they were taking down the finish line while people were still finishing. I got lost twice at the end because I did not know the roads and some nice people showed me the way. That is just messed up. There were only 120 people in the marathon and they could have handled it much better.

We did decide we would never do Tamarindo Beach marathon again, because of the poor show as well as the heat. 80% humidity about put me under for sure. As evidenced by the purple face!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I am so ready to get moving and get to the beach! Mostly ready to run the hard earned marathon. We feel ready and have done the training necessary, now we just pray and keep our fingers crossed that the old body will cooperate and kick in when necessary. Which would be the whole 26.2 miles of course.

Since I am a little bored and a lot anxious I have reverted to my old self and started making lists. I have our food list, complete with menu for the whole trip. I have my clothing list, which should be simple, running shoes, socks, shorts, shirt and hat. I just like making lists. I also have the massage list since we have a couple of graduates working for donations at the marathon.

I really don't remember when I became obsessed with lists. Probably when I was a teen and they gave us long lists for camp etc. I really dug having everything written out for me telling me what to do, bring, prepare, etc. Took all the thinking out of it and just let me be really obsessive compulsive!

After moving to Costa Rica I decided to do away with lists. I need to exercise my brain and try to actually remember things and think about them. That is fine until I get nervous or excited, at which time I need the thrill of the list to get me going!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I tell you, between the U.S. holidays we continue to celebrate and the new Costa Rica holidays we now celebrate we have about every week filled with at least one party! Cool! Today was the celebration of the kids or Dia de Nino here in Costa Rica.

We started it out by a big party at school for baby. She had a blast and really enjoyed the magician pulling the baby chick out of the hat. They had tons of candy and arroz con pollo, her favorite.

After school we picked her up and took her to meet her niece and nephew at McDonalds, which she thinks the big M is for Maleah by the way, and bought happy meals and played in the playground.

By the time we got home she was more than ready to crash out for awhile. Then sis took her to the movie store to get her a movie that she is watching right now. Lots of fun for the day. Of course I still have the argument that every day is kids day.

Yesterday baby decided she wanted her hair in lost of braids. It took awhile but we finally got them done and they looked cute. In about an hour she was ready to take them down and of course being the meaney that I am I made her keep them in. She woke up this morning complaining about not sleeping at all last night because of the braids, oops.

We took them out this morning and she had curls for the first and last time ever!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I know I have blogged about this before, but I really can't get over this wet season. This is our third wet season, and I can't even call it wet. After our first year here we all voted and decided we would always leave for the month of October. It is notoriously the wettest of the wet months. Now here we are with no rain. Once in awhile some mists, but no big rainfall. In fact we have only gotten caught in the rain one time this year. Even with running and training for the marathon, only once in the rain.

This is a great thing right now. In a few months it will be a real drag. In other words we will be having rolling blackouts all dry season. What this means is they will decide what hours they want to black out the whole darn country and blink, everything goes out. Of course they don't do it during the day when you actually have light. Oh no they do it in the night when you really need the light. In fact they don't even do it in the middle of the night when people are sleeping. They usually do it when everyone is just starting dinner.

More than once my son would bring dinner to his friends house. We had a little gas stove the first year we were her, so when electric went out, we could still cook. We were going to get a 7% break on our electric, which has doubled in the past two years, but ICE decided they really could not afford that!

We spend about $45.00 a month on electric. I know this sounds cheap to those of you who pay heating or cooling bills, but consider this. We have no hot water, just on demand heaters on the showers. We have no dishwasher, no drier and no heating or cooling. When you consider all that doesn't that sound a little high?

Monday, September 7, 2009


Today is Labor Day in the U.S. Here in Costa Rica we like to celebrate not having JOBS! Just kidding we really work really hard and like to celebrate that with a good old fashioned cook out. O.K. maybe not exactly the old fashioned cook out. We improvise. Pasta salad of course, but with no olives, can't find any today. Potato salad, with the no skin potatoes they have here. And hubby is out foraging for Polish sausages. Sometimes we can find them sometimes we can't, may get lucky today.

I just wish well to all who have a livelihood at the moment, and pray for those who don't. There is nothing as discouraging as being jobless, unless it would be being homeless. We have experienced both and I think the homeless one was a little tough. Of course we had a home, it was in the campground, and at least we had a job.

When we were first married there was no job and none in sight for hubby. He would go out everyday pounding the pavement to no avail. After months of this he finally decided to go back into the military. It was a last resort and to this day we wished we would have waited just a few more months. After getting out of the military it was the same old smell. No jobs to be found. We had two kids and number three on the way and he was flipping burgers at the King. It sucked.

Along came the post office offering a whole $9.50 an hour! We thought we had died and gone to heaven, until he started working there that is. What he did not realize was that he sold his soul to work there! Good thing he is free of government employment, finally!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Skating with my baby sure brought back memories of my childhood in California when we went to the skating rink every Saturday. Good times, good times. Here baby is starting out pretty good.....

Going, going, going.....

Gone, with a smile on her face even.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I love being completely out of debt and really do not look forward to going into debt again. The problem is these days it is very hard to get an education without going into debt. Unless you are one of the rich and famous of course.

We hear about friends who are taking out second mortgages on their homes to send kids to college. I really could not quite even think about this, but I guess to them it is worth it. I just hope their kids make enough money and are willing to take care of them when they get old and still owe money on their homes.

Hubby got quite a discount on school for being a Vet. but it is still lots of money for the next eighteen months. I keep waiting for Obama to come forward and pay his school loans. I think he was the one telling all of us to return to school if I am not remembering wrong?

At any rate I guess until he comes forward we will just bite the bullet and take responsibility for our own family and ourselves, now that is a novel idea ha?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I have been tossing around the idea of homeschooling the baby next year. She went to pre-kinder this year and has learned her Spanish very well. She can pretty much communicate with anyone who talks to her and even says her prayers in Spanish now. That was the goal with sending her. Now that she understands what they are saying I feel compelled to take her out of school.

Part of it is I have taught all six of my other children to be patriotic. I love America and have taught and worked hard to instill this patriotism in all of my children. When I watched her the other day pledging allegiance to the Costa Rican flag I realized this is not what I wanted for her.

I have also been working with her on reading and she is getting a little confused. I feel strongly that she needs to learn to read in English before moving on to Spanish. I also want her to take Mandarin lessons and we don't have time with her schedule right now. I want her to take dance classes and swimming lessons, again no time with her school schedule what it is right now.

The draw back was that she is the baby and therefore has no one to play with during the day when her niece is in school. I guess we will just have to keep her so busy with school work, which she really loves by the way, that she does not miss her friends.

I have not told her that we are considering keeping her home next year and am not sure how she will feel about it, but we will wait until school is over for this year in Dec. Pre-kinder is fun and I want her to enjoy dancing and playing and coloring all she can before she actually has to start working on learning to read. That is said tongue in cheek, because she begs me for reading lessons everyday. This will be fun!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


My daughter offered to do some much needed dread lock maintainence today and I needed it so agreed. All went well until she got done and realized she had braided her pony that was holding the crazy dreads out of the way, into the one she was fixing. So then she had to cut her pony out and try to get everything under control again. These dreads have taken on a life of their own, and I feel as if I am trying to control some very willful children at this point. They are just CRAZY!!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009



Today was Dia de Negra at school. That would totally politically incorrect in the States I'm sure, but here it was celebrated. The really funny thing about this is there are no Negros at my daughters school. They all had fun dressing up as Negros and dancing though, and it was sure fun to watch them. My son-in-law was actually the darkest one there!

At the end of the dancing they did a little story about diversity. The little girl telling the story pulled a little black clay man out of a box. Then she said how the Negra was given arms and legs etc. and then she placed him in the chimney. Pretty soon from the back of the chimney a little dark skinned girl emerged!

Next she took a little white figure from the box and told about the blanca rasta that came out of the box. Then they put the figure once again in the chiimney and walla, the little whitest boy in class came out.

The last one really took the cake. They took a little yellow figurine out and guess who climbed out of the chimney at this point? You guessed it my baby! Now I was aware she was going to be in a skit at school about being Cheena. And I was aware that she was supposed to wear her regular clothes for this. What I was not aware of was that she was going to be represented by a little yellow figurine. In fact they called her "amarillo". There is definately a fine line between diversity and being thoughtful. At least Maleah was too young to get it. She thought it was great fun and never even saw the stupid yellow figurine.