Thursday, April 29, 2010

Slow Your Flow

I have been emailing back and forth with a friend who worked with hubby at the Post Office. She is frustrated and burnt out. Not surprising when you work for the good ole' P.O. I wrote and told her that I really believed that added years off both our lives, especially hubby's by getting out and moving.

Basically we just slowed our flow. I mean some days it feels as if we may have slowed it a tad too much, but it is preferable to moving along at a thousand miles an hour to nowhere. I was stressed, he was stressed and the whole family suffered.

All for the "security" of the jobs and the house and the cars, oh the cars! We are planning on returning part time to the States while hubby attends school. After talking about it we mapped out our route so that we could live close enough to his school that we would not have to buy a car.

Do you get the feeling we have had some pretty bad experiences with cars? One of these days I will write about that, it is like a book unto itself. Suffice it to say we are much less stressed and happy to have no car at this point and time. And talk about slowing the flow, a sure way to do that.

You should check out this site speaking of slowing down. I have been following the Happy family for awhile. We even entertained the idea of the whole motor home thing, but decided it is not really for us. Maybe we are too old?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh Yeah Beach Time

Last week I declared tomorrow beach day. I have to do that or I can't get anyone to go with me. I also had to remind the girls that the bus goes on the super highway now and the trip is half the time. And the clincher? Milkshakes before we head home. It will be hot in Jaco tomorrow, but the water should be fine.

There is a lot of bad press for Jaco, but for a day trip you can't beat it. Sure it is like a little San Diego or something, but hey just hang out on the beach and a beach is a beach. My daughter found a twenty floating in the water there after all! It can't be all bad.

I do have to admit when you are walking through town the prostitutes and drug dealers and transvestites are a little interesting to say the least. It makes for some awesome people watching to be sure. Hubby was propositioned by a Dominical prostitute there one day. That seems to be the majority there by the way. He just freaked out. Mostly because he was standing right next to me! His reaction was pretty funny though, kind of looked like he saw a ghost or something, poor innocent thing!

When we have guests we always take them to Jaco for a day trip. We do advise them to clear out before night fall, it gets pretty crazy there at night. My son 21 yrs. old lasted about a weekend there and swore he had lost about five years of his life, crazy place like I said.

So up and early and off on another exciting adventure. Maybe next time we will even get hubby to go with us. He is just wrapping up his time in Nicaragua and would not really be interested in more beach time. If I was not soooo pitta I would live on the beach.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More Robberies

Unfortunately our neighborhood store got robbed last week. He is the nicest guy. He speaks English and he and his wife lived in the States for a couple of years but have chosen to live here in Costa Rica. Gringos find it amazing that not everyone wants to live in the States by the way.

When hubby talked with Duglas, the neighbor that got robbed, he said that three other stores in the area were also robbed last week. What a bummer to see that kind of crap going down in your own neighborhood. He also told hubby that he was robbed of $400.00 and his wedding ring and some office supplies. The other stores suffered greater losses. One, the Cheena store on the corner had almost $8,000.00 taken. Of course everyone was wondering why in the heck anyone in Costa Rica would keep that much money in their store.

When baby and I stopped in at the store on the way home from school today things were a little different. You now have to shut the gate when you come in and there is a really tight spring on it to make sure it shuts and locks. He used to keep the gate open most of the time.

The good news was he still has rat poison. Yup that time of the year again. They are out and about. I looked out my kitchen window and scurrying across our car port was a big fat gray rat. EEEEWWWWWWW! You know I would see it the day hubby left for Nica. Of course when the cat is away the rats will play! The last time we had a rat problem was when hubby was in the Osa Peninsula working for two months. Our house is now stocked up and guarded against the nasty, nasty creatures. Let's just hope they stay outside this time around and don't set up camp in my stove again! EEEEEWWWWWWW!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Health Nut

I love food! And I love healthy food, PREPARED CORRECTLY! I know there is a big movement right now to eat raw. I think food eaten in it's most natural state is the best way to eat it. I also believe though that our bodies are not made to eat raw fruits and vegetables solely. There are so many other foods put here on the earth for our use and thanksgiving. I just believe they were not put here to be ignored.

In my studies of ayurveda I have learned that we are all different constitutions. Being thus we all benefit from eating as well as abstaining from certain foods. There are of course some foods that are not good for anyone or anything. A few of these would be homogenized pasteurized milk, beef, non organic fish or chicken, cheese, and sugar. I guess that pretty much wipes out most if not all junk foods.

In our home we try to eat foods that a)match our dosha and b)taste good.
My hubby is a pure vata. There are a few things he should avoid. The big thing for him is that he cannot have too many raw fruits and vegees. He does better with them slightly steamed or baked. I am pitta-kapha. The things I am supposed to avoid are the sweets as well as the really spicey foods. I don't do too well on that last one but I am trying to get there.

These are little things but I see that they really help us on our road to health. Knock on wood we still have not visited a doctor in the 30 years of marriage.

Of course when we saw an old friend that we had not seen in 15 years he said,"well everyone looks the same but much fatter, except you two because you walk everywhere." Wrong!!! We do walk everywhere but we are also very conscious of our diets and our workouts. All important. If you don't have your health you really do not have anything!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It Is Here

I guess I cannot argue anymore, it is rainy season. It clouds up every afternoon and some days it will dump, mostly when we are out, and other days it does not rain. We better head over to Hypermas and pick up some new umbrellas. We did not even have to buy any last year, but this year looks like we may need some.

Hubby will be doing a leave to San Juan del Sur this weekend. We were hoping that we could avoid it and get stamped here with the new $100.00 deal. Alas we figure since they have not really decided on how the law is going to work it will probably not be in working order for another couple of years or so, at least!

So in the meantime we will continue leaving and getting stamped as perpetual tourists. I never really thought I would be a "perpetual tourist". Just not the title I ever gave myself.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rainy Season or No?

We have an ongoing argument in our house. Can it be rainy season if the weather gods have not officially declared it thus? I say no hubby says yes. As you can see I am not looking forward to rainy season this year. The reason? I had my swim workout all figured out, without the afternoon rains figured in dang it!

Now I am trying to figure out a schedule that is family friendly, weather friendly, and me friendly. It just is not coming together for me right now. I guess I will have to give it until I get over the stomach flu and by then maybe I will have something figured out to get myself to the pool.

Speaking of stomach flu. I believe that Costa Rica breeds the most potent ugly stomach viruses known to mankind, at least to this mankind! I was telling my daughter that I worked 12 years in my massage business and never got sick or had to cancel an appointment in all those years.

If I was trying to work here, actually I am but it just is not happening :) I would be canceling and rearranging appointments all the time! Just to keep up with my tummy. I have been looking at my prakruti, or my dosha which is pitta, kapha and trying to figure out what I can do to get myself in balance and can't really come up with much.

My daughter gently pointed out to me that no I am not dying, but yes I am slowly falling apart! Bummer! Maybe my warranty was only for like 50 years or something. That would mean I have a lot of bucket list things to fit in in the next few months, better get busy.

Monday, April 19, 2010


When we find good places to eat out in Costa Rica I love to share it with the world! I mean I can only think of three that we really have enjoyed, so that is not too much sharing, so this is important.

Jalepenos in Alejuela is the best Mexican food in Costa Rica! The owner lived in New York for 20 years after leaving Columbia and settling in Costa Rica. So the guy really knows how to cook Mexican food. He even uses real cheese and red sauce. He does use the local foods, we all do if we do not want to pay an arm and a leg, but he uses enough authentic Mexican sauces and spices to make it "real".

Spent the day venturing over to the eat out, and joy of joys the used English book store is right around the corner. A great day for sure. Now if we can just knock out the belly bug getting all of us right now it would have been a perfect day. Pretty dang close though.

I almost forgot the bestest part of the day. Finally checked out the new sports store down by the airport. Oh my goodness, I am watering at the mouth for a new bike! I mean to tell you those bikes were beautiful. I think I may have to settle for the really cute Mizuno running shorts I found, more in the budget right now. At least I know where to go when I am ready for my bike.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Morphing into a Crone

Do you remember the movie "Hulk"? Do you remember when he was morphing into the Hulk he went through all kinds of weird things? Like he always ripped out of his clothes and went a little crazy?

I know that most people call what I am going through "pre-menopause", but I call it morphing into a crone. Actually there is a movement to change the word crone to a positive. All the old ladies in our lives that we were afraid to cross because they would eat us alive with a few words, I am becoming one of them. Not on purpose, just like the Hulk, it is just something that takes over your body.

There are times when things calm down a bit and I look around at the damage around me and wonder what the heck happened? Did I really say those things? Did I really just buy that thing? Did I really just eat all that? It is almost like being pregnant only worse!

Don't get me wrong I have always looked forward to this time in my life. I was really just excited to be done with the whole cycle thing to tell you the truth. But I never realized the price I would have to pay to be done with the cycle thing.

I have never been close to another woman who went through the great morphing. I had moved out of the house by the time my mother experienced it, I do vaguely remember her going a bit nutsy there for awhile, which she denies. In fact did you know that until the fifties the biggest percentage of people in the looney bin were women over fifty? Pretty scary ha?

In the meantime I will try to come to grips with this new body I am morphing into, it is not too different really. I have just added a couple of saddle bags that were never there before. And then there is the really thin skin. Like I tell my daughter who loves to pop zits, be careful don't tear my skin. The only thing I really have any control over at this point is the gray, which I try and keep in check.

The good news is that unlike the hulk I have not been ripping my clothes off, yet!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gentle Parenting or Overprotective?

Could you ever toss this baby into a swimming pool with her screaming hysterically? Even if you knew it would help her get over her deathly fear of water and learn to swim?

Monday her Mom and Dad took her to the swimming pool to be taught by the best coach in the area. He proceeded to put some water wings on her and throw her into the water. This is a kid who screams bloody murder just to get her hair washed. It took him about 15 minutes to get her to stop screaming. About the time he got her calmed down the other kids started splashing her and she went ballistic again.

By this time her mom was in tears and dad was ready to rip the coach from end to end.

They struggled through the lesson, skipped yesterday and went back today. The coach asked the parents to go away for a few minutes so that he could do his thang. When they came back in there was baby with only a noodle around her waist swimming all over the pool!

I have to admit if it was up to me that child would have never learned to swim. I am not one for "tough love". But in retrospect it makes me wonder if I have stunted some growth in my own children by being too gentle. Is it possible to be too nice?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Parenting Confidence

Have you ever had anything happen to you that knocked you onto your knees? That took your breath away, changed your life and made you question any and everything you ever believed to be true? And the worst part of this thing is that it made you question yourself or your own abilities?

It has been 11 years since I began having the above experiences and repeating them periodically. When I had a whole house full of little ones I felt pretty darn sure of myself and my parenting abilities. When my oldest turned 18 he went down on his birthday and enlisted for six years in the Airforce!

We were on a family vacation in Idaho and he told me this over the phone. Wham, blow numero uno! I could not believe that this, my firstborn perfect child was going against everything we had ever taught him and going into the Airforce.

Once we got over the shock we adjusted and even got excited for him and the growth he could experience in the military. We were hopeful that he would take advantage of the educational opportunities and the other benefits of the military. His dad had done 8 years and we had used the housing as well as educational benefits.

One year later he was given a general discharge under honorable conditions. Our son came home an alcoholic as well as a drug addict. He did not exactly take advantage of the things we had hoped he would when he went in. And needlesss to say at this point hubby and I were beating ourselves up pretty darn good.

For 10 years we watched this son struggle in his life. We watched him marry and have three daughters, and take them down his road with him Finally three years ago he sobered up. After 10 years he quit drinking and has been sober for two and a half years.

You know what the funny part is? As parents we don't take an ounce of credit for his ability to make this changes in his life. Why is it that we only beat ourselves up when they make mistakes, and take none of the credit when they are able to have the strength to clean up their lives? Human nature I would guess.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sad Garden

Strike one with me little garden here. We totaled two tiny tomatoes, and about 12 spinach leaves, and have one more stunted green tomato. Wow that is just sad. I am just glad it is little, or it would be a really big disaster.

I have planted a bunch of spinach and have three pepper plants trying to survive. We will see how those do. Hubby says that we just do not get enough sun back there with the walls surrounding the yard.

Next plan is to buy pots so that we can move them around with the sun. I saw a really cute idea in Sunset about a "pesto garden". You just get a barrel and plant all the plants you would need for a batch of pesto.

A salsa garden would be perfect also. I would plant a tomato, and some peppers and maybe a couple of green onions. Though my green onions did not even come up when I had them in seed containers, so that may not work here.

The funniest part is we had a hot pepper plant growing in the crack of the sidewalk outside our house. That thing went crazy and we got tons of peppers off of it. Then hubby decided to move it into the backyard to preserve it. It died.

I am almost afraid for hubby to do his tilapia pond. They may not survive in the back yard grave either. We will have to nourish our dirt and see if that helps at all. Another big help will be the fact that the puppy is getting older and ceasing her digging in the dirt.

It will be interesting to see how it goes during the rainy season coming around the corner. I know tomatoes are out of the question as we have always had the mold and it was not even rainy season. Great garden lessons.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Every Saturday I get the extreme pleasure of "taking a hike". As I have mentioned I am training for the Leadville Heavy Half Marathon in July. I found this hill heading up to Monte de la Cruz with the steepest incline, and the most altitude in the whole valley area. There are a few volcanoes with more altitude but would take me half the day just to ride the bus to them. So instead I walk out my door, pic 1 and head up, and up, and up, for about 7 miles until I get to Tirol, the Swiss Chalet at the top. Nestled in the pines at about 5,000 ft.elevation it is beautiful. It is so nice when I finally get out of the hot sun, traffic and really steep hills and into the hilly pines. I have to say it is the best of both worlds and I am enjoying the heck out of this training. Oh yeah and I mention the really rockin run down with the awesome view?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Knitting and Gratitude

First ever knitting project completed!!! Yeah and it was fun, and it was cool, and it was relatively cheap, and too bad we don't need more knitted articles living in Costa Rica! Though I am thinking the cool little slippers my mom always made us when we were kids would be good for Christmas. I will have to work on that one.

It is nice to feel a little love once in awhile from little ones. This one has always had a great gift for gratitude. I remember the first gift I bought for her upon our return from China. We went to a little store and I bought her a butterfly book. She just gave me the biggest smile and loved that book for years.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Best Friends

I wrote earlier about holes and how things come along to fill in the holes in our lives that are created when people leave. My daughter left a few weeks ago. My son went back to the States this week. Today I found out that my best expat friend is in ICU in the hospital! That would be Sally for all you that follow her blog abroadincostarica.
She was a student at our school as well as a client as well as a great friend. We can get together and talk about anything and everything and it is awesome. Except now she is really sick and I am praying like crazy and checking on her family daily to make sure the family is hanging in there.

She is so cool that she even unschools her two boys, knows tons about politics, and is big time into nutrition. Oh yeah and she adopted her two boys, another great topic for us. We both got a big laugh when we met the first time. She had not met Rick so like everyone else in Costa Rica she asked if baby was mine. People either asked us that or asked if my hubby was Chinese. I have to admit it can be a bit confusing. Then she went on to tell me how much it pissed her off when people asked her if her boys were "her boys". Yeah she is cool and fun like that.

When she called me Tues. and told me she was sicker than sh%^^$$ I asked if she had been bitten up by mosquitos, thinking maybe it was dengue. She also thought that is why she was sporting a 104 temp for four days. Finally I guess she started coughing yesterday so went in and it was really bad pneumonia. I didn't know it could kick your butt like that, but they put her on a respirator and antibiotics and plan on her being there at least three days. Bigtime praying!

Now I am getting a little worried about what the big surprise waiting around the corner to fill these huge holes that I am having in my life right now. I did take up knitting, but somehow am thinking that is not quite it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Still Safe?

I have always said that we would stay in Costa Rica as long as I felt that my kids were safe. After the past couple of weeks I am rethinking that one. Last night my teenager almost got robbed. It was only nine at night and she was with three guys. They were in our neighborhood which is supposed to be somewhat safe. I just keep tossing this one around. When my 22 year old got robbed I could say it was his fault. In this case they were innocent and doing what they were supposed to be doing. I am worried.

How would I feel if something happened and I had not listened to my gut telling me that it was not safe here? That or I could just make her keep her cell phone at home. The problem these days is robbers do not believe you when you tell them you have no cell phone. Especially if she opened her mouth and they heard her gringa accent. They would think $$$$ and she would be in trouble. Man we are so close to our five year goal, I will have to give this one some real hard thinking and pondering. Gotta protect the girlies!

Did I Say I Love My Job Yet?

Yippee Coffee Scrub day again! I look forward to this day all session. We get to rub coffee all over each other. The benefits are great. You ought to try it at home following is the recipe!

How To Make a Coffee Body Scrub
Exfoliate Your Skin with Added Benefits for Half the Cost
Casey Nicholson's picture
By Casey Nicholson
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $1-$50

how to make coffee lotion

The coffee we all love so much has many uses beyond just waking us up in the morning. One of those uses is to create a coffee body scrub. It’s usually just the high prices that deter us from enjoying the benefits of exfoliating body scrubs. Since most of us have a canister of coffee grounds in the kitchen, creating this scrub will be easy, beneficial, and most of all, cheap! Not to mention that the coffee itself has added benefits for your skin and body that many body scrubs do not provide.

Before we go into any recipes, let's discuss why a coffee body scrub is so much more beneficial than the everyday scrub. This information was provided by CancerLynx.

1. No more cellulite. While coffee is wonderful for many reasons, it is actually the caffeine it contains that provides the added health benefits as a scrub. When coffee is applied to the surface of your skin, it helps redistribute fat cells and decrease the formation of cellulite.
2. Problems with varicose veins. Many people accept varicose veins as a necessary evil--either as a sign of getting older or a predisposition inherited from Mom or Dad. Now with a coffee body scrub, you may be able to prevent varicose veins or even make them vanish! The caffeine in a coffee scrub acts as a vascular restrictor--shrinking blood vessels, thus helping to reduce varicose veins.

Now that we know why the coffee body scrub is so useful, we can move on to the recipe. The recipe for a coffee scrub is very simple, including only three main ingredients.

* 2 cups of coffee grounds (Brand does not matter--the cheaper the better.)
* 1/2 cup raw sugar or sea salt
* 2/3 tablespoon of massage oil (Any plain, cheap massage oil will do.)

1. Mix these three items together in a bowl.
2. If you wish to make more coffee scrub for later use, you can easily double the recipe.
3. When it comes to making a coffee body scrub, you also have a few add-in options:
* Brown sugar - Brown sugar adds a sweet smell, as well as a coarse texture that helps to rejuvenate your skin. Add until you reach the texture desired.
* A dash of cinnamon - Adding cinnamon will give your scrub a stronger sharper to make coffee lotion
* Vanilla extract - Vanilla extract gives your coffee scrub a sweeter smell. It also thins the scrub out a bit, if that is the texture you are going for. It may also make the scrub more soothing to the skin.
* Perfume oils - Perfume oils make an excellent addition to your exfoliating coffee scrub. These oils are usually pure and highly concentrated, so they have a very strong smell. Adding just a dash of perfume oil to your scrub will give it a marvelous scent. The nice thing about the oils is that the tiniest bottle will last forever, especially if you are using it only for this purpose. Also, perfume oils come in many different scents, from flowers all the way to name brand colognes and perfumes.
4. Keep these tips in mind when considering add-in options:
* Be cautious with perfume oils. Although they smell wonderful, if you are planning to apply the scrub to your face, the perfume oil may be too strong. This is especially true for sensitive skin.
* Try to avoid any items you may be allergic to. Many oils and scented items may seem to complement your recipe perfectly, but take caution in case you are allergic. Read all ingredients carefully before adding anything new.

When the scrub is complete, be sure to apply it to wet or damp skin. The best time to do this is in the shower so that you can rinse it off after application. Apply the scrub directly to your skin and rub it in circular motions with your fingers, or use a washcloth or loofah. Remember the circular motion helps to distribute the caffeine to eliminate cellulite and varicose veins.

If making something homemade, even something as simple as coffee body scrub, is simply not your style, there are a few companies out there that sell coffee body scrubs.

Michelle Daniel from Cozy Moments: Bath, Body, Home offered some suggestions for add-in ingredients used in their Hazelnut Coffee Sugar Scrub, a very efficient exfoliating scrub combined with skin-drenching oils.

* Pure cane sugar - Excellent as a gentle exfoliator.
* Sweet almond oil - Known for its ability to soften, soothe and recondition the skin, this oil is a great addition to many body care products and is quickly and easily absorbed into the skin. Contains a high percentage of iron, calcium and potassium as well as vitamins B1, B2, B6 and beta-carotene.
* Apricot kernel oil - Apricot kernel oil is easily absorbed and very good for sensitive, dry or inflamed skin.
* Vitamin E - A fat-soluble vitamin in eight forms that is an important antioxidant. Vitamin E is often used in skin creams and lotions because it is believed to play a role in encouraging skin healing and reducing scarring after injuries such as burns. Although originally extracted from wheat germ oil, most natural vitamin E supplements are now derived from vegetable oils, usually soybean oil.

Now that you know the benefits of the coffee body scrub, and how easy it is to make (and personalize), what are you waiting for? Get out there and start mixing! Your skin will look great in no time at all!
Casey E. Nicholson

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Love My Job

I Love My Job!!!! Have I said that too many times now? I gotta say that I really love my job and all that it entails. The first and foremost of course meeting really cool people. The second of course that I get to teach. Another being the great massages I get to receive on a pretty regular basis.

Today was one of those really good days when I got a great massage. Hot stones and the works. It felt great, even if it was pretty darn hot in the school room, and I realized it has been way too long since I had a massage.

It is amazing that I did not receive my first massage until I was all done having kids and one month before I went to massage school. I still remember my first massage just like it was yesterday. Hubby made an apointment for me that day before mothers day for a gift. The therapist only had time for a half hour massage. When I got done and we went out to eat, I looked sleepily at hubby and said, "if I can make people feel this great it will be the best job in the world". And guess what? I was right!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



A Rare Moment!!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Holidays Over

We received our news today in English and discovered that it was not "burning of the Jews". It was called the "burning of Judah". Big difference I would say. They have over a 100 teens under arrest for violence over the weekend and are trying to decide what to do with them. Sad to see them having trouble with their teens as well.

We had a great Easter and picked up Babies princess dress from the neighborhood seamstress. It turned out beautiful and we will certainly include pics soon. She loves swirling around in it and just plain old being a "princess". Why can't we have them feel beautiful and like "princesses" forever?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Riot Police for Easter

O.K. so we just discovered another really strange tradition here in Costa Rica. While riding home from the grocery store in our taxi we saw several vans of cops in full riot gear in a little barrio or neighborhood close to ours. They were all around the elementary school and the main street. The taxi driver was trying to explain to us what was going on, but we did not really understand it.

Once we got home we had my daughter come out to translate what the heck was going on in town. He told her it was the tradition of "burning the jews". Evidently on Easter eve the teens go crazy and run all over burning everything in sight and call it the "burning of the jews". That sounds pretty messed up to me.

The moral of this story would certainly be not to travel to Costa Rica over Easter if you are Jewish. In fact with a last name like Neumann I believe we will put our big Mormon sign on the gate and keep my hubby with the big snozz in the house tonight.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pain in the Back

Here we go again, the old lady shuffle for a few days and whining until everyone wants to have me move out, or take a lot of pain pills and shut up. In fact the pain grabbed me in the middle of the night last night, crawled over baby to get to hubby, screaming and cussing all the way to get him to make it stop. Don't really know what the heck he was going to do to make the pain go away and didn't really care, just wanted it to stop.

It kind of reminded me of my first wonderful birth. I had read "Spiritual Midwifery" and all those good books and had a great midwife. After about 24 hours of back labor went into the wonderful hospital at Ft.Sam Houston and had everything done to me and baby that I had read was awful. From the pain killers that knocked me out, but just between contractions, to the forceps, shave and trying to put him on the bottle.

I was a little onry even back then and just ignored them on most things. The fact that Seth was posterior and I was only 18 did not seem to help the awful situation. Man was that painful. But last night took the cake. I mean it felt like someone had put me on the PIT and I was having the worst back labor ever. Good thing there were only five of them. But that was enough to soak me in sweat and put me into shock.

Good thing my tall son was there and he immediately stepped into action. Boiled water and started slapping hot soaks on my back. That did the trick and stopped the spasms. Needless to say I am a little scared to go to sleep. The biggest bummer is I don't think I will be able to run tomorrow. May still be able to do my long hike Saturday, but very gingerly and taking the bus down instead of running. What a baby back I have!