Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Two More Sleeps Mom!"

We are counting down now. Only two more sleeps as baby says before we head North to the States. It is so hard to explain to people the mixed feelings of returning to the States when you live here. Our home is here, people we love and our jobs and schools. Therefore we miss our home when we leave. On the other hand there are my four sons living in the states and their families that we miss terribly. Such mixed feelings.

Not to mention the fact me and the girls missed a leave and are hoping they even let us back in the country when we head back. We have been hearing rumors of the customs turning people back when they are not legal. That would be one huge inconvenient drag to say the least.

We have covered our bases, we think, as far as the school and house are concerned. Thank heavens for family and friends willing to help us out. We even had one of our sons pitch in to get us back for a visit, that is awesome to say the least.

Today we took care of the last to do on the list. Went to my funny dread lock guy and got some tidy up work done. He uses a lighter and shapes them and gets rid of all the stray hairs. Well not all the stray hairs, would not be much left. I gotta share his story because it is pretty bizzare.

He was telling us that he started smoking ganga when he was 9 years old and living in San Jose.When he was 12 he was out smoking with a bunch of friends one day and his mother saw him. She threatened to kick him out if he did not stop. He got home that day and all his clothes were packed in bags and sitting outside. He took them and went to live at the beach in Limon.

He proceeded to sell his clothes. By the time he had run out of clothing to sell he had learned to make bracletts and jewlery. He grew out his dreads and lived on the beach selling jewlery for years. Now he owns his own store downtown and sells his jewlery and fixes hair wraps and dreadlocks. Pretty ambitious guy for being high most of the time for sure.

I am really happy with the fix up job he did, except for the smell of course, yuck!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.” (Julius Caesar)

Monday, June 21, 2010

On The Lighter Side

In the midst of trying to get ready for our trip, prevent the PANI from taking baby, and keeping teeny caged up, the world cup has been a great diversion. You can see here that my daughter cannot even bear to see one more soccer game, her eyes are closed!

We had a fun day getting ready for and watching the Hondurus game. They cooked a typical Hondurun meal and it was great. Now if the catrachos had scored at least one point it would have been the perfect day!

I also got to talk to Micah for one of the last times before we actually get to see him in person. Well kind of person if you count talking on a phone through a glass window, in person. Close enough for me right now, though a hug would be awesome.

Also the fact that Flagstaff is burning as I type. In fact our old neighborhood is on evacuation alert and all the people across the highway have already been evacuated. Scary and very sad. We just keep praying and checking on the mountain.

Today is summer solstice and a great day to pray for the earth and all the bad stuff going on to the earth at this time. The oil gusher continues to spew in the gulf, the fire continues to burn, and people continue to kill each other. But hey as long as there is a World Cup to watch we can get a little break!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fathers Day

Father's Day for me is a lot like Missionary Farewells, they suck. My father died when I was six, and as a child I can remember actually being very uncomfortable on Fathers day. My friends would all tip toe around the subject thinking they could not talk about dads around me. If someone did not know me and asked about my dad I would feel like I had to apologize. I hated telling people that my dad had died. For some reason that was very difficult for me. Maybe because as a child you just want to fit in and since I had a name like Robbie Robbins and already stood out enough, it was just one more thing to make me "different".

Now of course I don't feel the embarrassment, just sad. I never really got to know my dad. I have blips of memories and fun times. I remember one day my brother 15 months older than me and I were taking a shower. We were in the stall and decided that it would be really cool to plug up the drain and have a swimming pool. We could not figure out why the water would not get any higher than the shower door. That is until our mom came in the bathroom and shrieked. I guess there was lots of water. We both got the wooden spoon for that one, except it broke on big brothers butt!

I can remember him horsing around with us quite a bit. As a child he got the name "Skin" because he was so skinny and he loved to tease. After he died and we would go to Texas to visit family all I had to do was smile and they knew who my dad was! I got his blue eyes as well as his huge gummy smile. Coming from a family of 10 kids he was always fun to be around and a hoot!

He was 32 when he died, and had four kids, and a very young wife.

This fathers day, like many past I will be reading his letters to his sisters. It is all we have that he ever wrote and they actually mention me. From this I have learned the value of journals. If my dad had kept a journal I would so love to read his words. Invaluable!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No More Strike

Yippee, no more strike for our airline. Spirit Airline has worked out their problems and are back to flying as of Saturday. Man that is a huge relief. Especially since we have not a clue what we are doing right now. So frustrated with Costa Rica, just not sure if I want to keep fighting the fight here.

Maybe I am just a little wiped from the good ole' 14 miler today. Man that was one long run to be sure. The humidity was really high and took its toll on me. Long runs are so boring and difficult without my old running partner. She was in bed sleeping! I kept telling my grandson to tell his mom to get up and stop being a lazy butt. He had it down by the time I left. I love being a grandma.

I asked hubby the other day if we got such a big kick out of our own kids when they were this age. He could not remember. I do remember that two is always entertaining and interesting!

Baby is back at school and worked on art work all day today. She loves art and enjoyed making dad a card for "dia de Padre". The school raised this big fuss about me putting her back in school so that she could spend the whole afternoon making a father's day card. Stupid!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Whoa Cowboy 31 Years!

That is impressive! 31 freakin' years! I can so relate to the quote about finishing life and brushing off the dirt and saying, "wow that was a wild ride!" Not that we are finished, but maybe about half way there. We can only hope to keep kicking and having fun for another 31 years.

Don't get me wrong it is not always a bed of roses. We have gone through jobs, no jobs, awful jobs, almost slavery government jobs, schooling, business together, kids being alcoholics, drug addicts, inmates, run aways, just plain onry, deportation, homeschooling, unschooling, public schooling, charter schooling, University studies, working midnights, working evenings, six pregnancies, one adoption, five grandkids and just a whole lot more of challenges yet to come for sure.

I do have to say with every challenge there have been at least five great things that have happened. Not bad for 31 years. I guess we have accomplished a lot, not only as a couple but as people. Here is to 31 more years, love you mi amor!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good Ole' Costa Rica

There are many, many things that I love about Costa Rica. I love the weather here, I love the beautiful greenery, I love the beaches, I love the mountains, I love most of the people.

But just like the U.S. at this time, I hate the politics. I hate the government control over all the people and I especially hate it when they try to reach out their hairy arms and control me or mine.

Two months ago we took baby out of the local public school so that we could home school her. She was having problems with her teacher and some of the other students in her class. We have been home schooling her and she is now reading and almost done with her first math book.

She has done very well at home and no longer gets the headaches and stomach aches that she was getting when she was in school. A couple of weeks ago two ladies from the school she had attended came by to talk to us. They made it clear that she needed to be enrolled in a school somewhere and would be in touch with us.

Today we got a call from their version of family services telling us that if we did not have her to school tomorrow they would be taking her from our family. Yes they told us that it does not matter if she is a U.S. citizen, or that we are home schooling, the law in Costa Rica says that if you are here and are between the ages of six and sixteen you will be enrolled in school.

Evidently our five year plan has just become a four year plan. Oh well it has been a great learning experience and we have certainly enjoyed our time in Costa Rica. We do hope that we will still be able to return here and teach our classes to keep them going, we will see how that goes.

Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that Spirit Air will work out their problems and that we will actually have a way to get out of here!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spirit Airlines

Fingers and toes crossed that we even get to fly in two weeks. Just wondering how long it takes pilots and airlines to settle these disputes? Just hoping it is not longer than two weeks. The real clincher is that they won't refund your money until they have officially canceled your flight, which is usually the day before. Does not exactly give you lots of time to cover ha?

We will be planning for plan B. Not sure what plan B is, other than wait and go another time. I am going to be so bummed if I did all this training for my half marathon only to be grounded!

Come on people get along already!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mortons Neuroma

There are many reasons that I am thankful to be a massage therapist. One of the biggest reasons is the help I can give people, including myself. Having specialized in Sports Massage I have seen lots of different injuries. Most of them I have never had, thank goodness, but a couple I have had.

Mortons Neuroma is one I have dealt with on a couple of different occasions. The first occasion was with my own foot. I was doing a lot of track work outs and developed a neuroma in my right foot. If you are wondering what it feels like think hot poker in the ball of your foot right under your middle toe.

It is a very nervy feeling and is kind of like a tooth ache in that it lets up if you quit puttin pressure on it. As you can imagine that is pretty hard to do if you are running, on your feet anyway!

I looked it up, talked to my running coach and fixed it. I taped a piece of folded up napkin onto the bottom of my foot. I had cut out a hole in the middle of the napkin so that it looked like a doughnut and put the hole right on the owie place. It worked like a miracle and I was back on the road.

A couple of years later I had a client that was suffering from pain in the same place on her foot, only on the top of the foot. Her trainer had looked at it, and they could not figure out what the problem was. I took her foot and put it into plantar flexion and low and behold a big bump appeared on the top of her foot between her third and fourth toes.

I told her she had a gangleon cyst and tried to imagine how she got one of those there. Come to find out she had a "foot doctor" scrape her mortons neuroma on the bottom of her foot a couple of years earlier and the scar tissue had caused the cyst. Good ole' surgery ha?

Once they figured out what it was they went in and of course scraped it out and got rid of the cyst.

A year ago a friend of mine emailed me and said she had surgery to get rid of her mortons neuroma. She by the way went to the same "foot doctor" and he told her the only way to get rid of it was to go in and scrape away some of the tissue. Hello that only causes more scar tissue. I asked her if she had ever tried taping or any other preventitive. Nope. Nada. Bummer.

Today in my first four mile loop for my long run I got the old familiar pain in my foot. Above is my brilliant taping job. You know what worked really well? A pad! Yup I just cut a hole in it, stuck it on my foot and taped it to secure it. Ran another five miles and felt great. Like I said the things I learned in massage school are invaluable!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

IPod Shuffle

When I say shuffle I mean it. In that my daughter keeps stealing it. She steals it, I find it and put it up so she can't get it, and she finds it and nabs it again. Hence it is the IPod Shuffle.

She used to have her own IPod, but it finally expired after three years of abuse. Of course then she just started using mine. I would not mind except that mine is my life line. I cannot ever run without my IPod. I don't mean it is hard and boring, I mean I really cannot run without it.

On my long run a couple of weeks ago my IPod died. Daughter had been using it the day before and it died. I was like the energizer bunny that ran out of batteries. I stopped running and walked the rest of the loop to the house. I plugged in my IPod and waited about 15 minutes for it to recharge, while I drank a coconut water of course.

Once it was done, plugged in that energizer bunny and off I ran to finish the job. Yup that IPod is essential to my run. For that reason I have to come up with a much better place to hide it than my private shoe box in my closet. May have to come up with something really creative.

One other point on running with your IPod. Unless you really like Miley Cyrus, and Lady Caca, as we call her, don't let your 16 yr. old program your shuffle. I really have to skip quite a few songs. The only ones I don't skip are the ones in Spanish and that is just because I can't understand most of them :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Too Much Fun

Today was another beautiful day in the rainy season days. Costa Rica rainy season days are great. You get the whole morning to get things done and finish up your business, then get ready to hunker down for the afternoon rain. I personally like to knit or read, or even cook during the afternoon shower. Then it is done and you are free to travel once again.

We have never had a car here, and I'm sure that would change the way we do things here. Maybe people with cars don't have to plan quite as carefully as we do. We just really do not like to get our pants and shoes wet making our way to the bus. Without a drier it could take days to dry a pair of jeans or shoes.

Some people think we are not all there living as "primitive" as we do. The only things we really miss are our drier and of course moments of missing our car. Once we get our bills paid right around one hundred dollars and never have to spend hundreds on car repairs we are reminded why we do without. It is doing without some convenience, but at the same time it is doing without even more headaches.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Two Years Already

I cannot believe this little guy was born two years ago! Time flies when you are having fun. I also can't believe my daughter was brave enough to birth the boy in the public hospital here in Heredia. It was one scary place to be sure. I know there is a trend for people to come here to deliver their babies so that they can get residency.

Just know that this is not as easy as it used to be. It is lots of paper work, paper chases, as well as the fact they are getting sick of people coming here to do that and are onto that scam. For that reason they have built in blocks making it more difficult to get you residency.

We did have a great party, as usual and enjoyed the heck out of this little guy opening his presents. He was very animated and excited about each and every present he received. Once he got over the guests all looking at him that is.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Fun

Well as if we weren't busy enough, we added the Tamarindo Marathon again. I know, I know we complained bitterly about it, but that actually played in our favor. My daughter left a comment on their fb today and the director finally responded to her complaints. He apologized profusely for us not receiving our medals, and my plaque from last year. Then he offered us free entry if we wanted to race this year.

How could we say no? That is like someone giving you a hundred bucks. Of course that means we have to run a lot of miles, but hey it will be worth it. Of course I say that because I have been training for my half in July, but my daughter is a little more panicked. She has not been able to run much because of knee problems.

She has some IT band issues and it looks like I will have to work on her and get her better so she will be ready for the race September 12th. That also means some really early mornings for me as we will be having class the last six weeks before the race.

We do love a challenge and I am excited that we get to have a do over on this race. It should be a better race this time since we know what to expect. Hot, really hot, and humid and hilly. The three h's. Of course after doing Leadville it will probably feel like a walk in the park, at least there will be oxygen!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Coconut Time

It was so nice to have a running partner today. She only graced me with four miles, but that was great! I forget how much faster the time goes when you have someone to talk to when you are running. I do enjoy my music, but it can get a bit boring. And now I have her hooked on the coconut water as well.

Now I don't think I will ever be able to run again in the States. Where am I going to get my coconut water?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Awards and New Recipes

I have been waiting for an excuse to try out a new recipe. Hubby gave me an excuse. He was invited to be in the Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society. I believe that means he is pretty darn smart. Or he works really, really hard, or a little of both. Of course I vote for the smart part because of course he chose me. Or maybe I chose him, can't really remember.

So here is the recipe that everyone has probably tried a hundred times and we are just now getting around to:
1 pkg. of oreo cookies crumbed
1 pkg. of cream cheese
mix the above together really well and roll into balls.
dip in melted chocolate.
Our version:
1 pkg of CR oreos, which means you have to unwrap every single one.
1 pkg. of queso crema, which I swear tastes just like the U.S. but everyone says I have forgotten.
Dipped in chocolate, means buy a cheap bar of chocolate and add some butter and milk and try to get it to the right texture.
It worked though and that is the good news.
They are supposed to refrigerate for two hours, but we did not make that and they were still pretty good.

A great way to top off a fun pool day and get ready for the big 12 miler in the morning. It is gonna be a hot one, that much is for sure. We are having all kinds of tropical storms here, which has been lots of fun and interesting. Also another earth quake on Monday night.

Last month our family practiced the "earth quake Position". Well here we get the big chance, and no one even got into the earth quake position! We were watching Greys Anatomy and no one moved, just looked at each other and wondered if we should get into the "earth quake position". Oh well!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Family Fun

I should probably explain my pictures from Memorial Day. We just chilled and enjoyed the beautiful weather. My daughter and her family are here visiting, so we are really having fun with that.

Our family has become very Tico. We love having family all together and the more the merrier. In fact if the rest of the family wanted to live here, no problem. We have been known to have 11 people living in our little apartment at one time.

Funny story. When my daughter and her new hubby were moving into their apartment we went with them to sign papers. The landlord looked very sternly at my son-in-law, who is obviously Latino and gave strict orders that he was not to move his whole family into the little two bedroom apartment with them.

They all agreed to that and moved in. Fast forward two weeks, he gets deported. I told my daughter to hold onto the apartment because we needed a place to stay while our old trailer was being hauled off and our new modular being moved in.

A couple of months later we moved in with my daughter, at the moment there were only five of us. Two weeks later hubby and I left for China to pick up baby, making it six people in the two bedroom. A month later my 19 yr. old son moved in with us to get his life straightened out. Next month another son separated from his wife and moved in with us. Next came my youngest brother needing a place to park it for a short time.

Then my poor daughter and her baby came back from Hondurus. Man we were packed in like sardines and needless to say the landlord was not at all happy. Of course it took them about six months to get our home done and we lived in that little apartment the whole time! Crazy times.

Good times, good times!!!!