73. Nose to the Grindstone

Thursday 3/31-Wednesday 4/6- Now that Taylor and Dylan have left, Ramie and I back hard back at it doing the “regular life” things that need to get done. With only about 2 weeks until Tax Day, you’ve guessed it- I’ve been putting in a lot more hours at the computer. Ramie has been a lifesaver by taking care of everything else around the house that needed to be taken care of. He even made lunch for me a few days! He worked on projects around the house and yard, all things that needed to be done but just weren’t important enough to take care of while we had guests. He finally got around to weed whacking the overgrown plants along the creek and around the edges of our property (now that we have a weed whacker), deciding where plants needed to be moved to, organizing things that hadn’t been put away, detail projects in the house, and all sorts of things that you don’t really think about after you move into a new house. We did try to make a little bit of time to relax in the pool a few afternoons, and I always cooked dinner and we relaxed in the evenings. Some days or weeks here don’t feel so different from how things were back in MN. Get up, work all day, cook dinner, sit around for a while, go to bed, wake up tomorrow and repeat. Of course, the weather and the scenery are slightly better here- unless you don’t like the heat!

Thursday 4/7
- After working so hard for the last week or so, today I was temporarily caught up and got an unexpected afternoon off. Since the projects that I wanted to do around the house have been put on hold because of work, I actually got to do something that I’ve been needing to do!

Breeze has not had her own bed since we left MN back at the end of May. We have looked and looked for decent dog beds since we got down here, but they are either too small, have no cushion, or are outrageously expensive. When we were packing our container, I packed the materials to make one for her. I knew I’d be bringing a sewing machine for some projects that I will inevitably be doing, so to pack some extra fabric and a foam cushion was easy and I’d take care of it once we got our stuff from the container (Don’t ask me why we didn’t just pack a dog bed for her- I don’t know!! It just didn’t cross our minds at the time, plus homemade would be less expensive). Well, at the time, I didn’t expect for the timing of getting my supplies, having guests, and a big push of work to all fall at the same time, so unfortunately Breeze still didn’t have her bed. (I think she was thoroughly enjoying sleeping on ours during the day when we weren’t in it, though. At night was the only time she had to find somewhere else to lay down, and in the week since Taylor & Dylan left, she has taken up residence on the guest bed).

Well, with the afternoon off, and nothing else planned (since it was a very unexpected afternoon off) I pulled out my sewing stuff and got to work making Breeze her very own bed. 

You know, pets are kind of weird, and many of you who have pets will probably agree with this, but even though I know they can’t understand English and really don’t know what you’re saying, I do think they understand. As we were laying out the fabric and the foam to measure things, we told Breeze that this was for her- and I’m certain that she understood! She laid down on the uncut fabric, checked things out, was very curious and attentive as we measured and cut, and as I began to sew. I think she knew this was for her, and I think she was very excited for it. It took most of the afternoon to make since it has been a long time since I’ve done a sewing project, and I’ve never done a box cushion like this, so I was learning as I went. Ramie helped out a lot too, this was definitely a joint effort for our doggy. When we were finally done and got the foam inside of the new cushion cover, Breeze knew it was hers, laid down on it, and claimed it. I think she likes her new bed!

Breezes new bed

Breeze didnt give us enough time to flip it to the correct side before claiming it

Saturday 4/9- Wouldn’t you know it, today I ended up with another unexpected afternoon off. I guess I’m just that efficient at my job that I caught up during the busiest time of the year! So, what does that mean? Well, this time since I don’t have a dog bed to make, I told Ramie I wanted to go to the beach. I don’t think I’ve been to our secret beach since Christmas or so, and in May I’ll be starting a new, full-time job that won’t make it easy to go do things like this, so we decided that we had to take this opportunity. I felt like I had been sitting at a desk for way too many hours (which I had been) and hadn’t been going for my walk/run like I used to, and I just felt like I needed to get out and MOVE! We packed a lunch, a few drinks, and, much to Breeze’s disappointment, left her at home.  

Once we got to the beach, we did like we usually do, and left everything in the car and just walked, and walked. Just like always at this wonderful place, there was no one else around. We saw a couple of people way off in the distance, but once we got there they were gone. There aren’t many shells that wash up here, but there are sections where there are a lot of small rocks, so we always walk slowly through those areas looking for anything that stands out to us. We are actually on the hunt for shark teeth that might wash up with these rocks, but so far, no luck! After feeling like we had gone far enough in one direction, we turned around and headed back to where we started, grabbed our cooler and chairs out of the car, and found a semi-shady spot to sit. There must have been a hermit crab convention here today because they were everywhere! We had fun watching them, we would pick them up and move them around, we would watch them race (or that’s what it looked like anyway) and just spent way too much time giggling at these funny creatures. We also realized that hermit crabs find the coolest shells, why can’t we find cool shells like these WITHOUT hermit crabs in them!? We have brought home some shells and later realized they were crawling across the counter or pool deck after washing them..

Sunday 4/10- No new work assigned yesterday afternoon, so that means another day off. Since it’s Sunday and most things aren’t open, that means it’s a good day to hang around at home. It’s a great feeling when you get to work on things that you actually want to do and get a chance to relax. While Ramie was taking care of so many of the chores around the house, both the regular things like cleaning and laundry, and the new-house things like hanging towel hooks and decorations and all those little things that you just dont realize you need until you dont have it. There were some projects that I just wanted to do myself.

Today’s projects were just a few more fun random things that I’ve been thinking about, nothing that actually really needed to be done. I have been wanting to make my own homemade sourdough bread. A couple of weeks ago I started my own sourdough starter from scratch and have been taking care of that to get it nice and strong (any of you sourdough people know what I’m talking about), and it was ready for me to use, and I was finally ready to use it. I started my very first batch of homemade sourdough baguettes, we’d see how they turn out! Once I got them to the point to just raise, I got to go for a run. I found a hill just across the highway from us that goes up and up and up, I don’t have a clue for how long it goes, but it takes me about 25 minutes to walk/run up this crazy steep hill, and then I ever so carefully come back down the hill so I don’t slip, fall and roll all the way down.

It’s been a while since I did a good hard workout like this, but it felt good! When I got home my sourdough was ready for its next step, the timing worked out perfectly.

In between doing all of these sourdough steps, I pulled out my sewing machine again, mostly just to play with it and practice sewing. I had some random pieces of canvas that came down with my tote of sewing stuff and decided to make a cloth grocery bag out of it. Costa Rica tries to be environmentally conscious, so some places, like Walmart, don't have plastic bags at the checkout counter, cloth bags (and the plastic bags you got last time from a different store) are a must have, so making another one to have on hand is probably a good idea. This was a fairly simple project, so it worked out to start and stop along the way doing different things (like make sourdough) in-between. By the afternoon I had finished my bag and my baguettes- the bag turned out great, the baguettes--- well, they weren’t so great. They tasted good but didn’t raise and get puffy like they should have. I guess I’ll try again someday, maybe I’ll get some better results. Now, I got to relax by the pool and do nothing until it was time to start dinner.

Pura Vida! 




  1. We are glad to see you both enjoying your new life and all you have done to excell at moving onto a new country and making good lives for the two of you. I enjoy visualizing what the smells and sights are like and equate it to the new smells and sights we are enjoying in our cabin near Alexandria, Mn. It’s not tropical but it is forrested and has many beaches.
    We hope you continue to enjoy your new life, stay in touch!

    1. I am glad that you are still enjoying our blog posts and that it's not getting boring! I can completely see where you could find some similarities between our adventure here in Costa Rica and spending time up at the cabin: the ruralness and small town feel, nature, water, all things that make you slow down a little bit and enjoy the scenery! <3


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