86. A Week In Our Life

Once the weekend is over, it’s back to work for me. That means that there really isn’t a whole lot to write about or report on. Ramie works around the house, does the landscaping, and little projects here and there, he always seems to stay busy with things. This week he spent his time working on more of the greenhouse project without me now that the main structure was done. He was able to work on and finish the actual planter box portion of the greenhouse on his own, which allowed him to get much farther on this project much quicker than if he would have had to wait for me to help him in the afternoons and on weekends.

Thursday 6/23- Since we weren’t going to San Isidro today, that meant I had some free time this morning before I had to work this afternoon. We used this opportunity to go relax at the beach for a while. For me, relaxing at the beach isn’t what you’d probably think of. We don’t lay out a beach blanket or set up chairs under an umbrella. I sit way too much all week to want to sit some more on my day off. Our day at the beach consists of walking, listening to the waves, searching for interesting things on the beach, and just enjoying the atmosphere. We went to our favorite secret beach, parked by the impassable bridge, kicked off our sandals, and headed out. Every time we come to the beach the scenery is different, it is truly amazing the power that the river and ocean waves have. We never know exactly where the river will be flowing, how wide it will be, or the path that it will take to the ocean. There are giant fallen trees that sometimes wash up on the beach, some are half buried in the sand. Some of these giant trees have been there since we started going to this beach a year ago, but sometimes they are nearly covered in sand, and sometimes they are nearly entirely exposed, it all depends on the currents, tides, and waves of the days before. Some days the beach is nearly barren of rocks, some days there are patches of thousands of rocks but they are only on these piles and nowhere else in between the piles. 

Today there were lots of rocks everywhere along the entire beach and we found lots and lots of shells. This was surprising to us because we have never found much for shells on this beach before and the ones that we were finding today were all very similar in color so that it looked like a whole colony of the same type of clams washed up. Today we also noticed a lot more red sand crabs than we normally see (think the real life version of Mr. Crabs from Spongebob). These guys are super quick and run away from you and duck down into their holes in the sand, so it’s very difficult to get a photo or video of them.

On days that we don’t bring Breeze with us we can walk much farther. When she’s with us we are concerned that our doggy (who doesn’t like to go swimming) will get too hot and tired. We didn’t bring her with us today, so that meant we could walk until we got tired or just felt ready to go home. We walked about a mile and a half down the beach until we got to the next river (this is the farthest we’ve ever gone, we’ve turned around once here before), and then turned around and walked back to where we started. The walk “out” is always much slower and more relaxed because we are looking for shells, cool rocks, or other neat things that wash up on the shore. On the way back we still keep an eye open, but don’t watch quite so closely. Interestingly enough, on the walk back today is when we saw the most exciting things we’d see. First, we saw a jellyfish washed up on the shore. Several years ago, somewhere in the Caribbean we had gone to a beach that had large moon-jellies that had washed up on shore and were drying out and dying on the sand. This reminded us a little bit of that experience. When we saw those moon-jellies, we had talked to a local that told us that it happens sometimes. If they aren’t too far dead, you can throw them back in the water and they might survive. Also, as long as you don’t touch the tentacles of the jellyfish they won’t sting you but they can sting you even though they may be dead. When we found this one, we hoped that maybe we’d be able to save it. Ramie carefully picked it up by the body, being sure not to touch any tentacles or the edge of the body where the tentacles might be, we snapped a few pictures, and then we put it back in the water. We watched for a little while to see if it swam away, but I don’t think it survived its stay on the sand. 

As we continued down the beach back to where we started, we ran across something that we had seen before but was still surprising to us, nonetheless. The beach cows were back! AND this time I had my camera!! At first as we walked up, we only saw 3, 2 laying in the sand looking out at the beach and one farther back in the trees. As we slowly got closer to get some pictures, we noticed that the rest of the herd wasn’t far behind. A long line of cows was making their way, mostly single file, through the wooded area between the beach probably from the pastures that are beyond it. I’d say, in all, there were over 25 cows, calves, and at least a couple of bulls. We didn’t see the farmer this time, but the animals didn’t seem bothered by us being there. They weren’t scared of us, and they weren’t aggressive (but we decided not to get too close, just in case). We still aren’t sure why these cows come to the beach (or rather, why their farmer brings them to the beach, or maybe trained them to come to the beach).

Damn, I forgot my floaties back at the farm!
Hey, Martha! Yeah, Bessie? Martha, this is the life!

Again, after we had taken our pictures and watched the beach cows for a while, we continued walking. We made it back to our starting point and sat down to relax on one of the partially exposed fallen trees. We really enjoy just watching the ocean and listening to the crashing waves. Ramie got up to explore some of the debris that had washed up on the beach during the most recent high tide (overnight) and decided to be a saw shark. No, that wasn’t a typo- I didn’t mean to say he saw a shark, I really did mean to write he was a saw shark 😉 

Ramie impersonating a saw shark

After our relaxing beach morning, since we were driving through Dominical on our way back home, and at some point we knew we had had to stop at the electric company office to request some official paperwork that we needed for our property, we decided to just stop now instead of making another trip. It took a little while, but we made the request, were told that it would take a couple of weeks to get it processed, and they would let us know when it was ready to pick up. Perfect, we were starting to make this Thursday morning productive after all. We’d be driving right past the fruit stand on the way home too, so we stopped there for some fresh pineapple, mangoes, and a few other things. Back in Uvita, we decided that since we were out and about, we’d get some more errands done as well, so we ran around and made all of our stops before heading back home. Well, now that it’s Thursday afternoon, it’s time for me to work a few more hours. At least I had a relaxing morning!

Friday 6/24- While I spent the morning working, Ramie finished up the last of the work on the greenhouse that he was able to do on his own. When I was finished working, we spent a few hours putting the “roof” material over the top of the frame, pulling it tight, and securing it all down.

There it was- our completed greenhouse! Now we just needed dirt, which Ramie has coordinated to be delivered sometime next week. Once we have that, I will finally get to start my vegetable garden! I always had a veggie garden back in MN, and I must say, that I am excited to have one again here. It will probably be full of things similar to what I grew back there (sweet peppers, hot peppers and tomatoes for my salsa garden, plus some herbs, and lettuce). I’m excited to see how it all grows here in the heat and never ending growing season, as compared to the 4 months I got to grow a garden back in MN!

Done, We just have to add dirt

As many of you know, Ramie is a “car guy”. He knows a lot about them, likes working on them, and has all sorts of ideas when it comes to upgrading them. He’s also still a little bit disappointed that we ended up with an SUV instead of a pickup truck. Overall, an SUV was the more appropriate choice for us for what we use the vehicle for, however with the crazy road conditions here, the clearance and suspension of a pickup truck would be nice sometimes. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve been driving on a mountain road, the road up to our old rental house, or even the road to our secret beach, and he’s had to be very careful that we didn’t damage the underside of the vehicle on a rock or deep hole. He had quite a bit of time to think about viable solutions, and put one of them into motion before Taryn, Steven, and Will came to visit us. Ramie ordered a spacer lift-kit for our truck! Rewind even farther, back to November when we packed up our pallets to have shipped down here. Part of Ramie’s car plan even started back then when he decided to ship down new shocks and brakes for our truck because they are quite expensive if you try to buy them here. So, before he installed the new suspension, he decided that he might as well install a lift kit at the same time to keep us a little bit safer from those rocks and potholes that we find in the roads more often than we’d really like. Fortunately, the lift kit was small enough that we could have Taryn & Steven bring the parts down in their suitcases for us, which they did, and Ramie now got to install.

Monday 6/27- Since he didn’t know just what he would run into getting the old parts off of the truck or getting the new parts installed, he waited for a day that we wouldn’t need to go anywhere, and likely wouldn’t need to go anywhere the day after either, just in case. Today was install day! While I was working at my computer Ramie got to work on the car. While I could hear him out there working, it wasn’t until lunch time that I actually went out to see what he was doing.

By that time he had already had the front just about done. He was doing fine and didn’t need any help, so I made him some lunch, then went back to work the rest of my day. When I was finished for the day, I went back out to check on him. He had both back tires off, the old shocks out, and was working on getting the new kit installed. Turns out, I was just in time to help him on some things that needed an extra hand. For the next hour or 2 I helped him get the back shocks and lift kit installed and change the brakes. It turns out, he was doing this all just in time, as the back brake pads were just about gone. I guess these weren’t replaced before we bought our truck last year, because there is no reason they should have been this low after the amount of driving we’ve done! 

Ramie doing things he really enjoys!

Fronts, still had some life left, but change them anyways.

The back pads, no life left in those!

Lefty loosy, Righty tighty
Just as we were getting fairly close to finishing up, we could see that the rain was going to move in for the evening. Fortunately, with the carport Ramie would be able to continue working and finish up even if it did start to rain, but we wanted to get all of the tools he wasn’t using any more put away before they got wet. I worked on cleaning everything up while Ramie finished up the brakes and getting the wheels put back on the truck. He got this project finished in one long day, and now this was another thing checked off of his “to-do” list. All said and done it gave us 3" of extra lift, It may not seem like a lot but its enough.
After (you'll see the difference in the gaps between the wheels and the body)

Thursday 6/30- Since it’s now been over a year since we’ve been down here, Breeze is in need of her yearly shots. She’s been getting the regular dog shots since she was a pup, and we figure it is very important to keep giving her these especially now since there are so many “jungle dogs” (strays, or dogs that technically have a home and people, but go out and wander most of the time) around that she could potentially catch something from. She also has a loose tooth & bad breath problem,  so we figured it would be a good idea to get that checked out as well. Ramie had visited the vet here in town last week to talk to them about the vaccines as well as the tooth and made an appointment for Breeze at 8am this morning. We brought her in, signed the necessary paperwork and they took her to the back. We were told to come back and pick her up around 4. If she was ready earlier than that, they would call us to let us know. Well, that’s weird! I guess since Ramie had already told them what we needed them to do, we didn’t have to talk to the vet about it, but back at our vet in MN we always at least went back to the exam room with her. It was a very quiet day at the house without our doggy, it always feels so weird on the rare occasions that she isn’t home with us. 

We got the call at about 2:30 that she was ready to be picked up. They had to put her under anesthesia to pull the tooth, so it took a little while for her to wake up, but she was ready to be brought home now. I was still working, so Ramie went to get her. When they got home, you could tell that our doggy was still very groggy and she looked so sleepy the rest of the evening. All she did most of the afternoon was lay around and sleep.

Ramie had explained to me that the vet gave her the 4 regular shots that she always got before (which have always made her sleepy in the past) as well as had to put her under to pull the tooth. While she was out, they also cleaned her teeth because they had some plaque buildup on them. The vet had told us that she shouldn’t eat anything hard until tomorrow, so we had put her dog food away for the evening. At one point she got up and walked to where her food dish usually is, and I felt really bad because I’m sure she was hungry, and we didn’t plan ahead and have any soft dog food for her. After thinking about it for a little bit, I decided that she was going to get some delicious soft human food for dinner. I cooked up some rice with beef broth and she got a bowl of that and a slice of Ramie’s homemade bread. She loves people food, but she usually only gets a few bites; she sure did seem happy when she got to eat all of this! It probably wasn’t the most nutritious meal she’s had, but all it had to do was hold her over until morning when she could eat her dog food again.

As far as prices go, we weren’t really sure what to expect of a vet visit down here. We had a great vet back in MN who charged very reasonable prices for everything. We estimated that the shots, the tooth extraction, and the cleaning probably would have cost about $500 at our vet in MN. We were concerned that a vet visit here would end up being expensive. Boy were we wrong!! Today’s doggy doctor care only cost us $120! I’m pretty sure that we paid more than that for just her yearly vaccinations back in MN! We were relieved that the vet was not as expensive as we had feared and felt better knowing that bringing Breeze to the doctor won’t cost an arm and a leg (or a couple of paws)!

So this is what a week in our lives is like. It's never the same and we just don't know what each week will bring, but we thought you may enjoy reading about this one.

Pura Vida


  1. You both are amazing how you have adapted to this life. I love reading it , you make it easy to put yourself in that place .
    Sending you love & good wishes from Ken & Edie

  2. Its been a challenge at times, but we are loving this decision we made!


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