146. A Beautiful Reunion

Reunion Dance GIF from Reunion GIFs Saturday 2/3- Many of you who know me know that once upon a time I was in the military. During a deployment to Iraq nearly 17 years ago (Ugh, I really feel old after saying that!) I got close to 2 battle buddies who I hope will be in my life forever. We were all young girls from MN in a military field where very few women end up and we formed a tight while trying to keep each other as sane as possible during a tough 18 months far, far from home. After the deployment we all ended up back in MN, but only saw each other about once a year. Despite not seeing each other very often, when we do get together it’s like no time has passed and we can step right back into our friendships without any problems. The last time I saw these gals was shortly before we moved down here, and ever since then we always talked about when they would come visit us. That was finally happening! We have been working on planning this for a while, and today was my & Ramie’s d

110. Our Next Step for Residency, A Tribute, Odds and Ends

Monday & Tuesday 1/23 & 1/24- As I’m sure you can understand, emotions are still fragile and keeping our minds busy is a must if we don’t just want to break into tears at any given moment. The house feels so empty and just seeing the empty dog dish shelf that Ramie only installed a month ago makes me choke up. I have been able to keep my mind busy with work (they are very good at keeping me busy lately) but Ramie has to look a little bit harder to find projects to keep himself busy. We’ve seen some photos and designs of some neat plant stands, and since we do love our plants and have several small potted varieties just sitting around on our tables, Ramie decided he’d try his hand at making one himself. He is definitely more of a metal-worker than he is a wood-worker, which is great for down here. He pulled out some of the scrap metal that we had laying around and got to welding. We also had some leftover wood from our cabinets that he could use as the shelves, so he got to cutting, staining & varnishing that as well. Within less than 2 days he had made this fantastic plant stand that perfectly matches the furniture in our house. Fantastic job!

Before anyone comments on the condition of the plants we know they are not doing well. We will get new ones.

Wednesday 1/25- If you’ve been following along, you’ve heard plenty of stories of all of the things that we are going through to get our residency here in Costa Rica. As a reminder, residency is not the same as citizenship. Residency is what allows us to stay here permanently/full time without having to leave every 90 days to get a new tourist visa stamp in our passport as well as getting national healthcare and a few other things. Today we have our appointment for our next step, our DIMEX or national ID card (yes, I know, it seems like there are a million steps, we think the same thing!) This step is in San Isidro, and was scheduled for the afternoon. Lately there has been some major construction on the only road between here and San Isidro and there have been major delays of up to an hour on top of the already hour drive, so we were concerned about an unexpected delay. Because of that and since we are “early” people anyway, we drove over to San Isidro right away in the morning. The appointment was in the downtown area and it tends to get very busy and parking gets scarce as you get later into the day, so we got there early, parked, and decided to walk around and check out all of the stores that we haven’t stopped at since our very first adventure shopping in San Isidro (you might recall how much we dislike driving & parking in this area. This is also very near the hospital where Ramie had to go for his knee appointments). After checking out the stores we wanted to check out we still had time to spare, so we spent an hour or so sitting in this nice little park where Ramie happened to see a homeless guy crapping his pants. Yeah, not so different from some cities in the US.

 Here are some pictures of the small park in the center of town. Its really is very beautiful.

In this Southern Zone area of Costa Rica there have been hundreds of these ancient perfect spheres found.  No one really knows where they came from or what they symbolize, but it is a "thing" that this part of the country is known for.
Ramie waiting on a bench like Forest Gump

 Finally, along came the time of our appointment and we headed to the office where we’d meet Laura, the same lady from our attorney’s office who helped us a couple of months ago with our prior step in this process. We had a set appointment time, but as with so many things down here, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s when you’ll be called in. We were waiting and waiting, and it was a while after our scheduled time when the guy we were supposed to see came out and spoke to Laura in Spanish. This is when we found out that the system was down. Of course! Why wouldn’t it be?! It seems like this is often our luck when it comes to things like this. The guy told us that we could wait and he would continue to take other customers with appointments for other things that used different systems. He told us that in between customers he would try the system that we need and if it came back online he would call us in. Eventually after about another hour of waiting, we finally got in for our appointment. This appointment was more or less just to get our picture taken for our eventual ID card, so once our information was entered into the system, it was a very quick appointment. Fantastic, one more box checked off on the list for residency. Next stop will be drivers licenses, but unfortunately from what we hear, it is next to impossible to get these appointments. Fingers crossed that the whole process works out for us! 

When we were done getting our pictures taken it was on to Walmart for some quick grocery shopping, and then to the Vivero to buy some flowers before heading back home, back through the possible back-ups on the road due to construction. Fortunately, we didn’t get stuck in any traffic in either direction. That was one thing that worked out in our favor today.

Thursday 1/26- One week ago we lost our Breezy girl and as you can imagine we miss her terribly. She’s buried in a sunny spot in our yard and we have been thinking about what we should do in her area. Ramie has been doing some research on flowers that attract butterflies & hummingbirds and wanted to build a garden for that. It was an easy decision to dedicate that corner of the yard to our Breezy Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden Memorial. We picked up a handful of flowers for our garden yesterday. We know we’ll need to add more, but this time of year is tough to plant because of the lack of rain and high heat, so we thought we’d just start with a few. Before we could start planting anything, though, we had to remove some plants that were already in the area, prepare the garden perimeter, we’re using river rock, fill it in with good compost soil, and then we’ll finally be able to plant. Today we started working on all of this and are satisfied with what we have so far. It took a little bit longer than we expected because of the slope at the edge of the hill where we are building it, and when we thought we had the perimeter done we stood back to take a look and it just looked too small so we expanded it. Eventually we had what we thought was a good garden, planted the flowers, and hoped that they would survive and attract all kinds of hummingbirds and butterflies. 

The Heliconia's that we had to remove and relocate first
Setting the perimeter and realizing its much to small
We expanded it and happy with this size, we may still change it slightly but this is good for now.
Added the compost and leveling it
The flowers that we are planting
All planted and as we suspected we will need more eventually. We will see how these do over the next few dry and hot months

The Official Casa Costa Breeze end of January rainfall total was 5.9 inches

Thursday 2/2- Another week has gone by and the house still seems lonely as I’m sure it will for quite a while. Today we hoped to relax and maybe bring smiles to our faces so we decided to go to the beach. We went to our favorite secret beach with the thought that we’d go for a long walk like we always do. The first thing that we noticed when we got there was that there was no river that connected to the ocean this time. During the majority of the year, the river that passes under the impassable bridge flows all the way to the ocean here, however now during summer when we don’t get much (or any) rain, there just isn’t enough water to make it flow that far. After a brief look around in this area we headed out for our walk along the edge of the ocean. 

The river during dry season, just an extension of the beach now.
Barely any water under the impassable bridge and more of a dirty, stagnant pool now

As we were exploring we happened across a palm tree that was half tipped over but still growing. Ramie has always wanted to climb a palm tree but doesn’t really have the ability to do that on a tree that is standing upright and normal. He used this opportunity to climb a palm tree that was more in-line with his skill level.

Boys will be boys
Making the climb, he said its not as easy as he thought and he is not as nimble or has the balance he did 20 years ago.

He had no trouble climbing the tree, but where there may have been a small issue was in the dismount. When he jumped down (instead of climbing down) he may have hurt his knee (yes the same one that is still not healed completely) a little bit in the process.

Yep, that dismount hurt! He stood like this for awhile before he attempted to walk it off

Of course I had time to get my phone out and take a picture of his dumb ass, to remind him he is old (Ramie may have hacked in and added that line himself) He may have also gotten a little piece of my mind because there is no way I’d be able to carry him back all the way to the car if he hurt his knee again. And good luck getting any cell phone signal out here to call for help! Fortunately he was able to walk it off and make it all the way back to the truck.

When we made it back to the truck we weren’t quite ready to go home yet, so we stopped at the One Love CafĂ© in Dominical for some delicious coffee and one of Ramie’s favorite cinnamon rolls. This time, I saw a giant gluten free brownie in their display case, so I got to order a delicious treat for myself as well. Coffee and a brownie, breakfast of champions after a long walk on the beach!

Now, once we had our fill of beach walking and morning treats, it was back home for me to start my first day of tax filing season for my side-gig. Now and for the next 10 weeks or so would be my busy season. I hope I make it through!!

Friday 2/3- Turtle nesting season is pretty much over, but about a month ago an unexpected nest was found and the experts believe that the momma turtle could nest again soon. They have had people walking the beach for the last few days but they haven’t come across another nest. This morning was Ramie’s turn to do the hunt and Geoff came along with for the walk.

Hello everyone Ramie here for a very quick paragraph. As Dana mentioned, the sanctuary wanted volunteers to choose shifts and walk the beach each day over about a 5 day span. The decision to only do it for a select number of days and no more is because there is no guarantee that this turtle would necessarily come back, it is just a theory that she might return. Today is technically the last day of their scheduled follow-up walks. For safety reasons, the administration at the sanctuary always wants you to do these turtle walks in partners or small groups, and since no one else volunteered and Dana has to work, I asked Geoff if he would like to walk with me, and of course he was happy to. We got an early start around 6am and sadly ended our walk without finding any signs that the momma turtle came back. I reported back to the Sanctuary and they made the call that no more walks would be needed as they figured she moved onto a different beach.

Ok, I’m back. Since I’ve told Tracy about my upcoming busy season, she wanted to make sure we got to go hang out now since it might be a while before I get the chance to again. She thought a “girls night” without the guys would be fun, so that’s exactly what we did. We heard about a new Mexican restaurant in town that had really good reviews so we went there to check it out for ourselves. We spent the next couple of hours just chit chatting like girls do, ate some delicious tacos, and even brought home some take out for the guys who stayed home this evening. Wouldn’t ‘ya know it, Tracy & I even made the restaurant’s Facebook page! Before we even got home Ramie had messaged Geoff the picture from Facebook joking that Tracy & I actually went where we said we were going to and didn’t take a side-trip somewhere else. I guess if Tracy and I ever decide to go somewhere different from where we tell the guys we’re going we better be careful—big brother is always watching! Hahaha! 

We actually didn't know they were taking this picture (even though Tracy is looking away, I think she was laughing) we are the first table on the left.

Saturday 2/4- Since the turtle nest that the nursery had been hoping for hadn’t been found yet, Ramie and I took it upon ourselves to go walk the beach this morning to see if, just by chance, she laid her eggs last night. Tax season isn’t busy yet and I could have had a leisurely day, but so much for sleeping in on my "day off"! We got up at 5 to head to the beach by 5:30, just as the sun was rising. Walking the beach at that time of morning truly is magical and the views are beautiful. This is a little bit on the early side for our regular beach days, but once in a while it is a real treat to sacrifice an hour of sleep on a day off to see the peaceful sunrise from the beach. Unfortunately, once again, we didn’t find the nest that we were hoping for. Hopefully, better luck next time!

 Pura Vida!


  1. Nice job on the plant stands. When I looked at the first pic head on, I was wondering how it was standing up without falling over. The second pic told the story, looks great.
    Also nice work on the memorial garden. In a year it will fill in and look good.
    We finally had some nice weather, up to 86 on Friday and 81 yesterday. That’s pretty hot for us in April. It’s back to normal today, barely hit 60.
    Keep the stories coming.
    Kevin & Laurie

  2. HI Kevin and Laurie! Thank you, I enjoy those little projects like the plant stand and whatever else I can do with metal. I wish I was more of a wood worker, but I'm not good with that at all. Haha! Wow, I wouldn't of expected those temps this time of year, that must be nice and at least lets you get outside to do some things around the yard or taking photos. Thanks again for reading we really appreciate it. Oh and I hope you've been able to get some cruises in. We've been itching to go on one.. Its been far to long.


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