150. ☔Costa Rica Rain Season Begins ⛈🌦🌧

Can you believe this is already blog post 150!! I always thought it would be fun to be a writer, but I never thought I would make it to this!

Wednesday 4/10 & Thursday 4/11- Even though it isn’t quite the filing deadline yet, Ramie is pretty much done with his part of the tax prep for the year. He will be on call now for when the last of the people on extension are ready to send their stuff in, but for now he’s back to taking care of things around the house and yard. With the start of the rainy season, we have been starting to get a few small showers in the evenings, which by this time of the year, are desperately needed. Some of the plants in the yard look like they’ve died, but that is typical for the end of dry season; most of them are used to this cycle and will bounce right back once they get a good drink of rain, and be in full bloom again soon. Ramie has been spending a lot of time pruning the plants along the creek in preparation for the rainy season revival. The area along the creek is one part of our yard that we keep kind of wild and let nature do its thing, but because of this there are plenty of aggressive vines and other weeds that need to be cut back so they don’t completely take over.

Saturday 4/13- Dusti has problems. Even though Dusti only has about 600 miles on her, we knew these problems were building; after our long ATV trip to the cacao plantation in February when Katie & Jamie were here, it became evident that the problem really would need to be fixed. These problems were not caused by us, but stem from the poor-quality axles that Yamaha factories install in these machines. If we were in the US, we would be able to get the faulty axles replaced for free under warranty, but unfortunately, here in Costa Rica, these machines only come with a 6-month warranty. This means that we are on our own to find a way to fix it now. Ramie, being the mechanic plus research guy that he is, did all sorts of research to figure out what might be the problem and how the problem could be fixed without actually just replacing the axles. It turns out that a possible solution would be to change the CV joint grease (for any of you who know what that means) and, in theory, it will fix the problem. Once he found this solution, he began searching all around for anywhere that might sell the appropriate CV grease to rebuild the axles, and although this is a very specialty thing, he eventually found what he was looking for.

Since he had been so busy working on tax returns for the last couple of months, the parts and grease have been sitting around waiting for him to have time to rebuild them, and this was finally the week that he could do it. It took him a couple of days, and today he finished putting everything back together so we decided to take it for a quick ride to see if it actually worked like it was supposed to. Since this was a test ride, we didn’t want to go far or for a long ride just in case it wasn’t the fix that was needed or something went wrong.  We went to the waterfall, because why not?

GQ mode? Maybe!

It was a good thing too, because even though we didn’t go far, the “fix” may have made the problem even worse. When we got home and he went to look at the axles, he discovered that all of the grease completely blew out of the CV joints. What in the world caused this new twist!? Back to the drawing board!! Ramie quickly got on the internet and did more research and this time discovered that the product that they sell here in Costa Rica (and that he purchased thinking it was the right thing) is actually NOT rated for CV joints even though they market it that way and it was the product that they told him was right for this job. What actually happened is that this grease doesn’t handle the heat that the CV joints generate, and this particular grease got so hot and it expanded so much that it had nowhere to go except out of the compartment that it is supposed to stay in. Now, a decision must be made!! We talked about it, weighed the pros and cons, and brainstormed for any other ideas we could come up with, and ultimately we decided that we would just buy brand new, better quality aftermarket axles and have them shipped to Costa Rica. Buying these axles, having them shipped here (and paying the associated shipping), and doing the work himself (which he is very capable of, given the right parts) was still more cost effective than having the ATV shop here in town replace the axles, plus, they didn’t offer the ones that Ramie wanted. On top of getting all new axles, he would also order the proper grease from the US so he could rebuild the axles that we do have. Since we have a friend coming down to visit in a few weeks, he could bring it to us. It’s a tossup as to whether the grease or the axles will get here quicker, but either way, we will end up with the replacement axles and a back-up set to keep on hand in case anything goes wrong again in the future. We have to keep Dusti in tip-top shape so we can continue going on our adventures and have something to write about here for you!

Later in the evening, after we ate dinner but before it got dark out, Skye was acting very irritable and doing her huffing sounds and barking like she does when there's something around that she's nervous about or is bothering her.

Usually, if it's something like an iguana or animal in the yard, or people out in the street, we'll distract her for a little bit and she forgets about it. This time, though, even after calling her away from whatever was bothering her she would go back outside and bark in the same direction. She was looking toward Nick's house, and no one was staying there right now. Ramie did notice that some of the tall plants were moving and he thought maybe someone was in the yard chopping them, and decided to go check it out. Once we walked into Nick's fenced backyard we figured out exactly what was bothering Skye so much, there were 2 horses happily eating away at Nick's back yard plants.

Nick doesn't have horses, and he certainly wouldn't invite any over to eat his plants, so we knew immediately that these horses didn't belong here. After our experience about 8 months ago with cows in the yard, our first thought was that these horses broke the fence where the cows did, so after determining that these horses were friendly and weren't going to kick us or go after us, Ramie went home to grab some rope to try to lead these horses, and brought them down into the creek to try to get them to go back to where they came from. The problem was, though, that the fence that we figured was broken was still intact. I guess that isn't where the horses came from! Where did these horses come from?! The best way that we could think of to find the owners would be to post some pictures of them on the local Facebook group and hope that the owners or someone else who recognizes the horses would see them and get in contact with us to come claim them. It didn't take long and we had a response to our Facebook post. The owners didn't live too far away and mentioned that the horses have been getting out lately. They came to gather the horses and ended up walking them back home in the dark. I don't know what it is with our properties here at the end of our little cul-de-sac along the creek, but if we and Nick keep getting farm animals in our yards, we might have to consider setting up our own little farm and keeping them. Hahaha, probably not!!


Sunday 4/14- Here I am working on the blog again, with a nice Chiliguaro (our version of a Costa Rican Bloody Mary). I’m FINALLY finding some time to work on it, which is absolutely needed!! We have NOTHING written since Katie & Jamie left on Feb 11, so it’s crunch time to get you guys some content so we don't have to skip another week! So, I guess that means there’s nothing exciting to report!

Monday 4/15- Just when I think I’m going to get a breather after the intense tax season hours and stress, the one other employee of my new job, the one who handles the bulk of the casework, was fired. It looks like the break I was anticipating is not going to happen any time soon. The original intent when I was hired for this job was to work part time, about 25 hours a week, be the “backup” or take care of the “overflow” of casework that the other guy couldn’t take on, as well as to provide the experience and knowledge that I have to help make our firm better. Now, I would be in charge of everything! Now it’s only me and the boss with our 60+ clients, and the boss doesn’t do a whole lot of the actual casework. How am I going to fit all of this into my life? I have no idea!! 😭

While I was trying to triage everything going on in my work life, Ramie worked on the ATV. Since it’s already out of commission until we get the new axles, he could take it apart and not have to worry about getting it all put back together to use it at a moment’s notice. This time he was working to fix all of the small rattles and other little things that bugged him. He also spent some time painting the new the metal slat wall in the corner of the carport with some paint that is supposed to make it look like wood. You saw the beginning of this process in a prior post, and this paint is a two-part process. You first put on the base coat, and once that’s good & dry you use a different paint and a special tool to give it that wood grain look. The problem is that the special brush that they sell here in CR isn't very good quality (like so many things) so it wasn’t working out like we had envisioned. We decided that the easiest solution would be to just leave the base coat as it is for now and when we are back in the US we will pick up a good quality wood grain tool to finish the wall later. We also noticed that there is a slight curve to the metal’s “straight” edge, so in the end, this may not work out anyway. We shall see!!

Thursday 4/18- It’s time again for our 6-month dental appointment. Has it really been 6 months already? It turns out that it's actually been more than 6 months, but with tax season we wanted to wait until after the 15th so we didn’t have to take a day out of busy season. Fortunately, this time we both made it out of there without the need for any additional work like I needed last time! Afterwards, since we were already this far south of town, we decided that we would also head to the butcher shop that we like that is only a little bit further down the road. Before we got there, though, Ramie suggested that we stop at the vivero to see if they have any plants we might like for the yard. Now, as we enter the rainier part of the year, it is the best time to plant new things so they can get established over the next 6 months before they have to survive the dry season (it’s like “spring” here when it comes to planting, even though it truly is actually fall because rainy season will be the Costa Rican winter. Seasons just don’t work the same here!!) We ended up leaving the vivero with 2 Christmas Palms 🌴 (not to be confused with Christmas Trees πŸŽ„), 3 jasmine plants, 2 bougainvilleas, and 3 lantanas. The palms and the jasmine will be planted in the back yard and the rest are intended for outside our front fence to give some color to the front of our property. On the way home Ramie thought it might be a fun idea to go to a different vivero North of town that Loren told him about last year. Ok, why not; we are out and about with plants on our mind so we might as well. We stopped at home to unload what we had already bought and hit the road again. When we arrived at the other vivero, the first thing that we noticed was that it was much larger than the first one. We started walking around and it just kept going and going... We really didn't know what they had or what we wanted, but did want to see it all. We ended up buying 6 crotons, a mango tree, and a plumeria. We took note of the other things that they had here that were different from the vivero South of town in case we wanted to add more to our yard.

We are also excited that our banana tree is finally starting to produce. It will still be a few more months before we can pick them. 

They are so tiny 
Saturday 4/20- Happy 1st Birthday Skye! We don’t know for sure what day she was actually born, it's really just a guess based on when they found Bonita and her litter of 8 adorable pups, but today is the day we chose to celebrate it. 

We started the morning by going to Benny the Chiropractor. This was so needed and well deserved; after tax season we both needed it badly! Ramie’s lower back has been giving him some trouble, probably from sitting on the bench at the picnic table and my shoulders were not functioning properly without pain, both from sitting at the computer all of the time and probably from all of the tension and stress that I hold there. I have nothing more to say about that other than that it felt great!

Once we were feeling less creaky, we headed home to do some physical labor, we had to dig holes in our yard. We’ve wanted to plant something different along the back yard wall between our yard and Katie and Adam's, we just didn’t really like the ones that were originally put there. The bushy trees that we are replacing have very shallow roots and Ramie was able to pull them out by hand without even having to dig them. We then started setting the new trees where we thought they would look best before we finalized the placement by actually digging holes. We made some small adjustments to make everything mostly even and symmetrical before we got to digging. The 2 Christmas Palms and 3 of the crotons were laid out and set in place, we then moved onto the back wall of our property to plant the 3 jasmines between the orchid trees that are already growing along the back wall. The plumeria went in the front yard by the carport near the other plumerias that we already have planted up there. Eventually, once all of the plumerias grow up and start flowering this will area will be full of different colors of the lovely smelling flower! Fun (actually kind of sad to us) fact, most of the pretty flowers that we have down here don’t smell! Plumerias and certain types of jasmine do, so that’s why we’re planting more of them in our yard. By the time we got all of this done, it was starting to get hot, so we called it a day and spent the rest of the day doing little odds and ends. Of course, we had to get in a little pool time at the end of the day. It was a good productive day overall.

While we were messing around in the area of these plants, all of a sudden we had a visitor come slithering out, across the yard, and toward the cunnetta that drains the back of our property down to the creek.

It was skinny and about 12-18 inches long. We didn't initially know what kind of snake it was, but Ramie is part of a snake FB group and they identified it as a Cat Eye snake which is non-venomous and docile.

For those of you that are absolutely freaked out by this snake sighting and are saying to yourselves "that's why I'll never visit you guys in CR", just know that this is probably only the 3rd or 4th snake we've seen in our yard in 2 years, and they've all been small like this and (to the best of our knowledge) non-venomous, docile snakes like this one.  Trust me- I'm scared of pretty much anything that is reptile or amphibian, to the point that when we have tiny tree frogs on our patio I won't go out there unless it's with a broom to shoo it away, and I've survived here just fine for 3 years. 

Sunday 4/21- Blog blog blog!! We have to get caught up! I guess Sundays truly are blog days in our lives… we post them for you to read, and we’ve been spending Sundays writing them too. While I worked on that, Ramie planted the remaining few plants that we didn’t get to yesterday. The rest of the crotons went along the carport to replace some other plants that didn’t survive.

Tuesday 4/23- For those of you who have been following us for a while, you may remember the post about building our little covered garden/greenhouse. Well, it’s still doing a fantastic job of sheltering the veggies that we have been successful with, mostly only jalapenos and lettuce (unfortunately nothing else has done well). Even though everything is still working fine, Ramie decided that he wanted to change the roof. Originally when we built it, we put 2 layers of “saran”, the green shade cloth that they use here, and when it rained the water seemed to drip especially hard or excessively in a few locations which left holes in the soil. In Ramie fashion, he did some research and asked on our Gringo Gardeners Facebook page about how other people have covered their raised gardens. His research said that one layer would be sufficient to protect the plants from the harsh sun and hard rains, but would also let more light through and might help even out the way the rain comes in to water the garden. Today he removed the old double-layer and reattached the new stuff in a single layer. It definitely lets a lot more light through, maybe now we’ll be able to get more things to grow! The test that I worry about is the rain, we will see how much water comes through when we get a good heavy September downpour! Hopefully it doesn’t flood our garden! 

Val and Marshall invited us out for dinner this evening, and instead of going to Mosaic like they usually do, they told us that they were going to La Choza, a Mexican restaurant that we discovered on our first vacation to Uvita and really liked but haven't been to in quite a while. Some other friends of Val and Marshall were also invited and the 6 of us had a lot of laughs and fun evening. We didn’t stay out late on a school night, but it was nice to get out, even if just for a little while!

Thursday 4/25- Today we had to go to San Isidro, and since it's been so long since we’ve been there, we had quite a long list of places that we needed to go. We also reached out to some of our other friends to see if they needed us to pick up anything for them. Loren needed dog flea & tick medicine and we would be going to the pet store anyway to get some for Skye. Karen asked us to look for a new sink for her Casita bathroom, and we knew the best place to go find one. We started out the day making really good time everywhere we went, and actually were able to find everything that we needed, which is sometimes the hard part. The day was going so much quicker than we expected, we got a sink and a faucet for Karen, got Lorens dog medicine and so much other stuff. Since the day was going quickly, we even took the time to stop at a couple stores that we always talked about but never have before. One of those stores was an outlet type store. Ramie was reluctant because he always thought that, from the outside driving by, it looked like mostly clothes. He changed his mind about this store as soon as he walked in, though. At first glace it looked like a disaster to say the least. It appeared like a lot of the stuff on the shelves may have been Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes and other stores’ return. Some of the boxes were all ripped open, there were pieces without packaging all spread out, and despite the chaos, Ramie was in heaven! He spent so much time looking through all the stuff. Because there was no rhyme or reason to anything and there was just so much “treasure” (as my mom would call it), he could have spent all day there.

In the end we didn’t buy anything notable, but it is a store that we’d stop back at again. Even after spending at least an hour in the outlet store, we were heading back home at our normal time. Ramie mentioned stopping at the vivero on the way home since we would be driving right by it to buy some of the other type of jasmine tree for our yard. It turns out that there are different types and first ones we bought don't have a scent. Part of what made us buy the jasmine in the first place was that they were one of the few scented flowers that grow here, so we had to get some of the ones that smell too. We stopped there quickly, bought 4 of them, and were still home by 2pm.

This is what some of the viveros look like: rows and rows of beautiful tropical plants

Friday 4/26- Early in the week Geoff reached out to Ramie to ask him if he wanted to go boogie boarding one morning, and Ramie was more than happy to join him. They planned to head to the beach early today and Ramie was out the door by 7:15. They spent the next 4 hours walking the beach to catch up and an hour or so playing in the waves.

Saturday 4/27- It's been something we’ve been talking about since the end of turtle season last year, but due to life and then tax season, we’ve just been too busy to make it happen. Today, though, was finally the first day that we actually did it. We finally did the long beach walk with Val & Marshal. We walked the same 5 miles of beach that they walk for turtle season. After being stuck at desks for all of tax season, we hoped we’d make it that far! Val and Marshall said that they haven’t been much better with doing exercise either, so we were all in this together. We met on the beach at 6am and were finished around 7:45. It felt so good to get out and walk in the water and just enjoy the sound of the waves crashing and the good conversation. This is something that we’d all like to try to do more often!

After we got home and rinsed the sand and saltwater off of us, we changed into our work clothes and dug some more holes to plant the 4 jasmine that we picked up on Thursday. Two of them were put along the wall between our property & Katies, and the other two went out on front grassy area next to the palm tree, where first Breeze, and now Skye like to lay. 

Our plan is to try to get some plants that have a smell planted around the house to go with all of our other pretty plants. In the afternoon Tracy stopped by to drop off some rum for Ramie. She went to Panama on Friday to do some shopping and was nice enough to do a liquor run for him. We spent a couple hours chit chatting before she headed home.

The Official Casa Costa Breeze end of April rainfall total was 5.4 inches

Pura Vida!


  1. My goodness you guys certainly have some adventures there! The horses made me laugh πŸ˜„ picturing Ramie with rope trying to wrangle them. Love that you’re loving your Costa Rica life


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