A World of Life in One Country/Costa Rica

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Imagine a land of bio diversity, a relatively small country that has an enormous variety of wildlife due to its neotropical climate and varying habitats. This peaceful, ecologically responsible land is home to more than 500,000 species, respresenting nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide. It is one of the 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in  the world. Of these species, a little more than 300,000 are insects.

The fact that, along with Panama Costa Rica formed a bridge between North and South America around three to five million years ago allowed the very different flora and fauna of the two continents to mix.

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From the magic of washed up trees on a beach in Domincal, Nature’s gallery of artistic perfection-random and beautiful-to the most minute eco system warriors that might go unnoticed if not for my viewing life through the zoom lens of a Nikon camera-my constant companion when we lived there.

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Flag Footed bug loves feeding on passion flower vines
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Leaf cutter ants, one of 47 species of leaf-chewing ants and can carry 20 times their body weight.

We discovered hundreds of leaf cutter ants right next to the beach, which extends from the jungle that borders the volcanic mountains of Costa Rica. Just look at the bio diversity in that last sentence!

 

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From the rich colors of dozens of birds we saw every day..

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To my friends, the iguanas and lizards that graced our doorstep with their presence daily, waiting for a few bread crumbs and a chance to be immortalized on digital memory!

Every day was filled with such diversity, often without leaving my front porch. I loved hanging out with the fun, freaky, fantastic family of nature in the land of Pura Vida.

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Nature is constant. So must we nurture it, accept its presence and necessity in our lives and embrace all that the world has to offer.  We were blessed to have known even a brief adventure in this paradise.

Stay tuned….

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Once Upon a Time in Paradise

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It’s sad to think it has been nearly four years now since we made the move back from Costa Rica. Since that time we have planned and been unable to revisit our second home on two separate occasions, both due to natural disasters.

In the past few days I have been going through photo files and reminiscing about our very special experiences there. I loved the photography opportunities almost as much as the people and all the unique places we were able to visit.

As I explore more files I will share more of our time there since many of my new friends here didn’t know me back in 2012 when I first began this blog as a way to share our lives in the beautiful country of Pura Vida!

Once upon a time in Costa Rica, we visited a spice farm named Villa Vanilla Spice Farm. As it happens, this tour was one of the first we took on our original journey to Costa Rica, long before we made the move. Once we lived there I had the opportunity to revisit the farm with my best friend when she came to visit us.

The farm grows orchids, which include the vanilla plant, which is actually an orchid. They also grow various bromiliads, cacao trees, carambola (star fruit), peppercorn plants and ceylon cinnamon trees.  Ceylon Cinnamon    is known as true cinnamon and is the variety you need for real cinnamon  health benefits for blood pressure and blood sugar control. The best part of the tour is learning how the owners and workers grow, harvest and prepare these natural plants for consumption. Tasting was fun too. Near the end of the tour, there is a treehouse with a magnificent view where the tour ends with chocoalate and cinnamon specialty coffees, vanilla cookies and a very special mandarin lime cheesecake. Heaven!

Take a walk with me and I’ll share a few photos with you.

 

And at the end, with the heat finally taking hold, we climb to the patio of the “treehouse” for a cool breeze, tasty treats and a breathtaking view. If you make it to the  Manuel Antonio/Quepos area, this tour is one of the traditional ones but well worth the time and sweating.

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I could sit there all day……and you can when you live there. 😉💕

 

 

Scenes From A Wedding/The Final Chapter, Part 1

I must apologize for leaving you all hanging about our September travel event to Nebraska for our whirlwind weekend. My oldest got married while Number Two had a new baby arrive. I am going to hopefully wrap up our tale over the next week.

Since today’s #SoCS prompt from Linda Hill is roll/role, it seemed the right time to get back to that day.

Everyone knows all great holiday and celebration events call for at least one ‘emergency run’ to the local grocery, conveninece or liquor store. There is a joke between my husband and myself, stemming from his bizarre sense of humor. Any time I am preparing for a holiday meal or party, he will offer to make a run to the store-any store that might be open- asking if I need him to go out for ‘Jujubes and tampons’. Okay, no, I don’t even like Jujubes and the other item has long been off my list. Simply put, it means any last minute necessities? Usually there is something. It is amazing what corner conveninece stores carry these days…

So, when the call came for last minute ice, additional libations and sodas as the guests were arriving, of course my man volunteered, my youngest going along to give a hand.

What follows are images of their near death experience as a football fanatic, in town for the Husker game, ran a red light and hit a car so hard he rolled his own truck, sliding to within merely a few feet where my loved ones sat in our rental.  We wondered what was taking them so long but no text message came, so we assumed they were stuck in after game traffic. It was a Husker weekend. Tap and hold images to see the caption or just double tap for a larger view.

 

Georgia just passed the zero tolerance for cell phone use while driving law. It might seem inconvenient but it’s a good thing. Too much of this is going on. Just weeks earlier my oldest son witnessed a fatality when someone ran a stop sign. I don’t know that the driver was texting but he was someplace other than in his right mind.  It was devastating for my son to see.

The guy in this truck was on his phone as he attempted to climb out of his passenger window and down to the ground. My son made him hand it over so he could get out safely. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but those vehicles are history. My guys were pretty shaken up.

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You can see how close he came to my husband and son.
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Yeah, that’s my guy directing traffic. People wanted to drive straight through the accident!

Oh, and check out the license tag on our rental. We might have guessed there would be some devilish goings-on for the weekend. 😏

You all drive safely, save the texting for when you are out of your car, and try not to be a rabid football fan. Some of us fellow humans are trying to live a life too.

Be a role model, not a roll over.

Next installment…the main event! I promise. Oh, want a sneak peek? 🙊

 

 

oh Frank…

This post brought to you by…

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I Do Doors! #Thursday Doors

Yes, I see them every day. I appreciate, admire and even photograph them. I just don’t get around to organizing them properly for a worthy blog representation for Norm Frampton’s #Thursday Doors weekly event. You should visit his place for lots of great ‘doorscursion’ posts.

We can always count on Dan for a great selection of doors with a history lesson as well. If you’re a Pittsburgh fan, head on over to his place!

Meanwhile, in my little world…

For yummy tummy delight.

 

 

We found a new ‘old’ little sushi place near home.

And since we left Texas, there seems to be no finding great, authentic barbecue. There’s just no competing with true smoked brisket like they serve at County Line. But, we finally found a place that comes close AND they know how to make hush puppies! 👏🏻

Just go in these doors to Williamson Bros.

 

Yeah, that IS fried okra. 😋

 

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There are more churches than restaurants in Georgia, I swear. Many are so beautiful! I need to do an entire post for them
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Taken in Little Five Points. Sorry about the photobombers and in a moving vehicle. I want to go back!
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Loved this architecture
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Visited a new antique store.
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Where you can find little treasures like this. Furniture a bit pricey.

And saving the best for last!

Our friends at Tiny Doors Atlanta have a brand new door at an iconic venue in Atlanta. I tell you, this gal is on fire with her projects. The crew at Tiny Doors does an amazing job and we love them.  I can’t wait to stop by and see it in person.  Ironically, we actually drove by the Fox just a week ago! Congrats TD!

 

Happy Thursday folks! Wishing you a smooth slide into home plate and the #Free48! Hugs!

I Mean It’s #SoCS!

For Linda Hill’s #SoCS prompt today.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “mean(s).” Use it with or without the “s,” any way you’d like. Have fun!

Mean:

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a) to have in mind as a purpose:  intend

Those stairs are steep and I mean to climb them!

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That bartender, I mean she knows how to mix a drink!

 

b) to design for or destine to a specified purpose or future

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Nature was meant to be loved, cared for and protected…

 

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2)

a) Lacking in mental discrimination: dull, contemptible-often used in negative constructions as a term of praise.

”Dismantling the government is no mean feat. “

b)  characterized by petty selfishness or malice

”a mean, surly man”

 

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3) excellent, effective

”That restaurant makes a mean seafood platter!”

4) Occupying a middle position, intermediate in space, a position between extremes.

 

Serving as a means, intermediary, something intervening.

 

A middle point between extremes.

 

 

By all means (most assuredly: certainly) we can accomplish great things when we work together.

Okay Dan I think I’m ready for those technical words now…

And that beer!