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. 😉💕

 

 

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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!

A Flake/#SoCs

Okay, I’m saying it for you. That’s what many of you will say when you read my post, but I don’t even care. If being a flake means I have faith in something outside of myself that keeps me going in a world gone mad around me then I’d rather be a flake doing life. (Wait, that sounds kind of like a favorite song….) maybe later.

Anyway, according to my favorite customer at the bar and doorscursion expert Dan , the Friday prompt for Linda Hill’s  #SoCS event is to open any book and, with eyes closed, point to a section on the page and write about the word, sentence or paragraph. It so happens that the book sitting beside my bed is one I have been working at reading for weeks now. I say “working at” because these days reading books seems nearly impossible. Between real time work, trying to write my own book, do some creative projects, spend time with hubby and get out to see the natural world and be rejuvenated, I hardly have enough moments to sit and read more than a few pages. I am slowly working my way through Inkheart as well. I love the movie so I suppose knowing the end keeps me from plodding forward more quickly.

Back to the point. I am not a particularly religious person in my later years although I am deeply spiritual in that I am confident that there is a guiding force in my life and there are things that we do not fully understand nor even often consider as real possibilities because our practical brains cannot pick them apart, categorize and file them away as proven facts. Those are the things that intrigue me most. If I had my life to do over again I would have gone into Science just to study Quantum Physics. Or become a photo journalist. 😏

What is the point?, you are saying. I ask for guidance in all things that I do-for Spirit, God, The Universe, to manifest itself for me in ways that give me tangible evidence that we do not walk alone here. This evidence is not for me, but for sharing. In the words of Fox Mulder, “I want to believe!” And,  more than he, I really do.

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This is a good book, by the way. And so true. Many of us feel we are doing a great job in life, just letting things roll, going with the flow, saying “it is what it is” (I hate that one) when we are really just stuffing things into a big old suitcase with aging rusty latches that someday will give out from the enormity of what is inside,  swelling until it must be recognized. Many things should be shared, gotten off of one’s chest and ironed out, even though it might be uncomfortable or even painful. I was raised in a home where conflict was taboo, so learning to have a civil disagreement was challenging. An all out argument used to cripple me. Now I understand that true change and growth never occurs without some discomfort. Sometimes a lot of it.

Again, the point. As I opened the book, I closed my eyes, asking for guidance to find just the right phrase or thought to include in this post. As I scrolled the page my finger dragged a bit and I passed the spot, but scrolled back up where it dragged again.

When I opened my eyes, this was the paragraph. I ain’t lyin’..

So how do I get to this point,” you may ask, “willing to BE, first?” Processing negative feelings throught the Script is the perfect place to start. As you process your feelings you are BE-ing. It will be of great benefit for you to work throught the hostilities and frustrations you may have so you can finally arrive at the place of ‘live and let live’…of BE-ing, enjoying the peace of now.

This is my goal, even before this book or this passage. To live in the now moment, for it is the only one which truly exists. The past is but a blip in our brains and the future is   a mere possibility.

Here is another of my recent moments of requesting presence to be made known. When we took our day trip to Sawnee Mountain Preserve, there is a statue of the purported Sawnee himself at the entrance to the park. The plackard board states that no true image of the indigenous man known as Sawnee exists, so they did an imagined rendition. I took several photos of the statue, my heart and soul asking if the true spirit of the man known as Sawnee or anyone else wanted to be recognized while I was there, to please feel free. This was my photo. I love orbs! I get them a lot. Sometimes they even show up in photos later, after I have already edited and saved them .

 

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Okay, go ahead and call me a flake. But I am a happy flake, a contended and loving flake. I wish the rest of the world would join me in the hope of flakiness.

PS. I never got a green orb before. Green is a healing color. I love this one.

Okay, so now that the song is stuck in my head I am sharing it with you. Please feel free to keep it playing in your heads all day too. Happy Free 48! More to come on that later!

And. Speaking of “points”, have any of you ever seen the production The Point? It is a marvelous work about acceptance and the importance of being different. Check it out! I saw it as a play in high school but they made a movie of it too.