Sunday

Today, after church,the congregation was invited to a park where there would be the baptism of several people. We were to take a lunch for ourselves, so after breakfast this morning,I hardboiled 6 eggs to take. We packed them, as well as bottled water, some crackers & bananas.

It was a nice ceremony. The people,assorted ages,were baptized in a swimming pool they had @ the park. Everyone sang after each was baptized. The son of US friends of ours was included in the group,also a girl from Steve’s English class that has been attending since the beginning,last year.

Steve had visited the home of our pastor with the electrician we had hired who knew them. He saw several pieces of original art done by a lady from the church. We talked a bit with her @ the picnic. Turns out,she lives not far from us & we offered to take her home from the picnic. We left soon after the ceremony because it had started to thunder & we didn’t want to be in an unknown area if it started to rain hard. She invited us into her home & showed us alot of her work.It’s so original-she uses material from the environment for her pictures. It’s hard to describe what they’re like, but they are 3-dimensional due to the material used,from sand & stones to wood fibers.

We’re going to take her with us to the English lesson tomorrow evening.

It’s raining this afternoon,but not RAINING!!! No leaks noticed yet,but we’ll see as the days pass & the hard rains come through.

At the church,there’s a US pastor & his family who are based here & sponsored by a group in Texas. He has an English service one evening a week,plus they host mission groups that come to the area. He’s really a very gifted speaker & we’ve gotten to know him & his family. He heard on Friday that his father,living in Texas,had died suddenly. So,they went back Saturday for this sad time. Luckily,they had spent time in the US with family this past summer. The pastor had a moving prayer for them during the service this morning.

Cherish every moment.

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The Roof

Today, as promised,the landlady/owner came with the workers @ about 8:30AM. They were here to fix the roof…but, first,they all had to eat breakfast. (her mother lives next-door) So,they returned awhile later, @ which time we had to open the gate for them-meaning,the dogs had to be put inside with the doors closed (they can push open the screen doors!).

The men proceeded up 2 ladders & removed sections of the roof. Then…PROBLEM,BIG PROBLEM!!! The roof sections she bought were not the same size as the old roof. The roof sections look like adobe & have wavy parts that have to match-these didn’t!

So, everyone went to lunch.

Then,later, they took the old roof sections & put them back on. While the sections were off, we could see daylight through the ceiling, so,apparently,they don’t use a sub-roof, just these metal adobe-looking pieces.

They all left afterward. We were supposed to make a list of things that needed to be done-she never looked @ the list.

So, we’ll wait for the next hard rain.It didn’t rain hard today,probably tomorrow. Wonder how many towels & buckets we’ll be needing then.

Who knows when anyone will return?

I forgot to mention in my last post,when discussing the house,that there is a room next to the master bedroom that has an “almost-door”! The room is made of glass panels with jalousie openings @ the top (the whole house has these instead of windows that open). There is no door to the outside & one can only reach this room through the master bedroom. And, the window in the next-largest bedroom looks out onto this room, which has,by the way, only a view of the wall surrounding the property. It appears that there was once a sliding door from the master bedroom to this room, which has been replaced by a wood door that doesn’t reach the other side. And it has a latch as a lock! But, of course, it doesn’t reach the door jamb, so it’s useless!!???

We’ve learned-don’t ask “why?”!!

the “almost door”!

New House (continued)

We have a few “house geckos”,it seems. They make a chattering sound once in a while & sometimes answer each other. Sounds more like a bird-“tch, tch,tch…”. I don’t mind them inside,though. They eat insects & are supposed to be good luck & indicate that a house is “harmonious”.

The roof still leaks-I’m tired of having to keep the furniture moved out from the wall & keep towels on the floor. It leaks whenever it rains & it rains every day!

The shower in the hall has a “suicide shower” that the first handyman broke when he tried to fix it. The landlady is supposed to buy & install a new unit.

The Jacuzzi motor is still @ a fixit shop somewhere.

The drapes don’t work in the bedroom-the land lady is supposed to fix that. The drapes here in my computer room are torn-I think I’ll suggest that I just cut them off above the tears-couldn’t look any worse!

We hired an electrician & installed a new ceiling light in the kitchen & a new range hood with light & fan. Previous to that, the only light in the kitchen was a 40 watt bulb mounted on the ceiling (& they’re high ceilings!!) In order to see to cook, Steve brought in the floor lamp we bought for the living room. The old range hood was there,but had no buttons & had just a wire hanging down. So, we’ve had to do some things ourselves just to be comfortable here.

The landlady says the workmen are supposed to return tomorrow to do some things here. We’ll  see, no breath-holding!!

She had to buy a washing machine for the house since that was stipulated in the rental contract. We think she must have bought the cheapest thing on the market!! It is all plastic, & not automatic in any way. I fill the washer side, turning off the water when @ the right level. Then set the time to agitate. Then drain the water & put the clothes in the spinner. Then fill the washer again for the rinse. Then put the clothes back into the washer & set the time to agitate. Then empty the washer & put the clothes back in the spinner. I will say that the spin does get the clothes quite dry,so they don’t take as long to line-dry. There’s been a learning curve with all this. You can’t use much detergent or it’ll never rinse out. And,if you put small light things on top when spinning,they’ll get thrown out & go down inside,alongside the basket. Hard to get out-I used a long set of kitchen tongs, then had to fashion a wire hanger hook to retrieve the tongs when THEY fell in!!! Good thing I have skinny wrists & hands,even so,they were all scraped-up after these adventures! Good thing I’m retired & have plenty of time for all this!

suicide shower

We did buy an electric dryer,making me feel like a spoiled gringa! I just didn’t want to have to re-wash all the clothes when they don’t dry & get moldy when it rains all day later.

Costa Rica Road Trip

Today we had to venture into unknown territory, driving-wise! Steve bought a new  motorcycle. There are papers to be signed, requiring an attorney. The place where he bought the ‘cycle had no attorney, so an appointment was made for 11AM today to see their attorney, whose office was in another store, in another city, close to San José.

Steve checked maps as much as he could, considering that nowhere is CR has an address. So, we set off 2 hours early,in the direction he thought we should go. No street signs,no road signs, no route number signs,no signs even to tell you what town you’re in!!! I quit counting how many people he had to ask for directions! He also called the attorney a few times to narrow it down. We went this way,then we went back the way we came, we meandered over alot of roads & through alot of traffic until we arrived @ our destination only 10 minutes late (considered on time or even a little early by CR standards!!).

But,  we weren’t finished with our adventure!! We had found an inexpensive desk on Craig’s list & we next had to find where the seller lived. Another series of phone calls (thank heaven for cell phones!!) & asking directions of people on the street. After finally meeting her & going to her condominium, we saw the desk,paid the agreed-upon price,& she told us she also had a coffee table & end table for sale if we wanted to see them. Well, we had been looking on Craig’s list for these items, also. So, we ended up buying all 3 items from her for a good price. We have found it to be difficult to buy used furniture/household items here. People want too much money for used products. Of course,alot of things are more expensive to begin with,so people ask alot for them,unrealistically,when they decide to sell.

We treated ourselves to lunch @ TGIF!!  Worth every colon!

 

Back in Costa Rica

We returned to CR in the beginning of  this month. Since we were robbed again (they took Steve’s motorcycle!), we immediately began looking for another house to rent. Unfortunately,the rental market was pretty slim this year. We had thought, since this was the rainy season, we would be able to find lots of reasonably-priced houses to choose from-not so!! So, we used our realtor, plus word-of-mouth from friends, &  friends of friends-saw a number of places. Some well-priced, but much too small,some just not suitable.  There was one place,nice, hot water throughout, with a fenced yard & in town. But,it had a teeny, tiny kitchen. I liked it, & we were going to see it for a second time. But,our realtor had a house in the country for us to see. As soon as Steve saw the kitchen,that was the end of looking!! Lots of cupboards, full-size oven,full size refrigerator/freezer. Semi-furnished & more $.

So,that’s where we are now.It is a lovely house, or would be if the owner took care of it. Has an 8-foot wall surrounding the property with a remote-controlled gate in front. Has a POOL!!! (I always wanted a pool,but had no room for one when I was married.Plus,in the US, one can only use a pool for a short time. Here,a pool can be used year-round.) The yard is all grass, so the dogs can run all around & don’t get muddy anymore-we were forever cleaning the floors in the other house! Steve enjoys the outside work,taking care of the yard & the pool. The pool was a mess when we moved-in,but now it looks great & we’ve been in every day. It’s nice not to have to go anywhere,just put on your suit & jump in!

The house still needs work done.The roof has 2 places where it leaks when it rains hard, & it does that almost every day! The toilet leaked & she did have someone fix that. The sink leaks as well as the counter around the sink. Some of the drapes don’t pull correctly. There is a Jacuzzi tub in the master bath-the motor didn’t work,so some men removed it to be fixed elsewhere. The owner is supposedly a businesswoman & is so busy-I would never think of renting a house that needs all this. She tries to fix things herself & does everything on the cheap! There are just alot of little things,like holes in the ceiling & torn curtains that I just wouldn’t put up with. Even the bed has a torn vinyl cover on the head & footboards. So, we’re fixing some things ourselves-we replaced the non-working stove hood.Put in a new kitchen ceiling light.

The owner is supposed to be here this week to do some more things inside. It already looks alot better now than when we moved in. Plus,we had to buy quite alot of things-lamps,sheets, dishes & glasses. Remember,it was semi-furnished! It’s difficult here to find reasonably-priced used furniture or appliances. Things are expensive to start with,so when selling,people ask way too much. So, we still have some things we’re looking for.

But,we’re growing to like it here. We’re in a regular Tico neighborhood & have already met some of our neighbors. Actually,we live next to the landlady’s mother, & next to her is the landlady’s sister & brother-in-law.

More later about some differences here.

our new house

our backyard & pool