Sunday, August 17, 2014

Life Update

Not a lot of posting lately, as life is just happening and nothing ultra exciting is going on.  Which is fine with me, as too much excitement exhausts me.

We fired our yard guy.  Well, told him we did not need his help anymore.  When we first started using him, he worked hard and for the entire day and showed up every day except Sunday.  But as time went on, a lot of things he did started to annoy us.  First, every day, Kurt would get up at 655 AM to unlock our gate.  Kurt is a light sleeper, so basically once he gets up for the morning he cannot come back to bed and sleep.  The guy started just showing sporadically.  Which annoyed Kurt since he was getting up early to let the guy in every day.  And the guy would never tell us ahead of time if he was not showing up.  We talked to him about it, asked him to let us know or text if he was not going to be over.  He did it like once then just started showing when he wanted again.  We might have been able to deal with that, however, shortly after that, his work product started to diminish.  I kept telling Kurt we were being "ticoed", which basically means someone from Costa Rica taking advantage of people not originally from here because of the language barrier or whatever.  He was supposed to work from 7 AM until 4 PM with an hour lunch.  He started showing up later and later, taking longer lunches, leaving earlier, and wanting to be paid for the 8 hour day.  And it is hard to tell if he even is there or not as he works throughout the property.  Also I have no desire to stalk my workers and follow them around to see if things are being done.  We also noticed he was bringing him one kid to work and playing with him instead of working, taking calls, talking on his cell about 50% of the time while working, and taking many breaks to talk to or hang out with the guys working across the street on the neighbor's property.  Anyway, finally enough was enough.  Kurt decided that we are going to work on our own property for a while, and if we get sick of it, hire someone else to do the job.  Lots of people around here need and want the work and will actually do it.  I am not going to pay someone to simply hang out at my property and work at 50%.

Speaking of working on the yard, I actually did some yard work.  Which is very rare.  I don't mind doing almost everything around the house, but I don't usually do yard work as I hate getting dirt on my clothes, in my nails, etc. We had a huge storm the other day and a lot of branches, bromeliads, and leaves fell in the yard.  Kurt was napping, and I went out with the wheelbarrow and started picking everything up.  Once Kurt woke up, he came out and helped me and we got it all done pretty quickly.  The lawn guy would have take an entire day or more I think.  He would pick up a branch, drag it to a pile while talking on his phone.  Take a break, get water, take another call.  Anyway, the yard work is exhausting!  Like another work out for the day.  I could really feel it in my legs the next day as I was working different muscles than a normal workout.

I have been cooking and baking a LOT.  I made mashed potatoes from scratch for the first time in my life the other day.  Kurt was thrilled as mashed potatoes are one of his fav foods.  I also have been making a ton of different muffins and breads as snacks for us.  I also finally bought the ingredients to make my chickpea cookie dough here and its nice to have that snack around again.

We went on this crazy hunt today for a dehumidifier.  Annoying.  Could not find one anywhere, and Kurt was driving me insane as he was getting more and more annoyed.  Certain things that would be simple to find in seconds or order online in the States are difficult to find here sometimes.  I told him to just let me post online on one of my boards and I would figure it out quickly, but instead, we went to like 10 places looking.  Of course, as soon as we got home, I figured it out pretty quickly.  Have a couple leads for used ones we will check out, or we will buy closer to San Jose on our next trip out there.

Still dogsitting for another week or so.  The cats will be happy when this is done with, as they have been stuck in one room since the dogsitting started. Poor kitties.

I found this app that lets me call the States for free on my phone called MagicJack.  Love it.  I am now calling my Mom every Monday night as Kurt is cohosting a radio show with a friend.  He is going to be hosting another show on Fridays soon as well.  I was so excited to find a way to call the States free of charge.

We are going to get an estimate for getting solar power at our house.  The most expensive bill by far here is the electric bill per month.  Supposedly with solar power you can reduce your electric bill by 75% plus.  So we are going to get info on it.

Pura Vida!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, baby Midas!

Midas is one!

I can't believe how time has flown this past year.  My baby is one!  Luckily for me, he still acts like my baby.  :)

I lost my boy Vito a year ago, which was devastating for me.  Even though he was sick and I knew it was going to happen, it did not make it any easier since Vito was my favorite.  He was such a loving, happy go lucky doggy.

However, I can now see a LOT of Vito in Midas, and I think in a way, Vito is still with us, through Midas.  Midas is so friendly, happy go lucky, and always nice to all humans and other animals.  He is also obsessed with Gretel, just like Vito was.  He is such a sweet dog, never getting angry and always giving lots of kisses and love.  The other day, Gretel tried to push him in the pool and he did not get mad at all.  Oscar and Gretel are always trying to steal his snacks, and he just lets them take his food.  he also will let the other pugs eat before him, and be the third to eat at the pug food dish.  He patiently waits.

Some unique things about Midas.  He LOVES to play fetch. I have never had a pug who fetched.  He can play for hours.  Sometimes he has issues giving me the toy to throw, but he always brings it back!  :).  Midas does what we call "fake bark".  He will want someone's attention, but instead of barking he opens his mouth, acts like he is barking, and nothing comes out.  He will also do fake bark on command.  I know he can actually bark as we have heard it, but he mostly choose to fake bark.  Midas is not big on human food, and does not really beg Kurt for snacks like the others do.  However, if you have anything that is sugary (i.e. candy, cereal, muffins), he will literally freak out and hound you.  Only sugar though.  Anything else is not that exciting to him.  Midas loves Costa Rica and the nice weather.  He spends a lot of time outside, even by himself, just sitting on the porch or running around the yard.  The other pugs like to be inside with us or near us on the porch.  Midas wants everyone outside all the time watching him.

Tomorrow, we are going to either make or buy Midas his own birthday snack.  I will try and take a picture, but I have a feeling the snack will be gone very quickly.......

Happy Birthday, Midas Ezekiel Haskell!  We love you to the moon and back.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


We are dogsitting our neighbor R.J.'s dogs for three weeks (started last Thursday).  He is back in the States getting married.  The dogs are two Yorkies that get along perfectly with the pugs.  But, it is a houseful of pets and kinda crazy!  :).  Luckily, we like dogs more than people..........

I made my own applesauce today.  Apples are not cheap in Costa Rica as the apples we know in the US are not grown here.  However, for some reason, the grocery store had them marked half off today, so I bought some and made awesome applesauce.  It turned out great.  It was pretty simple really, with the exception of the labor of peeling all the apples.  I used 12 apples, so that took me some time.  I had to do two batches too since I did not have a big enough pot to cook them all at once (really need some more kitchen pots here).  Also, used my new food processor and it worked awesome.  Yay!  Here is the recipe:  Also, made another batch of guac while the apples were cooking.  I am a pro, I don't need to even look at the recipe any longer, :).

I also made Vegan Cream of Broccoli soup the other day.  I had broccoli that I needed to use up and this was made.  Super easy and looked yummy, however, it was for Kurt since I don't like broccoli.  I

Next on the list to make is cinnamon bread.  Was going to make tonight, but was kind of worn out from our workout tonight.

We took RJ to the airport on Thursday and afterwards stopped in San Jose to pickup the plates for the scooters.  Got those, then decided to stop at Taco Bar in Escazu for lunch, then Pricesmart to get a membership and Walmart for grass seed.  Pricesmart is like the Costco of Costa Rica.  Americans love it.  Lots of things we are used to from the US, but for reasonable prices instead of the crazy prices the grocery stores charge for American products.  There really is not much American I wanted, however, I really did not want to buy some things in bulk like paper towel, toilet paper.  I also got a food processor much cheaper than they are in Jaco.  We bought a bunch of candy and crap, and were sorry we did after the fact.  Will not be making that mistake next time.  I think it's because we had not seen some of the stuff in so long, we were like OH, that looks good, let's grab that.  Overall, great trip though.  And, we finally found grass seed.  No place in Jaco seems to sell it, or they are out.  Walmart and EPA had it, but WalMart had the kind that I wanted.  Whoot.

Oh!  I finally got mail.  We signed up with this company where you get an address in Miami, and then your mail gets forwarded to Jaco.  You get an email telling you that you have mail and you can pick it up the next day.  All sounds great except that we got an email, went there, nothing. This happened 5 times and they never had our mail.  SOMEHOW a miracle happened today and ALL our mail appeared there.  3 Pinconning Journals (kurt's mom got him a subscription a while back), a card from my sister, and my new drivers license.  Hooray for mail!