We have some beautiful flowers and greenery all over our property, and mostly we encourage the wild, natural look. However, when a huge plant gets in the way of operating one of our ponds efficiently, something's got to be done. I have no idea what this particular plant is called, but it grows like weed. The root system is expansive as well. The location of this plant is right at the mouth of the pond (across from the guesthouse) and it s sheer size gets in the way. This pond has been empty of fish the last couple of years, but now we'll be keeping it full so we need to make sure the pond has a proper gate to prevent the trout from swimming up stream. It didn't occur to us they would jump over the temporary grate and land in the canal. We learned a lot last this past summer.
So, before we fill this pond up with fish again, we have to ensure everything is working properly. One of the first things that needed to be done is the removal of this big plant, which will give us access to the canal that runs to the pond.
Kevin will add a concrete gate similar to the other ponds. And then, we'll have the roots dug up and we'll put down some sod. Unfortunately, it looks pretty messy now.. but, it will look nice and clean once we're done. Trust me.
Halfway through October, and the rains have truly arrived. It's raining every day now, and although we get sunshine most mornings, the clouds roll in earlier and earlier in the day. Today, it started to rain by 11:30 am. So we're riding this part of the year out. It's not a complaint, I'm just telling it like it is.
This week though, we had the added inconvenience of feeling sick. Kevin especially had some kind of stomach bug. It completely wiped him out... and then, although I didn't have the bug to the same degree, I felt my energy drain quickly. This week has been dedicated to relaxing and feeling better. As you can see, Bobbie McGee has squirmed her way onto the couch for a cuddle. Look at that smile on Kevin's face... just melts your heart, doesn't it? (Just to be clear, Bobbie is still an outdoor dog who gets to visit inside during raining days... and she is never allowed on the couch, except to cheer Kevin up while he was sick. I'm not sure who I have to be more strict with regarding the house rules haha.)
In other news... the Blue Heron is back... October and November seems to be its time of year to stalk our fish. Unlike the Osprey who dive close to the water to snatch their prey, Herons wade into the water quietly.. stealthily.
Last year, Kevin put bamboo poles in the ground and attached fishing line to prevent the bird from catching its dinner. It worked like a charm. The line doesn't hurt the Heron, it just stops it. Unfortunately, our little Bobbie, as much as we love her, is a little dickens. She chewed the fishing line in several places destroying the barrier. Now that the Heron was back in town, there was no time to waste, we had to solve the problem... pronto!!
Kevin attached wire this time all around the big pond, and the other two smaller ponds. We spotted the Heron a couple of times this week, but since the wire has been up, no sign of it. Yay! Herons will try a few times, but will then get fed up and try elsewhere. We hope that's the case.
It's been a sad couple of days for us. On Friday, we found out our friend, Michael, passed away Thursday night. He had spent the day shopping for shoes and running errands: it was a normal sort of day. Later that evening, as he and his wife, Maria, were watching TV, Maria looked over and he was gone. It appears his heart simply stopped beating. He was 62.
We met both Maria and Michael through our mutual friends Cindy and Larry. Maria is Costa Rican and Michael is from the United States. They lived in California for many years and raised their four daughters there. Then a few years ago, they decided to retire in Costa Rica and to settle in Santa Maria, not far from Cindy and Larry's. One of their daughters, Erinne, moved here a couple of years ago, as well.
Maria often travels back to the States to visit their other three daugthers, their grandchildren and her sister. With Maria away, Michael was left to his own devices. Since Michael didn't like to cook, he would buy tins of tuna and eat that every day. He never complained, but was always so grateful when Maria was back home. The town folk affectionately called him Atun (Spanish for Tuna, and pronounced Ah-Toon).
Our expat friends have get-togethers every couple of months and we often catch up with Michael, Maria and Erinne there. I saw Michael at the grocery store just last Monday. We hugged and exchanged news: he thanked me for the trout we had sold them a few weeks earlier, he told me Erinne was coming home from her month-long trip in Spain on Saturday (yesterday) and couldn't wait to see her, then we hugged goodbye and said "let's get together soon." I am reminded - with a sting, I might add - tomorrow is never promised... and "soon" as a measurement of time is meaningless if not acted upon "now."
The custom in Costa Rica is to bury their loved ones within 24 hours. However, because Erinne was arriving from Spain within two days, they postponed the funeral until today. Kevin and I, our expat friends, and many neighbours and town folks attended the church service. It was all in Spanish so we didn't understand the actual words, but we certainly understood the heartfelt intent. The language of grief is universal... but so is the language of comfort and hope.
We might live in paradise, but even in paradise we cannot escape the sadness that comes with losing a friend so suddenly... so unexpectedly. We hold Maria, Erinne and the rest of their family in our hearts.
Rest in peace, Michael.
With the rainy season comes thunderstorms and lightning. Sometimes it rains while the sun is still shining... producing amazing rainbows. Last Monday, we had a dozy of a storm. The skies lit up... snapped, crackled and popped. Kevin went out to check on the river and the ponds. I was working on my laptop and suddenly I saw sparks fly in the office. The internet box was fried.
We had to wait until the next day (Tuesday) to drive down to San Marcos and ask them to send a technician over to fix the problem. The phone and internet company (ICE... remember, it's pronounced ee-say) is known to drag their heels, but we've never had any problems with their service. I was at ICE by 8 am and I was told one of their technicians would be at our place later that same day or the following morning. By noon, a technician called and said he'd be right over. One look at our internet box and he said in his best English... "ah ha, it's dead". He exchanged it for a new, updated box. It's supposed to be the newest model, but the signal has been intermittent all week and a real pain. The old box was far more reliable (except for the frying up part)... so, tomorrow, we'll be going back to ICE to ask them to send another technician to either replace the box or check our cable... whatever it takes to get back to 'normal'.
Not having perfect service reminds us of when we first got here three years ago and had to drive down to Copey and use a data stick. Oh how easy it is to take things for granted. We try to remember to be grateful that we have internet at all.
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
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