Wednesday, June 29, 2022

I Swear #1LinerWednesday


I swear it’s low carb, organic and gluten free…

This post brought to you by Linda Hill’s #OneLinerWednesday prompt

Please visit her page for more great post links and join the fun! 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Work and Play #ThursdayDoors

 Yay! I’m so glad to be participating in Dan Antion’s #Thursday Doors prompt.  It is the rainy season here. In the mountains. The average temperature is 72 degrees. Depending on sun and humidity that can be chilly or warmer. The water in rivers, pools, creeks, etc is very cold almost always. So, during this season it isn’t ideal to swim in an outdoor unheated pool. Projects have to be planned around rain showers that can last for hours or all night.  

Yesterday was a rare perfect day. We had sunshine all day and a nice warmed pool house. It was a perfect chance to scrub the terrace wall and a perfect afternoon to have a swim. I did both! Soon we will have dry days again which brings a different balancing act. To water or not to water. But swimming days will be many. Yay! The pool house was just repainted and cleaned also. My shoulder is not happy with me today from the scrubbing but the water and sunshine balanced it out. 

Here are some of my doors, for there are a lot around here. πŸ™‚

I worked for a couple of hours scrubbing our wall. It needs a pressure washer, but that will have to be done by management. πŸ˜‰

There are about six doors in the pool house, not counting the bathroom door. 

When the sun shines, it becomes like a greenhouse in here which is a perfect balance for the chilly water. 

There might be an Old Fashioned in that Yeti, John Howell 

Oh yeah, I go in by sections. Feet, check, lower legs, check. Up to the hips, let’s hang awhile. Few sips to warm my blood. Okaaaay. The last is one fast dunk up to the the neck! 😱πŸ₯Ά
Whew. Now I can swim for as long as I want. 

There are some sweet seating options.. and the view….😍

We went to town today and had a nice walk, including over my favorite bridge. This is a portal to nice views. 

This is the Rio Caldera (Cauldron River)

This entry to a local sports bar is cool

Because I love flames. Yeah, there is a door back there.

When we walk the neighborhood, hubs likes to pick up trash.  Yes, those are doors at Hotel Sabrin back there. 

These vines created a ‘window’ for the mountain view.

This is for you Dan. Not exactly a sausage grinder but my adapted version of a Louisiana Sausage Poboy. πŸ˜‰

For more doors and great posts be sure to visit Dan’s place at the link above! Happy Thursday from Boquete! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Are You a Hero? (Almost) #1Liner Wednesday

 One of the best things about living in paradise is the abundance of nature’s children who live and play just outside the front door. I’ve been watching these Bronzed Cowbirds for a few weeks. While I appreciate the beauty and mystical associations of the family of blackbirds, I haven’t been overly enthralled by them until now. 

Every day they show up after the rains to peck the ground for seeds and bugs. Every day he does his mating dance. She doesn’t seem impressed, however. Poor fellow. I’ve been fortunate to finally get a video of their interaction and a series of photos. The lighting wasn’t perfect at 10 am on an overcast morning. Still, I think he looks magnificent. Maybe she could give him a nod.. 

I edited these using my Google Photos editor which I accidentally discovered is pretty awesome with the newest updates, nearly as good as the Pixelmator Editor I normally use.While I will never get over losing Picasa, this was a nice and convenient substitute. 


Is it me you’re looking for?

You’re all I’ve ever wanted..

and my arms are opened wide

Tell me how to win your heart

for I haven’t got a clue..

Let me start by saying..

Her response always seems to be..

Impossible to use only one line. Impossible. 🀦‍♀️

This post is part of  Linda Hill’s One Liner Wednesday promt Visit her blog to meet other bloggers and join the fun.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

#Knuckleheads the Dreamer’s Alliance #Book Tour


Hi Dan, 

It’s so exciting to be a part of your book tour and promote this really wonderful series. You and I have been blogging friends for about eight years now and it’s been fun to see your blog become a place for so many writers to come together and share. We all enjoy your informative, and often humorous, historical pieces and photos. Of course my favorite regular posts are the If We Were Having a Beer segments, and not just because I get to virtually work at the bar.πŸ˜‰ 

As host of the weekly Thursday Doors prompt you’ve been creative and welcoming to anyone with a camera and an interest in door hunting! 

Congratulations on your retirement and creating this book series that is obviously very personal for you. It has been my great pleasure to be one of the first to read the books.  Please give us some of the backstory for Knuckleheads The Dreamer’s Alliance.

Cheryl, I am honored to have been invited to your blog to talk about Knuckleheads, my debut novel from the “Dreamer’s Alliance Series.” 

The readers should know that Cheryl has an advantage over most of you, she has read the entire series, and she poses the following subject for me to address:

“My interest has always been how your personal family history has influenced your writing, your sense of humor and general approach to life and how these things are reflected in your story.”

Cheryl, you were the first person to read the draft that became Knuckleheads. Looking back on the quality of the book at that point, I am amazed you suffered through to the end. Early in that experience, you asked me, “Are you Zach or Billy?” I explained that I am neither, but that Zach and Billy share some childhood experiences of mine. The book is set in the 1960s, and it would be practically impossible to not draw on my experience in placing two boys in that era.

On the other hand, the character John Amstead is modeled after my father, and those attributes you mention are largely the result of his influenceMy dad didn’t own a bowling alley, but he managed one. He also had a deep concern for kids like Billy. He gave them jobs, and he provided rides back and forth when necessary. He gave them incentives to become responsible young men.As with Billy’s grandparents, my father was often approached .

Hard work, religion, a practical approach to life, and humor, were the things my parents considered important. Truth be told, my father added the humor. These factors have guided me through most of my life, and they influenced the story I wanted to share and the way I wanted to tell it. My father was a storyteller.

People don’t live like this anymore – maybe some do, but it’s not what’s portrayed in TV shows and movies. Children today are portrayed as being stronger and smarter than their hapless parents. Too many parents, today, hover over their children, as if they can shield them from all of life’s pain. I loved the comment you shared in your review. You said, 

“It’s refreshing to read a tale with real parents, real ‘mean’ teachers, condescending professionals, and immature bullies, instead of the bigger than life monsters portrayed in so many other books.”

Thatthe picture I hoped to paint for the reader. 

Although Zach’s story is not my autobiography, I identify with his character more than Billy’s. Zach is naΓ―ve, optimistic, and an introvert who is fascinated with technology. I share some all of those traits. 

Billy, like David, the character at the bar with us on Saturdays, is an amalgam, a composite character with attributes drawn from many marginalized children with whom I had friendships while growing up. When I started writing what is now the second book in the series, Billy was going to be a minor character. In the original outline, Billy appears and disappears in the course of a few chapters. Zach helps him avoid the evil forces that Zach couldn’t escape. Billy shares a sense of foreboding with Zach, and Zach’s life goes on.

Billy, the character, wanted more.

More than anything, “Knuckleheads” was the opportunity for me to tell Billy’s story. Billy has been dealt a bad hand, but support from his best friend and the adults in his life rescue him from all the wrong possible choices. This is the backstory to a larger series, but it’s an important story on its own.

Check the links below to get your copy and follow Dan on Amazon

Best of luck to you and the boys, Dan! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Bird Chronicles in Paradise

Hey, sorry guys. I know I’ve been MIA. I do try to keep up with your recent posts. Being ‘retired in paradise’ isn’t always how you imagine it. Maybe if one has unlimited resources and uses servants and services 24-7, you’d live that movie style lying-on-the-beach with an umbrella drink kind of life. 

The reality is that life is life no matter where you live it. There have been serious health issues for my husband which now require regular trips back to the states, which is costly and emotionally draining for us. We do love the chance to see family at those times and so far he is doing well.

There are different daily challenges here, including biting coffee flies and other intrusive bugs which we deal with. Public systems work differently, and as much as so many others complain, we have found them much simpler once you get the right combination figured out. I recently got a driver’s license, which, we were told would be nearly impossible without a facilitator because not many people speak English in the public offices. After an acquaintance related their process, we formulated our plan, pulled out the translator app, and I got to work. All businesses here use WhatsApp and it is much easier to schedule appointments, order food and get information using it. I even scheduled my husband’s surgery last year using it-directly with the Urologist! 

Day to day life before we bought our little car was challenging. We had to take taxis to town every few days for groceries and supplies or for a meal out. We normally tried to combine those trips. That in itself can be tricky if we needed things from several places and we made sure to get groceries last because cold things get warm pretty quick. Even though the average temperature here in the mountains is around 72 degrees, it does get warmer and is quite humid during the rainy season. Unlike many here, we chose not to take our chances waiting for a cheap taxi or bus to happen by. We use a couple of very reliable taxi drivers and although it is a couple dollars more, it’s worth it to us to be picked up and dropped off at home. These nice young men often help get heavy things to the house and our favorite driver even moved us recently. The best part of having our own car now is not having to plan even small trips and being able to go to the bigger city for warehouse shopping and those things that are not as readily available here. Oh! And being able to get ice cream for the house. You can’t buy a $6 carton of ice cream and expect it not to melt while waiting for the taxi! 

A great little vivero (nursery) where we for some terrific plants

The best thing about the tropics to me is that growing season is every day! Plant it, care for it and it grows. Rainy season can be tricky and we now understand why there is a lot of cutting everything back or not panicking when something dies. It all returns. πŸ™‚

This little sweet nest was hanging at the entrance to the medicinal plants section. Yes, they have such a thing! 

While daily work is different, there are still things that require doing. Because of all the trees and debris, the porch area needs daily attention and now that it’s rainy season there are mold issues. I have lots of happy plants so I often have to shuffle them so that some don’t get too much water. We are high on a hill so if the wind gets too brisk the umbrella has to come down or the whole table can be swept over the wall. We have a heavy base ordered. We rent so we’d hoped the owner would do these things but she hasn’t so we are getting them done as we can. We live in a nice little studio, but I like to cook and we’ve brought some things from home which have to be strategically placed to avoid ‘junking’ the place. I’m a pretty fair organizer so it’s been okay. Still, utilizing spaces like stovetops, counters, etc. makes for a fun game of Jenga when we need to cook or use extra space. 

What has this to do with birds, you’re asking. Well, I LOVE birds. All of them. Even annoying, bullying Mockingbirds. There are some incredible birds here, so many colors and species.some like fresh fruits while others love crackers. We have a family of Yellow Headed Cara Cara that have adopted this place as their second home. Our neighbor was sharing meat scraps with them when we first moved in but he is out of country now so the torch has fallen to us. They had a baby recently and have been bringing it around for an introduction. Okay, I won’t go into details today because I’ve already talked too much. Here are some of my favorite bird photos for now. I have about 7 various hummingbird feeders which some have declared ownership of. Wr have one little hummer who keeps guard over one just outside the picture window. It had a favorite branch nearby to keep watch. Yesterday it was sitting on the arm of my patio chair looking rather serious. When we looked out front, its favorite little branch was broken! πŸ˜”

Hello, Miss.. someone broke my branch. 

I’m sure it has other options..

It got good use from this one though.

And these guys…

Mama. Female Yellow Headed Cara Cara. Our neighbor named her Bella.

This is Junior. Junior is demanding, unappreciative and timid. Gives Daddy a hard time. Yep, it’s a juvenile..

It never comes on its own but after Dad starts eating it steals his food. 

They love fresh beef but will also eat pancakes, scones and certain crackers.

In the last few days they have grown to appreciate the little bird bath. It feels like we have family here. πŸ™‚

Here are just a few of our other feathered friends. 

Working in Paradise

This little dude knocked itself stupid on an open car door. It recovered in a few minutes with some TLC.

This beauty can be found in higher elevations, like on the Pipeline Trail

Detour.. Tooth abscess and extraction. Ouch but all better now. πŸ‘πŸ»

Splish Splash! 

Our favorite red..

Yep. We’re happy here! 

Gratuitous rainbows, but there’s a bird! Vulture..

Stay tuned for more of Life in Paradise and our Bird Chronicles.

Brought to you from my happy place! πŸ™‚❤️