Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Casa Quiet

Do you remember Casa Construction? It had breath taking mountain views. Plus, a wee bit of noise. Well, we moved into Canto del Mar after leaving Casa Construction last Winter. We managed to find a bed off the dusty streets, an affordable place and another great view!  Not quite so great. But good. Really good. There was some road noise.  But compared to the bulldozers, gravel trucks, hammers and saws reeking havoc from dusk till dawn at Casa Construction, let's just say it was a wild improvement.  At casa construction, you could pass a cup of sugar through the palm trees to the gravel truck driver. Or a cerveza if he asked for one.  I think I even saw a monkey waving a white flag with a bandanna filled with bananas on a stick. He was swinging as fast as he could down the mountain.

Pipas Frias. A fresh, chilled coconut opened with a small machete and served with a smile and a straw.

We were in Costa Rica for a long time this year.  But we were still tourists after all.  And nothing is so refreshing after a hot day on the beach than Pipas Frias.

When we got home in the afternoon, we sometimes had nude sunbathers on our deck. 

We just asked if he wanted a drink. "Gracias," he replied.  Or was that me.

We got to walk on a new Dominical beach. Our favorite restaurant just happened to be perched on a rock ledge at the end.  Paraiso Lodge.

When this boat brought in the day's catch, we witnessed a girl fight at the far corner of the beach.  The men had all they could do to break it up. I don't know what the problem was, but I doubt it had anything to do with Mahi. Man-he maybe.

The vultures eagerly awaited some scraps. Or my toe.

We're up there somewhere.

At low tide there were little pools to cool your toes in.

And at night there were amazing sunsets.

 I love this photo.  And I loved the tourist friendly and quiet Canto del Mar. 

Did you eat your leftovers? They're getting re-heated and served over at The Chorus of the Crows 

Smartie Paws

Dessertus Interruptus

This old illustration is based on a true story. But it's not just one story, it's the whole kitty and kaboodle. The whole 9 yards, or 9 lives to be more specific.

My cat Hana has been torturing me with her feline grit and determination for 7 plus years. She's smart. Basically, you don't want a cat to be this smart. It's like living with a naughty monkey that is determined to get the better of you. In reality, if Hana had a sibling monkey, the monkey would probably prevail. It really makes me laugh just thinking about another creature actually getting the better of her. If only. I can just see the tail pulling. And Hana's utter confusion at not being top cat anymore. 

I learned early on, that letting Hana sit on you lap during dessert or any other eating ritual, was a lesson in futility.  It only took the first swipe of an errant paw and the food hitting the fan to realize that. I started holding my plate to the far left, or far right. Not, in the paw target zone, right over her head. But that being said, the carnage still happens... occasionally. She is after all, determined to always be on or around me at dessert time. Always!

 Sometimes, she's a good kitty. These days, she is usually content with sitting on my lap and licking the plate after I'm done.  But there are other times. Cat-astrophe kind of times.

It just smells too darn good.

Maybe, she has lulled me into complaisance for months.

Then, the kibble hits the fan.

The other day, I had defrosted an upside down peach cake for dessert. Hana was sitting beside me, over my shoulder, on the back of the sofa cushion. I started eating. Then a paw came out. Whack. She didn't knock the cake off my plate, but this was war! Now days, one whack and she spends the rest of dessert time locked in the bathroom. So, I set my plate down beside me, grabbed Hana and into the bathroom she went. But (my bad) when I set the plate down in haste, it tipped over and fell peach upside down side on the floor below. AAARRRGGGHHH!

Delicious homemade peach upside down cake doesn't grow on trees you know. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beautiful Baru

Mornings are magic at Baru.  Hacienda Baru is located just outside the surfer town of Dominical, Costa Rica.  And it is one of my all time favorite beach walks. I hear a lot of people reminisce about white sand beaches.  They are the type that usually go to Sandals, sip sweaty umbrella drinks and barely explore the outer reaches of their beach towel. They have their priorities screwed up!  I think a perfect beach has a firm walking surface, warm water and miles of unexplored sand snaking as far as the eye can see.  Sand color is completely optional.  I've even walked on green sand beaches!  

The pelicans were skimming the surface. They only care that the water is blue.

You won't see any celebrities.  But you will see stars.

Sand dollars are the only currency you'll need.  There's nothing to buy at Baru beach.

You can drift aimlessly...

Drift wood collects near the mouth of the Baru River.  It is the only beach chairs you'll find here.

There are no hotels either.  It's just you and the view.  Oh, and the sand is brown.

Meanwhile, I went to Panama! Be sure to hop over to www.thechorusofthecrows.blogspot.com for a new post about Panama City and how this exciting location impacted my writing.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Puerto Jimenez

Puerto Jimenez

The shores of the Golfo Dulce.  What more can I say?  Sigh. You can buy sunglasses for a few bucks (my husband always loses a pair in the rough surf), never wear shoes, pan for gold, park wherever you damn well please and lose yourself in the wilds of primitive jungle and beach.  

Is there something new to explore?  Not really.  But who needs new when you have rusty, shabby, old, dilapidated and downright wonderful things to see.

Old things have always fascinated me.  And these old boats have seen better days.  At low tide they're land locked. And ripe for photos.

The waters of the Osa Peninsula lap against the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. 

But there are more photo opportunities in Puerto Jimenez then just boats.  The deep blue Osa peninsula and pier was a great visual.  And a not so shabby stroll.  

What lies beneath.

Now where?

I know where my lens is heading.  It singularly wanted to focus on those downright dingy and delightful boats.

 A perfect color wheel combo of blue and orange. A personal favorite. Blue gray misty mountains in the back drop.  And warm, mushy sand beneath my feet.  Paradise.  

Need I say more? Well, O.K. I will. For more creative writing head over to The Chorus of the Crows I've posted a blurb and an excerpt of my future book!

Happy New Year bloggers and blogging friends!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Churches of Granada

I had so much fun with my camera in Granada, Nicaragua. The streets were alive with vibrant colors, old colonial architecture and one of my favorite photographic subjects, plain old decay. We always passed this church on the beginning of our photo safaris. It was close to the indoor oasis that we called our temporary home. I say oasis, because from the street, our residence was just a dirty painted door. But once ushered inside, all of the rooms hovered over a beautiful garden. It was a mini paradise in an urban jungle. That's what Granada life is like for traveler and lucky local alike. Our shower had plants and a little mini garden in the bathroom. And it was open air!

This is San Francisco Church. It sheltered a museum and interesting stone sculptures and artifacts. It was rebuilt in the year 1600. Why? I don't know. But I enjoyed the visit.

This is one of my favorite photos. Maybe of all time. Shards of glass are adhered to stone walls as a makeshift security fence. And not just at this church. That's what travel is all about. Seeing things like this.

You can see another church in the distance. That is the church where we listened to joyous singing and exhilarating acoustics on New Year's night, 2014. We ventured inside the yellow church the day after New Years. (this day in fact) The floor was covered with ash, candles were burning everywhere and the smell of incense flooded your senses. There were Christmas shrines set up from pillar to post. An amazing travel memory.

Another church in downtown Granada.

The metal writing gives a clue to the name.

Looking skyward towards the heavens.

This is Iglesia la Merced. Tourists can climb the tower and view the beautiful tiled roofs of the city all the way to Volcan Mombachu and lake Nicaragua. (scroll down to my Life on the Streets post to enjoy the amazing view) 

And don't forget to forge good will by heading over to my creative writing blog. I've posted a subversive Christmas card rant over at The Chorus of the Crows

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my blogging friends!

I'm Soaring!

Red Wings Over Red Wing, Minnesota

The word Soar has such energy and power. I have many pieces of art that depict flying or floating animals and people. I even have an illustration of angels floating over a manger. Now, that would be timely. But floating does not have the energy of soaring. If you ask what super power a random person might pick to possess, it would probably be flying. I know I would. The first place I'd go would be the jagged green Na Pali coast of Kauai. What would you pick?

My favorite part of this illustration is the Lake or River Monster. Did you know that Lake Pepin has a mysterious resident?  Well, it does. Although, I've yet to see it rear its head or flap its tail above the Mississippi. Maybe that's why I love to explore this area so much. You never know...

Soar is the theme for www.illustrationfriday.com this week. 

Happy Holidays artists and illustrators!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

There's Something in the Air...

We glided through the canals of Winter Park Florida last March in search of some sights. There were homes big and small lining the shore. We spied fuzzy moss of every length dripping from wise old trees. And to top things off we had a wise ass of a boat driver to give us the low down!  He was living the dream.  Retired in an enviable climate, spending his free time out on the water and flirting with any available white haired ladies that might be on board. He also warned us about that dripping moss.  He told us that if we wanted to take a sample home to stick it in the freezer for a couple weeks.  It is full of chiggars and fleas.  No thanks.

But there was more than moss in the air. This decorated tree caught my eye.  A mini island.

The boat didn't even slow down for the most interesting part of the floating adventure for me. These Anhingas. (or Cormorants)

But I managed to get a few fleeting shots. These island trees are popular perches.  Well, so is Florida.  

 I've thrown a curve ball over at The Chorus of the Crows  Be sure to drop by and catch up on my word play!