Tuesday, December 06, 2016

What's New at DoSha and a Ho, Ho, Ho!

As I'm sure most of you know, it took us awhile to get our house built and all of our "precious" things moved to Costa Rica! Precious is in quotes because we keep opening boxes and wondering why did we bring this or that realizing that much of our stuff is not wanted or needed.  This being said, the feelings about our Christmas decorations are a different story.  For four years we had little in our rentals to remind us of the season!

As we age,we realize a lot of things we thought we needed were really not necessary and have little meaning for us.  However, at Christmas when we open the boxes marked "Christmas" we open all the past memories of our family and friends, near and far! Over the years special people in our lives have given us gifts for the holidays that, when brought out, remind us of them and the wonderful times we have enjoyed!  We get to remember and talk about them and the times we shared. All of the warm feelings are what makes us feel the spirit of Christmas and the joy that comes with the season.  We'd like to share a few of our special decorations with you and hope you even recognize one or two.

Many know of my love of quilting and here are some gifts that not only wish Merry Christmas but Happy Quilting! Marilyn, my friend, always thinks of people's interests. 

Stars with uplifting thoughts and a snowman, from  the Burnell's, of Wisconsin, that remind us of them and how happy we are about no longer have to shovel snow!  
Thanks to our Daughter, Kristin, and Granddaughter, Madeline, we love our little footprint snowmen that remind us of Madeline!

Our tree, although smaller, is full of ornaments that have been around for many years and arrived through many means!
Some as gifts, some hand made and some we purchased on our own.

"And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...."  A reminder of the many times we read T'was the Night Before Christmas to all of our children!

A special gift to remind us of the Cafe we owned in Wisconsin and a special friend, Gwen!

A welcoming Santa also made by our friend Gwen.

One year this arrived in North Carolina from our friends Paul and Marilyn of Wisconsin!

A sweet snow angel from Paul and Marilyn!

This was a gift from Yuslania and family for my birthday this year!

This snowman who has lost his nose is precious because he was carved by my Uncle Don who recently passed away.  With the passing away of both Don and my parents, we have lost a large part of that generation in our family but fortunately not all.  We are grateful to still have Uncle Ken, Aunt Harriet and Aunt Fran, on my side of the family, still here to enjoy!  

Hope you enjoyed sharing a little Christmas with us and we want to wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons!

Now for what is new at DoSha!

Before we left for Colorado we were exceptionally busy trying to get some landscaping and planting done before the end of the rainy season.  Sadly, rainy season is still here!  Anyway, we moved lots of large rocks and dirt, bought plants at San Miguel's Vivero (Nursery). We put many potted plants into the ground which had started as cuttings from different friend's incredible gardens!  

What we wanted to do was create a circular driveway that would allow people to come to our house and leave without having to back up.  Hence it created a perfect place for us to have our garden. The garden started with a huge pile of top soil which we had saved from leveling our property.  Our friend Poco moved this with his backhoe.  Next, Don guided Poco to move all the rocks we had piled up to where he wanted them to go.  The same day we had work for Poco to do on our back road where we lost about 100 Coffee plants.  This work had been completed along with some other work on the road, which we hadn't really planned on doing!   Unfortunately, this road work left our road like a slippy slide and not passable for a couple days!  Things are much better now with the lessening of rain and the surfacing of gravel and we are able to come and go without concern.

Lots of thinking and moving going on here!

A little farther along and now the rain is picking up!  Check out all the mud!

The two small trees still need to be pulled by the backhoe but the island is getting done.

While Poco had the backhoe at our house we also had him clean out all the garbage that got thrown into our future Talapia Pond while the house was being constructed.

Looks good Poco.

Finishing touches on the soil in the island.  Notice how grey the weather appears.  We are very much looking forward to some sun, as it has been a very grey and rainy rainy season!!

Things are looking good for us but not so for Poco!  The rain has continued and the work needed to stop before it was entirely finished.  The mud was so sloppy Poco's backhoe couldn't make it home and had to remain with us for a few days.  Poco walked home in the rain with an umbrella and still smiling!

The bright side of the rainy season--beautiful clouds!

Poco moved a few more rocks to the Herb/Cactus garden but I trucked all the topsoil by wheel barrel!

And...isn't Ernie a big help?

Beautiful skies!

The topsoil has been spread and we've made a trip or two to San Miguel's and it is now starting to look like a garden!

Hi Don, what do you think?

The Herb/Cactus garden is also looking more like a garden.  In the front you can see 3 Bird of Paradise plants which I have wanted ever since we moved to Costa Rica.  I was so happy to see them at San Miguel's!

On our second trip to the Vivero we bought plants that we wanted to embellish the front of the house but, what to put them in?  After much discussion and contemplating, we decided to purchase 24"
concrete conduit and cut them in half.  And...that is exactly what we did!  They still need to be painted and we want to add some decorative tile, but it is a start!

Yes, we know!  The garage needs priming and painting and so does the tower!  It's on the list for dry season!
And the garden grows!

Another garden view with a little more of the house!

Aren't I pretty?

Between the house in the garage we have a triangular area that we have made into a rock garden.  In the rear is our avocado tree.  This year we had three avocados and they were excellent.  Next year we should have many more!

The large plant in the foreground is a type of Bromelaid, to the left are Bougainvillea and in the background are a wild Heliotrope. 

Eventually these will fill in, if the cats leave them alone!Trying to have a garden with two very active cats isn't always easy!

Wish the sun was shining, but it wasn't.  Some plants do very well quickly while others are slower to improve.

The plan here is for a wall of Hydrangeas! Tall enough to cut down wind but low enough to allow the view.

Between the house and the hot tub we have created a garden with, of course, one large rock!

These plants, next to the hot tub, will one day be large different colored Amapola/Hibiscus.

Here we have also planted Amapola to cover our ugly septic tank area.

Some Mother-In_Law plants along with a ground cover next to where we spend time sitting at the patio table.

Pura Vida!

Monday, December 05, 2016


As you can see, our big news is that after almost a year, we have internet!  I can actually sit at my dining room table and create a blog page, check Facebook, e-mail, Pinterest, and especially, connect with family and friends or----check out any darn thing we want! No more lugging our computer to San Ramon to interrupt our friends to beg for use of their WiFi or spending hours in the library! 

Updating our computer that had been in storage for 4 years has been a challenge and will probably require some professional Apple help. We are still unable to hook up any of our printers and get them to work---but we will! As we've both been a bit under the weather, just playing with the internet has been a wonderful diversion!

Over the past year, many of our friend have offered advice, assistance and equipment to help us get connected.  We want to thank everyone for their help.  Also, a big thank you to the friends and the library in San Ramon for sharing their WiFi while we were waiting for our own!

Since our last writing, we have been busy including a trip to Colorado to visit our daughter, Kristin, her husband Paul and grandchildren, Madeline & Jacob.  Thanks to their generosity, Don was able to visit for a couple weeks and I was able to stay a month. Our time was jam packed helping out with projects, visiting the Denver Zoo, parks, Children's Museum, Trick or Treating, Pumpkin finding and painting and, of course, the necessary bit of shopping needed when we visit the US.  We also enjoyed just hanging out!  Don was to leave the 9th of November but ended up returning to Denver because our Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica was spewing ash and causing his flight to cancel.  He eventually left on the 11th without a problem and was escorted home with a bit of fanfare by Errol, Julian and Roberto who met him at the airport! Thank you boys for the pick up and getting Don safely home!!

We were also fortunate to visit, Dennis, Nancy & Les, friends we knew in Wisconsin who now live outside Denver in the Colorado Rockies in the town of Frisco near Breckenridge. Dennis and Nancy are great friends and Les is Dennis's Dad who is very special to both of us at 96 years old.

Whenever we get together with Dennis & Nancy, we manage to get in a hike.  This time our hike was short but very interesting because of previous hydro dredging for gold during the Gold Rush.  We ate a wonderful lunch on some ruins of the hydro dredge equipment that were left behind.  The area was covered with rocks that Don wanted to bring back to Costa Rica!

One other interesting side trip was to the Breckenridge Distillery!
It is similar to a wine tour, but the sampling consists of 10 1/3-1/2 shot size samples of Vodka, Whiskey, Bourbon, Gin and even Maple Syrup.  Fortunately, we only sipped to get a taste or we would have had to stumble home!  The Distillery was started by a number of young men and has won awards world wide for their products and are soon to open a restaurant in Breckenridge!

Well worth a visit!

Whiskey Barrels full and aging!
Of course, wine in the hot tub with Dennis and Nancy is still our favorite!  Good bye until we meet again!

Back to Denver and The Pumpkin Farm

We spent a day on the pumpkin farm deciding on just the perfect pumpkins! It was hard to believe it was October in Colorado with temperatures in the 80's!

There were hay bale mazes to climb on on walk through trying not to get lost!

A tractor to sit on and drive and so much more to see and do, including a large inflated slide. Fun times!  And, we came home with pumpkins to carve or paint and even some for pumpkin pie!

Madeline and Jacob have lots of friends on the street and everyone seems to congregate in the front yard.  Grandpa, Madeline and Jacob are hoping someone comes out to play!  Again, so warm it was hard to believe we were in Colorado in October!  However, before I left I was able to experience a little snow and cold weather!

My sister, AKA Auntie Carole, drove up from New Mexico to visit for a couple days.  Madeline and Carole decided to dress up as butterflies!  Always fun times with Auntie Carole!!

Happy, happy boy!

Thanks for visiting Carole, it was fun to spend some time together!  Safe travels!
Kristin, our daughter, Jacob, Me and Auntie Carole!

Yes, Don was there too!

Eventually the decision was made to paint the pumpkins!  We all joined in the fun and Grandpa and Madeline got to "share" the decorating of the last pumpkin!  Grandpa patiently waits for permission to add his creative touch! 

At last Halloween arrived and Madeline as Unicorn and Jacob as Devil hit the streets with their friends and filled their bags with lots of treats!

Going to the park is always fun and Pirate Park is only a few blocks away next to Slone's Lake.

Another fun day for Nana, Kristin, Madeline and Jacob was at the Children's Museum.  We actually made two trips.  The first visit was so warm the puddles outside were very inviting!