Surprise! Happy 70th Birthday Mom!

My Mom was born on July 26, 1941 and, before today, she had never had a “real” birthday party. She had birthday celebrations with her immediate family and her grandparents, but never a birthday party with friends and family. She only told me about this fact less than two months ago while I was in the midst of planning and preparing for our big Costa Rica trip. 70 is kind of a big deal birthday so I decided that she should have a party. Not just any party, a surprise party. I called my sister and … [Read more...]

To eat or not to eat, that is the question…..

I never considered myself athletic or an athlete. I played some softball when I was younger (read much younger). I wasn’t going to get a scholorship or anything, but I was descent. I gave that up after my freshman year in high school. It was getting in the way of my saxophone playing (and that actually got me a couple of scholarships). I think what did for me was when I fouled a ball off into my own lip during a softball game just hours before I had to play in a big concert. My lip and my formal … [Read more...]

Meatless Monday

If you have read this blog at all, you probably already know that I am trying to ‘get healthy” (okay - what I am trying to do is lose 25 pounds). One thing that I would like to do is to incorporate more meatless (at least no beef, chicken or pork - at best vegetarian) meals into our diet (Tom “gets” to come along on this ride). I decided to start by trying to make Monday meatless. Last week I was only partially successful. Today I was totally successful. Yay me! I put a picture of my salad on … [Read more...]

Sunday – That’s My Fun Day

My youngest niece, Noelle, is quite the personality. She is full of energy and “on” all the time. She has an amazing imagination and is quite musical. She sings constantly and her pitch is good as is her melodic interpretation of songs that she hears. She is the center of attention, by demand, most of the time. She is exuberant, take charge (sometimes bossy) and can get people to do almost anything for her. She is a tomboy and a girly girl all at the same time. Noelle loves being in charge. Her … [Read more...]


I have had several occasions to smile over the past few days. Maybe it is the afterglow of vacation, but rather usual things have just struck me as quite amusing or amazing and have made me smile. When I returned to work from vacation on Thursday, things were well in order. A few things had come up while I was away, but had been managed very well by those who were covering for me. I was able to get through all of my mail, email and backlog by the end of the day on Friday. Quite remarkable since … [Read more...]

Mostly Meatless Monday

Even though I feel like I ate nothing but fruit, rice and beans in Costa Rica and I was pretty active, I managed to gain about five pounds. Now that I am back home it is time to get back on track with my diet and exercise. Something I read on the Food Network Blog inspired me to try some meatless recipes so starting today I am going to try more meatless recipes. To start, I am going to try to focus on meatless Mondays, but because I got this inspiration after lunch today (and I had chicken at … [Read more...]

Our Last Days in Costa Rica

  Our vacation in Costa Rica is winding down. We saved two of our biggest adventures for the last. Yesterday we went horseback riding - everyone but Mom. She opted out as she was having some trouble with her back and she did not want to be sore and miss out on the zip line tomorrow. The proprietors of Chalet Nicholas set up the horseback riding tour for us. We were given directions to drive about 10 minutes down the road to a stable which we did. When we arrived, it was a true working … [Read more...]

Bird Watching, Hot Water and an E-ticket Ride

Today was a pretty relaxed day if you don’t count the drive home from Baldi Spa after dark. We spent most of the day lounging around Chalet Nicholas watching the birds, reading and taking a walk in the forest behind the house. All along we had planned on going tot he hot springs, but our original plan was to go during the day. After being told by several people that they were better at night, we decided to leave at around 2:30 PM, drive toward La Fortuna and stop for dinner along the way. We … [Read more...]

Corobisi River and Las Pumas

We had a great time today on our float trip down the Corobisi River. The weather wasn’t super hot so Noelle only complained through a portion of the trip rather than the entire trip. Peter continued his discussion on whether or not Costa Rican’s are familiar with Tarzan (long story) so I am pretty sure at least half of Costa Rica thinks he is crazy at this point. On the trip we floated through some tiny rapids which was very fun. We saw broad billed herons, tiger herons, monkeys, king … [Read more...]

Another Day, Another Volcano

Today was a very active day. We hiked for about 5 1/2 hours total. We tried to start the day at the Hanging Bridges of Arenal, but all of the guides had gone out and would not be available again until 1:00 PM. We really wanted to do the hike with a guide so we decided to head down to the Arenal Volcano National Park and then return to the hanging bridges at 1:00 PM. We hired a guide at the national park and took a two hour hike there. Mom and Dad were not able to go onto the lava fields … [Read more...]