Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Phil with my daily ration of yucca.

Today the men are harvesting Yucca and Malanga. How many interesting ways do you know how to prepare Yucca? Please send me your recipes, I need them. This week I look forward to making stuffed yucca, I will let you know how that goes.

Yucca fries are good, if you haven’t had them find your way to Pollo Tropical in the US and place an order. We made pumpkin fries this week using part of the giant pumpkin, they were very tasty. Erika mixed spices with corn starch and shook everything together in a baggie, then into the hot oil they went. Oh so good…I could eat these as a meal with a dab of ketchup. You can also make zucchini and eggplant into interesting fries.

The remainder of my pumpkin has been cooked, bagged and frozen for use in pumpkin bread. I don’t have a refrigerator, so I store my frozen foods at Erika’s house. Not convenient, I should can stuff like this, I need canning jars, have not found them yet. It is always something.

I love the music of Ricardo Arjona, and today I found this article about him. I photographed it for you to read. You can hear his music video from a concert on the website of La Nacion, www.nacion.com You can also google his name to learn more about him. He is very famous. Who knew?

There are so many great performers and recording artists that I had never heard of before coming to Costa Rica, and I originally thought to myself, this person is good, he or she is going to make it. Then I google their name, and find out they have been famous for a very long tome, I just never heard of them on US radio. Too bad for us/you, because there are some really fantastic songwriter/singer artists in this world, and we are not hearing them. You do not need to speak Spanish to enjoy their music. In fact, there are songs that are recorded in both English and Spanish or Italian, that are so much better in their native language. Andreas Bocelli and Laura Pausini have a duet and the English version just does not have the same sensitivity and drama, the foreign version is magnificent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StYR-DYUBkw

Ricky Martin (yeah, he is still famous, more so than ever, and making music) and Eros Ramazotti have a duet that I love. This duet is how I discovered Eros Ramazotti (his real name). I thought, this is good, really good, as I watched it 50 times in a row, he must be somebody or Ricky would not be making a duet with him. Then I googled him, he has been a giant star for many years, the Russians and Europeans love him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_8cE8WbxF0 He has done duets with many US known artists such as Tina Turner, Anastacia (I love this video, their voices are as if they were one) and Joe Cocker. You can find his videos in concert on you-tube. Anastacia is American, but you don’t hear her on your radio. You may remember her name, she had a hit, then cancer, we forgot her, Europe did not. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTdm-ip8wa8

It is my observation, that Ricky Martin is loved and respected by the latin world for who he is, and what he does as a human being. It is not just for his music, Ricky did not forget where he came from, and that is where he gives his time and money, to the children of Puerto Rico. Good for him!

I could write pages about artists that you never heard of, Canny Garcia, is another of those artists that you should google and learn more about.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The beautiful volcano as seen from our farm.

Yes, that is smoke coming out of the volcano. Blue sky, a backdrop of the beautiful volcano, horses, and a pretty chica. This is perfect!

What do beautiful horses need? Great riders, an excellent trainer and a beautiful, skilled Chica horsewoman of course. Our young woman is the trainers daughter, Laura. The male rider is our friend and neighbor, Johnny.

Today was horseshoeing and training day. The trainer and his daughter came this morning and started training our young pinto, Tina Turner. Tina is highly opinionated and spirited, but she came a long way today. Next was Phil’s little girl, Amorsita, and she was wonderful. A little training, and then came the pad, saddle, a male rider and then the trainers daughter. Amorsita took it in stride, no problems.

We gave the horses a bath, while they were fitted for shoes. I was combing out one of the horses tails, and Felipe told Erika to close a gate which then spooked the horse. I ended up sitting in a pile of fresh, warm, oozing horse poop which cradled my fall on my well cushioned backside. Time for a shower and clothing change, yuck. Actually, I like the earthy smell of farm animals, it does not bother me at all. I probably should not be sitting in fresh piles and being knocked down is not good for my bones. Tomorrow morning I will feel as stiff as the tin man. Nonetheless, it was a good day in paradise.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Marcos is wearing the white pointed hat.

Our lead man Marcos, most likely has gallstones, he was previously tested and diagnosed, they gave him some tums or milk of magnesia and sent him home. Neither of those “medications” are appropriate for gallstones. Today Phil took Marcos to the caja because his pain is so severe. The caja is the government clinic that accepts his insurance. They sent him to several other places, including the hospital to have more testing done. Costa Ricans are big on paper work, testing and rubber stamps. Marcos had already been tested, which is how we know he has gallstones. The hospital set Marcos up with an appointment to be tested all over again, on May 20th, 2010. Can you believe it, May of 2010. Marcos said, “I’ll be dead by then.” Phil told him that was their plan, they could save money by only seeing those who survive.

Lucky for Marcos, he has me, or unlucky for Marcos depending on who is drinking my concoction. Today we start my all natural gallstone elimination treatment, I read it in a book. It will end by tomorrow morning and he will either be cured, or not. I don’t offer guarantees, you don’t need to wait until May of 2010, and I don’t charge. Often, I even have success. I don’t however diagnose, you need to know what ails you, and I have my limitations as I have no credentials whatsoever, other than I can read, and I have books. Does that count? No, I didn’t think so. But, when you live on the end of the road to nowhere, and the hospital gives you an appointment a year from now, I am, what you get.

Update 6-21-09:

It took until 11:30pm for Marcos to finish drinking the gallstone elimination concoction. He feels much better this morning.

I have given orders; no more fried food, margarine, fat, coffee, sugar. Chamomile or other herbal tea such as fresh ginger or mint will replace the coffee He can eat unlimited fresh fruit, lots of bananas and papaya, poached fish, and I sent over some hard boiled eggs for today’s protein but he could eat rice and beans if they leave out the oil or grease. Costa Ricans are big on oil, grease and margarine. They believe margarine is good for you. 75% of his diet should now be raw vegetables and salads with lemon juice and olive oil for dressing. This is going to be a difficult adjustment for both him and his wife. Zennia will need to learn another way to prepare their meals in a more healthy way that will benefit the entire family.

A spoonful of olive oil and a spoonful of lemon juice first thing in the morning, as a preventative measure should keep Marcos gallstone free. In 6 weeks, he will repeat last night’s treatment to make sure all of the stone have been eliminated.

Update, 6-25-09:

Marcos is taking one big spoonful of both olive oil and fresh lemon juice every morning on an empty stomach. He misses his coffee. I believe he is still eating fried foods, as he brought over a plate of fried fish because he was feeling so much better. It is hard to change cooking and eating habits. He still has occasional discomfort, probably still has some stones, but he is not in pain. We will do the second treatment as planned and I will continue to try and teach them healthier eating choices. This is difficult because they are resistant to change for many reasons.

Thank you for helping this beautiful 13 year old Cabecar child. Your gifts put shoes on her feet and gave her warmth and love.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our farm is in a rainforest and a cloud forest, it is always green and lush.

Feeding cows is hard work, our man Carlos is an expert.

First thing in the morning the men cut grass and bring breakfast to the cows. This morning I drove the Rhino pulling the trailer and photographed the event.

I love clouds and their magic. So I will share the clouds in my life today.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Yesterday my friend Dan and I found shoes to fit these Cabecar indigenous children from the reservation.

Dana visited and brought clothing, shoes, and backpacks. Thanks Dana.

I also want to thank all of you who have donated, and I have no idea who you are. Thank you so much.

My daughter Erika riding at the farm.