Visit to Nova Scotia

*gives everyone a guilty look*

Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. I’ve ended up fairly busy with a bunch of things, including becoming part of the ASD Advisory Board of the recently formed Autism Canada, and also of the Canadian Autism Partnership Project. The latter of which was what let me come to Nova Scotia (see tagÂûght’s Blog: Leaving, On a Jet Plane; Two Wonderful Sisters; and Nova Scotia, How I Love Thee for the details and explanations).

The important part is that in coming here to Nova Scotia, I got to spend a great deal of time with my middle sister and her children, and meet her friends, and it’s been great. I’ve even tonight got to see my older cousin for the first time in ages.

To read the details, continue on.

Visiting Costa Rica

Well, made my annual journey to Costa Rica on the 11th (of February); going to be here until March 11th. I’m having a relaxing time – something I really, really needed.

We’re heading off to the beach early tomorrow morning (we’re planning to be on the road by 6 am), so I’m quite looking forward to that. We were going to be going to the Caribbean side, but the weather there sucks at the moment (rain, bad winds, and high seas), so we’re going back to the Pacific side, to Esterillos Este again. It’ll be nice to see the familiar beach.

That’s about all for the moment; I’ll post later!

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Greetings From Costa Rica!

Haven’t posted much lately, but I’ve been in Costa Rica visiting my parents since Feb. 20th, and their ‘net connection isn’t the fastest or best here…

Anyway, I’ve been fairly busy, actually.

Places I’ve Gone

Cats & Rambles

This is what is called posting for the sake of posting. Well, mostly, anyway…

Regarding Cats: Mitzy (see entry pic) is an adorable little Burmese cat. And I do mean “adorable”, despite the fact that some of her habits (like trying to lie on my face when I’m attempting to sleep, and sucking on stuffed animals, electric blankets, etc., and licking the sides of the plastic laundry hampers, for example) drive me crazy.

Unfortunately, over the past two or three weeks she has developed yet another habit that drives me nuts.

I’m used to Burmese lying across my shoulders – that was one of Brightspot’s favourite perches, as it happens. And Mitzy generally liked to be lifted up to hang over one shoulder facing behind me. But lately, she’s been climbing onto my shoulders while I’m sitting in my chair, and draping her forepaws and the front part of her torso over my chest, for all the world as if she’s reading what’s on my computer screen. And it’s driving me bonkers! *sigh*

Of course, Mitzy’s bonkers anyway… Sweet-tempered, but definitely “not all there” at times…

As for other things:

First of all, a belated Happy 23rd to my sister Daphne…

Secondly, a belated Happy B-Day to stormheller!

Thirdly… hoping to have another chapter/part of either RuroBatt/Edge of the Blade or RuroSen: A Strange Partnership to post soon…

Fourth – anyone know any good ways to deal with headaches without taking drugs? (Currently having the occasional dose of Tylenol Migraine, since it seems to help, and I can’t have anything with aspirin due to the medication I take for my TMJ/osteoarthritis.) Other than sleep, that is. I’ve had a fairly good winter so far with respect to headaches, but lately… *sigh*

Fifth: I’m leaving for Costa Rica for just over two weeks on Monday the 20th. Will probably upload the occasional update (or maybe more frequent – I like Costa Rica, and I generally tend to relax there)… I’m really looking forward to it. And I may even get slightly warmer weather than last year, given that this year, I’m going down about 2 weeks later… (And will hopefully not come back to a nasty snowstorm here in T.O., given it will be into the second week of March by that time…)

Okay, that’s about it for now…

Talk to you soon!
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I’m Leaving On A Jet Plane… Don’t Know When I’ll Be Back Again…

Well, this is it. In a few hours, I’ll be on my way back to Toronto (and the cold and the snow – though at least it appears to be above -20C today…).

I’m really going to miss Costa Rica and the parents… (and the Goold Zoo v2.4…). *sigh*

Oh well – I imagine that Mitzy and Aspen will be very pleased to see me back (once they’ve got over their sulks).

Have to get ready to put my computer in my carry-on and leave now, so I’ll say, “Bye!” until I’m back in T.O. once again.

Mist & Sulfur

Well, went to Volcan Poás (the largest active volcano in Costa Rica) with my parents and my Mom’s Costa Rican best friend (wonderful, lovely woman – I really like her) this morning.

Unfortunately, we happened to hit one of the cloudy days, so couldn’t see the crater. I’ve got some pictures of the slopes leading down to the crater – what I could catch of them through the mist – but none of the crater itself that isn’t from a postcard or the little information booklet. On the other hand, got what I hope will be some nice pictures of some of the plant-life in the cloud forest around the volcano, and some of the coffee plant areas between Poás and San José, and the souvenir shop at Volcan Poás (which helps fund the Parque Nacional Volcan Poás) was quite nice, with very reasonable prices. I picked up a small wooden mask and a stone carving to hang up in my apartment, as well as the aforementioned postcard showing the craters of Poás and a lovely shirt with a jaguar on it (me and cats – any type of cats… my family can tell you I’m semi-obsessed with them) and a slogan to Save the Costa Rican Rainforests. Some really beautiful stuff there… of course, there was a lot of touristy stuff as well (the t-shirts being some of them).

We then stopped off at a restaurant on the way back for lunch, and I got a few more scenery/landscape pictures. Then Mom & Dad ran a few errands in San José after we dropped Mom’s friend off at her car, and we got back home about mid-afternoon. All in all, a very pleasant day.

And since I’ve now only got 1-1/2 days left here, I’m glad that even though we didn’t get to see the craters, it wasn’t a wasted trip. I had a good time.

Still in Costa Rica (and wishing I was staying longer)…

Casa del Soñador

Known in English as “The Dreamer’s Cottage”…

It’s a landmark location in the Orosi Valley in Costa Rica. It was started by a man who used to disappear off to this cottage and he would sit there (sometimes for days), whittling and carving coffee wood (including some wonderful carvings on the cottage itself). People started to come by to look at the cottage, and the carvings, and expressed interest in buying those carvings. He died in what my Mom thinks was 1995, and his sons took it over as a business (and continue to carve).

When I came down here for Christmas 2002, I didn’t get to go (Mom & Dad took the younger two over after they’d dropped me off at the airport for my flight home), so it was definitely one of the sites I wanted to visit on this trip. So, since the only thing we had planned today was my second appointment with the acupuncturist this morning (which so far does seem to be helping!), we headed out today.

Stopped off for lunch at the Orosi Lodge, a small European-style guest lodge owned and run by a couple who are good friends of Mom & Dad. Lunch there was delicious, and Mom & Dad got a chance to chat to their friends for a while.

Then we drove off to the other side of the lake, stopped by a newly opened small Artisan Market, and then arrived at the Dreamer’s Cottage.

There are some really lovely carvings there. Most of them are of people, men smoking pipes and/or carrying bags of coffee beans (Orosi Valley is full of coffee plants), and women (mostly praying). They had some lovely canes/walking staffs, but the only one high enough for me was too long to fit in my suitcase, so I couldn’t get it. Then I saw one of an owl (in exquisite detail, including chest feathers) perched on a branch, and fell in love with it. Dad was wonderful enough to buy it for me as a gift!

Most to all of the carvings in there were 3,000 colones, which translates to about $9 Canadian, or about $6.50 U.S. (based on Costa Rican exchange rates, not Canadian/U.S.). Considering the artistry of these pieces, that is remarkably cheap. And there’s no pressure to buy; the cottage is open to the public and you’re welcome to just come in and look around if you want. To me, that says that they’re definitely more interested in the carving for the carving’s sake, rather than for what they can get for them, and want people who do choose to buy a carving to really want it for itself.

Definitely a place worth visiting, and I’m very happy I decided I wanted to go…

Hello From Costa Rica…

Well, I made it! I am now here in Costa Rica, watching the beginning of a lovely sunset from my parents’ study window, having met the new members of the Goold Zoo v2.3, and greeted the old ones (and got my Scrappy-Cuddles in! He was delighted to see me…).

Won’t be online as often while I’m down here (each call costs, plus time costs), but I will be on every couple of days at the very least.

It’s so lovely and warm here… even Mom & Dad’s place, which is cooler than San José (which was actually 20C when I arrived, at 1:15pm local time, not 27C). Just what I need, I think, to de-stress. And I’ve got two weeks of it… *smiles dreamily*

Hoping to get quite a bit of writing done while I’m here. Last time I was in Costa Rica, I wrote quite a bit of HP fic, including the beginning of Harry Potter and the Sensitive’s Gift. This time, I hope to work on RuroBatt, Eye of the Storm, Harry Potter and the Sensitive’s Gift, another RuroKen story that Kenshin and Saitô have shoved down the connection between my brain and the infamous Plot Bunny Corral, and one of my original stories. But the primary purpose in being here is to enjoy time with my parents, relax, and de-stress, so those have priority.

Later, all!

Countdown to Costa Rica: 1…

Well, it’s now less than 24 hours until I leave; just over 26 hours until I’m due to land in San José (which is apparently due to be 27C tomorrow). *bounces excitedly again*

So looking forward to seeing my parents again, and visiting CR for the second time… I really can’t wait to go. And I’m looking forward to the opportunity for Scrappy-Cuddles – I miss Scrapper. Haven’t seen him since Christmas/New Year’s 2002/2003. And Mouse too, of course (though I’ve never really cuddled Mouse…). Not to mention meeting the new cats: Thor and No Se; and the dogs: Don Quixote de la Rancho, Sancho Panza, and Misho…

Now, I’ve just got to get packing…

Countdown to Costa Rica: 2…

36 more hours until my flight… *bounces excitedly* I can’t wait!

And to make things even better (*knocks on wood*) my cold is much better. Not gone, yet, but definitely better than it was over the weekend.

So, all I’ve got left to do is pick up the stuff I’m bringing down for the parents (tomorrow morning after work); laundry; and packing. The cats are being taken care of by my (adopted) uncle, who stopped by this evening to be introduced to Aspen and confirm he had my keys…

And just one more work shift. To make things even better, there’ll be no brats in the morning! It’s their 4-day mid-term break starting tomorrow, so none of them will be coming in… (Which also means I don’t have to outside to unlock the portables in the morning – yay!)

Later, all!

Countdown to Costa Rica: 3…

Well, it’s now 3 days and 1-1/2 hours until I’m due to be landing in Costa Rica… the countdown continues. Really looking forward to the balmier temperature – hoping it will help with my cold (which is getting better, thankfully, but T.O.’s dry cold isn’t doing me any favours…).

Now, I just need to worry about finishing the clean-up of my place, doing the laundry, and packing…

Countdown to Costa Rica: 4…

Well, in 4 days (96 hours) from the timestamp on this entry, I should be either taxiing down the runway of Toronto’s Pearson International, on my way to Costa Rica – or (less likely) already in the air. I’m really looking forward to it (and hoping to hell that this [CENSORED BY AUTHOR] cold is gone by then): 2 weeks with the parents, the Zoo Version 2.3 (four cats, two of whom I’ve not yet met and 3 dogs, none of whom I’ve met), seeing some of the people I met last time I was down there, meeting some of Mom & Dad’s new friends… going swimming, the sunshine, the warmer temperatures…

(*tag stares dreamily out the window*)

Basically, I’m really looking forward to it.

[Additional Note: RuroBatt Chp. 1.4 will be up sometime today, as soon as I feel I’m focused enough to concentrate on HTML-izing it.]