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Dear MKL,

I love that even when we’re both “off”, we can still have a wonderful time together. It was lovely to see you two days in a row, and I believe missing each other, while certainly not optimal, is proof that absence makes the heart grow fonder. All my love.

#yearoflove

To the blonde barista:

Thank you for sharing memories of our mothers, both of whom told us, “Don’t walk in my dirt!” when they were sweeping the floors. My Mother always had a particularly funny, squeaky way of saying it, and I hear her voice in my head every time I sweep a floor with anyone else around. As a mom, you say it to your own kids. Thank you for laughing with me as I instinctively picked my feet up off the floor, sitting in my chair at the green cracked-ice table, so you could sweep under them. It was a sweet interlude on a cold winter’s day.

A photo of my first ever matcha. It grew on me, but the first few sips, sadly, tasted like what I think a dog must taste after he throws up the grass he just ate. Number of stars: questionable. For you vintage furniture lovers, please note the aforementioned green cracked-ice table.

#yearoflove

Dear Bridget,

Thank you for you. For feeling the effects of that long flight of stairs with me. For hugs. For being light about death because it has touched you so often. For sharing my bitching. For laughing with me. For caring.

#yearoflove

Dear Sunni,

Thank you for remembering my daughter’s name, after our one conversation and meeting seven months ago. I was impressed that you cared enough to do so. It’s a quality seldom found in the working world today. Thank you for the feeling of kinship, your intelligence, for speaking your mind, and even for throwing the occasional expletive into the mix. It’s always a pleasure to meet a real person. Let’s get a beer together next time.

Reston, Virginia.

#yearoflove

Today’s love note goes out to my daughter.

Dear One,
There are too many things to thank you for…it would take a lifetime…but I’ll just stick with today. Thank you for coming to my rescue in the dreaded mouse affair, and for switching roles with me, comforting me after my bad dream. I did feel a little bit bad for the mouse, but thinking about Mr. Man using it as a plaything in the bed in the wee small hours drastically reduced my sympathy. I love the empathy that shines through your soul, and I will try to tough out any future rodent encounters, thinking of your strength. I expect there will be more, as Mr. Man seems excessively proud of his mouser skills, and the winter is bound to get colder. All my love.

Today’s quote: “Any cat may stare into a fire and see red mice play.” — George R.R. Martin

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#yearoflove

If wishes were stars, we would escape, just now, and run away back to the middle of nowhere in Costa Rica, and have our little house with the shower full-facing the jungle, the howler monkeys in the trees, iguanas and armadillos in the yard. I would bring Severigne a skull from somewhere in the West, and ask her to teach me how to cut mangoes and papayas. We would read and bask and recover. We would explore new beaches. We would have wine with dinner under planets and constellations, and go to sleep in the unexpected cool of the beach/jungle night in each other’s arms. And it would just be us all the time.

If wishes were stars.

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Playa san Miguel, Costa Rica.

Quote of the day: “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — Edgar Allan Poe

Daily gratitudes:
Incorporating sorrow into life
Holding onto faith
That Champ is coming home tonight (I think)
Talks with Kelsea
Loving MKL so much, which equates to missing him so much

The only thing better than baby goats snuggling each other is me snuggling baby goats. We have photographic documentation of that somewhere, courtesy of MKL.

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Berthoud, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” — George Orwell

Daily gratitudes:
Distant thunder
Clean dishes
Snuggly Mr. Man
My Peak Challenge
My new weight bench

 

But not as happy as me doing Goat Yoga on a beautiful Sunday morning.

Happy Goat
Berthoud, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I want to go about like the light-footed goats.” — Johanna Spyri

Daily gratitudes:
The long-haired german shepherd playing in the dancing waters at Union Station
Sore muscles
Smoked oysters
That the view from my bedroom makes me feel like I’m deep in a forest
Baby’s breath on the bookcase

We were wise enough to rent a GPS from our car rental company Vamos -I highly recommend them, though be cautioned – renting a car in CR fpr 9 days was just as expensive for a flight for two of us from Denver. But our little four-wheel drive was sturdy, reliable, and trustworthy as we forded small streams in the jungle on the way to Play San Miguel. Even though we had tried programming the GPS (fondly nicknamed Ms. Lady) with the coordinates of our lodging, she just couldn’t cope with that command, so we put in the coordinates for Playa San Miguel. And got there just fine. But as the roads are poorly or non-existingly marked, we didn’t know where to go next.

We tried to road to the beach itself.  I went to inquire of an elderly couple who were watching over the smallest dog I had even seen as it dipped its paws in the water, but they spoke no English, and my Spanish (which is different from Costa Rican Spanish) failed me. With directions from a cable supply man whose English was also most limited, we asked at an old shipping container that had been converted to a bar, and finally made our way back up to the main dirt road. Had we gone just a bit farther, we might have found it on our own, but perhaps not. This is the Playa San Miguel Visitor Center – a slew of arrowless, directionless signs nailed to a tree at the turn to the beach road. And we only discovered this on our way back at the end of our trip.Visitor Center, Guanacaste Style

Playa San Miguel, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The moral of this tale? When looking for where you’re supposed to be in Costa Rica, just sit back and enjoy the ride. You’ll get there eventually.

Quote of the day: “The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.” — Allain de Botton

Daily Gratitudes:
That ACA was not repealed today
Petting dogs that lean on your legs on down days
Restaurants where servers know us
Cold hands, warm heart
A cleaned-up email mailbox

 

 

 

 

 

This fellow was definitely the most regal and superb of the herd. And many thanks to reader Emily Jane for confirming that they are as I had expected – curious and (mostly) friendly. I’ve only ever encountered them as rodeo bulls, and in that role, they are rank! I love them anyway.

The Golden BrahmaGuanacaste Province, Costa Rica.

Quote of the day: “Give a bull grass, sweet water and a willing heifer and he is happy. But a man is never content. If no gadflies of worry exist he will invent them.” — Alison Fell

Daily Gratitudes:
The mountains
Trees blooming
Walking through the empty fountain in the plaza
The howls of coyotes at night
The first green of spring

 

 

 

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