Oooops, watch your step, there is a horse next to you.”…..

The area where we are staying has a lot of animals and it wouldnt be fair to not have a post about them also 🙂

Palomo- This is the largest animal on the farm. At about 12 hands, he is a small horse with a BIG personality! Each morning he follows us around the farm waiting to be given carrots or bananas. He is so sweet but has no boundaries. He will stick his head right into the from of the cafe and wait there until he is fed. The other day he came up to Tasha and was licking her arm, for about 10 minutes while she sat reading.

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Sofia- The only cat on the farm. She is such a sweetheart and loves to be loved on. She sits outside of the casita (“little house” we are staying in) and meows until we come out in the morning. She likes tuna fish juice and papaya pieces in the morning

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Yolanda and Rosana- the dirtiest animals on the farm. I am not sure who is who but they are both very noisy in the morning but extremely friendly. They let me pet them and will poke me from time to time with their noses.

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Kendell- Kendell has the prettiest eyes of any dog that I have ever seen. She has such a sweet face and has so much energy. She loves attention and is the first one in line to eat. She rolls on her back and waits for her belly to be rubbed and will lick your face if you stop before she is ready for you to. However, Palomo is her arch enemy and she (tries) to chase him around the field.

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Mascot- I should note here that before I learned the names of the animals, Tasha and I just named them ourselves. Our host family was in another town getting more fruits and veggies when we first met Mascot and we didn’t know what his name was. But he followed us around all day and is so sweet. He has “sad puppy dog eyes” and has great manners! He waits his turn for everything and just lays near us all the time, as is he was our mascot. Hense, how he got the name we named him.

*He marched to the beat of his own drum and it was hard to get pics of him* lol

Lyca (Lee-Kah)- Lyca is a ball of energy! She is the first one up in the morning and usually beats us to the cafe when we go to feed the dogs! She is small but has a big personality! she loves to give u her paws and would be a lap dog if she could.

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Mama- This is another dog that we gave a name to. She (along with all the animals) was rescued when she was pregnant and had the puppies a couple of months ago. All but 3 of the puppies have found new homes. And since she is the mother of them, we called her Mama. She is very mild tempered and doesn’t bark much. She loves playing with her babies and laying in the sun lazily.

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Popeye- This is the guy that walked all the way to the city (about 2 hours) and back  with Tasha and I over the weekend. He is missing an eye but that does not stop him from anything! He has such a sweet personality and rarely barks either. He waits for his food and has a lot of manners.

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Buddy- Buddy is a really chill dog. He sleeps a lot of the day and is nosey when Tasha and I are doing stuff around the yard. I think he maybe a chow mix, but he thinks he is a chiauawa!

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Chelsey- Chelsey is such a sweetheart. Her tail never stops wagging! She always seems to happy to see people and tried to climb into your lap. Chelsey was hit by a car a few weeks ago and is still recovering from her injuries. But it doesn’t stop her from having such a sweet personality and an even bigger heart.

The babies- The puppies do not really have names. I was not sure if they would find new homes in the time that I was here and I didn’t want to get attached. We have given them temporary names though

Fatty- is a fatty. She is the biggest puppy and eats everything. She loves being cuddled and held and stuffing her face into your armpit to sleep

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Little Black Puppy- is the only black puppy. She is pretty independent and is the “I-dont-want-to-hold-your-hand-to-cross-the-street” kind of puppy.

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The other two babies with Kendell

Little Puppy- Is the smallest and the only male. He would rather be around people than other dogs. He is always trying to climb up my legs when im sitting down to get into my lap and sleep in my armpit like his sister. I don’t know why the puppies like armpits so much!? He is the runt of the litter and we give him extra attention to make sure that he grows strong.

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Life happens in moments

I just decided to post some new photos for you to see what i’ve been up to lately 🙂

This is from a photo walk I didImage

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Peace MarchImage

I think I captured his soul in this momentImage

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I caught her in an off moment of excitement Image

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Panoramic view from a house I was visitingImage

Catching up with an old friendImage

“The day I discovered I was allergic to tree sperm”….

… also known as pollen. The tickle inside my nose. The dryness on the inside of my throat…

This is one of my few NON favorite things.

Credit: A Sonoma Garden

However, I have a deep respect for nature and all things nature. I love being outside and even meditate in the stillness and quite after a rain storm. I have been to areas all over the country and love when the seasons change, the snow falls or when the sun is shining. I find myself enjoying the outdoors at dawn and dusk (pending the mosquitos) as well as near the water.

Being outside has actually taught me a lot about my own life and respectfully taught me multiple life lessons.

It is important to stay rooted but not always grounded

I have always had strong morals and values, even as a child. I was the one on the playground trying to break up fights between other children. I love listening to others talk about their life passions and what drives them. Family is important to me and happiness keeps me going. But I always try to be open minded and flexible. I have learned that it is not always where you stand (physically or hypothetically) that proves your point but where you go with it.

Credit: The Pioneer Woman

Always have perception of what is around you

It is easy to feel so small in such a big world. To feel as though we are one drop in a big bucket. One speck in a whole planet. It is also easy to have such an ego and demand entitlement. To feel as though we are the only creature that should be given respect. I try to remember that I am one piece of a bigger puzzle but that all pieces of the puzzle are equally important to thrive.

Be willing to coexist

In nature, creatures share space with each other. One lives off the other, all the time. Flowers rely on insects to spread their seed, animals rely on insects for food, people rely on animals for fertile land. Plants provide necessary oxygen. The rain gives us water, the sun gives us life.

Credit: Camels and Chocolate

Do not underestimate what looks cute and fluffy

Do not judge something at face value. Always be willing to learn more and understand the unknown. What looks beautiful to the touch may be deadly to the body. What looks hideous may safe a life…

Credit: Camels and Chocolate

The sound of still is not always quiet (or safe!)

There is always sound around us even when it is still. The sound of life, growing, breathing. Be still but always listen. Always know where you are, physically and within yourself.

Sometimes you just have to let go of stress

Simply stated.. sometimes you just have to let it all go..

Credit: Exit 63

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

I had a lot of fun last week when doing this and after being selected by the guest host, an amazing photographer named Terrence Jones, I decided to flip through some of my photos and try again.

This week’s topic is Free Spirit, and to be honest it took me a little while to think about what that meant to me. I wanted to make sure that I had a photo that really represented what free spirit looked like to me. I speak a lot about passions, fears, desires and purposes with others, but what I realized I was lacking was spirit. I wanted to capture that in this week’s challenge. I wanted the blogsphere to see what my spirit looked like; kind, soft, generous and delicate.

I went to New Orleans a couple of months after Hurricane Katrina, and I was amazed at the destruction that I saw. While walking through the 9th Ward (the area that was hit the hardest during the storm) I got these few pictures. To me, they speak volumes about the actual people that lived there and although the entire area was silent, the spirit was as loud as Mardi Gras! It was all around us and I tried to capture that with the essence of these photos.

Please take the time to comment, I love the feedback and hope you like these photos 🙂

New Orleans- 6 months after Hurrican Katrina
New Orleans- 6 months after Katrina
New Orleans- 6 months after Katrina
New Orleans- 6 Months after Katrina

I hope these photos touch your spirit the way they did mine.

Erryting Irie!

Walk abouts in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

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We’re about to cross the border between Casta Rica and Panama!

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This river separates both countries

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Decided to take a weekend trip to Panama for Carnival

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She tattooed all the places she has been to on her back

 

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This guy was just hanging out
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Cocles beach is famous for it’s surfing

Every weekend, local vendors are out selling handmade everything

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These are all hand made faces from dried coconuts. Talk about having a laugh!

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Decorative pipes
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Everything irie

 

 

 

 

Vegan Living (A first for me!)

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The first host family that we stayed with were vegans, which means that they did not consume any animal products. No meat as well as no cheese, milk or even honey. This was a new challenge for me as I am in love with cheese. However, I was challenged to learn to make what I wanted, without the animal byproducts. I looked up recipes and was able to make so many new foods.

The first one I tried to make was almond milk. The recipe is really simple and I have another post on just making almond milk.

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This actually turned out amazing! It is sweet and I put a couple of drops of vanilla in it and sprinkled a little cinnamon on top and I felt like I was at Starbucks!

The second thing I tried was vegan bread. The ingredients were only flour, yeast, olive oil, and water.

This turned out even better than I imagined! I wont lie, I was expecting something awful and doughy. But they tasted just like biscuits!

Some other natural remedies I learned:

*Using salt to cleanse ‘skeeter bite wounds. Tasha was getting chewed up one day and after scratching all afternoon, I learned that salt (along with lemon, garlic or onions) rubbed on bug bites, calms the itch so that they can heal.

*A healthier and more natural way of cleaning is with the use of vinegar and the juice from lemons

*Lemons rubbed under the arms in the shower along with a little baking soda reduce underarm body oder dramatically. Thus virtually eliminating the need for deoderant.

*Parasites like fleas hate the smell and taste of garlic. For dogs that spend a lot of time outside, crush garlic and add some water and a bit of olive oil. Mix it together and you have a homemade flea repellant. The oil drowns the flea and they suffocate. (This of course works best if the dogs are outside dogs or on a farm). This reduces the burning and harmful chemicals from store bought flea killers

Does anyone else have any awesome Vegan or organic recipes/suggestions?

 

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How to make Homemade Almond Milk! (Vegan and GF)

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I never knew what I was missing until I tried almond milk. And its even better when it is homemade and you know where the ingredients come from and what is in it.

It is super easy to make!

Ingredients

-pure, filtered water for soaking

-1 cup raw, organic almonds

-4 cups pure, filtered water

-1 cheesecloth

Steps:

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Step 1.

Take your dry, raw almonds and allow them to soak for at least 24 hours. I usually soak them overnight but if you dont have that much time, overnight will do.

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Step 2: After they are done soaking, strain the almonds and place them into a blender. Add the four cups of water and blend at a high speed. Usually about a minute or two. The consistency should be frothy and look like a watered down milkshake

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Step 3: Pour the frothy contents into a cheesecloth lined strainer. This part gets a little tricky: Fold the corners of the cheesecloth over itsself until you are holding the dry ends together. Squeeze the contents of the milk into the cup/strainer that you are using to catch the milk.

*As an option, you can add a few drops of fresh vanilla or some cinnamon to change the flavor*

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After you strain the milk, you will end up with dried almond “pulp”. I will either throw it to the birds and squirrels outside or bake it and put it in a dessert. You can also dehydrate it and use it as a coating on meats or fish. Because there are no artificial preservatives, the milk will last in the fridge about 3-4 days

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Hope you have as much fun making this as I did! Give it a good stir or shake before you drink and ENJOY!

Happy Milking!

Donde es el parada de bus por Tuccurrique?

The question of the day! The other day Tasha and I walked into the closest town, Tuccurique to use the internet at the internet cafe. The walk was probably only about 5 miles but it was all uphill and downhill and then uphill again. One of the dogs (Popeye) followed us the entire way. He was such a trooper!

He only has one eye, and is pretty ratted up looking, but he kept pushing with us. A couple of times, Tasha and I wanted to give upend just pass out in the middle of the road but we kept going. Popeye would bark at us and that gave us some encouragement.

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When we got to the internet cafe, Popeye fell asleep for the couple of hours that we were there. We walked up and down the main street that the cafe is on and grabbed some snacks and refilled our water bottles. I got a cup from a restaurant and filled it with water for the dog. Then we headed back to the house.

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Today, we decided to take the bus back into Turrialba, the city that Annette took us to on Saturday. The bus stop to get to Turrialba is only a few hundred feet from the corner of the street that we stay on. The bus ride was about 45 minutes and when we got to Turrialba I was surrounded by the warm emotions that this city brings. Have you ever felt that you just love being somewhere? That is what this city does to me.

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She and I grabbed another cup of coffee and some food and explored a bit before walking back to attempt to find the bus stop (parada de bus) to get back to the house. After multiple attempts and our broken spanish, we were able to get on the correct bus back to the house.

The evening ended with spending time with one of the welcoming neighbors making empanadas at her house! And we made them from scratch!!

The day was beautiful and the people are even more beautiful. Each day we become a bit more comfortable with being in a new country and speaking the language.

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To be humbled… is to feed pigs

So I know it isnt Friday but this was too amazing not to share. We filmed this a couple weeks ago and I am not uploading it. And holy cow, these pigs are huge! I am about 5’1 and their backs come up to my waist! This was an amazing experience though, we had a lot of fun and I had the chance to do something I had never done before!

Dont mind my sillyness 🙂

 

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