The Chili that Keeps on Giving – Part I

The Instructor

On Thursday, I had my third cooking lesson, the first by a non-relative, my friend Kimberly Furtney.  Or, as she is known to me and my family, Kimber, K-Furt, The Furts or, that time when she went to Germany, Kimberlin Strudel. For the purposes of this article and your ease of reference, I will refer to her simply as Kim.

Kim is a piece of sunshine in the life of my family.  She has such a loving, giving spirit and from the time we met, she has done so much in the way of brightening up our lives.  She is known especially to be a cheerleader, send notes of encouragement, and give treat-y gifts… like the time when I was sick with a cold and she brought over a care package: movie, home-made muffins, lozenges and ginger ale.


This is Kim and me at the Sony Theatre in Toronto for the “So You Think You Can Dance” Live Tour. She treated me for my birthday. Continue reading

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Photographic evidence

This will be a pictures-mostly post for a couple of reasons.  First, we are in a resort on the slopes of a dormant volcano.  The only internet access we have is at the restaurant, although I’m surprised we have any at all.  J-M is watching me type and that gets boring real quick.  I promised him I’d just upload a couple photos.

Also, there’s so much to say about today’s trip but words fail me.  We rented a 4×4 and drove from the beach to the volcanoes.  We were in transition most of the day, from one hotel to the next, but the transition was so fascinating, to travel past ranches, into the city, and up into the hills.  We are definitely seeing another part of Costa Rican life. Let me give you a couple snapshots.


Where we came from – Guacamaya Lodge.  Those are the bushes where the hummingbirds visited us last night.


Our rented 4×4 – Suzuki Jimmy.  J-M barely fits.


We stopped and took a lot of photos, including photos of taking photos.  (Don’t I look like I know what I’m doing because I borrowed my friend’s paparazzi lens?) We would have arrived in half the time if we didn’t stop every few seconds.  Look at THAT!


Like where we’re headed…


Or how about the VULTURES right out of a Disney movie.


There’s nothing for miles and then a school house.


This poor little calf on the road escaped from the pasture.  A clue as to why there are so many dogs around?  These two were keeping him company.


Look up, waaay up.  The depth perception is hard to see in this photo, but that’s a steep incline with dense forest opening up to a pasture on the top of the hill.  See the horsies?


A few homes like this spot these hills.  Note the satellite. Note the dog.


This house isse vende (for sale).  J-M suggested it would be the perfect retreat for me to blog.

J-M also suggested I post the words mi corazon in the middle of my blog just to make it more Costa Rican.  Because he’s bored, I’ve obliged.


I just liked this colourful guy, struttin’ his stuff.


Men walking these winding paths.  We are so fascinated this place, I would love to sit down with them and hear about life in the hills.  As it is, we say hola! as we pass by and will never meet again.


We see lots of people riding bikes like this one.  J-M suggested it would be a good way to travel around here.  I suggested that he forgot the ups that accompany the downs…

Last one!  This is me tonight, Facebooking with my sweet Mallory!  It still freaks me out that I can access the internet from places that are so hard to reach by car.

Tomorrow we’re horseback riding and zip lining.  Yipes!

OK, the limits of J-M’s patience have been fully tested (and found wanting).  Must go!

Moment Junkie

ImageI took this photo when we lived in Ghana.  It was day at the beach, when the sun was behind the clouds and the world was in black and white for just a moment.  The photo was a fluke – the bustling activity on the beach, even a ball in the air, captured in time and reverence.  My Aunt Marj commented on it when I posted in on Facebook, “I like photos because they trap for a time a moment that would be buried under other moments that were more demanding of our attention.”

Which is exactly why I’m hooked on Moment Junkie, a blog that showcases beautiful, awkward, touching, hilarious moments photographers capture at weddings.  For a good photographer these moments aren’t flukes.

I wonder, what did we do before we all had cameras in our cell phones and sites to display them?  How were these moments captured, savoured or celebrated?

Last night was my father-in-law’s birthday. My going through photos has brought a new zeal to my desire to document passing moments.  I’m getting sentimental in my old age.  I brought my camera, but soon discovered that I’d left behind the memory card.  And believe me, when you lug around a Canon EOS, it had better be put to good use. I was upset about it and hoped someone else would be willing to capture the fun the kids were having, the ways that they engage with each other and the adults, the stages of life we’re at, the new renos at my sister-in-laws house (done by the birthday boy himself no less), all those candles on the birthday cake… but no, they’d rather enjoy the moment.  I can’t blame them; these moments are fleeting.