Gringo Grocery Grab: One Small Box: $80

We made a gringo grocery grab today… do you know anybody that likes grocery shopping? Especially grocery shopping at the chain warehouse store?

Ugh. But ya do what you gotta do.

Pricesmart is the Costa Rica Costco… owned by them and spread throughout Latin America.

We made the run today… and this is what we got for our $80. Total bill of $100 (50,000 colones) includes a six pack of electronic bug repellers. Probably a dumb move and a scam, but with bug season right around the corner, I figured it was worth the $23 to give them a try. Also the Force Field promises to repel, mice, spiders, ants and roaches. Available exclusively through Costco. Of course, our electric bill may go through the roof (they plug in) and we may drive ourselves mad (madder) because they emit ultrasound. Can’t research them because we’ve learned that if you see it and want it, buy it. It may never be available again! Please stand by for a report…

Here’s what we got for our $80:


  • Carrot cake instead of my usual six muffins
  • 4 boxes of spaghetti
  • bag of tangerines
  • 8 cans of mushroom soup
  • 1 box of yummy Chocolate Eclair dessert thingies
  • block of cheddar cheese
  • gigantic can of Planter’s roasted peanuts
  • 6 cans of mixed vegetables
  • 6 cans of mushrooms
  • Sugar

OK, OK, OK… I told you this is Gringo Shopping. Lots of people brag about how cheaply they can eat in Costa Rica.

This is fairly typical of these frugal shoppers…

This is my advice: Start with the Friday Feria. There is a free bus at the park. What you can’t get there, get at the municipal market. That’s all your fruit, vegetables, eggs, meat at very reasonable prices. Get cleaning products and such at El Rey. Then go to the grocery store for your beans, rice, oats etc. Eat local cheese instead of European cheese. Whole wheat bread is very expensive but we buy it anyway. Kleenexes etc. are very expensive so we just try to be more careful about their use.

Yeah, be careful with your use of facial tissues.


Nancy and I are not whizzes in the kitchen. We are not cooks, we are assemblers. Open up a can of this, add some of that, warm up a side of this, and serve with that.

Kitchen assemblers.

Here’s our $80 box:


Hey… at least we drew the line and resisted the $18 bag of Hershey’s chocolate miniature candy bars… (but we ate the free samples!)



Next stop for the day was McDonald’s… seemed right – topping a shopping chore with a trip the Mickey D’s… Two cajita feliz (happy box aka Happy Meals) $10

mcds1 mcds2

I added the ball point pen to the bottom picture so you can get an idea how tine the portions were. Maybe 10 french fries, 6 ounces of Coke, and of course the normal flat cheeseburger. Nice touch to add a baggie of pineapple chunks. Haven’t had a Happy Meal in the U.S. in a long time, but I know for $10, I could get two large hot-and-ready (no assembly required) pizzas at Little Ceasers!


UPDATE: Costco no longer owns PriceSmart, they are separate companies, although Costco is a supplier for PriceSmart.



Deja Vu! Old Post Revisited!
Geeky Animated Gif Monday – Michelle Janneke Qualifies for Olympics

Here’s the prerace dance routine and the race for the Olympics.

Michelle Jenneke from Losse Veter on Vimeo.

Dust Control In Costa Rica – Postre para Las Vacas (dessert for the cows)

We sit high above the road

As a country boy, I can remember the good old days when a dusty road was controlled by spraying used motor oil on it.

In eco-friendly Costa Rica, they banned this practice because all the oil eventually ends up in the rivers which lead to the oceans.

Our house sits about fifty feet above the a dirt road. As you can imagine during the dry season the few cars and trucks that do pass by can raise a pretty good cloud of dust.

This year has been unusually windy – there are seasonal “Winds of Christmas” that normally start Mid-December and end Mid-January. This year they are still blowing.

In the past, we have gutted out the inconvenience of having dust blowing in and covering everything. But this year it’s different.

When we first moved here, the contractor that build our home-addition said that they former owners put “honey” on the road.

We asked the gringos around if they had heard such a thing, and most responded like we had two heads. (Of course they all live on paved roads/streets.) Our spanish was no where good enough to ask a Tico.

Honey. It just didn’t make sense… even though honey is sold everywhere so there must be a lot of hives, but how much honey would it take to fill a 55 gallon drum? Plus honey has some value so it just seemed silly to put it on the road.

But Molasses! Now there is the solution! Molasses made from sugar cane. Tons and tons of sugar cane is harvested this time of year.

Honey? Molasses? Sweet sticky stuff. Now we know what our contractor was talking about.

Our friend Pat found this great story about a Costa Rica town where the business pay to put honey on the streets.

One quick search on Facebook and I made contact with the woman in the story and she gave us the low-down.

And our lawn-care guy, Mario, knew just the place to find a good supply of molasses. He arrived this morning bright and early with his crew, two 55 gallon drums full of molasses and another empty drum for diluting the molasses 50/50. (In case you need a weekend DIY project.)

Local cow

Local cow

Mario said he brought the “postre para las vacas” (dessert for the cows.) We wondered if the cows that wander up and down our road from farm to pasture… maybe some “dulce leche” (sweet milk) will be in the offing?

They had a large bucket in which they had punched multiple holes in the bottom to make a giant sprinkling can.

In a matter of a few hours they had done the stretch of road in front of our house and the dust is gone.

We’re not sure how long it will last. Seems that in Playa Guiones the molasses is effective until the first rain. I’ll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, we already know the molasses on the road is working.

Now if we just can find a way to get rid of the dog hair!

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Know your rights in healthcare facilities


In September 2013, the Daily Mirror published an article about 700 victims of bedsores.

One man died from a stage four bedsore. He was 70, had diabetes and had been left in a wheelchair for 10 hours. The diabetes put him at higher risk than most for bedsores, but it seems that didn’t matter much.

In the UK the NHS – National Health Service – provides healthcare for all of their citizens. It’s based on need, and not their income. So they took quite a hit from these lawsuits. Steven Brown, an attorney quoted in the article, said that the NHS could have saved a lot of money with simple preventative measures.

Unfortunately these things happen. We can be put into the best healthcare facilities money can buy, and we can still be neglected.

Bedsores are a sign of neglect, and a growing problem among treatment facilities – not just in the UK, but in America too.

In fact, the lack of adequate health care can make matters worse. But that’s not an excuse for something that can easily be prevented.

Know Your Rights

You have the right to preventative treatment – no matter what type of facility you are in. You could be in a non-profit nursing home funded by the government. You still have the right to preventative care. You need to be moved at least every two hours, whether it’s just switching positions or helping you to go for a walk. You have the right to have someone check on you at regular intervals, to make sure you’re clean and dry. Your clothes should also be clean and dry.

You have the right to inform more than one person of your aches and pains. If you think you’re getting a bedsore, or something hurts, tell someone. If they brush it off, tell someone else. Demand that a professional come see you. If you have loved ones who come to visit you, tell them what’s going on. They can speak up for you.

You have the right to seek bedsore treatment immediately. You can seek outside treatment. Treatment can vary slightly depending on the state and facility. Search for specialist who treat bedsores in your area.

In some states, these specialists may be hard to reach. For example, some of the best treatment facilities in Illinois are limited to an area consisting of Chicago and a few of its suburbs. However, you may be able to qualify for transport to these facilities and/or specialists under special circumstances.

You have the right to take pictures and document your own evidence. You can ignore anyone who says you can’t. If you don’t have access to a camera (or can’t work the one on your phone), you can have a loved one do it for you. Have them take pictures of your bedsores in all stages, even if they’re only at stage one.

You (or they, or both) should also make notes about the responses from the medical staff. Of special importance is whether anyone in the facility denies responsibility, and anyone who tries to make it seem like it’s not a big deal. It is a big deal. They can cause or contribute to a medically critical state. So document everything you can, while you can.

Medical Malpractice

Since bedsores are an obvious sign of neglect, and can easily be prevented with the proper care, your next step will probably be to consult with a lawyer. Make sure you present the evidence you’ve documented. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case.

Medical professionals recognize that bedsores are preventable. That is why they fall under medical malpractice. Find a lawyer who is not only an expert at medical malpractice suits, but also one that is familiar with the laws in your area. Experience speaks volumes, and you want someone who knows where you’re coming from and will treat you and your concerns with dignity and respect.

The most important right you have as a senior is to be cared for like an individual. If you are not, the facility you are in should accept responsibility for their action – or lack of.

I Found The Troll on The World Golf Tour


I’m kinda hooked on a computer game – that isn’t Angry Birds, or Candy Crush, or Words With Friends, etc. etc.

It’s a golf game.

It’s fun. There are world-famous golf courses that can be “played” as a single player, match play, stroke play, team play, and so forth.

As with real golf it has it’s down sides.  Mostly, you have to spend money to buy the best equipment or your game will be stuck in low gear. I don’t spend money to play a computer game.

AND… as I found today… there are TROLLS that play golf – on the computer as in real life.

A first… normally the game chat is sprinkled with chat comments like…

  • gl (good luck)
  • hf (have fun)
  • ns (nice shot)
  • vns (very nice shot)
  • nb (nice birdie) and so forth.

When I started a match with AlexPKeaton1, I commented in the chat that I remember Alex P. Keaton…


Michael J. Fox played Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties, and apparently before Parkinson’s Disease put him on the sidelines, he enjoyed a round of golf.


Anyways…. after my comment about remembering Alex P. Keaton, the person behind the name responded.

I don’t talk to losers.

So I closed the chat box and went on with the game.  From time to time I would open the chat box to see what the Troll was regurgitating.

Here’s a sample from the last hole… where he was so busy typing he forgot to play the game.

golf4 golf3 golf2 golf1

He beat me soundly. It was match play… that means low score wins the hole… in a nine hole match like we were playing, winning four holes meant you win the match. He won the first hole outright and the Trolling began.

I could have forfeited the match, but that would be giving in, right? And if you give in to Trolls, you lose. If you respond to Trolls, you lose. If I just quit the game, after two minutes the game would have forfeited for me. I lose.

So as in real golf, I found it to be more irritating to the Troll to play when I played as slowly as possible… there is a countdown timer that starts at :45 seconds. I took 43 seconds per shot. Usually “hitting” the ball just a couple yards at a time. There is a ten stroke limit per hole and I used them all. At the final hole (#5 on the course), I quit the game… meaning he had to wait two minutes to collect his “victory.”

And that was my entertainment for the day.

Troll baiting.





Geezers in Costa Rica Can’t Hear Either


There is a common joke floating around our group about Raw Birds… Which is code for Wrong Words.

You know, those times when the wife says something and the husband replies to something totally different because he didn’t hear? 

Like he hears Raw Birds, when she said Wrong Words.

As people age one of the main problems many face is hearing loss. The loss of one’s hearing can have a negative effect on a person’s life in many ways. It can cause difficulties at work and when socializing with friends or family. Being unable to understand and contribute to conversations can lead many people to become isolated and depressed. Because of this, it is advisable for anyone who is experiencing problems with their hearing to seek treatment.

Causes of Hearing Loss
Some people start to have hearing issues because of injury, tumors, or due to being exposed to loud noise for an extended period. It is also common for many older adults will begin to experience hearing loss due to hereditary factors.

Hearing loss can also be an issue for the elderly due to medical conditions they may be facing. These can include diseases such as diabetes, heart circulation issues, and thyroid problems. This combined with the taking of certain medications can cause a person to lose their hearing.

When you see an audiologist or other hearing professional, they will often need to get your medical history. Having this information can help them in determining the cause of your hearing loss. This can help in treatment.

Screening and Testing for Hearing Loss
As a person begins to age, it can be a good idea to undergo hearing testing on a regular basis. This can help to ensure you are hearing sufficiently. However, if a person finds they are continually asking people to repeat what they say, if they think others are always mumbling, or if they are experiencing ringing in the ear they should have their hearing tested as soon as possible.

Seeing an audiologist or other type of hearing specialist is generally the best way for a person to have their ears and hearing tested. Such a professional can use an assortment of tests to help them determine the cause and extent of the hearing loss. This information is needed to help in developing a treatment plan.

Hearing Loss Treatment
People who are experiencing any degree of hearing loss should consider having the problem treated. Even though their hearing loss may be minor, a person should treat the condition as quickly as possible. By doing this, they can often learn techniques to help in training their brain to hear more clearly. This will help in improving their quality of life.

One of the most popular ways to treat hearing loss is by using hearing aid devices, like Miracle Ear. Today’s hearing aids are digital and use highly sophisticated technology. They use algorithms to amplify certain tones and sounds. Since they are programmable, these devices can be custom designed to help a person deal with their unique hearing issues. This can help a person clear more clearly.

Hearing loss is not an easy impairment to overcome. It can affect a person’s life and interactions with others in many ways. While the condition may simply be due aging or hereditary issues, a person should still seek out treatment for the condition. This can help them to improve their ability to hear now and in the future as well. For more information, please follow Miracle Ear on Facebook.

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