Bogged Down in Blog Town

When I woke up, I grabbed my bathrobe and checked for scorpions; a Costa Rica habit. hhmmmm…….I’m………

Going home to a place I’ve never been before. John Denver is singing in my head.

I woke up wanting to create a post. My mind is overwhelmed. I think to myself, what will I write about, ~my mudder, my fadder, my brudder~family issues greeted me upon my arrival.

Sometimes life can be overwhelming. And believe me, there was a time when I couldn’t sort it all out. I would go deeper and deeper into my mind.

Since I first read Faulkner, I always related to the character in the book, As I Lay Dying, that lost it and set a barn on fire. Not just any barn, but the one where Mama’s coffin’s was parked.

He kept pointing out to his father and siblings that Mama was dead and they could bury her anywhere. They didn’t have to drag her body across Mississipi, being stalked by buzzards.

All of the family members, in this hideous funeral procession, had a hidden agenda and it had nothing to do with the truth or their love for Mama.

Family can be like a nest of birds; eagles, strong and proud or sea gulls, diving to devour and fighting over stinking, rotting fish carcasses.

I am the Eagle I live in high country.There goes John singing again.

Some days are diamonds and some days are stones.


Water for Air


I am flying out today, and I’m starting to feel like a fish out of water. I have travelled the flight, round trip, Florida to Costa Rica, about thirty times. I always feel a tinge of dread; the long lines, all the people, the germs on the plane, not to mention I have to start wearing real clothes again.

But, it is the way to get home. I work to enjoy it. By midnight, I will have employed the “Hail Mary” enough times, for there to be peace on earth.

The Wrong Eyed Rooster

I am sitting by the bed writing this blog, as I often do. I’m heading back to Florida. I’m sure it’s for the best. I say that because things usually are. I can resist; but what good would it do me.

Life is what it is~Rooster and I are headed back to the South. The South, which is north of here.

Circumstances once again necessitate a geographical change.

I once saw a documentary Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus. I use to be a fan of unusual films, found on the shelves of Blockbusters Video Stores. Taking in Jim White – The Music Missionary‘s narration of the south, I was mesmerized. It’s the south that I know. From the junk yards, to the bars, the churches, the music, and the swamps; his words and images resonate southern DNA. The south can be a very strange place, thick with an eerie tone. David Bryne calls it, “beautiful, dark and weird stuff”.

I have a friend that always says, Cheri, you can be whoever you want to be ~ don’t identify with that. That’s easier said than done. And I’m not sure I would want to sever that part of me. It’s my heritage. I love the South.

I know it up close and personal.

Rooster is my husband, and also a native Floridian. This morning, as I reflect on our years together, country music starts playing in my head, accompanied by clips of Cheech and Chong movies. It’s been a real, Ring of Fire; which coincidentally is an area of volcanic activity, including Central America, and the title of a Johnny Cash and June Carter song. (one of the loudest and recurring in my head this morning)

Entonces/So, today will be spent preparing to leave. Coming and going I never know what to expect.

Hasta luego, La Huerta~ Camp Tobacco, here we come!

Como las Vacas

Live Like the Cows

This is one of my favorite paintings. It’s on the wall at the foot of my bed. Como las vacas ~ which means ~ to live like the cows.

This can be good advice for living in Costa Rica, or anywhere for that matter. Have you ever watched a cow?

We don’t expect waves until February third….. I haven’t seen it flat for this long, in a few years.

Que, Kooks and Censorship

Once a month, I write an article for a local magazine, Que! My column is titled Eye Am Art. Meeting the two guys that own this publication was a most fortunate day in my life. Que!, is satirical and hilarious. It pokes fun at our crazy, Costa Rican lives. Hence the name, Que!. In English that means ~ What! Which~ you will find yourself saying here a lot. Such as in my recent post John Denver and Cat Burglars. Check out the magazine. If you like to laugh, you will enjoy it.

Eye Am Art is serious. Each month I write about a local artist or I expound on the topic of aesthetics, or I just try to be encouraging of the arts. I have a Fine Arts degree and am passionate about all the arts. I’m an art cheerleader.

Coincidentally, this month I wrote about Poetry and censorship. As an artist, I am against censorship of any kind. Right now there is a House Bill in the works, SOPA. It is supposed to protect intellectual property rights. But as the bill reads today, it opens the door for repression. WordPress, as well as myself and bloggers worldwide, are protesting. That is why there is a STOP CENSORSHIP banner across the right corner of my blog. If you want to become more informed, read, One Cool Spot Blog, January 17th’s post.

That being said, I would like to share with you my latest column from the magazine.

                                        Poetry~The Word Arts—A Poet’s Advice

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feeling through words. This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel-but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling-not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody but yourself.

To be nobody-but-yourself–in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a bit harder than anybody who isn’t a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all the time-and when we do it, we’re not poets.

If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed.

And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world-unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

Does this sound dismal? It isn’t.

It’s the most wonderful life on earth.

Or so I feel.

Reply to a letter from a high school editor; published in Ottawa Hills (Grand Rapid, Michigan) High School Spectator October 26, 1955



This poem was sent to me by an anonymous poet. So, we printed it and I advised anyone who wants to write to do so, like no-one was ever going to see it. Writing should be a freedom of expression. It’s an art. Art is how we connect as human beings.

The editor and poet who wrote to the high school editor, giving advice did so in 1955. I doubt he would have been able to use those words, “blow up the world” today. He could inadvertently become responsable for some kooks bad behavior.

Now me, printing the above poem-I will not take responsibility for what happens in the line up.

That’s one reason I like it down here, you’re basically own your own.

I don’t know what the future holds. But I do know it has been portrayed in novels, such as 1984, as a place where all of our freedoms will be taken from us. And we will be controlled by Big Brother through the use of technology. Vamos a ver/we’ll see.

I feel, until then, I will practice the editor’s advice to a poet and be and individual, I feel.

And as far as the anonymous poem, I don’t want to feel any pain~so we are all warned no dropping in!

pura vida


Tick tock~time talk

My blog is approaching 1000 views. At the last peep it was 991, and the clock ticks. I created this blog, as a learning tool.

As you can tell from the nature of my post that surfing is an important aspect of my life. At one time, because of my love for the beach, sitting in the sun and swimming and surfing, I found it hard to get to school or do anything else. I found myself, not where I wanted to be. Time was getting away from me.

I’ve always been an artist, but I really wanted to be better. I went to the local, junior college and took a drawing class. After that class, I was awarded a half time, talent grant and went to school for four years on scholarship. I always took one art class and one academic class. You don’t HAVE to go to college to get ahead, but it sure does help.

If my life’s path had not turned in this direction I can’t imagine where I would be.

I learned to start things and finish things. I learned to use my time well.

These are a few drawings that I did very quickly to prove my art abilities, to someone here in Potrero. She thought I was lying about my academic credentials. I can’t say as I blame her. Lying is a favorite pastime of gringos in Costa Rica.

Anyway, I have a lot of time on my hands here, sometimes. We do not expect to have waves until next Friday.

I have created new goals for myself on my blog. I would like to create a better home page. Who am I?

Once I have done that to my satisfaction, I’m going to create a Facebook page for the Secondhand surfer.

I live my life one day at a time, one wave at a time, and now, one post at a time.

Why not, that’s all you can do, the same as, you can’t drive two cars at one time!

And the clock ticks, tick tock, time talk.

John Denver and Cat Burglars

Hey, it’s good to be back home again! Sometimes, this old farm feels like a long-lost friend. Hey, it’s good to be back home again! You probably recognize these John Denver lyrics.~That’s how I felt coming home, after being gone for four days. Only to find out that I had been robbed, in my absence.

The scene of the crime. This is the entrance to my humble abode. I have been able to ward off the sneaky, crawly thieves of Playa Potrero for ten years; in this house anyway. I feel like having a party. I know, it’s a weird reaction, to being robbed, but it’s true~ In the early years in 2002, I use to live in fear of burglars. In the night, my dog Bwana, was always at the foot of my bed. My husband was in the States, working and I stayed behind to start my garden. It was terrifying. You knew when you laid down at night; very likely people were going to be outside in your yard, trying to get into your house. It had a way of creating anxiety.

I know this sounds bizarre, but life here is often just that. You have to do the deal, or leave.

It was a time of many cat burglars, in the neighborhood. The ladrones/burglars here had a few unique techniques, one being scarier than the other. They would spray ether on you; a chemical they had access to, because of the rodeo events. The cowboys use it to put down, out of control bulls. The burglars would enter your house and spray you with ether, and rob you while you slept. The other was that they would have a gancho/hook. This gancho is fishing, gift hook And can be used to lift items fifteen feet, through your window. But these burglars are always polite thieves. They will pick up your pants off the floor, take your wallet, steal your money and put everything back where it was. What? Why do they do that?

When you’re robbed here; you’re just robbed. There’s no one to call for help. You are on your own.

I’ve always heard local real estate agents say, “Petty thievery exists here, but nothing dangerous. There’s no violence here “. hmmmmmmmm……To expound on that would make for a very long story, maybe even a book.

This is the window where the thief entered the house, Monday, the day I left. The odd custom of burglars here, is  to remove the jalousie windows, climb through the window and put the glass back in. Isn’t that weird? I know of them taking down burglar bars, removing the glass out of the window, stealing a few items and then putting the glass back and re-install the burglar bars. Why don’t they just go into the window business? There were so many fingerprints on the window. But, like I said, there are no police to report a burglary to. Yet, another aspect of Costa Rican living.

The key deposit. After the intruder left my house, he/she/they took a set of my house keys and dropped them in this flower-pot. Doesn’t it seem like they would put them in their pocket?

Living here is full of wonder and mystery, some good and some not so good. I don’t want to be cavalier about this burglary, but on the other hand, I have never wanted to be a prisoner to my things.

These are the words of Thomas Catton-someone that I admire. Our practice simply becomes to remain open to the ongoing challenges and obstacles that throw themselves at us; this becomes the path to the divine, to our inner joy. The divine plan was set up before our arrival; difficulties would be the searchlight to guide our spirit to awaken.The Mindful Addict @Amazon

This is what I truly believe. Scriptually, I’m taught that if someone wants to steal my TV, I should ask them if they would like to have my stereo. But I’m also warned that what I don’t protect will be taken from me.
My words on the matter are,
If I don’t think about it, I won’t become confused.
It still looks like paradise to me!

Dumb Ass Gringo

When I arrived in Playa Negra/Los Pargos, Costa Rica, to set down stakes, back in 2001, I had “DUMBA*S GRINGA” written on my forehead. I was soaked in it. 

After two years, I was beached. My motor was rusted and my hull was dark. I had gone beyond my limit.

Now mind you, I had surfed and surfed and surfed.

There’s a silver lining to every cloud. The downside of being here, experiencing what is called “the learning curve”; like somehow calling it that, makes everything OK: I chalk up as part of the adventure.

We’re not called “gringos” for nothing.

They say what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.