Author Archives: Jo Stuart

Have-nots must conquer fear, and haves must conquer greed

Back in the 1950s I was living in Los Angeles with a roommate, Sally, who was confined to a wheelchair.  Among our mutual friends was a youngish doctor.  I can’t remember what his specialty was, but he was very concerned … Continue reading

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Trend to more individual haircut style seems to have developed

As the year draws to an end, people, religions and countries have traditions for giving thanks for all the good things in life they are grateful for, or in some cases, just for surviving another year.  It is a time … Continue reading

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A little Greek philosophy goes a long way in today’s world

This past week, Giselda, a member of my book club, who was reading the works of Plato when she was 13, did a book review of Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations.”  At one point, another member, perhaps our oldest and perkiest, bravely … Continue reading

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There is something pleasant about being a state bank customer

In her article on Nov. 11 in AlterNet, an online newspaper, Ellen Brown has an article, “Want to have a happy Planet?  Just ask Costa Ricans about their banks,” In it she extensively quotes Scott Bidstrup, an expat who has … Continue reading

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Making the people count requires being a good listener

Every now and then I have an epiphany, not a great big aha! epiphany, just a simple realization of a truism.  Like this Wednesday, I realized how important other people are to expanding our worlds, to our well being, and … Continue reading

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It’s déjà vu for the Butterfly as a new arrival confronts life

These past days of heavy rains in the afternoon make me think of my friend Grady’s remark (made from the sunny town of Palm Springs where he stays when he is not living in Costa Rica).  That is that he … Continue reading

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Helping others is a way to keep the aging mind sharp, too

After reading the article about the benefits to aging minds that retiring in Costa Rica brings, I decided to check my own mind-saving activities, if I had any. I just put the final piece in a 1,500 piece puzzle which was a … Continue reading

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What the country needs is a balanced budget amendment

A drunken sailor in port on leave has a more stable financial situation than Costa Rica. The central government is spending about twice as much as it brings in. Now the finance ministry is setting up roundtables so that the … Continue reading

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Joys of the local feria extend to far more than just vegetables

Generally speaking, you can buy fruits and vegetables and sometimes even fish and meat at the open air farmers’ markets, (called ferias) for less than you can in the stores.  And you can pick what you like and buy as little … Continue reading

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When it comes to ferias, the one in Pavas appears to be better

Before I type another word, I have a cautionary note to my readers, many of whom are on my contact list.  Quora, a social Web site, I guess, has hacked my contact list and is sending invitations from me to … Continue reading

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With fog and Internet outage, Costa Rica really is a small island

Tuesday of this week my Internet went down, and so did my TV connection.  Until I opened my balcony door, my apartment was soundless.  Once I did open the door, the sounds of the city had changed.  They were all … Continue reading

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Telling a story is brought to a high art by a professional

Stories have been told since there were words to tell them. Some tell the history of a people, others to entertain and others are simple fabrications to mislead.  Poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist and professor of English Reynolds Price, wrote in … Continue reading

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You must have a computer if you are going to read this

I was thinking about my column and what to write this week.  I really did not want to deal with the global unrest and protests in the most unlikely places, (including Costa Rica), the “taper tantrum” on Wall Street that … Continue reading

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Mandatory trip downtown is more of a treat than a trial

I was downtown this week after a visit to Hospital Caderón Guardia for an annual checkup.  Theoretically, my pacemaker is good to go for another year.  I just hope it takes me with it.  Being lazy, I took a taxi … Continue reading

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Escape from Western New York leads to Costa Rica

My sister Annetta is now happily settled into a retirement community in Florida. She lost her husband, Stan, who was a great brother-in law and, even greater husband, many months ago. She is still grieving but prefers her new home, … Continue reading

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It’s pretty abnormal just trying to get back to normal

Once again I have rediscovered a phenomenon that can’t just apply to me. That is that it is easier to adjust to a vacation or travel mode than it is to readjust to life as usual. Way back in May … Continue reading

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Philosophy blossoms when the physician keeps you in bed

Not long ago I compared hospital emergency rooms with the ninth circle of Dante’s inferno, a place where poor souls waited to see where they would be sent.  This time, after a day and a half watching a stream of … Continue reading

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Second thoughts on reincarnation: Sure you want to return?

My friend Steve told me about a public service ad he saw showing a man stuffing a musket with whatever you stuff a musket.  The caption read “Guns change, laws should change, too.” A simple message, but true.  When something … Continue reading

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