Ready for Easter

Easter is just a few days away and here in Costa Rica the whole week preceding Resurrection Sunday is marked by days of prayer, fasting and penitence as well as beautiful church displays depicting the Garden of Gethsemane complete with a life sized praying Christ figure.  People leave offerings of foodstuffs at these “gardens”,  which are later sold and the proceeds distributed among the needy.  There are also colorful processions in just about every town with local folk recreating Christ’s walk down the Via Dolorosa and parishioners dressed as Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea or the Centurion among other well known biblical figures. Passion plays are also a beloved Costa Rican tradition and several towns draw crowds of people from all over the country due to their elaborate and well done open air productions. The whole week from Palm Sunday onward is a national holiday and many businesses close their doors the entire week as do schools. Government offices and banks close on Holy Thursday and don’t re-open until the following Monday.

What you won’t find much of in Costa Rica however, are bunnies, eggs or easter baskets.   These things have never really taken root in Latin America and the only store here where I’ve seen a few Easter decor items is Walmart and even they don’t have too much. So over the years I’ve purchased items on Ebay or my kids have brought goodies down to me when they’ve come here from the U.S. for vacation. This year I was surprised to see how much stuff I have actually managed to accumulate. Probably more than I really need.

I’m not really a big Easter “decorator” (like I am when it comes to Christmas or Halloween) but I do like to put together a centerpiece and a couple of other table decorations.

These faux chocolate bunnies are actually made of resin but they are so realistic that more than one unsuspecting chocoholic around here has been fooled. What I like best is that they won’t melt in the tropical heat.

This sparrows nest was left in a tree in my backyard by it’s former owners. There were no eggs when I found it though. These little blue ones are ceramic.

A couple of Easters ago I spent several days carefully blowing out and emptying egg shells until my cheeks were sore and puffy. I then decorated them with decals, varnished them and placed them in a decorative bowl. Unfortunately my cats discovered them. They are absolutely convinced that anything round and shiny is a toy meant just for them to play with. No matter how much I scolded them, the minute my back was turned they’d grab the eggs out of the bowl and send them crashing to the floor. This year I put the few remaining ones in a glass jar with a lid. I hope they won’t notice them. I  try to stay a step ahead of the kitties, but at times they outsmart me anyway.

A couple of years ago, inspired by Hakan over at the Rose Garden in Malevik    I made several different sized  lace eggs using a styrofoam base and scraps of lace, ribbon and rhinestones.

This year I painted wooden eggs rather than real ones. If the kitties decide to play with them, they won’t break.

These bunny rabbits aren’t really Easter decorations. I have them out year round. Some years ago there was a ceramic supply store in my area that was going out of business and they were getting rid of all their greenware and bisque items. I bought a bunch of animal figures that I later painted or decorated with ceramic decals or just glazed and sent off to the kiln. These bunnies were among them. 

It’s always a good time for chocolate cake and tea!

Joining Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

A Weird Ebay Experience

The photos of my waterlilies don't have anything to do with this post but they are colorful, aren't they? hee

The photos of my waterlilies don’t have anything to do with this post but they are colorful, aren’t they? 

I’ve been buying things on Ebay since about 2001 or so. My friends and family laugh because I have been able to score some pretty good deals over the years. I actually buy pretty much everything on Ebay mostly because it allows me to shop from home and my purchases are delivered right to my door. Can’t get more convenient than that. Also, alot of things aren’t available locally so it’s nice to be able to purchase them online.  I would say that about 99% of my Ebay purchases have been satisfactory. Last month I was browsing Ebay looking for a few things that I wanted to buy, among them a small shelf for my bathroom that I intended to paint ivory to match the mirror above the vanity. So after searching for a few days I came across a listing for one of those little vintage 70s shelves at the starting price of 99 cents plus 20 dollars for shipping. That sounded about right and it was more or less what most sellers were asking for these little shelves…..about 20 to 25 dollars shipping and all. The description said that it was chipped but I figured that was ok because I was going to paint it anyway and the chip probably wouldn’t be visible. I placed my bid and won, as nobody else bid on it. A couple of days later I get a message from the seller informing me that she (I’m fairly certain it’s a she) was unable to ship it out for the price that was listed on the auction page and seeing as how I won it for only 99 cents, could I send her X amount of additional money for shipping otherwise she would have to cancel the sale. In almost 15 years of buying on Ebay, this was a first.  So, I messaged her back and told her that no, I wasn’t willing to pay more than 20 dollars for shipping and that it wasn’t cool to cancel and refund for this reason as now I would lose money on the currency conversion (twice) because I pay with an international Paypal account and I am charged a conversion fee for every conversion into dollars or back. Next thing I know, I get another message from her this time in an unpleasant and sarcastic tone, telling me that the “math” was easy, she wasn’t making any profit from the deal, Ebay was charging her a fee and it would be stupid for her to lose money just so that I could get a “tacky shelf “. (Yes, those were her words) She accused me of not being understanding and then told me that I obviously had difficulty “doing the math” being from Florida and all.  I really have no clue what being from Florida has to do with doing math…I’m not from Florida and have never lived there, although my Ebay courier service is located in Miami and that’s where my Ebay purchases are delivered and then forwarded to me. So she must have assumed that I lived there. Whatever.

Wanvisa water lily

Wanvisa water lily

I messaged her back and in my politest tone told her that it’s not my responsibility to “do the math” because I’m not the seller. It’s actually her responsibility to calculate all her costs before posting a listing on Ebay. I told her that a business transaction was a business transaction and didn’t carry with it a responsibility for the buyer to be understanding. It is also a violation of Ebay rules for a seller to ask a buyer to send additional money on the side and that in skimming over her feedback score, I noticed that I was not the only person that she had done this to. But in any case, if she wanted to cancel the transaction then go ahead. That spurred a barrage of insults in her next message where she called me among other epithets an “entitled jerk” who was unecessarily stalking her feedback.  I ended up just ignoring her and her rants and had to wait 5 days for Paypal to issue me a refund.

Well, it was a no brainer that I was going to leave this seller  negative feedback considering all the uncalled for insults, my loss of money and her violation of Ebay rules. I thought that would be the end of that. No so.

Antares water lily

Antares water lily

When I went to leave the feedback, I noticed that she had written a lengthy comment on her Ebay profile page where she had included my Ebay seller ID, my husband’s full name that appears on our Ebay account and our Florida shipping address. I was horrified that anyone would be deranged enough to do this. She had put all this personal and confidential information in a paragraph stating that she was selling stuff on Ebay to help someone that had cancer, and that my husband HATED (she wrote that in capital letters) cancer victims. And that he liked to STEAL from cancer victims. (again in capital letters) She also admonished buyers not to be cancer victim haters like XXX XXXX (My husband’s name)  WTF?? I had no idea what she was talking about or how the subject went from a failed transaction into a supposed persecution of cancer victims but I immediately telephoned Ebay to alert them because posting personal information is a serious violation of Ebay policy and grounds for suspending the seller. They gave her 24 hours to remove it. Thankfully she did, but now she has replaced it with something about being a cancer fighter and about the “sub-human” buyer who hates people with cancer and who left her negative feedback.  Talk about lunatics.  Sadly she doesn’t seem to realize that her ridiculous rant will only scare away potential customers because it makes her sound quite deranged and it calls even more attention to the negative feedback comments (mine was not the only one)  that might otherwise not even be seen. In the end, I will just buy another shelf from one of the many pleasant and polite (and sane!)  sellers on Ebay and she will have to live with the negative feedback.

Wish I knew the name of this one

Wish I knew the name of this one