Two things to be thankful for:

1. Jabon Azul.

Jabon Azul

This pile of amazingly brilliant bright white laundry is brought to you by Jabon Azul. Jabon Azul, I love you. These shirts are like 10 years old, but they still look new. We use Jabon Azul to wipe stains out of clothes, clean our shoes, the rugs, trash cans – anything really. And the best part is that when we use it on the doggie beds, it grabs on to particulates and removes all traces of dog hair from the fabric…even fleece. It smells good, doesn’t leave my hands feeling dry, and it doesn’t degrade the strength or weight of any fabrics. Jabon Azul helps us to conserve because we can use it to keep old things looking new for much longer, leaving us with no need to buy a replacement.

So what is this magical soap made out of? Leftover cow parts.

2. La palma bendita.

La palma

The dead leafy thing on the left is la palma bendita (the holy palm). Up until today, I thought it was someone’s idea of a decoration. Not so much. Las palmas benditas are part of a Tico tradition in which they sprinkle holy water on palm leaves during Semana Santa (Easter week). After Semana Santa, everyone takes a palm leaf home to protect their property against lightning strikes. Very interesting. With the recent start of the rainy season and the way those black clouds hang so ominously low, I was wondering how often the metal houses get struck by lightning.

The Irish in me has subscribed full heartily to this superstition and I’m really grateful for our palma bendita.