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Aug 5, 2016
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How funny!

Some things are just too funny.  I don’t particularly think that having a migraine headache is funny, but what WAS funny was that when we went on the internet and looked at the weather forecast, it said in big bold headlines:  MIGRAINE HEADACHE.  For the next day it said Migraine Headache possibility.

Kris had had a headache, and for the first time in a very long time, I had one of my migraine headaches.  You might think that’s strange since I don’t have them.  Well, this makes the 5th one I’ve had in my life so it’s no biggy for me.  All that happens is I feel “stranger” than usual and lose my vision in the center and have little stars floating around the outside edge of my vision.

The first time that happened, I had a CAT scan and it came back with nothing — which mother thought was as it should be since she was certain I had nothing in my head anyway!  The doc said it was “just” a migraine!  Okay, thanks doc.  It went away in a couple days.  This time too.

We are in the middle of winter.  Today was such a soft weather day — it was fogg and yet the temp was so soft and nice.  It says it was only 61 but felt like 64 degrees.  We disagree — it felt like 70 degrees.  Here is our weather map for today:

(hint: if you want to know the weather here, just go to AccuWeather.com and put Punta del Este, Uruguay in the search box. I do it all the time for the states.)

But, like I said, it really felt like 68- 70 degrees.  Shirt sleeves were the order of the day.  We love it here.  I’m so grateful that Uruguay ended up being where we live and work.  Very, VERY nice!

Today we simply soaked up the salty air from the viewpoint near our home.  It’s about 3 miles away and allows us sit on top of the world and look at the ocean.  Being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest in the USA, I adore the ocean.  It fills me up with joy and peace and the beauty of it’s power and vastness.  Lots of different feelings.  Today was no different.  Kris and I took photos and loved every minute of our time there.  We try to go to this spot at least a couple of times a week.  Sometimes we watch the dozens of ships that are headed to Buenos Aires or Montevideo ports — either coming or going. I’ll try to get a good photo of that.  They are so far away that they don’t show up well on a photo.  I’m sure it’s possible so I’ll keep trying!

Kris and I took photos and loved every minute of our time there.  We try to go to this spot at least a couple of times a week.  Sometimes we watch the dozens of ships that are headed to Buenos Aires or Montevideo ports — either coming or going. I’ll try to get a good photo of that.  They are so far away that they don’t show up well on a photo.  I’m sure it’s possible so I’ll keep trying!

We had some fun with the binoculars even though it was a very foggy day we still got some pretty interesting looks at a few fishing boats in the bay nearby.

At the Viewpoint with binoculars

Yep that’s me!

By the way, did I tell you that I started another blog as well as this one?  It’s called Live, Work, and Retire in Uruguay.  It’s a different take on things here in Uruguay for those who want more information about living and working here.  Actually, I posted on both today because the beach was so much fun. But usually I’ll spread out the posts and keep them both linked to the photo blog.

Thanks for joining me today!  Leave a comment and let me know you were here!

Abrazos (no not hot coals — hugs)

Jun 8, 2016
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Changes

I’ve been posting here since March, 2013.  Now that I’ve settled in Uruguay and have lots to share about living, working and retiring here, it’s about time to change the look of the blog.  I’ve been playing around with several different kinds of themes. I love to have color and beauty, and have tons of great photos to include.  So I’m looking at some formats that offer better ways to display the photos — really great views of whatever I decide to upload here.  I’m excited about these changes because I think you will enjoy them too.  After all, I think half the fun of a travel type blog is not just the information you get by words, but the feelings you experience by seeing it first hand on the site.

Today, for example, I’m going to attempt to upload the Atlantic Ocean — yep! The whole thing as seen through a little tiny lens.  I’m an ocean addict — it gives me a sense of awe and appreciation for its power and beauty.  We’ll see how that goes.

On this particular day, Kris and I stopped to watch an approaching storm coming in.  It had already rained quite a bit at the house, but we wanted to see the waves.   The wind was so strong that every time I attempted to make a video, the wind made the noise level unbearable.  With the sound of the waves crashing crazily and the wind whipping around, it was too much.  So here are a couple of still photos that aren’t quite the same as seeing the waves crashing and the wind howling –but for today just a taste of it as we head into winter.  Winter oceans are so cool!

WP_20160516_002

Then, much to my amazement, the video just uploaded.  You can see by the shaking of the camera that it was blowing very hard.  Of course, we thought it was great fun!  We were driving around and took photos from many different spots along the beach.  Most of them turned out too fuzzy to be any good — The wind — oh the wind!

In just a couple of days, I’m going to take  video stroll through the supermarket where we shop.  Some of your questions about what you “can get in Uruguay” will definitely be answered.

Until then!

May 5, 2016
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Silk Makes the Difference

A funny little factoid for all of you factoid collectors out there!

 

papel-higienico

I can remember always wondering what the “lotion” in toilet paper was that made it softer.  Was it good for your bum or not.  Is it really something you want to be using on a regular basis??

No need to worry about that here.  I have looked high and low for some toilet paper with lotion because it makes softer TP.  I have been unable to find any — zip — nada.

No lotion, but here we have something that makes the TP delightfully soft and nice — It has silk in it.  See how forward thinking they are!  Imagine!  Silk in your TP.  Soooo nice and soft!

Tchau (big smile)

Apr 25, 2016
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Fall Is Upon Us!

I know it has been a very long time since I wrote in this blog.  Perhaps if there is anyone left out there reading (ha), you would be interested to know what’s been going on.

First let me say that I have struggled a lot with the adjustments here.  I don’t feel compelled to lay out all my challenges on an international blog mind you!  But the fact is that I’ve had a hard time.  I think it may be because we downsized to smaller house in Leelanau County.  Then we sold that house and moved to Uruguay where we stayed in an apartment belonging to our dear friends Joe and Nancy.  Now we have moved again — all in the space of about 2 1/2 years.

I found out personally that moving around like that in such a short space of time is disorienting and very challenging.  But as we settle in to our new home — which is somewhere on this blog, we find that we are beginning to feel more balanced in many ways.  It’s quite nice actually.

We’ve learned some more things about Uruguay in this past month since we moved here!

  1. The people are simply great!  I had a flat tire and received help from a sweet friend who just “happened” to be working as a gardener nearby.  Then a business who was supposed to be able to fix the tire for me, was already closed and recommended I go to another shop not too far away.  I did, and they not only changed the tire (I had to buy a new one because the pothole I hit actually tore the rubber away from the rim), but also has become my car “go to” place.  When the guys saw me coming this last time (we hit another big pothole and damaged the muffler which had to be replaced), they treated me very nicely and were helpful.  It feels good in a new place to find people you can trust to help you.
  2. The weather is as unpredictable here as anywhere else on earth!  We went for 2 weeks with rain everyday.  In fact, last weekend the rain was so bad there was major flooding in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.  Bridges were washed out; highways were ruined; a tornado struck in western Uruguay damaging tons of homes and businesses and then the rain flooded them and washed away lots of what had been knocked down.  Luckily there was only 1 known death as we all had plenty of warning that something really rough was in the outlook.  Our driveway washed out up at the top and is now very carefully used!
  3. Landlords are not responsible to take care of things that happen to the property you rent from them.  So as time goes by, you either fix it yourself or you live with it.  I thought of this because the driveway is the responsibility of all of us living here.  It is still raining off and on and the winds are still pretty brisk, so I don’t think fixing it is going to be an option right now.  I’m MUCH more careful and do not assume that the water is just water.  I now assume it’s a pothole in disguise.  You only have to spend a few hundred dollars to make you more careful than ever!  No matter where you live, a pothole is still dangerous when it’s as deep as something like this:

Potholes

Here is the very hilarious part about this picture.  It looks EXACTLY like the potholes out here on our road…….I mean EXACTLY!  When I saw it, I thought someone must have posted it from right here in Punta del Este.  But no, it’s from Toronto!  What a riot.  So it leads me to believe that a pothole is a pothole is a pothole, no matter where you live.  Rain and snow and hail and lots of traffic just seem to break down asphalt and create dangerous situations.  Actually the pothole at the top of this picture is like the one I hit that literally cut the tire on the rim of the wheel.  And you can see why.

 We console ourselves because every single time we drive to pick up some groceries or to gas the car, we get to drive by the ocean.  The Atlantic Ocean! Can you imagine what a privilege and joy that is?

The sunsets at this beach are not bad either!

Solanas Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for today!  The wind is howling and it’s only 50 degrees tonight so we’ll be sleeping with the down comforter (I bought a nice and sturdy transformer/converter here in Uruguay, so I’ll be sleeping with a bed warmer I brought from the states!)  Ahhhh how nice.

Oh — an FYI — have you seen the website www.thetruthaboutcancer.com?  It’s quite awesome.  We bought the whole set.  I think you can see it free at this link.  It’s about the many alternative ways to prevent and cure (yes you read that right) cure cancer.  Some of the advice has a 95% cure rate including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers to name a few.  It’s really worth the $47.  I don’t make anything off of you buying it.  As a holistic practitioner, I just happen to believe in it quite thoroughly.  I can watch it here in Uruguay because it’s a digital product.  Ahhhh wonderful!  The testimonials will knock your socks off.

Tchau Tchau

Mar 6, 2016
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New House and Updates

We found a place to live!  Take a peek:

La Oracion Home

The structure just to the left of our house behind those two skinny trees is someone else’s home.  Our entrance and driveway is behind our house and the road curves to the left in front of their house.

The views surrounding the house are wonderful too:

There is a swimming pool with a soaking pool and a kids wading pool.

There are horses and pasture lands all around….and a totem pole.

and there are other houses on the property as well.  There is a full-time gardener who takes care of the property.  We share some expenses with the house right beside ours.  It is very lovely.  It is very peaceful.  It is not far from my teaching job — 15 minutes and not far from my massage job — 15 minutes.

Want to see a little bit inside?  Of course they are just finishing up the remodel so it will look even nicer and have our stuff in it and all in a week or so.  We’re just so excited we decided to share where it’s “at” right now and then we will update next week or so.

Above is looking from the kitchen end towards the living room door.

Big Kitchen Window R

The above  window is a big one that looks east over the property.

If you didn’t have a light glaring you could see the tightly thatched roof.  Water runs off of it because they use a reed that has special properties that bind together and form a tight seal so there is no leaking.

This view is looking from the front door entrance to the kitchen.  The landlord has certainly done a great job of combining the old rustic feel (the open beams and thatch or quincho – pronounced keencho) with the more modern – i.e. the walls partway up and the use of the bricks.  He is a collector of Persian rugs and thus we get to have all of them we want in the house.  Everything is painted white with very dark brown accents in the wood shelves.

And last, but not least, we have our own resident dog!  Actually, the property has many dogs  that belong to the property.  But the one that sleeps here:  (see the little bowl sitting on top of a shelf and there is a hole under the shelf?  That is her bed.)

She is a very loving and slobbery dog (Deb you will appreciate this), and she has taken to us and loves us already.  We both love her too.  It’s sort of nice to have our own private watchdog and someone else feeds and waters her!  ha ha ha  She is still a puppy.  Very precious!  (Not the little brown one in the corner.)

But…..This one:

Yes, a great Dane!

So for the 4th time in less than a year — we’re moving!  I’ll bet you’re not surprised that we signed a 2 year contract! ha ha!  The best part is that it is completely within our budget ($125 less than budget!)  Housing is as expensive and difficult to find as it is in Leelanau County.  But if you rub shoulders with the people who live here, you can find something.  We just happen to be in a situation where we were  able to stay until we found something of our own.

Guess how we found out about this house?  When I went for my first day of teachers meetings the day before school started, a teacher came in and sat beside me.  She speaks perfect English thank goodness! Anyway, she asked me where I was living and when I told her she was surprised because where we are right now is about an hour drive to St. Clare’s and another hour’s drive back home.  She mentioned that her neighbor had a house for rent for $500 (which is extremely wonderful) and said she would put me in touch with him that evening.  So she did.  I called him; that house was already rented (yes, in one day!), but he had another for a bit higher rent he was just finishing the remodel on and we could see it immediately.  The next day we went and saw it, and then set it up to come and measure while he held the house for us.

So that next day I taught school and on Friday we went back and did our measuring and planning.  Then, we had Nance (where we live now) come with us to see what she thought and we all loved it.  So we took the deposit in Friday night and it’s ours!  Thank you all for your good energy and thoughts and prayers.

Tchau for now!

Feb 21, 2016
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Uruguay Never Disappoints!

It has certainly been a long time since I blogged!  I think it’s been at least a month.  My apologies. Life has been pretty busy these days.  We’ve received our driver’s licenses and have now opened a bank account.  Many things that would take little time at all in the states, take longer here because we are resident foreigners.

We managed to open a bank account at the Banco Republica Oriental del Uruguay or BROU (said bro). We had Ana Ines (see post a few weeks ago) help us.  She just happened to be on vacation in Punta del Este and offered to help us.  It saved us a lot of time and bus fare, and of course her price was less too because she was already in town.  Because of the resident and foreigner combination, it took 2 hours in two days to open the account instead of a half hour.

But it got done without a glitch.  I cannot say enough about how important it is to have someone help you who knows what they’re doing; who knows the documents you have to have; who speaks fluent Spanish and can actually have conversations with the Uruguayans we have to deal with, and who speaks English so well that she quickly lets us know what’s going on when the Spanish is over our heads.

We arrived October 14, 2015.  It is February 21.  In 4 months, specifically because of working with Ana Ines as our relocation expert, we have our temporary residency, we have our driver’s license, we have a bank account, we received our shipment from the states, and nothing had any difficulties.  With a little help from Joe, we purchased a car and car insurance.

Ana Ines told us the other day that even some of the people she helps have difficulties because their situations are irregular in some way or another.  She also mentioned that she has dealt with some expats who seem to have an attitude.  They are the hard ones.  They are also more likely to have some kind of problem — ya think?  That’s a real mystery, huh?

So while we’ve been doing all of that stuff — we’ve been house hunting for a permanent place to live.  Housing is extremely rare.  It is exactly — exactly like the situation in Northern Michigan in Leelanau County and Grand Traverse County.  Investors (or second homers) have scooped up properties right and left and prices have therefore risen so that reasonably priced, adequate housing is very hard to come by.

Here in Uruguay there are tons of places to rent, but the person has to leave during the summer — to where????  So keep us in your thoughts and prayers and all that we will find a fantastic deal where we will fit (art, music, massage, computer office, etc.) that is clean, reasonably priced and just exactly perfect in size for our needs, and the contract is for 12 months+.

Unfortunately, the average apartment for rent is only for the summer and/or 9 months, and is between 450 – 700 square feet and priced between $700 – $1400/month.  We definitely need it to be bigger than that and less money than that.  But we know we are here on purpose and as we hunt regularly, we are convinced we will find something adequate and secure for our needs.  Thanks for your good energy to those ends.

I have been hired to teach business courses for a private school here in Punta del Este.  It is a British style “college” serving the educational needs of those 18 months through 2 years beyond what we consider high school in the states.  Take a look at this! Pretty impressive — and it IS impressive.

 

St Clare's College 2 St Clare's College

 

I was hired because I have owned businesses and because I have taught at the college level.  They will provide all the materials necessary — hey I know I’m in for a whole lot of work.  I will be teaching all 4 levels of high school.  Never underestimate the value of your advanced degrees when working in a foreign country.

Speaking of degrees— Very soon I will complete my Master Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. (see the program here) I’m very excited because it means I’ll be better qualified to teach English here which is what I really want to do.  Actually I want to teach Business English and teaching a full year of a business course to 4 levels of high school will certainly give me the vocabulary and knowledge to do that very well!

I actually decided to take this job because my Ayurvedic massage practice at El Claro is moving along a bit slower than all of us had hoped.  Soon I will be giving a workshop (our Spanish teacher is helping me) on Ayurveda and the massage part – abhyanga, and invitations will be sent to anyone who has ever used any of the health services offered at El Claro.  But I need to work and all of this will come together.

Also, if you remember, I was working with my business partner in Mexico and we have a new project going that is way over the top exciting.  The filming studio and the promotional company are all lined up and you can see what’s happening on the website I built — it’s mostly up to date! (See it here) Now we’re going to be raising money to fund the filming and the YouTube promo video that will promote it.

Ain’t life grand?

Tchau for now!

 

 

Jan 17, 2016
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Uruguay Expat Relocation Expert

Remember?

As most of you who read this blog know, we are now residents of Uruguay.  In four months we received our temporary residency.  It’s called temporary because they have to send the paperwork to other offices for review and for the final card to be issued.  This usually takes a year or two to happen due to the large number of people moving here — not just from the United States, but from Europe, Canada, Argentina and other places, and the fact that all documents are carefully reviewed.

Someone For You to Meet

As most of you also know, we have not had one single glitch as we have gone through the process.  I would like to introduce you to the person who made it all possible:  Ana Ines Perez of Expat Uy.  Expat Uy is her company through which she helps expats.

Ana-Ines Web Photo

From her website I cut and pasted this information on her background:

Ana Inés, who runs EXPAT UY, is married and mother of a child. She has a degree in Marketing and an International MBA, both from prestigious Universities in Montevideo (UDE) and Buenos Aires (UADE). Since childhood she has been closely related to expatriates and through her professional activity has shared many of her personal experiences with them.

In the past, Ana Inés worked for international and local prestigious companies in industries of mass consumption, advertising agencies, and education until she moved to Argentina, accompanying her husband in his new post there.

With her move to Argentina came first-hand experience of expatriate living.

In 2009, back in Uruguay, based on several years of successful personal experience giving advice to friends coming to Uruguay, she set up her own company (EXPAT UY) and is offering a professional relocation service to newcomers.

Why Is Ana Ines Significant?

We actually “met” her because people were singing her praises on a Uruguay forum we were reading at the time.  We decided to contact her because the results she gets are so good.

Why?  Because she doesn’t leave anything up in the air.  Having been an expat herself, she knows how confusing it can be to go through any process involving official business.  She knows exactly what documents you have to have and if you follow her instructions to the letter, you have no trouble.  She asked us way ahead of time to gather certain kinds of information and to have certain parts apostilled in the states.   You have to get original documents or copies of those documents from your state of residence long before you leave for Uruguay.  You must do your part for the whole thing to work.  

So if you can follow directions — she has ALL her act together.  She is organized, keeps appointments, thinks ahead and takes care of eventualities before they have a chance to develop, meets you at the airport or the bus station or wherever you need to meet.  She charges by the hour so there is no big upfront fee – and her price is affordable.  She is not an attorney because you don’t need an attorney for the relocation process.  She has a team of people who work with her that handle every aspect of the paperwork here.  Including our shipment came through with no hitch either.  We used her aduano (customs) despachante for that part and it went smooooothly.

Her English is excellent and her knowledge is superb.  But……

Beyond all this official information about her training, experience and degrees, one of the coolest things about this awesome woman is that she really, really enjoys what she’s doing and you can feel it.  Other than a couple more pieces of our puzzle being taken care of, our time for having to use her services is almost over.  We already miss her. We feel like she has become a friend.  She lives in Montevideo about 2 hours from our house.

If we had thousands of people visiting this blog, this would be great PR for her.  But whether thousands come or not, we wanted those of you who ARE reading to know that if you EVER want to come to Uruguay and establish residence for any reason, Ana Ines is your best choice.

All we can say is Thank You Ana Ines for making this adventure so wonderful and such a pleasure!

 

Jan 16, 2016
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Bird Update! Bird Update!

Yesterday afternoon our mountain turkeys came to our window — AGAIN, and would not stop talking.  He (or she) just kept yacking away and would not leave.  I tried to scare them away with a shout.  They ran about 30 feet away and then the one came back and jumped up on a cement block just outside the window where we sit at the table and work, still cackling and yacking.  This was not the same kind of loud crrraakkkkkk that he usually makes but a softer sound like really trying to communicate.  So…we put up a curtain.  He jumped down on the ground and kept poking his head up to look under the curtain and yacking away.  I’m sorry but not being a bird made it hard to figure out the conversation.

This morning Kris got up before I did and I was sleeping.  She never does this so I was surprised when she actually woke me up and said “You just have to come and see this!”  So I staggered out of bed and went to the kitchen door — there across the lawn were to two mountain turkeys that have been our little friends and with them – please refer to the photo below — (it, like the lizard photos, was also very hard to get.  But worth it.) — were 4 more!

Mountain Turkey Family of 6

Now they are a family of 6!

Mountain Turkey Family of 6 B

Yep — you may have guessed it.  I think they must have thought it was time to announce that 4 new little ones were going to be traipsing around the yard.  So all morning they have been eating their seeds.  I know it’s a little hard to see but this is the best photo I could get — and it’s with a zoom which probably affected the quality.  I don’t really know what they were trying to tell us, but I’ll just betcha it had something to do with the first excursion that happened today.  They may bug us.  They may be loud.  They have scratched our car looking at their reflection in our shiny car.  They are kind of naughty sometimes.  But they are beautiful and we continue to enjoy them

Anyway, it’s so nice to be able to share the rest of the inhabitants of our home — the outdoor ones.

One of the nicest things about living here is that there is no lack of wildlife.  And they don’t seem to be seriously afraid of humans.  The birds don’t anyway.  The lizards are very shy and we’ve decided it’s best to let them be that way as we don’t really want them in the house.  They all are helping us cope with not having a dog.  Pretty neat huh?!!

Tchau, Tchau

Jan 13, 2016
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Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, before we ever arrived, someone or, I should say, two someones had already taken up residence here:

Lizard #1

Monitor Lizard #1 Close Web

And Lizard #2 (minus half of his tail??)

Monitor Lizard #2 No Tail

As it happens, we like lizards.  Also, as it happens, someone told us they LOVE eggs.  I’ve been attempting to get a photo of these two for a long time now.  And I just spent the last hour tempting and waiting, with camera in hand.  For a while I sat in a lawn chair and waited.  That didn’t work.  So I decided to attempt taking the photos through the kitchen window screen.  I discovered that if I leaned the camera right up close to the screen and put a little bit of zoom on, the pix came out clear enough to recognize the guilty parties!

The Tempation:

I laid my plans carefully and earlier this morning we found two eggs that were dirty on the outside that we just got in our purchase of farm eggs.  Yes — I could have washed them and used them, but heck, lizards don’t care if they are dirty or clean right?

Lizard Delicacy One For Each Web

These are actually on a little bit of a hill running my direction so that I didn’t have to do anything more than just stick the camera around the corner of the house to take the photo — but alas, I was never fast enough and they would see me and dive back into their home — which is an abandoned drain pipe about 3-4 inches in diameter.  I don’t see how the fat one gets in there, but believe me they do. I missed getting the photo of them together because they were so darn fast — right in the hole.

Okay — so back to the temptation.  I waited and, actually, as ridiculous at it may seem, I think I’ve waited about an hour checking to see when a head would pop out of the drain pipe and I could get my most valuable photos.  It happened.  I had stepped away to do something in the kitchen and when I looked out the window, there was Lizard #1 laying in the sun pointed directly at the delicious, delectable raw egg. . . . sitting there in plain view just waiting.

Lizard #1 Up Close and Personal

Then in the time it would take me to get the camera up there to the window, she had it in her mouth and had turned — whoa — don’t EVER try to outrun a lizard because it simply ain’t gonna happen!  And there she goes…..

Monitor Lizard #1 With Prize Closeup Web

Just to be fair, you need to know she didn’t try to take both of them!

See…….

Monitor Lizard #1 With the Prize Web Not Piggy

Now, I just knew that Lizard #2 was going to come running right behind, but he just stayed there sunning himself and becoming very wary.  I suppose losing your tail would make you be that way!  In this pic he’s turning because he heard me at the kitchen window.

Monitor Lizard #2 Very Wary

After I’d given him plenty of time (too much time as it turned out), I went back to the kitchen window to see if I could get a good photo of him approaching the egg and taking it away as she had done.  Well blow me down — it was already gone!  Sneaky and fast …….

and very cute.

So there you have it!  You might want to look around next time when you move into a new place and see who else thinks it’s home — you might just be pleasantly surprised!

Tchau for now.

 

I suppose I don’t need to share the stories of the other residents — we kill them pretty fast. (smile)

Jan 1, 2016
admin

Something for the New Year

Several years ago, I wrote a short article for my blog.  I found it today and it gave me something to think about for the new year.  I want to share it with you.  I know, I know — two blogs in one day — what’s the world coming to?  Enjoy

The Discipline of Choice

What occupies your mind is what controls you.  It is what you tend to draw to yourself.  This works in every area of life affecting your levels of health, exercise, business, relationships and spirituality.

It takes discipline to change this – it takes a choice.  It requires a constant, consistent, systematic removal of thoughts you don’t want to be thinking and replacing them with those you do.

This may sound like it takes effort.  It does.  But since no one thinks my thoughts for me, that means I have to put forth the effort for personal change!

There is only one way to accomplish the discipline of choosing to change your thought life.  You have to systematically plant new thoughts that grow up in place of the thoughts you have been thinking till now.  Instill new patterns.  Change the vicious cycles and momentum in the opposite direction.

First thing in the morning, have an ‘hour of power’ for yourself  – or perhaps only 30 minutes – perhaps just 15.  During this time, visualize the ideal day.  How will it be accomplished?

Most of us move from sleep, to the sound of an alarm – have you ever wondered why it’s called an “alarm” clock?  We jump from sleeping peacefully to being catapulted “alarmingly” into our day.

If discipline ourselves to choose to start the day differently at that moment, we have already made a tremendous difference in how that day will go.  Here are some simple steps to begin to develop a new pattern:

Step 1    Gently shut off the alarm, then lay quietly back on your pillow and take a couple cleansing breaths.

Step 2    Go to a quiet place in your house.  If you have pets, make every effort to go quietly so they don’t think it’s time to get up and begin their day – thereby effectively disrupting yours.

Step 3    In an upright, yet comfortable position, close your eyes and visualize the activities you hope to accomplish today.  See the most effective, peaceful way those things could come to pass.  Allow yourself to imagine             feelings of joy, accomplishment, and other positive emotions about how your day could go.

Step 4    Make a statement to yourself that sets your thoughts on the path of your day going differently. . . something like “Today I encounter each activity and person with joy and peace from the center of my being, knowing that I am one with Spirit and that the powerful energy of that Spirit is always present to empower my actions for my highest good today.”

Step 5    Move into the activities of your day conscious of new decisive, purposeful living.  Throughout the day continuously reset the tone of your day as needed.

If you cannot conceive of a different kind of life, rest assured, will never see one!  It takes the discipline of choice.  If you do not make conscious choices, you will find people and circumstances will continue to make those choices for you, leading to further frustration and discouragement.

If you are serious, it will take discipline to follow at least a few steps, being persistent with the vision you have of yourself, choosing alternate thoughts, avoiding the repetition of old patterns.  But it is up to you – you must choose to be in control of what you want and what you will choose to believe about the possibilities in your life.

As you go through your day, continually re-establish your footing.  Don’t become disgruntled.  If you forget, simply re-establish purpose of discipline of choice for that day and continue forward motion.  Come back to that center of knowing that you have all that is necessary to make appropriate life choices.  You have all that is necessary to think differently and to live the life you desire.  After a time you will be surprised to discover that choosing is less a “discipline” and more a lifestyle!

This is the way to think as we start this wonderful New Year we’ve all been given!

Jan 1, 2016
admin

New Year – New Opportunities!

Hey there all!  Happy New Year!

Here comes 2016 ready or not.  There are so many very interesting things happening that I’ve barely had time to catch my breath.

First and very fun — we are now legal residents, and then the job I mentioned has become a reality.  I’ll be working at El Claro 1 1/2 days a week doing my Ayuvedic massage. (See it at www.elclaro.com.uy)  But I already have another invitation to work at a Country Club Spa.

We are learning Spanish.  We’re having so much fun and some things are beginning to actually make sense.  Catalina, our teacher, makes it fun.  Kris and I had a couple hours of lessons at her house on Thursday morning,(New Year’s Eve), and she called the guy who is the Spa Director for the Club where she lives.  He wants me to email him with my information.  We’ll see.  I don’t want to get too involved in too many things because I haven’t done any massage for 3 months.  I’ve got to work into it!

I also have applied to teach English conversation to English Second Language people in Brazil — they’re learning English — I’m learning Spanish — believe me I know how they feel! ha ha

Kris and I went to the beach and had a great time.  It’s about 15 miles from the house, but it’s a straight shot right down the highway.

The day before it had rained 3 1/2 inches in 24 hours so the beach was mostly “dark sand”, but it sure didn’t seem to hinder people from spending the day there.  Afterward we went to a little cafe and had a great meal.  Sometimes these little places fool you because it may look like they don’t have much to offer because they are so small.  This one makes all their own bread for their sandwiches and we just happened to order one that came on fresh warm bread.  Wow!  We will definitely eat there again.

We plan to have many more trips like this as the summer goes along.  How fun to be where we are doing what we love!  We’re excited to live this new year — one day at a time remember!

Solanas Beach1

Solanas Beach2

I guarantee you this is the biggest personal watercraft I’ve ever seen.  It is a Yamaha and three people were riding on it AND they pulled up one of the kids behind on skiis.  Wow!  The flew around the bay with no problem, shooting water into the air.  It was fun to watch.  Actually there were two or three others out there.  Just as we were leaving, people were about to launch their catamarans and take off.  Such a neat place. Not crowded in the morning at all.  We only stayed from about 9 a.m. till 11 a.m. and then went to the cafe.

Solanas Beach3

Yep that’s me — trying to keep from getting sunburned and loving it!  So beautiful here.

Tchau Tchau

Dec 23, 2015
admin

The Jitters!

Today I woke up with the jitters — you know — those things where you feel like you might have indigestion, a case of the nerves and all that stuff?

What was the occasion?

Just that today we had our appointment with the Immigration Office about our residency.  To add to the difficulty, a wild storm was predicted and chose to arrive while we were walking from our parking place to the office.  We got soaked. (There was serious flooding in town and on the way home we had to keep finding alternative routes!)

But back to my story.  You know what happened at Immigration?  It was a very happy event.  The young gal who did our papers had lived and worked on the Uruguay/Brazil border in the Immigration Office there, and had been dating a Brazilian guy for a long time.  She spoke Portuguese and we laughed and talked and visited in as much Spanish as we could come up with and then we conversed in Portuguese for the rest.

She asked questions like why did we choose to come to Uruguay?  Do we like it?  How long have we been here?  How did we learn about Uruguay and what were our sources?  It was actually fun!  Sometimes — maybe even often — fear of the unknown can give us the jitters and make us feel very nervous.  And then it turns out totally awesome!

But tonight we have our residency numbers and tomorrow we go to get the actual card.

More Big News!

Late last week — I think it was Tuesday — we had our first Spanish lesson.  The teacher came to the house and we had the lesson.  At that time, she found out I was a massage therapist and got all excited because in town she teaches yoga at a place call The Center “El Centro,” and they were looking for a good massage therapist.

She gave me the name and number of the woman in charge.  I called and she invited me to come to the open house on Monday — which was last night.  Kris and I went over and saw the location and setup and then I was invited to work there doing my Ayurvedic Massage treatments.  We are in the process of working out the details, but what a thrill to be able to do that in a place of such sweet energy and peace!

There is a homeopathic doctor, an osteopath, an applied kinesiologist,  an Ayurvedic minded massage therapist (me), and a yoga teacher.  They have movement programs for kids, etc.  A very cool place.

And….

Our belongings have arrived in Montevideo.  So — we will have our green cards tomorrow or the next day, our stuff from the states is arriving, and I’ve been “hired” to work at this holistic healing center.

So much to be grateful for and to fill our hearts with joy.  One of our expat friends here is so excited about it that she is going to send an email out to all her acquaintances and let them know where to go for a massage!  She is going to have me “practice” on her!  ha ha ha  The fun has begun!

What wonderful Christmas presents!  🙂

Tchau Tchau

Dec 15, 2015
admin

Interesting Takes on Life In Uruguay

Hey there all!  Long blog today — may need to divide it up!

Got some unique photos for you!  I would put them over on the photo site but they are just too fun to have you miss them!  By the way, almost all the photos I use in this blog are taken by Kris.  She is our in-house photographer!

Here is a photo that I promised you a few days ago — this is one of the exercise stations I mentioned.  They are really cool and all over the place.  So for all the people who live in or stay in the apartments all along the coast road this is very convenient.  People jog, then stop and do some exercises on the equipment, take a break for a minute and then take off running again.  Pretty slick.  A very novel idea.  They have this focus on being healthy and exercising and all and we think it’s great.

Exercise Station3

Exercise Station2

Now switch gears. . . . REALLY switch gears!

We went to a 2-choir presentation at the small local Catholic church in Pueblo Eden on Sunday evening.  It was certainly done with great enthusiasm and happiness!   They sang — they rocked back and forth — the men really boomed out the music and the guy who sang the solo had the most massive and clear voice that even I understood the words.  Their presentation also included a song in English which was fun – Somebody’s Knockin at Your Door.  Their English pronunciation was quite good and understandable.

It was also an hilarious time.  We sat at the back — it was a really HOT day — so we sat by a window and had a breeze blowing on us.  A couple came in and sat in front of us.  Their little Chihuahua mix dog came with them.  They totally ignored him as he walked up and down the aisles and sniffed peoples feet and went between their legs.  Most of us reached down and petted him and he just kept wandering.  Every once in a while he would come to his people and poke the man in the leg. The man would laugh and his wife would lean over and tell the dog to “go home right now” which, of course, the dog ignored.  It was quite comical.  The dog would occasionally do something to someone in the mans line of vision which would set him off giggling again with his wife.  But, of course, they did nothing.

In-between choirs, a man got up from his seat and came over to me and said (in spanish) “watch out, senhora, watch out!  It bites!”  I looked down and right where I had been putting my feet was a very beautiful beetle of some sort.  Well what do you expect with all the windows open and a big grassy yard right outside.  I was staring at it and the guy said again “it bites and really hurts!”  At which point he tried to kill it and missed.  Mind you the beetle was crawling along the kneeler so that would not have been, in my opinion, the best place to smash a bug.

Well the beetle had had it.  It jumped off the kneeler and went underneath it and hid right by the place where it hinges up.  Very hard place for humans to get to.  So then the couple who owned the dog got involved.  The man said “we have to kill it”, and the original man was bouncing all around trying to get it.  I tried to kick it out with my shoe but I had sandals on and I wasn’t sure just how much of a bite this very harmless looking beetle might do.

Finally the woman (of the little dog) took off her shoe and gave it to her husband and her husband poked around until the beetle ran out in the middle of the aisle and he squished it with his foot.  Goodness — and all this in-between choir performances.  Kris and I were totally cracking up besides being grossed out.  I graciously thanked them for keeping me safe, but inside I can tell you I was giggling!  They acted like they had a good time too.

We had a good time.  When we left the church, we noticed a hot dog truck.  It struck us funny — no one could miss this business card!  I think we were in a fun mood anyway.

Hot Dog Truck1

Hot Dog Truck2

Hey you all!  I’m here to tell you that there is so much stuff to see, enjoy, eat and have fun with that we are enjoying learning all the new stuff.

Most of you know we are not vegetarians.  I’ve also shared that we have access to a huge garden across the road from us at Judy and Bob Lemon’s house.  It is a lovely thing and we all work watering, weeding, and eating.  Kris took a couple of very nice photos for you:

Garden Area3

This is their orchard with several different types of fruit trees that will begin to really yield in another year or two. Some of them had a little bit of fruit this year, but they are still very young.

Garden Area4 Fruit Trees

Garden Area1

This fenced in area has already change a lot because we have been planting and things have been growing.  Corn is all around that far edge of the fence, and green and bush beans are along the left side fence.  It’s warm here most of the time and it generally rains.  This IS summer when even more than normal vegetable and leafy greens grow like crazy.  We always have salad, and we always have Swiss Chard, Kale, Beets and Beet Greens, Lettuces of all kinds, Carrots by the hundreds, onions and garlic, and I’m sure more to come.  You can grow year round so we will always have fresh food.

Garden Area2

However, this past Sunday we had our first delivery from local farmers Martin and Maqui (pronounced Mawkee). We all had a chance to order from their farm list — so here is what we could get:

Fresh homemade cheese – goat or cow;  organic free-range chickens; milk, butter, buttermilk;  eggs; yogurt; bread.

We ordered a chicken, bread, butter, 3 dozen eggs (that number may have been a bit much as the eggs are jumbo!)

The chicken was about a 12 pound chicken!  When I asked for a large one we never expected to get one the size of a small turkey!!!  Vegetarians don’t look at the next photo!

Big Chicken2

This is an organic free range chicken weighing in at about 10 -12 pounds and it cost $11.  We ended up buying 2 and freezing 1 and 1/2 of them.  Compare that to the price of a similar sized chicken in the states.  It’s a good deal.

There you have a little bit of a view on our life here.

I never tell you the bad parts.  Would you like to know them? Some of you have asked so here goes:

The worst part of living here, absolutely truthfully, is missing our kids, brothers and sisters, and our friends back home.  Life here is good.  The only bad part is a loneliness because we are here and everyone else is somewhere else!  I suppose as we make friends and become part of something where we are regularly invited to participate and join in, we will feel somewhat better.  But that hasn’t happened quite yet.  Thank goodness some of our new expat friends occasionally invite us to join them in doing something.  They were all well-established friends with each other before we came and have a wonderful networking relationship.

We’re at that transition point where we finally feel comfortable here, but we know very few people and very few places to go by ourselves, and virtually no way to find out what’s going on.  We have no TV nor do we get any newspapers.  So often we are just here at home.   We take drives through the beautiful country and we drive through neighborhoods to see what they look like and to get a feel for where we might like to live someday.  Personally, I can’t see living in the city because I love it so much here in the country.

However, out here where we live property is at premium prices — and I mean very premium prices.  We’ll see what develops.  I can’t think of any other negative-ish things — paperwork is as slow getting done here as it is in the states.  People complain about the slowness of things here, but frankly, I don’t see any difference whatsoever between the speed here and the speed in the states.  Bureaucracy is bureaucracy no matter where you live and it all takes time.  Wait!  That’s not exactly true — the formal paperwork seems to take less time here.  By the way, the USA is one of the most difficult places on earth to get residency!  Uruguayans not only make it easy, they talk and enjoy the process with you if you are working with the right persons, which we are.

Okay — that’s enough.  I’m sure you had to read this in at least two sittings.  Sorry, I just felt like sharing a lot today!  I would love to hear your comments!

P.S. The beaches are filling up finally!

Dec 9, 2015
admin

Uruguay Through My Eyes

Blog Header Attempt

We have been in Uruguay for 2 months as of December 14.  It’s been several days since I last blogged mostly because I’ve been so tired from all the stuff we’ve been doing.  I’m going to share some of those different kinds of things to catch you up.  Then I want to share my take on this country after this amount of time.

We have been fixing up the apartment where we will be living for awhile.  Actually I’ve been doing very little of the work, but the rest of the household has really put forth an effort.  It dawned on all of us that our friends who own this whole place have family coming a couple of days after Christmas.  There was a lot to get done which I won’t list here.  But when you want to find some “thing” here, if it has more than one working part, you will usually have to go to several places to get all the parts to put it together.

To some that is a bad thing.  To us — get to hear Spanish with many different accents, many different kinds of vocabulary and we get to meet many different kinds of people.  The cool thing is that we have never met anyone yet other than sweet, gentle and big hearted people who put up with our broken Spanish and help us.  And that even includes the parking lot attendants who have given us directions and actually walked with us to the store where they were telling us to go because they realized we didn’t get it.  I find the people here exceptionally un-self-centered.

So apartment arranging has been the order of the last couple of weeks.  We also have been working on getting our residency.  So that has involved going from place to place to get all the paperwork in order.  We had to have a health exam.  Because Kris and I are both over 65, we didn’t have to have a PAP exam nor a mammogram.  We had a general physical with blood and urine tests, blood pressure, and a zillion health questions with advice to lose weight and lower our cholesterol!  We did pass the health exam however.  We also visited a Judicial Notary who checked all our identification papers — proving who we are and how much income we make.  We passed that one too.

We have been given Uruguayan birth certificates and my name is again Linda Lucille Adams!  Now I know it sounds funny because I was born in Oregon and Kris in Michigan.  But the idea is that when you live here and are a resident, they want you to have paperwork that everyone will understand.  To open accounts, to travel, to do business, to get health insurance, they like to see your birth certificate.  A Uruguayan birth certificate looks just like everyone else’s so it’s easier all the way around for everyone you meet.  A pretty novel and unique idea.

So here I am blogging.  Summer is arriving and it was warmer than usual today.  I will say that we love it here.  The beauty of this place is stunning.  It’s very much like Leelanau County only you can see further at a time.  There are huge hills – some covered with massive rock outcroppings and lots of green vegetation.  We live on the eastern side of the country and this is what it is like.

The wind blows almost constantly so no matter how hot it is, there is almost always a breeze that cuts the heat.  In the winter it will be a different story, but I can tell you, Spring was definitely the time to arrive in Uruguay!

The traffic has picked up a bit as the Argentines and Brazilians arrive for their vacation times in their seasonal homes.  Lots of streets do not have stop signs.  When you come to an intersection, everyone slows down and somehow, people just know when it’s their turn.  I’m learning the same.  Often they simply wave you on through.  There is very little irritation displayed and no road rage at all.

See people don’t yell at each other in public here.  It is very peaceful and mostly calm.  This is not to say there are not problems.  There definitely are.  Anyone who listens and pays attention will see that there is poverty here.  It’s not seen in big slums like in Brazil or Detroit or New York.  But the very poor housing and very low income situations are definitely present.  Many, many of those people make the lives of others more enjoyable by being employed as workers, maids, cooks, or other jobs.

But everywhere we go, people are laid back.  They seem to enjoy each other at work or at leisure times.  Here is an example — we had gone shopping and decided to have lunch in the cafeteria of the store.  As we waited…..and waited…. for a waitress to come, we noticed that it was shift change time and they were all telling each other goodbye with the traditional Uruguayan kiss on the cheek and gentle hug.  They were laughing and talking about how they would see each other the next day.  We did finally get served slowly and in a very laid back manner and everyone was having a great time.  The food was good and affordable and in due time we were on our way again — a little later than we had originally planned, but happy on the way.

When was the last time you saw staff hug their fellow staffers goodbye at the end of a shift, laughing and looking forward to seeing each other at shift change the next day???

Think about that.

Several men were standing in the restaurant — as they each came into the group, they hugged and kissed each other and then stood talking and laughing together.  Then after about a half hour they all hugged and kissed and went their separate ways.  Yes, the men hug and kiss each others cheeks when they meet – every time, not just once a week or at holidays!

Think about that.

I went to pick up a used item someone had for sale.  When I got out of the car he came over and shook my hand and kissed my cheek.

Yes, I’m making a big thing about this because it feels to me like we have lost something in the states.  I’ve actually had people in the states make like it was odd that I gave them a hug when they had just seen me the day before. When the time for hugs is over and you can give them no more, will it have been enough? Will you have shared that aspect of friendship with even a stranger?

Think about that too.

Okay — we live in the country and drive to town to shop.  It’s about a 45 minute drive depending on the weather, the traffic, and the pot holes.  The main roads are very good — very few pot holes.  The back roads out in the country are sometimes pretty rough — you have to slow down and pay attention.  Sometimes you even have to slow way down so the someone else coming in the other direction doesn’t have to hit a bad pot hold on their side of the road.  It does remind me so much of 8th street in Traverse City!!  Ahh yes, it slows you down.

Which leads me to another subject —

You slow down here.  Life slows down.  People are more important and life simply does not run at the pace it does in the states.  Sometimes people complain about that aspect of life in a Latin country. When you arrive here, it slowly dawns on you how “fast” life has been where you came from.  No one has time for anything in the states or other places.  But here, you will be forced to slow down.  You can get yourself into a tizzy fit, or you can recognize that maybe you are here because you are supposed to slow down.  It’s not just to smell the roses either.  It’s to meet and know others.  It’s to enjoy the beauty around you — the ocean, the abundance of food, the little stores tucked in here and there with the things you need for your project.

Most of us that have moved to a foreign country have done so for about a dozen different reasons.  It usually isn’t to slow down.  People want to live where it’s cheaper or warmer or both.  It’s my experience that some things here are much more expensive and other things like food are much cheaper.  And the weather is superb!   However as fate would have it, you are probably drawn to a place because you need what it has to offer you — you need to slow down or to care more about other people and enjoy the interaction.  Well, that’s my take on it anyway.

So I’ve slowed down!  ha ha ha  You knew that was coming, right?  You know how active I can be and me — I’ve slowed down and am enjoying the incredibly good things Uruguay shares with me.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep having the same experiences you always have!  Not terribly unique, but profoundly true!

There are nice expats and there are wretched ones.  There are whiney people and there are joyful people.  There are people who can see nothing but the disagreeable and others who see it but move forward in peace.  You meet all kinds of people — I say that you are who you are in large part because of the choices you make as you get out of bed every day.  Not totally, but mostly!

Tchau, tchau!

 

 

 

 

Nov 26, 2015
admin

P.S. Questions & Answers

I’ve received a bunch of questions and so I’m going to try to remember to answer a couple at the end of each blog — or if the question is involved enough it might just be the whole blog for that day.  Also thanks to my sister, I’ve got a ton of questions to answer so I have enough subjects to blog for the next 6 months! Thanks sis!  ha ha ha

Confused man

So here is the first question and answer.

Question:  Have we been able to find any holistic health practitioners, chiropractors or other therapeutic massage therapists?

Answer:  Yes we have!  In Punta del Este, near where we live (distance is like from Northport to Traverse City) there are many wonderful choices.  There is a chiropractor who does a lot of activator work which we like.  There is a practitioner who does kinesiology and cold laser treatments.  About 12 miles from where we live there is a practitioner who does a special kind of work he developed himself.  I went to him for my knee and it has helped in the healing process.  You can read about his work on http://www.arcturusfoundation.com  Helmuth and his wife Pam are becoming friends and are great people.  Helmuth has helped a lot of people with his treatments.

Also, there is a massage school or maybe even 2 in Punta del Este plus there are many, many yoga studios.  You would be surprised how much like home this place is in those things.  Yes it’s different in many ways too, but there are many yoga studios and lots of exercise places.  And the fun thing is that many of the exercise places are all along the roads.

I’ll see about taking a photo to include in the blog.  Then you can see.  In Punta they are everywhere, and in some of the nearby towns there are some as well.  It would be a superb thing to have along the Grandveiw Parkway and in every park.  You’ll see.  And people use them — you see the equipment in use.  Very cool idea.

Hasta maῆana!

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