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Browsing articles from "October, 2015"
Oct 31, 2015

Another Adventure

So today we decided to take a drive — there are so many roads that we have no idea of their destination and they are like an open invitation to us — I won’t say we love to get lost, but we sort of do.

On this particular adventure we were never more than 3 1/2 miles from our house.  The scenery is great and we saw some unusual things.  In the first place we had been told that there was an olive grove where the people sell really good olive oil.  “Just take that road down there!”

And that’s what we did.  In the first place the road is not down anywhere!  It is very “up” a winding road.  We stopped several times to take photos that we would like to share with you.  Uruguay has a bird named a ñandu.  I have wanted to see one in person ever since I learned about them.  Today I got my chance.  We came around a corner and up over a little hill and voilá there they were:

nandu 2

Now that was really fun because this is one of the birds Uruguay is known for.  They look sort of like an ostrich or an emu.  We took some beautiful shots of the surrounding rolling hills which you can find on the photo website here.  They probably won’t be up till tomorrow.

On the way home we saw a really cool thing.  But it started on the way up.  Almost everyone knows about Border Collies.  Many people have them as pets and love them dearly.  On the way up the hill, we were chugging along enjoying the view when a dog running behind the car was CATCHING UP with us.  There was also a guy on a motorcycle and the dog was keeping up with it.  They passed us and the dog was running at a pace I have never seen in my life.  The ran up hill to a home just ahead and then disappeared.  The dog was a smaller Border Collie.

On the way down the hill we came around a corner and this is what we saw:  (yep — same dog and man on motorcycle!)





That little dog ran back and forth and all over and around those cattle — keeping them in line.  The guy on the motorcycle would stop and just let the dog do his herding job.  Kris and I have never seen a dog do that kind of herding.  He wove in and out between the cattles’ legs and barked here and there.  If one started to wander off, the dog was right on it, nipping at its heels and getting it back to the group.  That steer didn’t have a chance to enjoy the little off track trip.  The dog kept on it all the way down the hill about a mile — then worked back and forth until he got the cattle through a gate.  What happened at the gate was that the cattle went clear past it so he went down and rounded them up and successfully got them headed in the correct direction and ALL through the gate.  At first the man thought we wanted to get by, but we didn’t.  We wanted to watch this awesome dog/man/cattle thing.  When they were inside we pulled up in front of the gate and told the man we had never seen anything like it.  He said the dog does his job.  Smiled and waved.  He actually understood our Spanish.

We took some great photos up on the hill including some very long distance photos of part of a government sponsored windmill farm.  We were really up high for Uruguay.

Wind Farm 1


View from Olive Tree Hill

After that, we decided to pass back by the house, pick up the garbage and take it to the receptacle down the highway a little way.  We pulled out of the driveway and looked both ways and to our astonishment, coming down the hill towards our house was another cattle drive.  We decided to give it the gas and get in front of it this time.  So we did.

However, on the way home (the receptacle is about 3 miles from the house — and you think you have it rough taking it to the curb! ha!) — we came around a corner and one of the gauchos on a horse raised his hand high in the air with a long staff in it signalling us to stop.   So we did.  Sure enough around the corner came another “flock” and this time it was sheep.  I guess today was our day to connect with the land and the animal kingdom!

This time instead of just dogs, there were several gauchos on horseback herding the sheep to another pasture!  I think you could safely say we had a great time today!  A nice Saturday afternoon adventure!

Sheep Drive on Highway 2


Oct 27, 2015

How Time Flies

Tip:  Click on a photo to enlarge it.


Wow!  I just realized it’s been a long time since I shared with you what’s going on.  Obviously a lot has!

Last week when we said we were going to be going to our intended place to live on Wednesday, it got moved up to Tuesday because that’s when we could get a ride.  So we went tearing around putting all our stuff back in the suitcases and loaded it in our friends’ pickup and headed for La Anita in Pueblo Eden.  Some of you are following us on the map.  We are right straight up Ruta 12.  You head up the 9, and then cut over to the 12 and go towards the town of Minas.  About halfway up towards the town of Minas is where we are currently living.

Remember these photos that we shared with many of you?  This is EXACTLY what it looks like.  I know you’ve been asking us to take photos from our viewpoint, but this IS our viewpoint!  Nancy and Joe have captured in their photos exactly what this lovely place looks like and it’s incredible.


The house – La Anita

View of the Yard1

La Anita yard

Casa Anita View2R

The “View” from anywhere you want to look!

So I’ve chosen to show you something else!  It’s just about at the end of lemon picking season for a few months.  Then they’ll be back.  But seeing as I’ve never made a real lemon meringue pie before I decided to do that yesterday afternoon.

First:  This is in the backyard.  You don’t really need more than one lemon tree — but there is another one in the front yard that has mostly been picked clean!Lemon 1

Lemon 2

Second:  You pick those babies!  They are really big and firm and juicy!

Lemon 3

Third:  You make a pie — of course!

Lemon 4

Lemon 5

Actually it came out very nice with lovely peaks and a taste that makes me want to have one around every day!  So there is the result of a wonderful afternoon.  We just can’t get over how good everything seems to taste.

Okay so that’s the cooking part. But how are WE doing?

Each day I think it gets a bit easier to adjust to being in a totally new environment.  We have made a handful of friends and they are absolutely terrific.  Well, maybe we could say we’ve been introduced to a lot of people who we feel are very friendly and welcoming.  One such couple is Michael and Margarita.  They came and picked us up from our apartment at the beach.

But since then, Margarita has taken it upon herself — just out of her big heart — to take Kris and I around to the shopping places where we can get the best food at some very good prices.  Since food grows here year-round, it is closer to the source and therefore very tasty.  And since meat is “grown” closer to the source, it’s also very tasty.  And the prices are decent for food.  For example she took us to buy meat.  I bought a full filet mignon (about 12 – 14 inches long) in one piece for $30.  I came home, sliced it into steaks and it made 10 nice steaks which is 5 steak meals for Kris and me.  Yes, about $3 per meal to have filet mignon that is as tender as you can get a steak.  Now for those who don’t care a bit about filet mignon, she also took us to the Fruteria — fruit and vegetable market as you can see here:  ( for all you veggie and fruit lovers!)

Fruteria 2

You can’t see clear back to the back of the store, but they have everything.  I bought 2 pounds of strawberries, two kinds of lettuce, 2 pounds of carrots, 2 pounds of potatoes, 2 pounds of onions, 1 pound of mushrooms, 1/2 pound of green beans, a couple of apples, purple onions that look like purple leeks but are bigger and have a ball at the end, some basil, 1 pound of medium sized tomatoes, for $9.  This particular market is one of the highest quality in the area and the prices are some of the best.  I’m in the blue/green sweater and dark jeans.  You tell the guy that is helping you what it is you want.  The rule is that you can’t touch the produce!  Therefore there is almost no bad produce in the whole market because it hasn’t been squeezed and poked.  The guys all wear white latex gloves to put your purchases into clear plastic bags.

Margarita left me on my own to talk to the guy that was helping me (Kris was taking pictures!) but I lucked out.  I slipped and said something in Portuguese.  He responded in Portuguese and I looked at him and asked if he spoke Portuguese to which he replied “a little”.  As we went along, I remarked — in Spanish — that his Portuguese was better than my Spanish but that one day I would carry on a decent conversation.  Then……he said — in English — “that will be good”.  But he didn’t speak English — just a few words.  (mostly just showing off!)

Lots of Brazilians come to Uruguay to vacation and lots of the Uruguayans have picked up on the language.

After we went shopping we raced home, put the groceries away and went back to Michael and Margaritas home for dinner. It was a full and very fun day.

So,that’s all for this catch-up blog.  I’ve caught you up a little bit.  Today is Tuesday.  Tomorrow I’m going to see a practitioner for my knee.  Check out his website to see his training and skill.  He lives just about 10 miles down this same road we live on.  We look forward to meeting him.  He has helped a lot of people in the area and is an expert in his field.

Tchau Tchau everyone — see you in a couple of days.

Oct 19, 2015

Freedom to Roam

Ah-h-h-h our house arrest is over!  Max came by Sunday morning and attempted to fix the door.  But…. it needs more than a screw.  So in good fashion — we taped the thing to the open position and are using the dead bolt which is separate, until he can get back here with the pieces needed to finish the job.

We’ve had to laugh at ourselves — the sunsets here are spectacular — like the ones you can take from the Leland Marina.  Last night I shot nearly 50 photos of every stage of the sunset.  Then we had to laugh.  We think it’s so beautiful, and every little movement of the sunset is fascinating….to us….so we won’t bore you with all 50 pix!

Also, yesterday we decided to go into town and eat somewhere.  We took a taxi in and walked home.  This is a sweet little town.  I can just imagine that when there are 80,000 more people here, the traffic will be jammed up.  But yesterday it was not.  Yesterday it was a peaceful and joyful little town.  We found a restaurant and tried the pizza.  It was very good and washing it down with  Coke was perfect.  Kris said the coffee was good too.

Then we finally got to walk along the famous rambla!  This is the boardwalk you see in almost any set of photos from Uruguay.  The Boardwalk.  It’s a lovely place to see both the town and the beach in one sweeping gaze!  These photos are to prove we’re actually here!  By the way, all the photos I post on the blog can be enlarged just by clicking on them.



Then we have town and walking around:




One of the cool things about photography is that lighting makes all the difference in the world.  So when we see sights one day, take a picture, and then look at it the next day again, it’s in a different light and so it looks different.  That seems a lot like life.  One day we see things from one perspective and when we look at it on a different day or in a different place, we see the same situation completely differently.

We have been living in Michigan for the past nearly 25 years.  Over time we watched the news and have seen how it appears to get worse and worse — every morning on 9 and 10 News, it’s like getting the local police report in your face to start the day.

Here, we have seen some poverty things, a squatter perhaps, and for the first time this morning (6 days after arriving) I finally saw a police car driving slowly by the totally empty beach looking out at the ocean.  What I have noticed is it’s hard to stop feeling afraid when out and about.  There are no bombings, no family suicides, no shootings — the news is not only about these things — we have not seen or heard of a fender bender because everyone just seems to understand to let people have their turn to pass or turn or make their way through an intersection.

I’m quite aware that there are problems here in this country, but one of them is not fear!  I’m going to get used to that!

Now I must show you the difference between two days ago and yesterday!



Sunset 3


And then last night the sunset was even more glorious than before.  Click on it and make it enlarge to get the full effect.

Sunset 2


Now for those of you who are following this, we heard from the Angel Investors this morning and it looks like the response if very very positive and the organization we’re working with thinks the concert and events project for Bookers Productions will be funded this week or next!  We are unbelievably excited and grateful!

Please leave comments or ask questions so that we feel as connected to you as you feel to us when you read the blog.  We want very much for this to be an interactive blog — okay?

More photos here

Oct 17, 2015

Under House Arrest

We are under house arrest!  Only it’s not what you think!  The screws fell out of the door knob and we don’t have a screwdriver on hand nor was there one in the house — and the manager can’t get here until tomorrow — so we’re locked inside with the dead bolt and a door knob that won’t open the door.  We think it’s hilarious!  Lucky for us we weren’t going out tonight.

Instead we’ve had to sit here and enjoy the gorgeous sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, the sunlight shimmering on the waves and the albatrosses flying by the window.  Really rough I must say.

We are feeling the fact that nothing is familiar.  We’re enjoying the Uruguayans that we meet.  And the food is delicious.  We have not eaten out yet, but the food we’re eating that we bought at the grocery store is sooooo good.

The chicken and beef are free range/grass fed/no cage, and the veggies are fresh and crisp.  They don’t use lots of chemicals on the food here, so it doesn’t always look as beautiful as the totally clean and packaged veggies in the states.  But it tastes quite heavenly.  I made a dinner of beef (found out it was round steak) and added fresh mushrooms and onions – a little salt and pepper – and it was scrumptious.

I cooked up some of the chicken and we ate our fill and then made chicken salad for sandwiches.  I tried some new seasonings — one called Chimichurri (for those of you who may have had more Latin seasoning experience than I have), and it is really, really good.  Okay then.  Enough about food — oh no not quite — the coffee is spectacular — the cream is fresh — I bet I’ve gained 10 pounds just drinking coffee!

And — my dear sangha friends — I had to pack my drum so I haven’t had a chance to play it here, and it’s too windy for the pipe ceremony on the balcony, and it can’t be used inside the house — house rules!  However, one can certainly focus and stay centered and meditate.  The ocean has always been particularly delightful and special to me ever since I was born and then lived on the Oregon Coast.  It feels like home to me.

And for all of you – we do miss you all.  I hope you are reading the blog because I like to think someone is, since I’m trying to keep fresh posts for you all.  And I hope everyone can enjoy our adventure vicariously because we think of you as we are experiencing stuff here.  If you have questions about anything, post it on the blog and I’ll answer – or I’ll ask Kris for some additional wisdom!  🙂

Photos for the day:

Drying Clothes

Indoor clothesline due to wind!

Home Office for Two

Home Office for Two



Afternoon Sun on the Water

Afternoon Sun on the Water

Hazy Misty Ocean1

Hazy Misty Ocean 1

Hazy Misty Ocean2

Hazy Misty Ocean 2

Out our window of course!

We’ll keep you posted.  With love.


Oct 15, 2015

Oops! It’s NOT a Seagull

Okay so I’m not an expert on South American seabirds!  I really got this one wrong.  I truly thought they were the most beautiful seagulls I’ve ever seen… Well, now I know they are beautiful all right –but they are NOT seagulls!

They are (drum roll) Albatrosses — brown albatross (not positive of the spelling).

I found a picture on Google and set myself straight!  Right out our front window — right off the deck — they are really, really gorgeous up close!  Then again, I love seagulls and almost any birds.  See how pretty?

seabird-count-2 brown albatross

Okay — I just thought I should set you all straight after delivering incorrect information.  smile

Oct 15, 2015


Hello from our little apartment in Piriapolis, Uruguay!

The trip was perfect!  Everything went just as it was supposed to.  Joe picked us up at the Sebaly house in Leland and helped us move the 4 permitted suitcases (larges they make), the one extra huge suitcase and Kris’s electronic piano (80 pounds).  All in all that part went smoothly and perfectly!  Thanks Joe — very much.

Then we took off — flying out of Traverse City at 11 a.m.  That, too, went off without any hitches.

We landed in Chicago and had a layover of about 3 hours and boarded with no hassles whatsoever.

In Miami we had a 7 hour layover because the flight with American Airlines goes out at Midnight — then flies for 10 or 11 hours straight to Montevideo.  That went off without any difficulties either — plus Kris’s carry-on suitcase was so horrible that we bought her another at the airport in Miami — the kind that has four wheels and goes like the floor was greased!  ha ha ha.

Then we flew to Montevideo and here we flew — like a breeze — no pun intended — through customs.  We thought when they motioned us out that we were heading to customs and when we went out the door we asked someone which direction it was.  They said we had just come out of customs.  I guess you could say that was easy!  Then we saw our contact person Ana Ines waving at us  — big smiles and hugs all around.  She had EVERYTHING ready for us including loaning us her cellphone because the cost to get one was something she wanted us to decide.  She exchanged our money for us by using her ATM card which gave us a great rate — 28 pesos to the dollar (which is very high by the way) — good for us — bad for the Uruguayans.

She worked a deal with the bus company and for very little money, they had room to put all of our extra baggage on the same bus as us, in a compartment all to itself so there was no confusion or upset.  We then headed off for Pirapolis bus station where we were met by the manager of the apartment in which we are spending the week — Max brought us here to the apartment and then took us to the grocery store.

We picked up a bunch of stuff and took a taxi home — ate, took showers, and slept for 11 hours!

Remember (those of you who have been here before for our Mexico trip) that I post a couple of photos here and the rest on  That way, you can look at more and enjoy them without having to rush.

We are very happy.  It’s sinking in just exactly what we’ve done.  Yes it has taken courage.  We notice a bit of nerves with the decision to come here.  We also remember very well why we did this and also remind ourselves that if we don’t like it, we can come home any time!  This is not home yet so it’s totally an adventure.  However, positively nothing negative has happened yet to dampen our spirits!

One of the neat things that happened the week before we left was that my sister Judy came and spent a full week with us.  She has a great knack for coming when we’re moving — poor thing — always putting up with her big sister’s “downsizing” life!  We stocked up on hugs and fun, learned about Skyping each other, and basically enjoyed the time as the very best we could have.  I’m so glad she came.  Wow — what a great sis I have!  Her trip came off without any trouble either.  So enjoy the pics — I slipped one of us in there too!

Judy and Me1

Judy & Me


Leland Harbor — We left this — and

Uruguay Week1a

arrived at this (yesterday about 2 p.m.) and woke up to

Uruguay Week1b

to this magnificent view!

There is much, much more to come!

Never underestimate your ability to find the courage to follow through on the good decisions you make!

Even if they are difficult and require tons of work — never underestimate the value of the process!

Talk soon — remember the new phone number is 231-668-9495.  

It is an international number that connects with us via Skype anywhere in the world we may be.

Now over to 

Links You Will Like

  • Connect Globally Connect with people around the world in the countries of your choice. Information, real people, real discussions!
  • Uruguay Insider Great newsletter on Uruguay and lots of nitty gritty details you will love! Check it out.