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Browsing articles from "November, 2015"
Nov 26, 2015

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  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!

Nov 26, 2015

Grand Entrance!

Grand Entrance 2

I know — what on earth is the significance of a piece of toilet paper stuck in a crack in the wall of our living room?  You gotta love it.  Well…….here’s the story.  You know there’s ALWAYS a story.

Kris has an aversion to bees present near her.  She loves them, honors them, respects them, appreciates the fantastic honey they make, but she would just as soon they keep their distance from her person!  She was sitting in the living room working at her computer when she heard one buzzing around; then another; then another; until it was quite a “buzz”.  They were swarming outside the window up against the screen.  So we closed the window — remember those screens have that little door that you can open to reach the shutters.  We didn’t want to mess with that as there were too many bees there but the sound just outside the window was unnerving.

We didn’t want to spray anything because truly they didn’t deserve to die — they just needed to go somewhere else.

Then she realized that one of them had gotten in somehow.  Then another; then another;  till there were at least 6.  Joe got one out and I managed to get 6 more out (more were coming in somewhere).  Joe left then because we thought it was taken care of.  But they kept coming in.  We watched and saw they were coming in a crack in the wall of the living room.  Now imagine this — the wall are easily 14 inches thick.  So we knew they had to be finding a place to get in from outside — like a crack.

TP to the rescue!  The TP plugged up the hole till Joe got back with some silicone calk and has sealed up the wall cracks and holes.  It’s sort of hard in a 150 year old house with 14 – 24 inch walls.  Where do you start?  There are cracks everywhere.  For now, this little group of holes are filled with silicone.

You just never know what uses TP can be put to now do you?

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

We’re celebrating with a bunch of other expats here and we’re all looking forward to a very fine feast.

PS — we had a most beautiful full moon last night—- WOW!  We all stood here and just soaked in the moonlight.


Nov 22, 2015

A Lovely Uruguay Sunday

What a great day this has been!  We awoke to a glorious sunrise and blue sky.  We had a nourishing breakfast with fresh and wonderful coffee.  Then we headed out to a fundraiser garage sale where we bought a couple of things and then headed over to a restaurant to have coffee with friends Joe and Nance, Judy Lemon, Margarita Arsenault and Kris and me.

When we arrived in the little village of Pueblo Eden, we headed right for the church because on the grounds of the church is where the sale was held.  Kris took a couple of shots that are really great:

IMG_4007 R

A quaint little Catholic church in a village of about 54 people.

IMG_4006 R

So beautiful against the blue sky and fluffy white clouds!

IMG_4018 R

I love these old fashioned “Boveda” style ceilings.  This one is not like the ones we saw in Mexico, but it reminded me of them.  It may not even be called a Boveda.  But I like them, and the red tile floors.  Part of the fundraiser was to be able to refinish the tile floor and repair the roof of this sweet place!

So we walked down the street to this little restaurant.  The woman who runs it is Romina and she is one heck of a good cook.  She makes all sorts of delicious desserts, some with deep dark chocolate, some with fresh squeezed lemon juice.  And she also makes fresh homemade bread with sesame, sunflower and flax seed — sliced warm with homemade butter is about as close to heaven on earth as you can get.  Anyway, we had coffees all around and shared two lemon desserts between the 6 of us, chocolates, fresh lemonade — what a nice lunch!  ha ha ha  Well it was filling though possibly not as nourishing as regular food.

IMG_4019 R

The pink part of the building is where the kitchen is that turns out these fantastic desserts.  Now it may look like a very simple place — well it is actually.  But I have never tasted any better desserts than this.  They are at least the equal of Magdalena’s desserts up at Hansen Foods.  Now THAT’S saying something.  The front part where the woman is coming out the door is where you step in and order.  There are places to sit, but since the room is only about 12 x 12 square, we came out and sat at tables in the yard under a tree where the breezes blew and the sun was warm and the tree was shade.  We all commented that this was really living!

But Sunday was not over.

News Flash News Flash News Flash

We’ve asked many of you to hold the focus and intention for us to be able to find a car AND stay within our budget. Thanks so much for doing so!  Here is what happened.  We found a car on Mercado Libre, Uruguay.  We liked it; it was in the right price range; We contacted the owner and set up a look/see/test drive today.  And here it is.  No Deb — Beatrix would NOT fit!  It’s the size of a VW Fox but I don’t know if we have those in the states.  Anyway we think it’s pretty fabulous!   Thanks for your prayers Stephen!  Thanks for your good intentions and love everyone!

New Car 2

New Car 1

New Car 4

By Wednesday of this next week it should be sitting in our driveway.  We don’t have these cars in the states.  It’s called a Chery QQ 311.  It’s a stick shift (fun) and it gets about 50 miles to the gallon.  It’s made in China as is a ton of stuff down here because China is one of Uruguay’s biggest trading partners along with Brazil and Argentina.  It has air conditioning and power steering which were my requirements.  Yes it gets hotter than Michigan so we need air, and I don’t like rack and pinion steering.  So there you have it.

Then I came home and had a great dinner of rice and beans, cooked beet and collard greens and fresh homemade bread and butter and…..a grapefruit beer!

Yes I have to say we’re living well and eating well.  All in all it was rather a great day if I do say so myself!  Tchau Tchau all.

Nov 18, 2015

When the Lights Go Out

We all know the lights go out from time to time….here…..there in Michigan… storms in Oregon or maybe even in San Diego.  But we all know that when the lights go out, if you have a well, you also don’t have water!  If you have any kind of water system where you need electric to heat it, or to pump it, or to deliver it to your home, you don’t have it when the lights go out.

Since that happens everywhere on earth (I assume), so far all the Latin countries I’ve seen have taken a very smart approach to the situation.  They either put water cisterns on the top of their houses as in Brazil and Mexico, or they build water towers as they do here in rural Uruguay.

Ours stands about 50 feet high and has two 200 gallon tanks (undoubtedly measured in litres) that are connected to each other so that when one gets low or would be empty, the other has more water and flows into that tank.  They can be flushed out and cleaned and then filled again to give the clear, clean water Uruguay is known for.  You see when the electric goes off, 400 gallons of water will last a nice amount of time if you are very careful.  So though you don’t have power, you will still be able to use the bathroom, wash dishes and take quickie showers. Very convenient.

Here is what it looks like at our house:

Water Tower 2

Yes, that’s the TV antennae.  We don’t have a TV, but we could!

Water Tower 1

Yes, you climb up that ladder and then step over to the rungs inside the circles.  The wind whips around up there pretty good too which makes it even more exciting!  What’s nice is it is totally not electric.  With that kind of height, you have good pressure simply from that, and it flows through the pipes to the kitchens and bathrooms.  It is a very good system.  If the weather stays really hot for a long time, the tanks can warm up so you have to use ice cubes in a glass of water, but in compensation, you don’t have to run the water heater.  Pretty slick I think!

That’s the story of the water towers around here.  Do you like my blog?  Tell someone you know who knows me to come and visit it.  Leave a comment sometime or just say hi.  This is like my personal letter to you.  I see you and I think of you when I’m thinking of things to write.  I imagine you reading it and enjoying it.  Let me know you do or let me know what you’d like to know about here and I’ll write a blog on that too.  Or you can ask questions about life here.  Not too many people know very much about Uruguay and it’s such a cool place I love sharing it with you!

Tchau Tchau

Nov 17, 2015

Home Sweet Home!

There’s No Place Like Home!

New House 1R


New House 2R

I thought you might like to see where we will be living soon.  This is an apartment that is on the back side of the photos we have been showing you of the house where we’ve been staying.  We will have this apartment ready in a couple of weeks or so.  It’s really a sweet place and will be a cozy and welcoming home for us very soon.

We are working in it right now, getting some things cleaned, buying some stuff we need — you know — all the stuff you do to get a home ready for youself!  ha ha ha

Looking out the front door, standing on that little porch, this is the view we have!  It’s facing east.  You see the lemon tree off to the right — if you’ve been following this adventure, you should readily recognize it!  grin

New House R

Mornings are simply lovely.  Today was interesting because the storm that hit during the night with high winds and rain, continued into the morning.  Then it stopped.  Kris and I were working away on our computers when we heard this really odd “cra-cra-cra”  (said in a scratchy and VERY LOUD voice).  I just had to go see what it was and lo! and behold!  There were two of them who kindly let me take their photo.  They are called Pava de Monte which translated means Dusky-legged Guan**.

Birds down here don’t seem to have any fear of people.  I was doing my meditation sitting out facing the sun the other morning, and the little birds came and flocked around me all of a sudden — twittering away in the nearby bushes and hopping around excitedly.  It was more than slightly difficult to focus on meditation, so I focused on them and enjoyed it tremendously!

Anyway, these Guans were curious.  They stayed the rest of the afternoon until I took their photos.  Then they wandered away.  Later we thought we heard them again and I stepped out to see if it was them.  There they were, sitting on the water tower.  They can really fly — as much as a raven or anything else.  Very interesting.  They have a bright red section just below the throat and white specks in bib-like fashion down their front.  They weren’t facing me enough to catch that part.  Here they are!  In person they are quite beautiful.

Mountain Turkeys 3

Mountain Turkeys 1

Mountain Turkeys 2

Speaking of the water tower, I’ll share with you soon about it — and how the system works.  They did maintenance on it today which happens about every few months.  If you don’t know about South and Central America’s water systems, you will certainly find this interesting.

Until then —

Abrazos e Besos

**The duskylegged guan (Penelope obscura) is a species of bird in the Cracidae family, the chachalacas, guans, and curassows. It is found in southernmost Brazil, northern Uruguay, Paraguay, and northeastern Argentina.  Fun huh?

Nov 12, 2015

Quick Update!

We had a cool trip into Punta del Este yesterday and thought you should see how beautiful the water is.  Well, not being photoshop experts yet, the color in these snapshots is not anywhere near as totally fantastic as it was in real life but we decided to share them with you.  Behind me is the city of Punta del Este.  Behind Kris is the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocks and being its gorgeous self!


The water behind her was so blue and beautiful.  This location is called Punta Ballena (pronounced Poonta Bashena) and is a truly spectacular location to just sit and look at the power and majesty of the ocean.


Part of Punta del Este is actually built on a peninsula as you can see.  The town stretches further east, north and west where you can’t see.  We were running around there yesterday and enjoying the views everywhere.  Yesterday it was about 77 degrees and a cool breeze was blowing off the ocean.  (And it’s not even summer yet!)

HOUSING UPDATE!  We are so happy to report that we have been invited to stay right here at the house where we currently are.  Joe and Nancy have invited us to move into the casero house (a small house attached to the rest of the house) where we can have our own little kitchen, bed/bath, and use one of the dormitory wing rooms we have been using, as a living room and work place (Kris for piano – me for computer).  So when the shipment arrives, it will come here and we’ll use some of it, and store some of it and when summer is coming to an end, when rent prices drop, we’ll see what develops!  Nice sigh of relief!  For some unknown reason, I have had a more difficult time adjusting with this trip than I did when I moved to Brazil 36 years ago….. I’ve experienced more tiredness and emotional ups and downs.  I guess 36 years makes a difference in my energy level — ya think??  (smile)

I’m glad to report that I’m doing quite well today thank you!

Nov 9, 2015

On the Move Again!

One of these days I’m going to do a blog that shows you our permanent home which will be for a year!  But right now we are in the midst of looking for another place to live.  Lots is happening.  Some things are as we expected them here, and some things are not.  That’s normal.  We thought we would be staying here at Joe and Nance’s home for a few months.

Then a realization came.  We are going to get our residency and our shipment is going to arrive here and we are going to have to do something with it.  If we have it trucked here to our current location, it will have to be put somewhere.  Then the question is — do we unpack it and live with our stuff for 3 or 4 months, or do we try to find a place to let it sit?  Then pack it up again and move it to wherever we decide to plant ourselves for the year??

The decision is:  drum roll…….  we have to find another place to live quickly.  No I don’t want to pack our suitcases and move again.  No I don’t really want to look for another place to live.  But I think I would REALLY not want to unpack and then re-pack our shipment after it arrives.

So hold us in a loving and energized place to find a perfect spot to plant ourselves for the year!  If you pray — you know what to ask for!  See us there.  We’re trying to find a place where we won’t have to buy a car right away but where we can walk or ride our bikes to wherever we want to go.  Taxis are not expensive and buses are omnipresent! You have not heard from me for a week because we’ve been struggling with the decision.  Now it’s been made and we’re on the move again!

I’m going to try to keep you informed about this search expedition.  We thought we would be doing this in March so we hope to find something.  We’re almost to the time when everyone is descending on this place for summer.  It’s exactly like it is there in Northern Michigan where nearly every available rental is booked.  But the one for us will just have to show itself.

Hang on Nellie she’s a buckin’ — here we go!

bucking horse

Nov 2, 2015

A New Love in My Life!

She is adorable — I forgot that I put her on Facebook but I forgot to put her here.  Her name is Leizle (pronounced Lee-sel like in the movie) and she is the new addition to the Lemon family who lives across the street.  I have simply fallen in love with her.  She’s so cute and even lets you pet her!  Today when I called her she came immediately!  So soft and sweet!

Judy's Donkey2 Judy's Donkey1

I’m sure you will be hearing more about her and seeing her too!!

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.