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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!!

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 

Sep 29, 2015

Back to Adventure

Where Did the Time Go?

It seems we were only thinking a short time ago how cool it would be to visit Uruguay and see if it could become like home to us — and then here we are actually leaving to do that very thing on October 13.  What an adventure it has been just to get to this point.

Buddhists say that living with the not-knowing is a wonderful way to practice your spirituality — other teachings talk about not being attached — others that all things work together for good — it doesn’t make it particularly easy though.

All I know is that downsizing at this point — after doing what we THOUGHT was downsizing 2 years ago when we moved from Erdt Rd. to Omena Rd. — is a lot harder.  We could only ship so much due to costs.  Then as you put each item in the box you have to ask yourself if it is actually THAT important.  Then you find that cost has nothing to do with it — it holds emotional meaning far beyond monetary value.

The energy that I’ve had to expend to sort through letters, papers, books, photos, toys, keepsakes, clothing, course materials….. has been utterly exhausting.  What I have found is that the monetary cost of things is not where the value lies.  And any other value is not necessarily the thing that hangs me up — it’s the attachment I have to it — can I let it go as part of the practice of making room for new things without dragging around 19 suitcases to accommodate my obsession of hanging on?

I have observed that the more I do this, actually, the easier it becomes.  As I got more and more tired, and as I saw the futility of dragging all my “stuff” to Uruguay, it dawned on me that the most precious memories and “things” – the photos, the letters — are in my heart and mind and I take them in my heart not in luggage.  (No overweight at the airport!)

Lots of tears have been shed — some as I realized I could not take everything and was giving tons of stuff away free that I had worked hard to make the money to buy. And lots of laughter has been laughed as I experienced many, many other people being blessed because they were needing the very thing I was giving them.  This happened so many times that we quit being surprised.

So the sadness of having to part with so much has been constantly lighted by the joy that has come in seeing our things bless others, and seeing the load come off my back.  And you know what?  I am just crazy enough to believe that good things will continue to come my way — because they always have.  And the rest I will continue to carry in my mind and heart!

Always learning. Always growing. Always trusting.


Jul 16, 2015

Now We’re Beginning to Get the Picture!

Four months is a long time to wait to post on this blog, but a lot has happened!  For one thing, we are now seeing why it’s so hard to keep on downsizing — when you do a big one the first time, you get rid of everything you really weren’t using or at not much, so the pain is less.  But when you do it again so soon — it hasn’t even been 2 years since we moved here — you find that now you are having to ask the question:  do I need or want this in Uruguay?

It’s really an important question for us because if we like it, we’ll most likely get our own place and stay there!  So — what do we ship, keep, give, sell???

Why is that question difficult?  Because you never really think about what you will do with family heirloom photos, or that little present your mother gave you that’s really a silly nothing but reminds you of her.  Or what do you do with things your family has given you for birthdays or special occasions that are not just silly nothings but won’t make the cut for shipping.

Sometimes we have to consider that the adventure is going to be worth the starting over.  I guess that about says it.  We will find homes for the things that matter to us.  We will take what we can afford to take.  We will donate what can be donated and finally……..aaaarrrrggggg – we’ll have garage sales to see if someone thinks they need what we’ve got.  Our first one went well except for bodily injuries from lifting too much while moving everything into place.

The house is waiting for our arrival in Uruguay now.  We’d love to see our cute house sell, and we’d love to be on our way but when we look at what we have left to do, I’m not sure we could actually get it done in 30 days for the new owners to take possession.  Yowzer!

I’m sure we’ll make it.  One step at a time. I’ll be in touch sooner next time.



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.