Search This Blog

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New Transportation

We are now, officially, a two "car" family in Uruguay. Denise has been envying the freedom I've enjoyed by having my motorcycle and has been lobbying for her own. So that she could use it with a dress, we have chosen to get a scooter style motorcycle.

and models), but all of them in our price range were Chinese anyway, so we decided to buy the model that Tienda Inglesa sells. We have been advised that the quality control is faulty and there may be problems, There were several choices available (Uruguay has a wealth of makes but we felt that TI was such a big store that they might stand behind their products, even if and when they change brands. We had already purchased a new helmet for her, so look out world- Denise may be appearing on a street near you (if you live in Uruguay). I actually took the bike for a spin to fill it up, as it was delivered with only a liter of gas. I was quite impressed, and the automatic transmission makes it quite easy to drive.

The workers have been clearing out dead plants and some bushes along our fence, today . Cleaning, patching and white washing the fence has really improved the entire look of our backyard. We are happy that our house came fenced but it really needs to also have a locking gate installed to make it secure. It will be quite a relief to have the yard to ourselves, when we add a gate.

The back yard, at this point, is  basically a clean slate for us to start landscaping. As we stand near the BBQ area (parilla), we now have this beautiful view of our cleaned up and soon to be  private back yard.

Above the fence is this beautiful array of trees. It makes us feel that we are in the middle of a jungle or forest in a private compound. And the weather is starting to turn warmer. We can hardly wait for the great weather. Spring has just begun and we have a few more months until summer (December-January). Still we are not complaining about our winter months or even these early months of spring.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back in Business

Bought a new (read used) camera from MercadoLibre (read Latin American eBay) today and I am back in the digital business, again. Actually the charger that came with the camera will also charge the old batteries, so I now have a backup camera.

Aldo finished the first bathroom (with a few improvements to come). Looks great, and with the smaller sized fixtures, it looks like we have loads of room. Friday they will install a glass shower enclosure and we will be finished with the first bathroom.

This is the beginning of the second bathroom remodel- destroyed as per plan. It has a tub. It will be the grey tile, but with rose colored accents and painted rose colored walls (definitely the girl's room).

Denise finally got a DOT approved helmet, yesterday and can legally ride with me. It was just in time. We had made one trip without the helmet, until we found out it is a $200 (or so) fine. Coming back from our first legal trip, the other day- we were stopped by the traffic police. They make random checks for license and registration. It is a good thing we had everything in order, or else we would be crying, now. And the cost of the helmet has been offset by not getting a ticket.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Death of A Camera

Unfortunately my camera died. So until that is corrected- I won't be able to post new pics. I won't be able to show you the lovely cleaned back yard. Nor can I post pictures of our bathroom (small but nicely finished). Nor can I post pictures of my new regrowth of hair and slimming waistline (I wish). So for now- we are on hold....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

End of the Week

This week has seen good progress on our first bathroom and also the sprucing up of our back yard wall (fence).

The bathroom now has almost all of the tile set and Aldo has started to finish the wall where we used to have tile. It's beginning to look like we may get the bathrooms both finished before Aldo returns to New York, in mid- October.

We expect to be able to start landscaping the back yard by the end of this month. That will be something Denise and I do, together.

It is Sunday and this is the only day during the week that we don't have workers on the property. We enjoyed pancakes, this morning (on our new electric griddle) and later, we will have roasted chicken for dinner. The chicken here (as well as all of the meat) is the best we have ever had. It will fortify us for the week to come.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Plaster Going Up - Trees Coming Down

The internet has been down for almost a week. Finally decided to make the call to tech support and they came out today and replaced the modem. Swift service and we are back online.

Well, we are well underway, here. There were several dangerous trees that needed to go and this past week, they came down. Two pine trees in the front were threatening the foundation and also hanging over the driveway (causing delivery trucks to run off the driveway to avoid hitting the tree). Both of them are gone, now- as well as another one of the thorny trees in the back yard. This week, when we remove the last of the thorn tree in the front, we will have all of the trees removed that we wanted.

Aldo is coming along nicely on the first bathroom. He is setting floor tile, today. One of the problems here is that you can't always get what you want from the local suppliers. For instance, Aldo is doing some plastering, since we are only going to 4 foot height with the tile (in order to give a little more feeling of space). You normally use a "hawk and trowel" for this work. Well, you can get trowels, but a hawk (tool used to hold the plaster, while you apply it with a trowel) is not easy to come by. So Aldo manufactured his own. He used a piece of firewood for the handle and the last picture shows where he got the material for the flat surface. You make do or do without is the motto, here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tile Going Up

Well, tile is finally going up in the bathroom we are re-doing. You can see the nice border tile that we have selected running at wainscot height. It has been a bleak 5-6 days. Overcast, rainy, windy- you would think we never left Seattle (just kidding).

 We finally feel that the remodel is underway. Now our goal is just to get one project finished. Probably the bathroom. We can hardly wait.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Uruguay is for the Birds

There are so many birds here. Many of the birds do not seem to have much fear of us. They will come right up to you. They are not large birds, necessarily, but noisy ones. There are parakeets (budgies) and lots of little birds. Even though Uruguay is not a tropical country- at times it sounds like you are in the middle of a South American rain forest. Of course, there are the intermittent dogs barking and the car and house alarms going off- which are not the normal sounds of a rain forest. It is kind of odd that you move to a place where there is peace and quiet and the sounds of the surf and the ruckus of bird calls are as noisy as a city.

However, there are some birds in the neighborhood which are particularly noisy and hard to identify. I have never seen them, but morning and evening they sound off for about 1/2 hour and then they are silent. They sound like geese being goosed, if you catch my drift.

We are on our way to having a better looking bathroom (the first of 2). The wall tiles have been removed, the new tile for the floor and walls are on site and the new fixtures, as well. Since this is such a tiny bathroom (remember it is only 3 square meters or 32 ft 2) we have selected a set of really small toilet, bidet and sink. And we are going to have the tile only go up to wainscotting height, with a border tile and trim piece. All in an effort to give us some sense of space.

So far, on this project- all of the concrete has been mixed by hand. The bathroom floor was not different. Aldo (our worker) mixed everything on the cement pad on our driveway.

 We finally brought a small electric cement mixer, because of the amount of concrete needed to mix.

It is a grey and windy day today, but everyone is on the job.