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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013, End Of The Year!

Well, it looks like, I managed to survive 2013! So I thought, I'd write a little end of the year wrap up post.

This last week of December has been HOT, HOT, HOT!!! Is it too intimate to say (?), that I sit here writing this post in my undies, scanties, skivvies, smalls or unmentionables (ropa interior) because even though it has "cooled down" to a tolerable 85 degrees today, I'm still remembering yesterday's roasting 95 degrees F. / 35 C; weather.

Especially, during hot days like these, I try and keep little trays, full of water, out for any thirsty birds or bees to have a drink or splash in. I even have a large shallow plastic dish (from the bottom of a flower pot) full of water for the resident frog to sit in at night.

Yesterday, in the wee hours of the night, the extreme hot weather broke with a thunder storm. It often does that here, when the hot weather reaches a certain point, but only a quick 20 minute rain/sprinkle was all we got last night. That means, my grass is now brown and crunchy. I'm not a morning person, so I never think about watering until maybe noon when it is then too hot to water. So I thought, I'd post some front yard garden photos to remind myself of how good looking it was, "before", this heat wave.

Throughout the year, I take hundreds of photos (or thousands) of ordinary, everyday types of stuff because I never know, what I might need to show and use in a post. Most are kind of junky but nonetheless, I thought I'd use a few of the photos for this wrap up post.

          Daylilly,                         Bird of Paradise,                   White Agapanthus
For you plant lovers and gardeners, I usually try and show you what types of plants grow here in Uruguay. Above, I have included some photos of my summer blooming plants that I keep in my front entry garden.
Let's face it, we blog readers, like to,"peek a little", into how other people live. So I thought you'd also like to see, one of my favorite places in my house. It may seem odd.

For some reason, I just love my hallway! It's wide enough to walk down it without feeling crowded. It leads to the private section of the house, our bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry room. I have put up pictures along its walls as a sort of art gallery. So that I don't knock them off in the middle of the night, I had Wally bolt them to the walls, kind of like they do in a bar.

I have the hallway painted a relaxing Cappuccino brown to help subdue us for sleep. We have two bathrooms. One bathroom is just for the ladies or Damas it's in pink and the second one is just for men or Caballeros, painted in blue. The men can finally leave the toilet seat up and I don't care!!!

Something that I do, from time to time, is try and take pictures of the sky, full moon and of the stars.

Since I don't have a professional camera with all of the F stops, etc... it is a bit of a "hit or miss" hobby.

The milky-way seems to go right pass over our house at night and the 2 most recognizable consolations that I see all of the time are; Orion's belt and the Southern Cross.  The 4th star, in the kite shaped formation of the Southern Cross, is very hard to see and take, as it is faint and winks out just when I snap it's photo.

Orion's Belt                                       The Southern Cross
My camera always picks up some difference in color between the stars as if some are hotter and others are cooler. Some are more red in color than the other bluer ones. Are the red ones dying? The consolation with Orion's belt, looks like a primitive drawing of a guy dancing on it's side. It has two stars spread out at the top like two arms outstretched and two stars, like feet are spread at the bottom The "belt" of 3 stars is wore stylishly at an angle across the body. There are always 2 faint stars that also show up like a metal worn on a shirt. That's my take at least, on the stars of Orion and his belt.

Of course, no end of the year post would do without photos of the gang. Nathan the Cat, Sheila and Barney.

Nathan's eyes match the color of my dinning room chairs. He has a white nose except when he gets some sun or toasty warm, then his ears and nose turn a bright pink! Sheila likes to sleep alone. She is my loyal companion and so is Nathan. Barney is just Barney (or Barney Baby Boy) odd but sweet. He always has some complaint and lets you know it. He's allergic and sensitive to everything. Poor guy!

I'm still working on my Spanish but on nice days I try and remember to bring my books outside.

I have a small vegetable garden in my back yard but that will be a blog post for January. I did have some raspberries finally appear on my vines this year, so yeah!!!

This winter we had a week of almost Arctic weather with a cold blast. I took in a lost dog that week. I keep a bowl of water and a dog house for guest or wandering dogs in front of my house. One little lost dog went in it to sleep but since it was soo cold, I eventually let her come inside our house to sleep. Nathan the cat, seemed to like her.

Then one week later, when the weather warmed up, I guess she heard her master calling, so she went outside running and joined the little old man. I called her Sally, from a Cyndi Lauper song, Sally's Pigeons.

This month, I left a message on Facebook with a Uruguay expat group, mentioning that someone had abandoned a pup. Probably gotten as a present, it ended up across the street from me. Because the weather is so extremely hot it took up residence under the drain pipe to stay cool. I brought it water and food, my neighbor took its picture to give to our local vet. I showed it the "guest" dog house and it started to sleep there. Being a puppy however, it moved around so much that my dogs starting barking at night. Finally, I took it into my backyard. Someone in Montevideo "may" take it but all of our cars are broken down, so the pup is in a holding pattern until transportation can be arranged.

It is a real sweetie and looks to be a BLACK, "Golden" Retriever. It is healthy, and was smelling good even before I gave it a bath. I am calling her Noche (Night) for the time being. Barney doesn't like her. Sheila is okay with her and the cat is okay until she comes close and wants to play. I hate that people don't put collars on their dogs with their cellular phone number on it so people can call. Also, dogs and cats should be neutered OR the pups and kittens given away responsibly. I got both of my dogs at the feria (farmers' market) from people carrying around the puppies. One tall and handsome Uruguayo was strolling around the feria years ago with 2 pups in his arms. You could see him across the crowd. He had tied a blue ribbon around one pup and a pink ribbon around the other to show their sex.

We got the Pink ribboned one and Sheila is now my constant companion. Barney was in a box at the feria and the lady took him out and made me hold him. He was actually an ugly pup but has since grown up into a dog quite handsome and with comic character. So if you can't afford to neuter your pet or don't want to. Please either guard them when "in heat" OR get good homes for each one of the resulting offspring.  Just don't abandon them in the street or field, Please!!! Even my boy cat is neutered.

This coming year I plan to go into Montevideo more and take lots of photos and notes on things to buy and do.

Like reminding people that in Montevideo they have lots of flower stands where you can buy and make up bouquets of flowers or just buy 1 or 2! I say this because each year, all I ever say to Wally, is that I would like some flowers for our wedding anniversary and he feigns like he doesn't know where to get any. There was a shop in Atlántida that sold some a while back. After a quick fight once, I showed him the shop and a few days later he got me some. However, I'm still waiting for some for our Anniversary. I'm not holding my breath however.

For any of you more romantic types, remember the flower stalls when visiting MVD.

I will also be eating in more restaurants this coming new year and reviewing them for people on a budget like us.

Oh well, my neighbors who are professional musicians have just started to play for a party of theirs and beautiful music is wafting across the airspace between our houses and into my delighted ears. So I will grab my "Gin and Tonic" with lime (my favorite hot weather drink) and I will close now. I leave you with the typical, end of the year, neighborhood fireworks display.

It's a good thing I don't have to leave the house for the music, my drink or the fireworks show, otherwise I would probably be arrested, I just don't feel like putting on any clothes. It's still too darn hot!


Anonymous said...

Very nice end of year post.

Happy New Year to both of you!


Denise said...

Thank you Felipe, for all of your thoughtful comments during the year!

To all of you blog readers, I also thank you for following along with us as we experience Uruguay!

May 2014, be better than last year!!!

Anonymous said...

I've hard from a vet that cats with white nose shouldn't be exposed to sunlight as this can cause them skin cancer. We also love cats and dogs and all our pets are neutered
Feliz Año Nuevo!

jrios1 said...

I hope you have a wonderful '74. I always enjoy your blog very, very much! I'm retired so, who knows, maybe Uruguay may be my next destination. Thanks again for your very interesting and well written blog.