Found!

This is so not a big deal. But it is. Last time we saw this fork, I had been using it on the barbecue grill outside.

Meat fork for grilling

And then it was gone. I looked around the grill, around the yard in case the dog had decided it was a chew toy, and of course we both looked through every kitchen drawer several times. And naturally the dishwasher, which we mainly use as a drying rack, where it should have been.

But wasn’t.

But was.

Turns out it had fallen through the rack, which we’re used to having happen. What we weren’t prepared for was that it might end up parallel to the dishwasher door, snugged up in the front against the ledge. How? Who knows.

Amazing how much we missed it. We use it all the time. Also amazing how many loads of dishes went through the dishwasher before my wife spotted it.

Lesson from the I Ching: perseverance furthers.

 

¡Exito!

Several years ago, I bought a countertop water filter (and was amazed I hadn’t earlier). Offered at a discount at an “eco” or something expo I went to with Syd and Gundy, it seemed like a good idea. And it was.

Thanks again Syd, for your loan of a couple thousand pesitos cash to buy the Dvigi filter!

Anyway, got the thing home, and none of its half-dozen adaptors fit our faucet. Recall that Uruguay is a small country and not a powerhouse for standardization. Drove into the Dvigi “office” in Montevideo with the faucet spout (or whatever it’s called) and confirmed they had nothing that fit. Gave them back all their adaptors, left with a clunky rubber-hose-clamp device we’ve used for three years. Which shoots minuscule streams of water at the wall, which encourages mold growth, which — no it’s just a porcaria getting worse over time.

Meanwhile: the kitchen faucet in the casita (little house), despite local retooling — an interesting concept — just ain’t up to snuff. So I had this idea: move our kitchen faucet to the casita (sans filtro) and buy a new faucet with a diverter valve that actually matched its threads.

Looked in all the local shops for a solution. Nothing. Mentioned it to Syd. He said, well the place in the Costa del Oro  with the big faucet sign has been good at solving problems for us.

I went there today. All female employees; not quite what one expects in a plumbing supply company. Explained situation and — BAM! — solution.Un milagro  (a miracle), I said. The girl helping me laughed at that (yes, I can say girl safely; today is my 63rd birthday).

This may seem trivial if you live elsewhere, but in a place like Uruguay it seems totally awesome.

Now to find a plumber who will actually show up to install it (OK, unfair: I know a couple).

 

 

The caterpillar cloud

strange cloud at sunset, Atlántida, Uruguay

This actually appeared two nights ago; bumped because of wanting to record the first frost of the year. If ever a cloud looked like a creature with a purpose, this would be it.

 

 

Budweiser beer in Uruguay

I am neither a connoisseur nor regular consumer of beer, though I like it. In my callow (whatever that means) youth , I consumed various American too-cold soda-water-fizzy beers. I remember Pabst and Schlitz being shit, and maybe I favored Budweiser because my father did, and maybe settled on Michelob as the “good stuff” (cool bottles).

Michelob beer bottle

Fast forward, and here in 2017 the shit Budweiser from the U.S. (not the supreme Budweiser Budvar) is on display in Tienda Inglesa.

Shit Budweiser beer on sale, Uruguay

A standard six-pack of 12 ounce (.33 l) bottles rings up at just about USD 10.

Beer, Uruguay

A few meters away you can buy a 3-pack of Zillertal (.97 l each).

Almost 50% more of a superior beer for a peso more.

So who would want Budweiser? Maybe someone who thinks it’s a bargain because they advertise it in shopping points?

 

Firewood!

High on my priorities today: order firewood. We‘ve been burning leftovers, curupay scraps, and some of this load from a house I‘m looking after. Most of it is green, but there was some very dry pine as well.

Checy Meriva laden with firewood

The going price for red eucalyptus (considerably denser than white eucalyptus) appears to be 5,000 pesos per kilo.  That’s up just a bit from 3,000 pesos three years ago!

First place I went, I could feel the humidity with my hand (I hadn’t brought the meter). They told me it was six months old — which of course means pretty useless right now. The second place said theirs was seven months old, no better.  I took my meter to the third place, and immediately ordered. The weather has been dry for a while, probably won’t be after a few more days, so perfect time to order. I told them to deliver after 4:00, and returned at 3:58 to find the truck already there, the message obviously not having been forwarded. No biggie; grabbed my gloves and helped the two muchachos stack it.

Eucalyptus colorado, Uruguay

The round stuff on the right was already there, but wow! Compare this to the “ton” delivered in July 2013: look at the height above the little stool in the center.

Scanty "ton" of firewood, Atántida, Uruguay

Moisture content of firewood, Uruguay

I’ll be buying from the Esso station in Las Toscas in the future!

 

 

 

 

 

Barbershop decor

Last time I had a haircut — many months ago — it was by the Uruguayan husband of a German woman Katerina, who has a successful shop in Atlántida (calle 1 y Ciudad de Montevideo). He did a very nice job, and I was glad to make my (overdue) return.

But this time, the girly space had expanded to an additional room on the side, and he was waiting in what was clearly the man cave barbershop.

barber shop, Atlántida, Uruguay

This is the view from the chair. You’ve got to admit it’s awesome!

 

 

Half a lemon times two

Some people consult the Farmer’s Almanac and moon phases for best times to prune trees. I don’t.

For me, there are two “best times“ to prune a tree: 2) when I feel like it, and 1) when the wife tells me to do it, as she did today.

So, log-handled loppers in hand, directed by her, squinting into the sun, I lopped off the biggest branch first. As it fell, so did a lemon. But when I picked it up, I found half a lemon — seriously, almost exactly half a lemon, neatly sliced lengthwise.

Where was the other half? You guessed it: still attached to a branch overhead.

lemon cut in half by loppers

What are the chances of perfectly cutting in half a lemon you didn’t even see?

Well — maybe greater than one would expect with a tree that seems to be trying to communicate with us.

 

 

Astillas

Wooden laders destined to become kindling, Uruguay

For over a month now, I’ve been supervising repairs on a house whose American owners haven’t been here in six years. The caretaker died of cancer a couple years ago. Leaving a house unmaintained is bad anywhere, but with the humidity, really bad in Uruguay.

Today I brought home two ladders (one on the ground cut in two pieces to fit in the car). The vertical one is completely ruined by bugs — notice the bottom rung, broken from just a little weight.

The one on the ground is equally scary. All that wire desperately wound to hold the thing together. That could be ten years old. More likely 15 or 20. Or more: the house was built in the 1960s.

Astillas? Kindling. My next fun-with-dangerous-power-tools project!

 

 

Strange animal spotted on dog walk

dog digging

OK, you figured it out: it’s not a strange type of animal, but Kiya the dog, with her obsession for digging holes (in the middle of the path, in this case) certainly qualifies as a somewhat strange animal.

She’s quite accomplished, though. This is phase 1 of digging. In a moment she will bag up for phase 2, kicking the sand she’s just dug clear of the hole.