Sunday, November 27, 2005

This is the south side of the backyard. The steps lead up to the terrace. Notice the two sides of the quincho (barbecue.) A wood fire is built on the left side and hot coals are moved to the right side for cooking. The brick oven is just to the right of the quincho. Posted by Picasa

This is the north side of the backyard. Two peach trees and one apricot tree are inside the "shamrock." A lemon tree is in the background. The green box is a planter. Posted by Picasa

This is "My Mountain" as seen from our front porch. A huge tree had completely blocked the view and took several days to remove. Posted by Picasa

This is the front of the house...before all of the landscaping was complete. Jose, our handyman is in the yard. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

The past couple of days have been most unusual.  In the states, I assume, everybody is getting ready for the big feast tomorrow.  Here no one remembers that it is Thanksgiving, and I haven’t bothered to remind them.  
Both of Irma’s sisters, her niece, and both nephews took off last week for a holiday trip to celebrate Andre’s birthday.  They were supposed to return on Monday, but they were having such a good time that they extended it until Tuesday… and then they were too tired to return, so they didn’t arrive back in La Falda until today… and you can’t buy and prepare everything traditional for Thanksgiving in the afternoon before the big day, even if they had remembered.
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I have a dentist appointment this evening… the next in a series.  I was supposed to have my crown installed last Friday, and the dentist said that she had everything ready.  But when we arrived she fiddled with Irma’s teeth for a very short time, and then announced that we should come back on Tuesday.
Then on Monday she called and said that she needed to make new impressions!  So obviously, not everything was ready.  She only needed to make new impressions for Irma… and blamed the lab.  We would be called when everything was ready.
She called today and said that I should come at 7 tonight and she would install my crown, but not Irma’s.  This is so typical.
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The weather has been very unstable.  It was quite hot, and somewhat humid for a couple of days.  The forecast for the next ten days was sunny with no hint of rain.
But just after midnight last night it started to pour, with lightning threatening to knock out the power.  I ran around the house and disconnected the computers.  Then as suddenly as it started, it stopped.
At 3 in the morning, the wind gusted so hard that it blew open the windows in my studio and sent rain gusting across the room and causing doors to slam throughout the house.  I got the window closed just before the hail started to fall.
In less than three minutes the “awning” over the driveway was covered with about an inch of hail.
I barely had time to wonder at this phenomenon when it was over.  Irma roused from her slumbers long enough to inform me that summer storms were common and usually quite brief.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Update on the second section… We had just gotten into the car and were headed to the dentist when she called… the lab had let her down again, so I need to go back tomorrow.  Why had I expected anything different?
But we were already in the car, so we ran a few errands.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And… we were met on the street by some of Irma’s clan.  They announced that they had some meat and were coming to our place for a barbeque tonight.  So Irma went with them and I finished running errands then returned home.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The lightning didn’t knock out the computers, but they went down this afternoon.  I was connected to the ISP, but it wouldn’t connect to the Internet.  After waiting for a couple of hours, we gave them a call.  They said that there was nothing wrong with the system; it had to be in my computers… so they were sending a technician.
I had no sooner hung up the phone then I looked at my computer and it was connected to the Internet.  Irma said that I should call the ISP again and tell them that it was working.
As I picked up the phone, it rang.  It was the ISP to inform us that they wanted to make sure that we really needed a technician… and they weren’t especially surprised to learn that the Internet had mysteriously started working again.  
I was speechless at the coincidence….
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We have a new maid.  Her name is Gisela (pronounced Gee sell uh).  She came to us highly recommended.  Here’s what I have learned about her thus far.
  • She is 17 years old.

  • She is in the equivalent of her sophomore year in high school and attends school in the afternoons, which means she’ll be 20 when she graduates.

  • She has a two year old son… that means… um… that means… that implies… um… that she started “he-ing and she-ing” at the age of fourteen…
But she is a hard worker and is a likable girl, so I won’t comment on past indiscretions and just hope that she turns out to be more reliable than some of the maids we’ve had in the past who had lengthy work histories and impeccable moral records.
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I’d better bring this to a close and get it sent off while the Internet is still working.  To all of my friends and family in the states, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.  To my friends who are scattered throughout the world, you can join me in celebrating just another day.  And to those of you fortunate enough to live south of the equator, you can join me in saying, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah… I don’t have to put a coat on for another six months!!!!!!”
Ron & Irma

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005


We took a vacation from mid February to mid March of 2004 and visited Irma’s homeland of Argentina.

Like a typical American tourist, I wore Hawaiian shirts (even though at that time of year the nights were getting a little chilly.)  

Although I had heard many things about the South American lifestyle, I wasn’t prepared for what the reality was.  

I had spent my entire life in the USA and so did not fully understand the cultural differences that make Americans unique in the world.  I was used to full sized cars, utilities that can be taken for granted, and punctuality.

We offer a toast as we welcome you to the view of a foreign country through an American’s eyes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We visited Argentina in February 2004... returned to the US in March... sold or packed everything and moved to Argentina on the 8th of July 2005. This is a record of our vacation, the move, and life in Argentina as seen throught an American's eyes.