A Small Act of Kindness, In The Big City

Montevideo is a pretty big city having a population of over 1.3 million people and many of those people have dogs.  Here you will not likely see dog poo on the sidewalks or streets.  We have not seen dogs roaming free, all are on leashes and someone is walking them. And we have seen the people around our apartment using baggies to clean up after their pets.

While walking on one of the side streets just a block or so from our apartment, I saw an empty large gallon water container tied to a tree. I could not figure out what the purpose was until on another walk further away I spotted this.

montevideo-2-7-27Yes, you got it. Someone filled this empty jug with supermarket bags. Just the right size to pick up your pets poo. For a large city, it is pretty well maintained and I was happy to see the pro-active folks trying to keep their city clean.

Little Joe, The Latest Addition to Cindy’s Little Farm

Our niece Cindy lives in Texas. She has a little spread – really don’t know what to call it because she is really not farming it, raising cattle or anything so grand.  She has a beautiful horse named Spanx, two mature burros or maybe they are donkeys honestly I am not sure and one foal. And her constant companion Samson, a German Shepard.

For the past several months she has watched Uma as she grew into this huge bellied beauty. Uma was really waddling around for the past weeks and Cindy was waiting on the birth.

umaToday at 6:30am a new foal was added to her family, Little Joe.

little-joe-3 little-joe-2little-joe-4 little-joe-5

I asked Cindy for clarification on what exactly Uma is and this is what she had to say:

Uma is A donkey n Little Joe has markings of Jerusalem donkey!!!  
Interesting. I believe Uma is called an Andalusian donkey! Joe has
the markings of cross along his back n down shoulders n legend 
is Jesus rode the Christian or Jesus or Jerusalem??  
Donkey in Passover !!!!

I had never heard this story so I found it on-line and added it below:

Have you heard the legend of the Christian donkeys? This is the story that has been told about the little donkey who was Jesus’ mount on Palm Sunday.

It is said that a donkey carried Mary to Bethlehem and is also referred to as a Nativity Donkey.   The Nubian burro has a cross on its back because it is believed that these donkeys carried Jesus to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

To ride on a donkey signified coming in peace, this symbolic event served to reinforce what Jesus had told the people of Israel: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a donkey, and upon a colt the foal of a donkey.”(Zachariah 9:9 KJV)

little-joe-and-samson-6Looks like Samson is going to take on the roll of daddy over this little one.

little-joe-7 Nice to see Cindy’s dreams coming true.

Salmon and Sole Croquettes

montevideo-2-7-21After cutting off the perfect fillets from our recent fish purchases, I had a few end pieces left over.  Too thin in my opinion to make a lunch meal with but just perfect for croquettes. So the freezer held a piece of sole as well as two pieces of salmon.

I did not want to use a bunch of bread crumbs so I decided to make a baked potato and use that as the filler.

Salmon or Fish Croquettes

  • 1/2 lb of fish

cook the fish in a frying pan on medium heat with a small amount of oil, until almost cooked through. Set aside and let cool. Once cool separate into chunky pieces.

  • 1 large unpeeled potato, washed, stabbed a few times and microwaved until cooked set aside and let cool. Once cool peel and cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoon of chopped celery including leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herb, basil or thyme or cilantro would work well
  • 1 large egg, whisked to combine
  • a few slices of chopped red pepper or a dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper

I kept the sole separate from the salmon by using two bowls and putting half of the ingredients in each bowl, but I think it could work combined also.

Combine fish and potato and mix together.  Add the balance of the ingredients. Mix well. Form into patties.

In a large frying pan with a small amount of vegetable oil on medium heat, add your fish patties.  Cook until crispy and turn and do the same on the other side.

I love a horseradish ketchup sauce where as Joe prefers a tartar sauce.

Serve with a big salad. Enjoy – we sure did!

Parks, Monuments, Statues and Sculptures – Oh My!

Uruguay loves its statues, sculptures and almost any style of artwork. You can see the European influence in the buildings and its flair in the bronze busts found inside buildings and churches. Every corner you turn, almost every intersection you come to has a bust, or a huge statue, men on horseback seem to be everywhere, cherubs, dragons, warriors dressed in battle gear, beautiful women. If you love this art style, Montevideo is packed with it.

The most well-known of these statues is located in Independence Square and it sits above the mausoleum of General Jose Artigas.  Yes, the General is buried under this statue, and you can go in to take a look.


The statue of Confucius in Rodo Park sits watching over the water on the rambla. The surrounding were just so peaceful I had to include it here.

montevideo-2-1-1a montevideo-2-1-1As you can see Uruguayans love their parks almost as much as they love their statues.  All we have seen have plenty of benches, shade trees, walking trails but don’t be afraid walking on the grass is not a problem here.montevideo-1-31-8I cannot tell you where the above statue is located except it is in or near Cuidad Vieja, just in one of the small parks we passed.

montevideo-2-7-33montevideo-2-7-32montevideo-2-7-31montevideo-2-7-30The four pictures above are all located in the plaza outside the World Trade Center.

montevideo-2-7-26This mighty man is located in a small park on Rivera, in Pocito.

montevideo-2-7-23montevideo-2-7-20The above two are also located in the plaza outside of the World Trade Center.

montevideo-2-12-36Another park, another statue.

montevideo-2-9-12 montevideo-2-9-11 montevideo-2-9-10This masterpiece Monumento La Carreta is located in Parque Batlle and it symbolizes the immigrants that came to this county and settled it.

montevideo-2-9-16 montevideo-2-9-15This very tall obelisk called Obelisco a los Constituyentes is located in the middle of an intersection near Av 18 de Junio and Artigas, just another example of how much art, statues and sculptures are appreciated in Uruguay.

montevideo-2-9-20aEvery day is another adventure in this beautiful city.  I love how much time and effort the government gives to the green areas, its parks, playgrounds and just how clean the city is kept. There is a great statue at the beachside entrance to Buceo or Malvin up past us we are itching to go see called greetingman. A Korean artist places these in different parts of the world and it looks so friendly and welcoming, just beckoning you in.  More on that when we can walk there and take some pics!

montevideo-2-23-6montevideo-2-23-7I guess you can see that Montevideo has great love for art and parks and playgrounds.  The rambla (we would call it a boardwalk if you have been to Jersey) runs for miles in the coastal cities.  It is a wide walkway right on the water.  Walkers, runners, bikers and folks just strolling along have a beautiful view of the water, great breezes and many benches to stop for a little break.

Naval Museum



A short walk from the apartment to the rambla we found the Navel Museum.  It was not open the day we walked by so I was able only to get some outside pictures.

What I like about this area is all the parks, playgrounds and open grassy areas for children and families to share. Not much is cordoned off you can bring the kids up onto some of the military equipment and let them have some fun.

Uruguay, well Montevideo in particular, seems to have a great respect for the outdoors. So many parks, so many green spaces, so many benches and playgrounds for everyone to enjoy.  The city fathers thought out the planning of the city to include many places where people can enjoy the outdoors.

Plum and Fig Tart or is that Fig and Plum Tart?


I found beautiful fresh figs and large purple Italian plums this past week. Figs are a favorite since living in Playas, Ecuador.  Our guardian would pick figs and bring a bag to our home when they were perfectly ripe, soft and sweet. I would cut them in half, wrap half a slice of bacon around it and bake it in the oven just until the bacon was crispy.  That was a real treat. I can tolerate a Fig Newton, if there is nothing else in the house but unless you have had fresh ripe figs you have not lived.

I loved them so much and our friend Yusuf said I needed to plant a tree in the yard in San Clemente, Ecuador. Where was I going to fit another tree in the San Clemente yard?  Well I found a tree and found a place for it and enjoyed a small harvest a few times from that tree.  That is only one of the things I miss about San Clemente, but don’t get me started on that.

I made a shortbread crust, with flour, butter, sugar, dash of salt and vanilla and an egg.  No rolling necessary as it was going to be a tart, free form and rustic.  I cut up 6-7 figs and plums and arranged them on the pastry which I had placed on a baking sheet covered with a silicone baking liner, this will stick as the sweet juices ooze from the tart. Turned the edges up and baked it for about 15 minutes.  The crust was wonderful and the fruit just so sweet and soft.

We will do that again…