Before discussing New Year’s, let’s talk about Christmas

We are arrived back in Brazil on December 23rd and it took a few days to get settled into the apartment.  The next day, we had Dani’s family come over for food and drink.

In Brazil, it is customary to have a dinner right after midnight on Christmas Eve, then her family stayed the night and left on Christmas.  This was a surprise to me, but perfectly acceptable.  So, here are a few pics of the dinner. This my pretty little friend after eating a plate full of grapes.  Brazilian love fruits and the country produces a great amount of all fruits and vegetables.This is my pretty friend after staying up late and eating midnight dinner.  She stayed there until mamma put pajamas on her and placed her in bed.Other that this it was a quiet, pleasant holiday; but before I go, I want to show you a short video we took in Oklahoma when we visited my brother and his lovely wife.  This was at a church which had put up about 400 million lights.  (or at least it seemed that many)

The Feast of the Fatted Pig – (not for the faint of heart)

On the day before we flew out, I hosted a massive BBQ and invited everyone in the Consulate.  No one was excluded.  If the Ambassador was there, I would have even let him come.

I paid for all the meat, which included some Picanha (sirloin cap), ribs, sausages and a whole pig to roast, minus the insides.  The Facilities guys collected money to buy everything else which included kegs of cervaja (beer) and addition foods.  Below is the pig before roasting, then following the progression.These may not be pretty pictures, but the taste was amazing!  The man who cooked it is a Master and I tip my hat to him.  And below are pictures of another BBQ Master and his culinary perfections. Below are some of the people who attended my event. And my Good Boss decided to honor me with a show of the Security Office’s appreciation. I really didn’t know he was that short until I saw these pictures.  And here is me saying some words of sort …I will discuss New Year’s Eve next.

It Came to an End

It has been awhile, but we will pick up where I left off.

We finished preparing for the pack-out, doing our best for the time we had which is never enough.  No matter how thorough we are, there will always be hitches. The packers came and did their thing as shown below:Then the following day, they hauled it all off.All in all, it was a relief to have it completed.  The only problem I had, they packed away a power charger for my little travel laptop.  No problem, I thought, I will just get online and order another to arrive in Texas.  It was not that easy.  I ordered three different chargers and no matter how they said it would fit my little laptop, they did not.  To this day, I still have not found a replacement.

Yes, I will eventually get it back, but it will be late next year.  But I cannot fathom how the packer did it, since it was plugged in under a table at the time.

But from that time on, all we had to do was relax and enjoy the short week before we flew out to Texas.  That waiting period also included the Marine Ball and the Feast of the Fatted Pig.

The Marine Ball.

My respect for these good people is high.  I took the opportunity to buy tickets for about a half dozen people who had never been to a Marine Ball before, or was unable to go, due to the expense. At every Marine Ball, they always honor the youngest and the oldest Marine present.  This year’s oldest Marine is the good man below in white hair.During the noisy music and dancing part, when most everyone is out jiggling and wobbling on the dance floor, he and his loving wife stood in a close embrace and just gently rocked back and forth.  I found it to be most beautiful, and when they finished and walked back to their table with his wife supporting him, I gave him a “thumbs up”.  I wish I could have personally thanked him for his service, but my emotions would not let me.

Here are pictures of the birthday cake, and the table that is always set aside for the Marines who never returned home.Give me a few days and I will post pictures from the Feast of the Fatted Pig.

Until then, smile and kick butt.  D.

Coming to an End

As the clock ticks away, I am headed for retirement whether I want it or not.  This includes reams of paperwork, for not just retirement, but packing out of the apartment, transferring back to the States and dealing with Green Card paperwork.

Right now I am waiting for paperwork so I can schedule my apartment to be packed up and sent back to the States.  Without it, I can not move on plans.  The paperwork is two weeks late, and I don’t know whether I will get it in time to make it to Texas before Thanksgiving.

But I have been able to start the process of sorting out the apartment.  I am a collector of things that I will throw away someday, so it has been a slow process.  But it has begun and here is the first evidence of it. * Update.  Just today, I received the notice that I will pack out on Monday & Tuesday. It will be a stressful next few days.

BUT … this weekend is the Marine Ball, and although I am not a party person, it will be good to have a distraction.  I will post what pics I take.


Holambra is a town in Brazil known for its annual month-long celebration of flowers.  I will post a butt-load of pictures, but in the meantime, go to the Wikipedia site to find out more about this small town, by clicking here.  

Then … the other day, we went into the downtown area of the city and had lunch.  The images below are from all the booths set up selling food.  Notice in the first one, there was a guy softly playing a saxophone while people ate. This last picture is a typical tree that I see all through the city.The end of my tour here is coming quickly.  I have been extremely busy with paperwork out the wazoo, and trying to set up the necessary logistics for the move home.  We will talk more later.     In the meantime, kick butt.       D.

A Couple of Grillings at the Apartment

This is mostly a mess of pictures from two separate gatherings at the apartment with good people.  The apartment has a place out on the balcony to grill meat, and I had never used it.  So, when someone offered to do some cooking on it, I agreed.  First, pictures of the meat, and then pictures of the people. Next, I will have a mess of pictures with flowers.   Stay tuned.  D.