Paradise Lost?winter” will come…

We got here just in time…to our Island Paradise. The weather has been very pleasant for some weeks, and now “fall and winter” will come, which I love. High winds whistle around our new place, with Sea States reaching much higher numbers, wind surfers, surfers, and much less “traffic” on the beach. While not optimal for the tourist industry, I have always loved the winds and the high seas and rain. Bumper just sleeps through it:) I have always been taught to enjoy whatever weather you get; and in Terceira, I love the bad weather as well as the good – my father would say Bad and good are relative and judgmental…it is what it is:)

Praia Beach with our house in the background…see it in the rain?

Fall in the Azores…a glimpse of the future weather

Today is our first day not at the beach. Rain, Thunder, and Lightening, and some wind, not much. I love it, Bumper is under the bed every time the thunder comes:)  Chicken Cat!

So I’m researching more about learning WordPress, some more on my new Youtube channel (LATRR) and help with cleaning and washing. Got a bunch of curtains washed, and hung out to dry. It’s raining:) Other than that, just a few more appointments this afternoon and watch some movies.

No bull–actually four Bulls and Thousands of Neighbors

Picturesque village of Porto Martins, just down the hill from our new house, had a Bull Fight the other day. It Takes A Village…to have a great bullfight, great weather, warm ocean breeze, courageous young fools trying to outmaneuver a young bull, very large quantities of beer, lots of great conversation…just plain fun. For centuries, each village raises their money, hires four bulls (selecting the most entertaining ones is a special event in the mountains days before) and then everyone gathers for a few hours. As one new friend on the beach warned me the day before…be most careful of the fifth bull!” I didn’t know there were five….no, the doctor explained, the fifth bull is the invitation to dinner and drinking with all of the great food, delicacies, and of course wine, beer and Aguar Dente (homemade moonshine). Since you know I always listen to the doctor, I had to try out a little of everything. My favorite is a clear liquid diet…aguar dente:)

The entire village of Porto Martins (and many others) turn out for good times and watching daredevils try to outmaneuver the bulls

Alles is Gut nach Terceira

Got to spend some time with the builders, punched out some minor changes, and learned that we have passed all inspections and now must begin the bureaucratic challenges. But here’s a photo or two…we love the house!

The View:

First Video Effort of Casa Reibeling & Environs

Here’s my first effort at posting a video – epic fail. It shows the house, pans a 270-degree loop, and shows Sofia in front and the painter painting the air conditioner housing in the back. I’ll get better, so stay tuned. Big inspection next week and we heard that our container has been unloaded in Liexoes, a major port in northern Portugal.

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Patience – the greatest virtue I’m short on

Well, cloudy days, but the water is “Muito Boa” and we swim at the beach, watch the boats, and wait…and wait…and wait…and wait (Apologies to the Narrator of Casa Blanca:))  My advice for anyone going overseas and working with both the American Government and the Portuguese Government is … ” be ready to exercise patience.

Happy Birthday, Azorean style

Tonight we were honored to help a relative here celebrate his 30th birthday; his wife threw a great party, he and some friends cooked chicken, we drank cervazas, and had a wonderful get-together. It felt like home and familia.

This was after spending the morning chasing yet more paperwork around town from various government agencies prior to arrival of our container with all of our property in it. You need to provide letters from the Social Security and Tax offices that say you don’t owe the government any money; you have to go to yet another office to get permission to park said container on your street to unload it, and you have to sort out if that “last leg” of the shipment from Mainland Portugal to Terceira is actually booked, even though it doesn’t appear on paper anywhere:) Life is an adventure, and we persevere. There’s many people in the world who don’t have anything to ship in the container! We are lucky, blessed, fortunate, and happy!

Visiting Family

Pretty Awesome. Since Sofia and I married 26 years ago, we have visited almost every year. Between mortality and civil realignments, births, marriages, and the like, our nearly-yearly visits have held change, delights, and pain. Such is life. Our return this week has been delightful, educational, and of course, fattening. I’ve learned to like (not yet enjoy) Shoshurush — little fish slightly bigger than anchovies, Octopus (grilled–I love it) and Lapash (I’m spelling it wrong, but little shellfish grilled with garlic and wine – vis a vis Anthony Bourdain) and of course, Vinho Tinto (Red Wine). I feel certain Drs. Darcy and Bach would take exception, but hey, when in Rome. And the fresh fruit is healthy!  Overall, the only thing better than the new house is the family. Stay tuned!


Phase Two Begins … arrived safe and sound

We’re home. Bumper was a great traveler; rough skies, and some long lines for a very very thorough TSA team in Boston Logan, but we made it. 26 years and 10 days…:)  Already missing some friends and family. Now to get to work. House is almost complete,  and there’s a lot to do when you start a new life. We’ve spent decades learning what you need to do and mostly how to prioritize it, but now we have to find the energy, money, and compromise decisions to get ‘er done!  Stay tuned,

Seems pretty selfish to get up in the morning and not worry about the job, the mission, the  team. Seems like I’m always forgetting something that needs to done at work. Instead I get to focus on my family, my self, and how to take care of us. Strange, but I’ll adjust…I always have.

Another Tough Milestone Bites the Dust

Tonight two of my girls said goodbye for a few months, and I think the thought hit them that there will soon be an ocean between them for an extended period of time. Lots of waterfalls. Glad I could hold it together. I also said goodbye to Michigan, some  very dear friends and family; I often fail to realize how blessed we have been with strong relationships. I know they really love Sofia and just put up with me:) Our flight was cancelled (Booo, American Airlines) for crew rest, which I fail to understand, so we’re staying in East Lansing, alone:( But it is what it is, and we’ll have one less day to get our darling kitty cat ready for travel. Good news is, I’ll have an excuse to do less cleaning before we check out of the apartment:) Time marches on!

The Final Lap of the Rat Race?

If you’re signing up to start receiving Social Security…it’s easy. Online form, mostly well-worded, mostly self explanatory. Pretty good web form works overall. HOWEVER, if you’re using a foreign (non-U.S.) bank account, it won’t work. So press “Learn More” and it will tell you to go to your Social Security Office. Four hours in Vienna VA office, just to learn that “You should not have click on Submit, and we can’t put in your bank account for a week or two.”

“To be safe, give it a month, and then you can change it online…” except we’ll be gone in a few weeks, and to change it online, my foreign bank account STILL won’t fit in the US format, so I’ll still get an error that says “Come in to our office…” The good news is that when you do get to the front of the line, they are friendly, empathetic, polite, professional, and equally frustrated….but still can’t help.

So assuming there are no further glitches…I will start drawing benefits…we just don’t know where the money will go. We do have a solution, however. “We can’t make appointments, so come stand in line in a few weeks and perhaps your claim will be in the system and we can amend it.”  🙂


Nearing completion

Sofia’s sister Mena inspects today’s addition…Kitchen cabinets. The Cozinha is Sofia’s favorite place, and we’re loving how open it is so she can cook and entertain:)

For Better and For Worse

Getting ready to retire. Cleaning up loose ends. Dental Insurance will go, so today I had a bridge cut, an old tooth pulled, and they didn’t even give me good pain meds….plus I went right to work. So don’t put off until the 45 day mark before you retire and move to an island:)

In the beginning …

Haven’t had time to finish this site yet, but then again, it’s designed to talk about Life AFTER I retire…so I’ll have time soon. Lots of moving parts to this retirement, moving out of the country, building a house, storing items for daughters, etc. So it’s a challenging process, and I expect the adjustment will present some challenges as well. So if you want, you can read and watch them here:)