It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

While Merlin Naps

I remember that day that I saw his face on the Animal Shelter website and called and asked if he was still there. And they said Yes.
Merlin, my magical cat.
He can, with just some purring and a snuggle or two, relieve heartaches, make tears disappear and help a person sleep .
I cry sometimes at the sweetness of him.
Minette even likes him now. If he is napping in a room, you can bet she is nearby.
They are a sweet odd little couple.
And now I have moms cat, Honey.
Honey cannot be overlooked, Honey cannot be missed. Honey weighs as much as I do.
But inside that large cat body is a tiny voiced kitten with a big heart, who lost her mama and now she is settling in and getting adjusted to being in a new home, with a new mama and a brother and sister!
Everyone is allowed to sleep on mamas bed. Everyone is allowed to eat in the kitchen or out on the screened porch . But everyone has to behave. Love each other.
And don't be too noisy ...

While Merlin naps ...


When I pick Honey  up, she has gained a nice amount of weight .. oh my back ! lol and I whisper little love words in her ear, she purrs and purrs.
Now, when I walk over to her and ask her how she is, she purrs and purrs.
Minette is requiring extra attention, she is still a baby and is jealous .. of that interloper !!
Merlin squints and wonders if he has met that cat before.
Then he goes back to sleep.

All is well... they especially love the garden room, where they can nap and dream that they are free , out in the woods and safe.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


Just a quickie to show you how Honey is doing here with us.
She might be what you would call a Big Girl but she has the heart and brain of a wee kitten.
She isn't very old at all, just large.
She is just as sweet as she can be and I try not to think she mourns or misses my/ our Mom but there are times I see her looking at a door or out a window and wonder if she is waiting for someone who is not coming back.

I have to keep her in her own room at night which is very sad to me because I know she slept with Mom but she attacks Minette and Merlin.
Merlin would not know what hit him, Minette would fight but get the short end of that stick !

So she sleeps on a big double bed with lots of pillows in her own room ... just until she adjusts.
Until we all adjust.

Sunday here is like most days for me but I was considering going to a mall. Sephora . DSW.
lunch with a certain daughter ... then again, I could make something here and we can sit out on the lanai ( I wish I could just call it a porch) and hang out.
That sounds like a Plan.

Have a good Sunday !
Lazy Day Honey

Saturday, May 28, 2016


I have been driving cars since I was 16 years old.
I have never gotten a ticket or crashed or run over anyone.
Not counting that poor possum that threw itself under my wheels when I was 16 and driving for the first time.
I was heartbroken. All the adults said it walked away it was just a glancing blow.

So my lovely daughter took time off work to hold my hand.   I am now a Legal  Florida driver ..
Look Out!
The Moving In work is down to waiting for people to do things like put up curtain rods  .

While I wait for that. I think I should go to a mall.
So far I am liking it here very much.

Aside from killing things.
And waiting for the Internet ..

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Walk On By ....

I was prepared for birds and snakes and all sorts of insect wildlife when I moved here, to Florida. I don't love the mosquitoes but I grew up in the South and know that snakes and things that are not that pleasant are everywhere and you just have to keep an eye out, when you find yourself in the same place those creatures can be found also.

I live in a condominium that faces a street and other homes and a lake and it is very Disney looking and while it might not be the most character filled place, it is very pretty and peaceful.
The bonus for me is that woods are behind my home. All the homes on this side of the street, have a forest behind them. So I hear very little sounds but those a forest makes, wind in pine trees, birds ... that's about it.

I was just in the kitchen. I turned just in time to see Minette dash across the room and stand at the screen looking out from the lanai / screened porch / whatever they call it.
I hurried over to look ...  a baby Armadillo was walking away from where I live to the woods where it must live.
I looked it up to see if they are dangerous in any way.
They are not friendly and you don't want one to come after you or your small cats and dogs or children.
But you can really get a kick out of looking out your window and seeing an Armadillo walk by.

Monday, May 23, 2016


I lost my Mom recently.
That laughing girl who danced to radio songs, instead of doing the ironing.
That clever girl who took me to the movies during the week instead of doing "chores"..
That loving grandmother who had photos of her grandchildren on every surface in her home.
She and I didn't get along a lot of times but in the early days, it was just Mom and I.
We / she, managed to find a nice life for us .. in a nice place .. I had a good childhood, no hint that everyone else was not as happy as I was.
When I left home to be an adult, she and my step dad divorced.
She worked full time for the first time in her life.
She was very good at it.
She moved to Florida from the NorthEast and made a life down here. She had friends and family who loved her, nearby and far away.
And then her heart, that poor tired heart that had suffered through childhood fevers and been damaged, just didn't want to work anymore.
I am glad I saw her while she was alive. I am so glad that she recognized me and said my name.
I am so sad that she is gone.
She would have loved where I am living.
She would have been able to stay here with me.
She would have loved my cats.
They would have adored her.
All those scenarios that ran through my head as I was driving South from NY .. mom and I shopping, mom with Minette and Merlin , mom and I just talking , mom giving me a hug and a kiss.
None of them happened. We were cheated out of that time.
I am sad all the time.
I love my daughter to bits and my grandson. They keep things cheerful and bring laughs.
But there is always that empty spot there where I thought Mom would be.
To top this off ... 2 friends for reasons of their own, decided to disown me ... online friends so I guess they thought of me as disposable.
A loss of friends ... it can take you by surprise as well as the sadness of it being a shock.
If that was what they wanted, fine but after years of contact and gifts and photos,  you would think a friendship like that would deserve more than just a total cutoff of contact.
I guess on my end it was friendship.. on theirs it was them wasting some time.
Happily they are finished with me as I have a new life to begin and new friends and people to fill it with.
But I sure do miss Mom.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

My Hope

Boy, it's been rough around here lately.
I had 2 long time email friends decide to play Mean Girls and in the meanest way they could come up with, told me they were not my friends anymore. It sounds childish but it is ... adults don't behave that way, at least the ones I know. At least the ones with a bit of class.
Or manners.
But they are gone, out of my email box ( I heart that mass trash dumping thing )
click click, delete, gone .. ForEver ..

Too bad those other pesky issues in life can't be so easily deleted forever ..
You know, like the mosquitoes in the woods in Summer. That kind of thing.

Yesterday we went to the Home show in Jacksonville and I fell in love with the funky area and the fabulous Craftsman style homes.
I am better off where I am now, as far as being alone and all but I do love those homes.

It was a fun day with my daughter and I look forward to a lot more.

I have a year to live in this townhouse then I will be looking for something smaller with maybe a bit more character. Or ... in a year ... who knows what I might be up to ~

I am now mom to Minette, Merlin and my Mom's cat Honey.
No one wanted Honey.
I didn't really want her either, I think 2 ( especially my 2) are enough, and perfect.
But how could I let Honey go to a shelter ? She has only ever known my mom.

I am proud and very touched that she purrs now when I talk to her.  She knows who feeds her :)

So the sky is getting grey, the pine forest in back of my home is showing signs of a wind coming up and Sunday night tv is waiting.

Let's hope the days ahead are good ones, not rough ones, no cruel or spiteful people, no loss, no sadness. .. this is my hope for all of us.

Nap Time for Merlin

Napt time for Merlin

Honey Takes a Nap

When I say "Big Girl", you know what I mean ... she is so so very sweet. Thank you, Mom.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Working and Worrying

As I work and unpack and worry and relax and marvel at the skies here and the occasional delight of a hummingbird saying hello and the flowers everywhere and the skies ! and those clouds !! and the quiet at night is like the quiet up North where there were only woods behind me there too.
But this quiet is not as dense, as solid ... here there is always a far away noise, not anything you would notice unless you were trying to hear something ... but it makes me feel less like the only person on the planet.

The cats are perfect. Minette is her old self .. a sweet little girl who puts up with those 2 old boys. She knows no fear. She is such a Good Little Girl .. I want to be like her.
Merlin will just nap and have a bite to eat and maybe find a new spot to nap .. he is not averse to being in Mama's lap while she watches tv and strokes his back and scratches his chin .. he is just as happy sleeping next to her too. He is a Good Boy ... he soothes my heart.

And now there is Honey.
Honey would  horrify some people. Her size. She is huge. Heavy. Like dog heavy, child heavy .. not cat heavy. But there she is .. this comical looking gigantic girl with black and white markings, one being by her nose so it looks like her mustache is on crooked.
She loves to be picked up and babied and snuggled.
She is doing my back no favors but my arm muscles are improving.
And so is my heart.
The terrible break might be healing a bit. My nerves are terrible but that is because I am still so unsure of myself and tend to worry about Every Single Thing that there can be to worry about.
The people In The Know tell me there is nothing to worry about.
I try .. I try so hard to just relax and remember that.
But I worry.
I have to go get my Florida drivers license.
I can't even think about that.

Buenos Aires is nice. We never needed a car.
Honey would like Buenos Aires. So would Minette and Merlin.

Another storm is coming along.
My mom used to tell me not to watch tv when we had those Carolina thunder and lightening storms. Maybe I shouldn't use the computer either ... hmmm.

Merlin ... not worrying.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Honey takes a nap.
You don't have to see all of her to get the idea .. Honey is a big girl.
Every inch of her is soft and velvety and squishy and she is ridiculously sweet.
Her legs are too short and she has one clipped ear and that spot on her nose makes her nose look big.
She is comical and sweet and now she is mine.
Minette and Merlin have mixed emotions.
Merlin is always surprised when he sees her ... where did she come from ??
Minette is always annoyed when she sees her ... she's still here ??

But they are adjusting .. we all are adjusting ...  naps are good for that , I hear.

Friday, May 13, 2016

So Here We Are

Cats, birds, sunshine, trees and woods and beaches and the ocean.
Compared to cats, birds, sunshine, trees, woods and more woods and mountains.

Each has its own beauty. How to compare ? there is no comparison. It depends on what your heart yearns for ... warmth ... sunlight ... drama .. visually and weather-wise .

When we decided to move back to New York, my husband and I both automatically and immediately said Upstate !! where the trees are amazing all year round, apple farms dot the landscape as well as corn fields and vistas across the amazing and beautiful Hudson River.
The History of the place ... the reminders of what we read about in school .. the people .. I drove by homes that had plaques on them with the date ... 1700s ..
The house that Benedict Arnold hid in in Kinderhook .. there was always something interesting to see, learn and enjoy.

Florida is so very different from that place .. the look of it of course, the architecture, the landscape and instead of the cool mountains in summer, I can see and smell and feel the ocean ..
I have not actually touched it yet, but there it is ... waiting ...

This move has been very hard in some ways, made easier in others, mentally and physically demanding and now that I am pretty much all moved in to the townhouse that I will rent for a year ..
I can relax, fall apart, nap with the cats and eat the same thing every night just because.
And have watermelon for breakfast .... just because.

The cats are behaving. Merlin is himself .. naps, eats, purrs, sleeps.. he is a delight.
Minette is my little trouble maker and sweetheart. She sleeps next to me , making sure Merlin stays at the foot of the bed .. good thing my bed is big enough.
And then there is Honey.
My mom adopted a wee little kitten. She named her Honey. When I was a kid, my mom adopted a tiny baby kitten , a golden little baby. Mom named her Honey B. She was our little Honey.
One day when mom drove in to the driveway, Honey ran to greet her and the tire hit her and she died. Not a mark on her, her tiny neck broken.
My mom never got over that ... I guess I didn't either, I remember it so clearly today.
So mom adopted this cat, a yellow cat and named her Honey.

What could I say when my daughter said I had to take Honey or she would go to the shelter.
Honey must weight 20 lbs and she is no longer a cute kitten, she is a gigantic sweetheart but that won't get her adopted. Besides, she lived with a woman who stayed in the house with her and whispered love words to her and fed her ( too much) out of love .. how could I say no?

So Mom, Honey is here ... she sleeps on my bed, she pushes Minette and Merlin aside so she gets the food first .. Merlin looks around and wonders " what was that , the food is gone ?! "
This townhouse is fabulous. roomy, 3 beds and 2 1/2 baths and garage and screened room with views of the woods .. and critters.
It isn't forever ... I am hoping for smaller and more charm, more "homey" .. but it is fine for this first year here.

So here we are ..
( my back will never forgive me for driving for all those days ....oy!)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Arrival

Thank you everyone who commented and sent emails with sweet words of comfort and sympathy.
The cats were so confused by me reading emails then crying that I took a wee break and unpacked some, watched the house painters and took naps with Merlin.
We have a house of girls now- Merlin doesn't know what to do ... actually he just naps and purrs.

So sweet not - so - little Honey snuggles and lolls in the sun and eats and purrs. I talk to her about Mom and she purrs. She probably has some great stories to tell me about Mom too.

Merlin and Minette wonder who this young cat the size of a dog is ... but they don't seem too bothered by her.
I keep a close eye, she is huge, she could just squash little Minette ..

They all have their favorite nap spots and all is peaceful so far.

I hurt my back   .. moving heavy boxes, bending, etc.
I try to baby it but I get so bored.
And lonely.

My sweet daughter takes me out to lunch , hangs out with me when she can and generally makes me wonder at how nice a person she is. She is a lovely young woman with a huge heart.

I like my townhouse and will remain for the year but then I will see if there is perhaps a smaller bungalow kind of little home out closer to the beaches.
I was there today.
I got lost.
It has its charm... that area.
Driving down streets where the driveways disappear into trees with moss hanging and no sign of a house. With the sound and scent of the ocean nearby ..

I have spent hours with nice young men in Dubai ... the computer just got all messed up with the internet etc but we seem to be fixed now. Or at least that is what the latest person just told me..He called me Miss Candice ..  We will hope he knows what he is talking about.

I am getting my fill of fresh farm produce, good for you foods and an occasional bakery treat .. the food is quite good .
My childhood favorite fried dinners are just as I remembered ... fried fish, hushpuppies and french fries with a coke ..  Good thing I was too thin when I got here .. that won't last.

So let's hope the computer connection remains intact and I am not forced to spend an afternoon on the phone with Dubai .

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Being a Cat

There are so many things I should be doing right now but all I can think of doing is sitting here and talking to you ... out there.
The cats are napping. They had a hard day- up and down those stairs. .. watching me straighten the closet .. watching me put things in the kitchen cupboards .. watching the painters outside .. who watched the cats inside .

It is peaceful here. Woods behind us, town homes and gardens and a small lake and you never notice a car going by .. sometimes a fussy pup will walk along, barking to whoever it is that is walking him .. they never seem to answer him .. maybe if they did he would stop fussing.

I used to talk to Tate (Pup) all the time. He knew words  .. "daddy" , "dinner" ... "walk" ... "go bye bye" which was going in a car and not for a walk. Either one got you a madly wagging tail and a tap dance.

So I talk to the cats.
Minette will pay attention for ... oh ... a minute.
Merlin might open one eye .. usually not.

It doesn't stop me .. I just jabber away to them anyway. If I don't, my voice might just fade away and I will get all tongue tied and forget all the words if I don't talk to something/someone  some time !

I worry the clerks in the bank or the people at the counter in the cafe, fight over who gets to wait on me .. the loser gets to wait on me.
Probably the one who is half deaf and can't hear me anyway.

But I think I am better, I think I can be quiet and not chatty much better than a while back ... I have either lost the will to speak or I have finally given up ..

It is quite beautiful here. Minette and I sit out in the back and watch the little creatures and big birds in the woods ... just steps from my back patio. All screened in and everyone inside is safe.
The painters were here for a few days, painting the entire place .. outside.
The cats were there every morning until they left, making sure they got the job done right.

My daughter brings lovely lunches from interesting restaurants or we go to a local place and have a bite and giggle. She is great if you need cheering up.
Actually, she is just great.

I called my broker, the lady who handles my finances wherever I am ... my husbands old client and friend .. and her assistant answered, yelled at me and insulted me.
The broker went overboard apologizing and sending me fabulous huge baskets of flowers and I forgave her, she didn't do it but there are days that it seems the world is just too strange.
Apparently the assistant is 80 years old. It might be time to retire Helen.

I sometimes feel like I  am in a quirky foreign movie .. things are just odd and askew.
I am trying to just go with it ... float along and keep my head above the water .. it is about all I can do.

So I am home .. this will be home for about a year .. I might be taking a trip .. I will give myself time to settle in and see how at home I feel .. so far it has been good.
It would have been so nice if Mom had been able to be here for just a while  .. I had all these ideas of time to spend together and things to do ..things to say .. hugs and kisses to give.

Well, time to go find a kitty and give it a hug and a kiss and ask them why they didn't put the dishes in the dishwasher .. they like it when I talk to them as if they were not cats.
I like it when they talk to me as if I was a cat.

Sometimes, it is nice to just be a cat.

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sunset in Buenos Aires