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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Todays Guest Poster - Pup

Mom said I can blog.
I don't know what blog is.
I don't think I can eat it.
Today everyone slept late.
No plumbers coming to bother Mom and Dad.
Sun shining. Mom keeps talking about the cold.
That's OK, we like to walk anyway.
We walked past the store where Mom and Dad buy fruit and vegetables.
The people who work there like me.
They pet me and talk to me.
I can't understand what they are saying but they have nice smiles.
Mom likes the way they put the fruit out.
Then we went to my park.

Mom said " Brrr, that lady looks cold".
Mom also fed the birds and I got to chase them, then this one came along. Mom got all excited.. moms!
Then more birds came and she got to feed them all.
She feeds me too but she never gets all excited about it.
We walked to her favorite park where we all sat a while and talked and enjoyed the sun shining on us.
Mom loves the view and the trees.
Especially this tree. She said she wishes she were little again... she says she would climb the tree.
I love my Mom but she has funny ideas.
Mom talked about how much she likes living where there are such nice trees and parks where I can play.
I thought Mom needed to come chase me.

No matter how easy I made it for her to catch me, she just kept laughing.
My mom laughs a lot.. she tells me she loves me all the time.
Then we went home and Mom and Dad read their books and I took a nap.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Winter is back

We had a couple of days of beautiful weather, where only a light jacket was needed. The sun that shone so brightly  sitting in the cafe the other day, giving me pink cheeks and a few new freckles, was hidden by storm clouds and rain today.
Last night we fell asleep to the sound of thunder and the occasional sight of lightening, flashing outside the shutters. I love falling asleep to rain and storms.. but I do not like waking up to them.
And rain it did. Heavily, constantly, all day.
And our housekeeper did not show up.
So we did a little house cleaning and I made a good pasta dinner.
I am reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so at least when there is nothing on television, there is good music and a good book to read.
Pup got a new bone the other day so there was a frenzy of playing with the bone that someone hid in a blanket. Kill kill, I must kill this blanket !!

From Momento 24 

"The National Weather Service expected the arrival of a new and probably rawer cold wave in Buenos Aires and provinces located in central Argentina.
After a couple of days with pleasant temperatures (within expectations for the winter), sub-zero temperatures are estimated for today and the weekend.
As usual, the reason are the fronts from Patagonia that will be installed permanently today, leaving estimated temperature between -5 ° and 2 ° C minimum and 7 ° and 12 ° C maximum.
The question that everyone is already asking with scarves, sweaters and jackets at wholesale, is when will the cold wave pass? According to the National Weather Service, next Wednesday, temperatures should be increasing again."
So I guess we will all just huddle in with pups, blankets and snuggle up with husbands and books and wait it out.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ha! You call this Winter ?

Another beautiful day .. about 55ºF  and blue skies and sunshine.
What to do ? what to do ?
After getting some things out of the way in the morning, it was time to get out in the sun, Pup came along, the plan was end up in a cafe for lunch.
Not a bad plan. Walk, eat , walk. No one was complaining.
That is ArnetPoint, an excellent spot for anytime of the day stopping and eating and drinking. We go there most often to sit outside but in the heat of the summer, inside in the big booths is not bad either. They make the best pizza but today it was a Caprese salad for me and my husband had a sandwich of Tuna ( if we were in the US we would be calling it that Delicious Imported in Oil stuff) with greek olives and tomatos... how good does that sound?) Pup just hung out and enjoyed the cool breeze while he lay in the sun.
They are great about pups, they will bring a big bowl of water if Pup asks.
Past the cafe you can see the huge building of the AAA -Argentine Automobile Association . This is where some wonderful cars will gather , vintage and beautiful and they will all drive along the Avenue. And past the AAA is the Decorative Artes Museum .. on the other side of the street are the Parks.. more commonly known as Pup's Parks.

I love the winter here. Even when I feel whiney because we had a spell of long, rainy, cold days, I still like winter best here.
I have ceased to be a fan of heat and humidity or just heat.
I no longer lie in the sun or go to the beach to tan, so heat, humidity and mosquitoes just get in the way of my Good Times.. so give me some Argentine winter , I am content.

Pup is not complaining either , btw. He gets lots of walks and hangs out in parks and cafes and generally is content with the way things are .. We all agreed today that we are happy here.
I love this little park and would be even happier if there was an apartment available in the little brick building.. really, I am going to start wishing on stars and winning the breaking of the Wishbone and whatever else might work .. I can see us living here and having that park in front of our door ..
 Here is another favorite building. . although every time I look at it, I wonder how the bathroom walls are and do the floors squeak.

So that is the day so far, we are muy contento and enjoying the day and the place and the people.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Hero of the Day

Yes, children, there is a God and he sent me a plumber, no ! two plumbers today !
One was the disgraced plumber known as C and the other we never got the name of but he was the Hero of the Day.
We will call him P. ( for Plumber- cuz that is what he did).

They were here a tiny bit late, the excuse about parking came up again but they arrived, so almost all was forgiven. I was cool, not rude but no one got a warm welcome.. no one got coffee or tea .. no one got yelled at.  I do have some tiny amount of self-control left .. tiny tiny bit .

I came in here with Pup and we hid for a few hours.
There were consultations in the hall , outside of the bathroom, which will never be as perfect as it was when we first renovated it, but really ? I think we are the only ones who can tell .
Pictures speak much better for me in this case.. There was much banging and what sounded like china dishes being broken..
Then there was the destruction phase. These always depress me and make me want to weep and wonder will it ever look as good or even just not horrible ?
And will it all stand out like a bad seamstress repairing your sleeves and they are never quit right ?
Those orange things are pipes ... Dry.
That wall that is broken open ... Dry.
And yeah, even in Argentina ....
So like all things that seem to happen in our lives, especially in our homes and always in Buenos Aires, there is no explanation, no cause of the wet and no leak anywhere.
Everything was dry.
So everything was checked, resealed and closed back up.
One of the causes, according to C, who did plenty of mulling and thinking and tapping his head ( does this make things work better inside there?) .. the seal between the sink and the wall was not good, all the splashing of water leaked into the wall from the sink and eventually started the water damage.
Of course, someone would think of a reason that put all the blame on us !

But I am going along with it for now. If it happens again, I think I will be much more serious about the Real Estate online sites.

So here is the cleaned up and finished product, minus the paint job... that is next.
After they left and we cleaned up, it was definitely time for some Fresh Air.
So grabbing Pup we went into the neighborhood to wander, get some warm sun on our faces and relish the feeling that the Big Deal over the Bathroom is over. Pup was  happy about that .. Especially when he spied this little face peeking around the corner .. the photo doesn't do him justice, his eyes were as green as the leaves..
The Parks were full , it is winter break for the schools and there were children and families everywhere enjoying the sunshine. The cafes were full, the feria people were working and selling wonderful leather bags and some scarves and shawls that I have my eye on ..
Crossing the street , it looks so peaceful and quiet .. no?
But then, as I went to the next block and stood in the middle of the empty street .. the light changed...

Here they come !!
Last night we took Pup on one last walk and I had to take a photo of the moon.
Yes. the moon over Buenos Aires
So this is The End of the plumber saga.

stay tuned for the Saga of the Painter 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Parks, Pups, Pigeons, Plumbers

We took a walk with the dog after the Plumber fiasco.
We walked past trees such as this.
We went past old buildings and statues
Past the University

And through the parks
and past the pigeons

to the cafe where we had a sandwich and some cafe con leche and soaked up the warm sun on a brisk winter day. 
Pup enjoyed everything as usual and I was calmed by the sun and fresh air and have just enough patience to wait one more time for the plumber, who did not arrive, he said he could not find a parking spot, I said come tomorrow or never.
The End
photos - AllPosters and my own

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mondays - Look at This Blog !

Framed  Or   Framed, my life one picture at a time.

I discovered this blog one day, when I was searching for a recipe on Tastespotting.
Don't get me started about Tastespotting ! You can go there to look for a basic soup recipe and not come up for air for days !
And then you will be overloaded with recipes for everything ... Every Thing.

Framed had a recipe that appealed to me right away, easy, nothing tricky about it and easy sounding.
But the website ! The photos !   I think I was there, the first time, for at least an hour, going from recipe to recipe, looking at photos of Pups and pretty things and   that pool.
On a cold winter day, that photo cheers me up, on a hot summer day it makes me daydream.
Especially because we were almost neighbors, once upon a time.
We did not live so far from each other , way back long ago.

So go look at Framed.
Read her blog, look at the photos and try a recipe.
Save the url .. you will need it one day, I'm telling you .. I make the best Penne with Roasted Tomatoes , thanks to Kate.

Anyone who can make a tomato look this good has got to be Brilliant , right ?

Photo by Kate Morgan Jackson/Framed 

El fontanero

No, he does not look like this.

                                                                                            More like this

And tomorrow he will be here ( he says) at 10 am and will fix everything and be done by 2.
This includes taking up more of my beautiful floor tiles and making more holes in the wall. Good news is that he will replace everything. Plumbers do that here, they do the tile and wall repairs when they are finished, so we won't have to wait for someone else.
Then we will have the painter in and who knows.. we might go a month or two without needing a repair man !

It is a beautiful sunny day.
We ran errands and then took Pup to the park. That is all we felt like doing. Even Pup seems low energy.
Maybe a nap would do us all some good. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

She said it all perfectly. Rainy days (Sunday) and Mondays get her down ... and me.
It rained all day today. Cold wet rain. The sort that soaks a dog and that dog doesn't completely dry for hours. And when he is finally dry, it is time to go out again. The washing machine is full of towels.
The dog smells slightly damp and doggy.
I bet the entire house does too.

The best thing about the day ,was we had nowhere that we had to go ( besides my husband walking the dog) and nothing we had to do, (besides dry the dog) so it was a totally lazy day ( especially the dog).. he went from sleeping beside the bed, to sleeping on a bed, to sleeping in the hall, to sleeping on the sofa , where I made myself as narrow as possible so he could stretch out and now he is sleeping next to me, making it impossible for me to move the chair without his knowing it ... ( because you know I am just waiting to escape and run away and not take him with me so he has to watch out for that).

I made an excellent soup. Very tasty.

I read the New York Times online and the Daily Mail UK. .for my daily dose of Tabloid gossip  and browsed a travel forum and considered looking at real estate in another country.
But I couldn't think of one I liked better than where I am, so I gave that up and went back to browsing Food blogs.
As if this weren't enough.. the photo alone can make me weep.. that swimming pool ! but then the recipe !! Lobster !   Framed-my life one picture at a time

And then I thought I would look at something to maybe inspire me around the house .. we went shopping last week for Art supplies.
I have them sitting here , staring a hole through me every day , waiting for me to use them.
I look at them and say, soon, soon... and hurry out of the room.
So here is some inspiration ... Boite d'aquarelles

I thought I would see what was going on in the land of Design .. I can get all inspired and go out tomorrow and find the right pillow or chair or something .. but then hours went by, I enjoyed every minute of looking at the blogs but the inspiration went in one eye and out the other ... or something.
This one really makes me dream ...  Greige
That garden ! all that green, it looks warm and inviting . . and not rainy and I don't see any dogs waiting with a towel.

Or this , the wonderful Belgian Pearls  .. I walk around the rooms, trying to imagine tufted chairs and ottomans and Things. Things that I must go out and buy.
If it stops raining.
Only if it stops raining.

After dinner, we listened to music, had a chat with a child far far away and now I am going to plan tomorrow.
So far .. no ideas... but something will come to me... especially if it is not raining.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Palermo Viejo/Soho

It is a cold and blustery day, more cloudy than sunny but it was not raining and I really wanted to go to Palermo and browse through the shops and look at the artisans market and enjoy another neighborhood.
It was a wee bit too cold to really enjoy any of that , but we did stay there a while and I did get to see some shops and browse a little and as always I enjoyed the architecture.. the buildings are mostly low , old fashioned and colorful and extremely charming, in my opinion.
Artisans market at Plaza Serrano
If the area were not so very trendy and terribly hip , I might like to live there, but as it is, we enjoy wandering around the area .. I have no idea where Palermo Viejo ends and Palermo Soho begins. The artisans market I believe is in Palermo Soho.
I am also not sure of the spelling of some places so we will all pretend that we don't notice anything misspelled.

Aside from plenty of bag shops
and shoe shops, they have bakeries and childrens shops and jewelry and well, you name it, they are selling it down there. If only we had known we could shop for our chandeliers there also !
The buildings are usually colorful and interesting as well ..

There is a Starbucks , oh well... and plenty of cafes and ethnic places, but we ended up not eating there at all. But I got to go to Paul, my all time new favorite place to shop for things for the Home. I bought Jasmin  room spray last visit, this time it is Oceanico. I have no idea what it actually smells like, except that it is crisp and clean and not as flowery as Jasmin. I take after my grandmother, I like lots of scent everywhere.  My husband pretty much can live without it but he tolerates these scents.

I love this shop.. this is all there is to let you know that to the right, down a narrow little walkway, opening to a garden and garden shop, is this beautiful space full of "rooms" full of beautiful Things. Dishes, flat and handmade and not quite white, not really grey. On old tables made of ancient wood, with silver candlesticks and bubbly not quite perfect wine glasses. Sofas with great fat pillows covered in wonderful soft fur and velvets. Chandeliers with wire flowers entwined around them , rooms of linens and cooking  utensils.. rusty old mirrors that only look a tiny bit older than that in my bathroom !I have no photos- when I asked if I could take a photo or two, I was told no.But here is the walk In and the walk Out ...

Color in the buildings here and there and a great mix of modern and old.
This is a mews, I could live here ...........and more
and the shop windows !
Beautiful woven fabrics ..
Would you like a cupcake or a chair ?

Finally we grabbed a taxi when our feet were frozen solid and hurried home to hot tea and empanadas followed by a bit of chocolate/orange  brownies ..

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sunset in Buenos Aires