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.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

There Is No Place Like Home

 My Interview on the Ex-Pat Blogs
In case you want to read how things began 

When I read various publications regarding "ex-pats", I still see the word and imagine wonderful Other Places.
Faraway places with strange sounding names.
Where one magically knows their way around and speaks the language within days.
Just like the movies .

In Real Life, it was a bit different but in many ways, it was just like the movies.

We came to Buenos Aires on a holiday, vaguely looking for a place to move to and call Home.
We considered Paris and London but finances have a pesky way of interfering in some daydreams.
After reading countless articles and seeing beautiful photos of Buenos Aires in the New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler, we decided to spend an anniversary in Argentina... see what it is like ... would we really like to live there ??

We were here for 10 days , fell in love with the city , I think, on the second day and the Love part has lasted right up to now.
In fact, I think having gotten to know the people and how great they are, I love BA even more .

I was interviewed by the Ex-Pat Blog people and I was happy to answer the questions.
What was really pleasant was the memories that came back, the pictures in my minds eye of people stopping us everywhere we went to pet Tate (Pup) and talk to us about him. ( They don't have Standard Poodles in Buenos Aires.)
The way everyone helped us if we needed directions, phone numbers, a leaky pipe fixed until the plumber could come ( that happened often).. making phone calls for us when it was beyond our abilities.. giving Pup a ride in a shiny new car , the vet coming to the house every day to be sure Pup was managing.. mostly happy memories, some very sad.

The endless trips to various Government buildings with papers awaiting their Stamp.
The fingerprinting and signing of forms.
The sitting for hours in dreary old buildings waiting for someone to call our number.
It took quite a long time but the day we became Permanent Residents was a pretty good day.
Tate was happy too. (No more waiting at home while mom and dad got up too early and came home grumpy after a long day of waiting in lines)

Tate was always happy.
He was not so thrilled with the trip here and I promised him, crossed my heart, that he would not have to do that again.
He came off that plane yodelling and frantic to pee.
How many dogs do you know who take a flight from Portland, Oregon to Texas to Argentina and Hold It ?
Thank God there was a patch of grass outside the airport doors.

We went to parks and walked the city streets and looked at apartments and met lovely people and moved in to the apartment that most fit into my dream home requirements.

100 years old, French style, 2 apartments to a floor with a totally private walled in garden in the back. A big tree outside my bedroom window with doves cooing and little tiny birds tweeting all day.
Our neighbours accepted us as if we were long lost family.
No one has been unkind, everyone has been sweet and helpful.
Why can't they come back to the US with us ???
But time goes by, changes happen and while some of them are heart breaking , some of them are
so exciting and so wonderful that it is not that hard to decide to Go Home.
Go back and start another adventure in another place that will be familiar but not.
Instead of a city, we will live in the country.
Instead of a beautiful apartment with trees and other old buildings out the windows, there will be trees and gardens and hopefully a bit more peace and quiet.
Instead of a 2 bedroom apartment, there will be an old house with rooms galore.
Enough for family and friends and anyone new that comes along.
And a new dog.
Maybe not a Standard Poodle, maybe something else. We will know when we see it.

We will be Ex-pats in our new home.
We have not been there in 6 years.
We still speak the language. That will help.
We will drive a car again. I will get to sit in the front seat again.
If we want to , we can make all the noise we want in our house.
We will explore and visit friends and family and have big gatherings at our home.
We will be Home again.

So while I recommend that everyone try to do something like we did ... I still agree with Dorothy,
There is No Place Like Home ...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Friday Photo

The parks near our home are full of the most wonderful trees.
Pup used to love wandering in this park.
I can never get enough photos of these trees, they are so big, so old, so beautiful.
We were very lucky to find a home with this as our "backyard" ..

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Merry

                                        Happy Holidays ! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Scrooge here

Hello Boys and Girls, Scrooge here !
Yes, Scrooge.
What ? you didn't know that Scrooge is in Argentina ?
Why, of course he is .. or she is ... Scrooge is everywhere, just like Santa and the Easter Bunny .
Well, maybe not the Easter Bunny, they would shoot that bunny faster than you can say empanada.

But Scrooge is here and she has something to say.
It is hot.
It is too hot to be Christmas.
Christmas should not be spent inside with the a/c on full blast.
Nor should it be spent on a hot sandy beach although that might be preferable to the air conditioned apartment in the city where the last bad driver on earth will be found, honking his horn at a red light.

Did I mention that this Christmas finds us in a sold apartment, waiting to move to the US ?
Counting the days until I can once again be complaining about the cold.
There are no Christmas trees here, the flowers are wilting and dead at the flower shops on the corners and there are no Christmas carols on the television.
We never bothered with a radio here.
But there wouldn't be any Holiday songs on the radio either.
Unless Ricky Martin or Shakira are the ones doing the singing.

It is too hot to cook so Christmas dinner at our house will look something like pasta .
Or pizza .
Or a sandwich that doesn't have to be cooked.

Hopefully, not too long after the New Year, someone will Take Us Away and we will be back in the USA.
Where I can once again whine about things.

Until then . . . It is dreadfully hot.
Freckles pop out , brains fry, white skin looks an unpleasant hot pink color.
Movie theatres and malls over-air conditioned.
So while you are sweating your brains out walking down the street to the mall, be sure to carry a warm sweater in your bag , upon arrival, the sweat on your brow will freeze.

And remember, while you are sitting before  the fire, warming your little cold feet and hands, dreaming of Santa and his sleigh, give a thought to those of us who are huddled by the air conditioner, dreaming of Santa and a moving van ..
Merry Christmas .. really.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friday Photo

Oh, how I will miss these buildings.


I am a firm believer in Celebrations.
I was raised by very young parents who made sure there were birthday parties complete with decorations and cakes and candles and Christmas trees fully decorated and presents at all times.
My dad was one of those poor men who climbed the ladder to string the lights along the edge of the roof.
A birthday was not a birthday unless there were presents, cards and some surprises .. every year, no matter what.
Because of this, I never let a birthday go by without a celebration of some sort, presents, decorations if possible and lots of cards.
As you age, you don't really lose the need for presents and cards and loving wishes, you actually need them more.
I mean, really, think about it. Each year brings something new and as we all get along in years, they become more precious.
So why not celebrate them ?
In honor of my husbands birthday, which was not celebrated fully in one day , we went to the Alvear Palace Hotel here in town and had drinks in the Lobby Bar .. toasting another year with the man I love.
There is nothing more posh than the Alvear Lobby Bar .. if you don't believe me, ask the movie stars and rock stars who end up there sooner or later.
We sat on a cushy velvet sofa tucked into the corner so we could do all the people watching we wished,  this spot  is always excellent for People Watching.

After having our drinks and deciding to window shop a bit on the way home, we wandered through the new mall down the street , where I realized that no matter where you are, what the language is that others speak, the weather or time of year , Christmas is pretty much the same.
Trees, Santa and Toys for all the Good Girls and Boys.

Of course I forgot my phone and camera so I don't have my own photo of the huge Christmas tree in the hotel that looks like it is made of white crystal.  Nice .
Enjoy your Celebrations, whatever they are ~

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

until Tomorrow

Someone very near and very very dear to me is having a Birthday.
A day and night of celebrating is ahead.
I will be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Country Life

Wistfully Country
Thanks to my friend Mimi, I have fallen in love with a new tumblr blog.
It is called Wistfully Country .. perfect name , in my opinion.

I am sitting here with the air conditioning on at 9:30 pm. It has been very hot and a little humid for days now.
Now that it has stopped raining.
We have a new and large mosquito population and so far, they have all found me available for a bite.
Benadryl is my  drug of choice along with OFF spray and I am considering one of those hats with the mosquito netting .. except maybe mine will drag on the ground ..
I will waft through the streets draped in mosquito netting, until the nice men in white coats drag me away.
As long as they drag me somewhere mosquito-less, I am not going to complain.

Now, where was I ? Ahhh, yes, The Country.
I am leaving this country to move back to my home country.
While there we will be in The City for a short amount of time then we will move north to  ...
The Country.

We will find a little house in the woods and settle down for a new sort of life, as Country Mice.
City Mice have a lot of fun and see a lot of City Things but then there comes a time, for some of us, when we don't want to hear cars and horns, we want to hear birds and crickets.

I know some City People that get paranoid and off - balance after a night out of the city, they are City people to the core.
But I think that I , having been a City person for a long time, now want to get back to my Country girl roots.

I look at houses on-line and imagine the flower gardens, the landscaping, the vegetable gardens.
I plan where I will put the rows of sunflowers , the bird feeders, the wind chimes.
I read about paint colors and country kitchens and painting sky blue ceilings on porches.
I talk with my husband about the car that will carry 2 people, several people, any babies that might happen along and a nice big dog.
We speak of things like firewood and acres and how many fireplaces and no lake but maybe a stream ?

I daydream about antiquing and cooking a family meal and having everyone around the table, for the first time in many many years.
We are vagabonds. Our children share this gene.
One lived in Asia for many years, one lives in the Southern US and we, well we live all over the place.. but now we are going to go Home.

To the country.
Which will seem like going to yet another foreign country, but we will speak the language.
I hope.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Look at this Blog

A Breath of Fresh Air

I recently discovered this blog and have enjoyed browsing through the stories and photos.. it is  relaxing and charming and just lovely.
So I will share my newest discovery, go take a look at A Breath of Fresh Air .. you will see, it is.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Taking the day off

                   We will be back sometime this evening.
                   We are going on a journey ..    far far away.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cranky Town

Welcome to Busy Town. . or some might say Cranky Town.
Aside from the government officials who zoom around by helicopter daily, we have other , I suppose- lesser officials, who travel by auto, zooming through the city streets.
We are alerted to this, every time, by  the  motorcycle police  and police cars, speeding down the streets with horns and sirens going and among all the lesser official cars, there will be one shiny big black car .. 
Being mostly Clueless  in Buenos Aires, we have no idea who they are or where they are coming from or going, it is still a tiny moment of pomp and Argentine Hooplah.

( I did recognise the flags of the officials from Israel who went zooming down our street a couple of years ago, that was very cool. )

A few blocks from here, we have some mighty grand and beautiful hotels.
Large hotels with security. 
They are just right for those who come here with an entourage and require 24 hour a day pampering and bowing and scraping.
Madonna is here.

And in the Sports World, the one I pay a tiny bit of attention to,  Roger Federer and Juan Martín del Potro are here too.
I am sure there are many more luminaries here, but these are the ones that are the most recent and fussed over at the moment.

Now on to other Cranky-ness...

This will garner no sympathy for me, but my housekeeper didn't show up again for the 4th time. 
Forget about the fact that we have a maid who comes once a week, this is the way things are done here, everyone has a maid .. they call them maids too. Not housekeeper . 
Mine calls in sick ... often. 
Actually she just doesn't show up. Often.

She is here once then the rest of the month, she has some sort of health emergency.
I generally have never really cared but this is her 4th Wednesday illness in a row.
I think it has something to do with finding out we sold the apartment and we are moving.

So this all leads me to complain about the noise of our vacuum cleaner, the funny scent it leaves behind , how tiresome I find people who sit in traffic that is obviously going nowhere and still honk incessantly and the lady upstairs has allowed her pipes to leak ( in other words, after the last leak, she did nothing to repair them) and we now have water stains on an otherwise new clean white ceiling. 
And we will have to hire a painter and pay for the repairs. 

Some things in life are just not fair ... ( obvious ploy for sympathy)

So being busy   complaining and all,   we will drag my whining self   to the Mall.
Where there is pretty music, mighty air conditioning and many many shops.

I will no doubt find something I have to buy and probably will return in a much better mood.. and maybe not so cranky.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One of those days ~

It is just one of those days.
You know, those days. 
When you have zero energy and you know there must be something that must be done but you just don't have to energy to even think about it.

When it takes you 3 hours and too many cups of coffee to just get into the shower.

When you can't think of what to wear because it either doesn't look right ( to your own critical eye- there is always someone who will tell you , you look great .. I love him but I don't think I do.)

When you forgot to turn on the air conditioning while dressing and now nothing feels comfortable and everything looks awful ... awful, I tell you !!

So what do you do ?
You go into another room, where there are no clothes watching you with disapproval, you turn the air conditioning on high and you sit down and lose yourself in the internet . 
Time passes, you are not hot, you are not thinking about what to wear and which shoes are the most comfortable.
You cheer up.

Then you go find something to wear and leave the house ..
Before you reach the corner, you wish you had not worn what you are wearing, wish that it were still winter and wish that someone else would do the shopping.

A stop at the bakery barely cheers you up. 
You know that that scone will find its way to your waistline. 
Scones are like that ... They always do.

Then to the market where we buy many bottles of sparkling water and one bottle of wine and scurry home as fast as our hot little feet can carry us.

Ahhhhh~ closed shutters, air conditioning on full blast, a bottle of cold sparkling water and pretty music coming from another room.

Nice ~
Maybe tonight, we will go for a walk .. when the sun is gone and the mosquitoes are out and I will have something new to whine about.

Monday, December 10, 2012

ExPat Bloggers

The last days of the 2012 ExPat Blog  Awards are passing by and I want to thank those of you who voted for me with your   very lovely and kind comments ..

ExPat Blogs in Argentina 

You can go take a look, enjoy reading a variety of blogs and you can vote for me  !

When we were researching Buenos Aires  , before coming here, before even making the final decision, I started to do this sort of reading.
I wanted to know what other ExPats had to say about living in Buenos Aires.

One of the first blogs I read was Saltshaker and I was thrilled when we got to meet him here and owe him great thanks for all the help he gave us.
He was the one I would dash off an email to with any question, frantic for answers, Dan had them.
And he never once sounded like I was making him crazy with my questions.
A couple of other bloggers that I read were interesting and helpful but left Argentina in the past couple of years.
Whatever we do, wherever we go , things like this are what we remember.
When you were needing help, advice, council or just directions, to be able to ask a perfect stranger on the internet and get quick helpful answers ...  Priceless .

So go take a look, look at Dans blog .. and vote for me .

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Summer Sunday

Sundays here are much like Sunday back in the US .. we get up later, we spend more time over newspapers ( here, they are all online) and drink copious amounts of coffee. ( Brazilian Santos, French roasted, deliciosa !)

Then we   get dressed and prepare to go out and face the sunshine.
One of us takes longer to get ready, find the right shoes, where is the camera, do I need the phone ?, he patiently says no.. and we are off.

Today the sunshine is lovely, bright, not a cloud in sight and after a few minutes, you can actually feel the freckles popping out ... no ! really !
Standing on the corner of a huge boulevard with no shade, waiting for the light to change, you can almost feel that little sizzle when exposed skin is starting to get just a tiny bit too much sun.

It is a relief to get across the street, dodging taxi drivers and buses, to get to the shady side of the street.
Like little cats , we slink along the shady side, hovering in doorways when we wait to cross streets, popping into air conditioned bakeries and markets, then stopping for a little spell on a park bench , in the shade, in the park.

Snacking on fresh baked scones from  the bakery, we chat about the weather, the people in the park and most interesting to us these days, the plans for returning to the United States  and all the details that need to be planned for, thought of, looked forward to.

The only thing that makes me sad about going back to the US is that I have to leave all the people in Buenos Aires behind.
I haven't figured out how to get around that .. I guess it just means I will be planning a lot of visits back here.

After running errands , taking photos as we dashed from one shady spot to the other, we decided that the best place to be today is at home, with the air conditioning.

So here we are.
I, blogging and looking at houses online.
My husband , reading.
All we need is a little cat before the (imaginary) hearth and Pup lying by my chair.

A perfect Summer Sunday ..
the walk home

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Photo

The Jacarandas are at their peak, there are small areas around the trees where the ground is  purple from the fallen petals.
The scent has been wonderful, the sight of them has been incredible.
I am pretty sure that this year has been the best for the Jacarandas in Buenos Aires.
(I am pretty sure I say this every year)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

On A Rainy Day

It is raining. It is pouring. All we need is the old man who is snoring.
We had hail.
That was interesting to watch, chunks of ice going past the french doors, plants getting a tiny bit battered.
Pedestrians hiding under awnings and in doorways. . cars getting dented .. huge puddles at all the corners so people are crossing mid street or in some cases, jumping the puddles.

We all know that if I were doing the jumping, I would most likely land exactly in the middle of the puddle .. splashing those around me, soaking myself , ruining my shoes and generally making me unhappy.
So I sit here in my tower, looking down at the street, the people scurrying here and there and feel glad that I can be right where I am .

This is how I often feel about living here.
I am glad to be where I am.

Lately , however, there are feelings that reflect a change.
People far away, loved ones, need me to be where they are .
Not exactly right next to them  , maybe, but in the general vicinity.

Change is good.
We should all keep changing , otherwise, we stagnate, become bored and boring.

There was a toxic leak today in town.
I woke to that sound again ... sirens.
It is so unpleasant .. when you realise that even while you were sleeping, you were hearing sirens.
Fire trucks, ambulances, police sirens.
Something is wrong.

Not so long ago, there was a train crash here, the sirens woke me.
Hearing sirens all day is a dreadful reminder of living somewhere else when something unimaginable happened and sirens wailed for days and days.
I could really live without ever hearing that sound again.

My plants are getting watered. This is a good thing.
It is not so hot , this is a very good thing.

I am going to find a new book and settle down in the pillows and read ... perhaps about a detective in the rural parts of England, perhaps a detective in Sweden , perhaps a fashion magazine.

I have gotten to the point where I study fashion magazines like I used to do homework, making notes, keeping reminders, one day I will be able to visit those stores, I plan to be well versed in their inventory.

But for now, a good Murder Mystery will occupy my time.

What do you like to do on a rainy day ?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Hot Summer Day

On a hot summer day, here in Buenos Aires, we do what we used to do back in the United States.
We went to a movie.
I took  along a light sweater, and wore it .. because much like the theatres in the US, they over-air condition.
It felt great to walk out of the theatre back into the blazing hot sunshine.

There is a lot of traffic .. thank to a  Subway strike.
And along with this comes the sound of a lot of horns honking, sirens too.
I saw some very Hollywood- ready Motorcycle police and many groups of tourists, maps in hand, cameras around their necks, all looking just a bit shell-shocked, sweaty and stunned.

Buenos Aires will do that to you.
For maybe a day.
Then you start walking around with this silly grin on your face and you find yourself practicing your Spanish .. and being delighted when the locals respond with big smiles and you know they appreciated your even trying.
Not that they understood you, but they are too polite to mention that .

We saw a terrible movie.
I hate to mention the name, they don't really deserve the free publicity.
We will just say that Christopher Walken was in it and we expected better.
He was wasted in this.

We expected someone to come to the house while we were gone and to leave it in spic and span, tip top shiny clean condition and found that she did not show up.
I have decided that I have to get our keys back from her and tell her Adios y Gracias .
Yes, I know how to fire someone in Español.

I have decided to quit posting on these Online forums where people volunteer to help other people who are traveling and end up being insulted by people who think they are experts.
We all know that I am the expert around here and that unless I get the respect due to me, I will leave .. in a huff.
Picture me flouncing out of the room, tossing my hair , take that .

( Impressed ?)
No, I didn't think you would be .. I have to practice my flouncing. 

So this is early Summer in Buenos Aires.
For 2 weeks now I have been wanting to go to the area north of the city called Tigre.
I want to be near the water, see the homes on the Delta, ride in a boat , fight off man-eating mosquitoes and live to tell the tale.
But there are these Train strikes.
Even when they are not striking, I am afraid they will strike while we are away and we won't be able to get back home.
So we stay in town.
I am working on a plan, different town, closer to BA, we can take a taxi if they actually strike and we are stuck.

Which leads me to look forward to those car dealerships we will visit in the US ..

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lazy Summer Days

Summer has hit.
Full blast.
Temperatures in the 80's and pure sunshine.
Freckles have been known to pop out on the arms of some people as they walk down the street, prompting those people to constantly cross the street to be sure to walk on the Shady Side.
Now and again, there is no Shady Side and then a person has to take Drastic Measures.
Walking Through the Mall.
It is sometimes a sacrifice, but Walking Through the Mall is better, cooler and safer for the skin than going down the sidewalk next to the mall, in the sunshine.
If one needs to stop and rest, the Mall has cafes and places to rest as well as shops to stand in and admire ones surroundings , while staying safe from the heat and sun .. and who knows if something might jump out and ask to be taken home ... stranger things have happened.

Walking home the other day, through the park, in the shade .. we passed dozens of birds, doves and parrots, all "grazing" in the grass , as we walked by , they just moved over, not even worried, not flying away in a panic, they just moved out of the way.
I got photos but what I really wanted was a Green Parrot.
They are so green.. big .. beautiful things. Noisy and loud but beautiful.
All sorts of exotic summer flowers are blooming, the parks are at their peak of beauty, I think.

 It will last for months before things go brown and dried up..
Summers are long here .. they are also pretty wonderful.

The skies are generally always clear and you can count the stars, they are all much closer than in some other places .. really ! and they are bigger ..
I swear it ! and they are also more white.
Cross my heart , they are !

No one is cooking at my house.
Well, yes,  the coffee maker works in the morning and now and then some bread is toasted .. but if it is not a sandwich or salad, it isn't getting made here .
There are 2 bowls of dark red cherries in the fridge.
There is a bowl of big fat strawberries.
There was a half a watermelon but someone made a pig of herself and ate most of it... swearing she would never eat again.
She lied.

Nice thing about summer here, late at night , you can take a walk and the cafes are full, tables outside, people eating and talking and laughing until well after 11-12:00 pm ..
We used to take long walks at night through the neighborhood, with Tate.
He loved the cooler temperatures and we could walk for a longer time with him. I enjoyed the quiet and the feel of walking emptier sidewalks with just my husband and the dog and the scents of cooking , wood smoke and summer air. Since Tate died, we don't take those walks anymore. Somehow, it is not the same.

Christmas is coming.
Hot summer Christmas Day.
I never got used to it .
But presents are just as fun in summer as winter ... remember that !

Monday, Look at this Blog !

Maison Boheme

Today I want you to go take a look at Sarah's blog.
She has this lovely mix of fashion, style, design and "real life" ..
I always find things I want  in my home someday and I enjoy reading about her family and how she manages ..  She inspires me ~ Go take a look, say hello ~

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thank you !

These are  for you

To thank you for reading my blog.
In the mornings when I open this blog and I see that little "Feedjit", live traffic feed .. I can see the locations of the readers of this blog.
Maybe it is childish of me or I am not blasé enough yet, but I get a little thrill when I see Israel, France, Washington DC , Mexico, Japan  !
It is really a kick to see that right at that moment, someone in such far away places (with strange sounding names) is reading my blog.
This encourages me and makes me feel that I am not actually spending my time, talking to myself.

So   Thank you.,  Muchas gracias, спасибо, Merci,  Grazie, dank u,  , תודה , danke,  ありがとう,
obrigado,  tack,  diolch i chi,  谢谢  !

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lying in the Dark Dreaming

There was a time that I lay in the dark dreaming of a new place to live.
Sometimes it would be a place I read about in a novel, a place I had seen  in a magazine, or heard a story about.

Sometimes it would be a setting in a movie .
I would see me there instead of the main characters .. I like that.

Those would have me living in the Cotswolds in England, taking long rambles through the countryside, avoiding the fields where large bulls would graze.
Sitting down to tea with my husband and deciding if dinner was going to be at the local Pub or perhaps I would cook.. for a change.

Or we would be wandering the back streets of Montmartre where I would buy the small amount of food we could afford and take it back to our garrett, on the 10th floor of the charming walk-up that we could afford.
We were very fit in those dreams.

Now I just daydream about moving back to the country we are from, to the state that we are from, to the family that we miss.

But of course, all this dreaming enables me  to take the house that was For Sale, that I  saw online and imagine our furniture in the rooms, our new dog and cat , along with a garden .

So now it is all about throwing things away and looking at the Real Estate websites.
And I lie in the dark, dreaming of the old farmhouse with a large front porch  where grand babies might come stay and grandmothers can dote upon them.

I think my husband just dreams of finding the right car .
Then the right house in the right town.
And driving.
You don't realise how much you like to drive until you live for years without a car.

I have not driven a car in 5 years.

I have not sat in the front seat of a car in 5 years.
I have not eaten Turkey and dressing or cranberry sauce.
I have not had lobster.
I have not had pasta with calamari.
I have not shopped in one J Crew, Banana Republic, Bloomingdales or Saks !
Feel sorry for me yet ?

So when I can't sleep, I lie in the dark and ... rock babies, drive cars , shop and eat.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Notes From ABroad

This ( above) is my expat blog interview, click on it and  you can read it and others .
Enjoy the world of Expats on the Expat Blog.
Go take a look, say hello to me and maybe discover some others that you enjoy.
Or even better, read, be inspired and become an expat too !!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

House Hunting in BA.

House hunting in Buenos Aires

First you figure out what style you like.

Modern ? French ? Antique ?

Brand new ? High rise ? Petit hotel?
PB ... planta baja ( ground floor with garden) ?

Then you figure out how much you can afford.

Then you decide which neighbourhood suits you.

Recoleta, old beautiful buildings , embassies, grand museums, grand hotels, grand parks, grand avenues, Hippie Feria each weekend.
Sort of like NYC Upper East side.

Palermo, with its Botanical Gardens, parks, charming small neighborhood feel, a tiny bit more family neighbourhood feeling.
If you are from NY, the Upper Westside might come to mind.

Palermo Viejo/Soho/Hollywood ... funky boutiques, weekend flea markets, cool eateries, definitely good shopping, eating and artsy.
Imagine NY Soho.

San Telmo, one antique shop after another, cobble stone streets, old style buildings, private homes behind walls with bougainvillaea spilling over, parrots and little birds busy in the trees on the other side of high pink walls. Good cafes.
Very Old-World Buenos Aires.

Puerto Madero , they took the old waterfront and tore down ancient old buildings and Phillipe Stark and others came in and built fabulous , very expensive hotels, restaurants and lots of nice shops and cafes and bars.
Now it is the place to go on a Sunday for Brunch, or dinner at night with the lights from the city reflected in the water, or for an afternoons hike through the  , Reserve Ecologica Castenera Sur
better known to us as the Puerto Madero Reserve. There you can take a walk, with only the sounds of birds and water lapping the shore, see some wildlife .... I could live without seeing a snake again, thank you very much ... and breathe fresh air and see just how brown the river is.
But a tiny apartment will cost around one million USD so let's keep looking .

There is Retiro, which is where there are government buildings and parks .

Belgrano ... beautiful streets lined with huge plane trees, gardens in front and behind the apartment buildings, wonderful old homes, fabulous examples of Argentine architecture .. and quiet and green.
Nearby is Chinatown. Which is only a couple of blocks of shops and restaurants but it is a China town.. so no complaining here !

Now make a choice.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday, Look At This Blog

The Sartorialist 

Every day I check the Sartorialist blog .. I don't know, am I checking to see what I should wear today ? or how I should be dressed and have to work on my own style ? Or get inspiration ? Or just feel dowdy and needy of a trip to Paris or Italy ?
Whatever the reason, do go take a look at this blog .. if you have not been there before, you will be happy ... let me know ..
Meanwhile, I think I might need that handbag up there on the right .. it looks about the right size .. as does her coat .. mmmm.

photos from The Sartorialist Blog

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hey Hey, We're the Tourists !

Here we come, walking down the street...
We get the funniest looks from everyone we meet.

Hey, hey, we're the tourists ...
People say we don't know our way around,

But we're too busy looking 
To put anybody down.

Hey Hey we're the tourists, and we love being in this town !!

Thank you to the Monkees for letting me mess with their song. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Moving Tips # 1

When preparing to Move House.. in any case, whether it is from an apartment to a house, to another apartment, from one state to another or in our case from one continent to another ... Remember .. when preparing to start packing, save the large box of photographs for Another Day.

Do not allow the Husband or in your case it might be the Wife, to sit down and go through 20-30-40 years of photographs and decide which ones stay and which go into the rubbish.

Especially if you are one of those people who is responsible for Saving Everything and your spouse  is responsible for Throwing Things Away That You Will Need/Want Later.

It is a matter of cosmic fortune that most couples are made of one of each of these categories, very few couples are made of 2 people who Throw Things Away or Keep Everything.
I don't know why this is so ... perhaps it is some sort of Cosmic Balance thing.

These Tips will come to you now and then, as the matter arises.
You never know when it will be your turn to pack up house and prepare to move , so pay attention !


We have been doing a lot of walking lately. 
The weather has warmed up and the parks and gardens are in full bloom.
Not to mention the birds, parrots in the palm trees, nesting, making a racket at all times. 
Doves cooing, little bitty birds just hopping around and catching a crumb here and there... they especially love one lady who shares her scones with them , but I think they miss the dog the lady used to bring with her.. the one that would try to grab the crumbs for himself and there would ensue a hilarious match of birds grabbing crumbs, dog grabbing crumbs and woman grabbing dog. 
Who knew feeding the birds could be so fun ?

As you can see, it is Jacaranda time.
This is without doubt, the most beautiful time of the year , here in Buenos Aires.
When the flowers are gone, everything will be green, which is very nice, but the intense color of the Jacaranda flowers is magical.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Photo

                                      I know, too bad I live in such an ugly place.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Although they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Buenos Aires, I am stopping to think of all the things I can give Thanks for.
I am Thankful for the opportunity we had to be able to come here and live in this beautiful city, among these wonderful people.
I am Thankful for the man that I share my life with and who has much more of an Adventurous and Brave spirit than I do .... He has the ideas, I just tag along.
I am Thankful to live among some of the nicest and warmest and most good natured people I have ever met.
I am so Thankful for the fates that pushed us to visit this country, who put us in the right place at the right time for meeting the right people, finding the right home and having such a nice life  here.
I am Thankful for the friends we have, for our family and our children.
I am Thankful that we had the pleasure of the companionship and love of Tate (Pup) for as long as we did.
I am Thankful for the internet which has kept me sane on many a day and night when I really felt like the only person on the planet that spoke English .. and for all those people out there, most of whom I have not actually met, who I count as friends and who keep me smiling and not feeling quite so cut off from all that was familiar ..
I am Thankful for the man we met who helped us find this apartment, which we love and who has now helped us to sell his apartment, for someone else to love.
I am Thankful that in a few months, we will be flying back to the United States to begin our next Adventure.
Thank you ~

Let your last Thinks all be Thanks. 
W.H. Auden

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ojala !

"O-Hala" ... Which means God willing, If only, I hope so ... you get the drift.

It was one of the first phrases we learned, from a neighbour whom we love.
She was talking about something, maybe that we would have no more repeats of the dreaded leaky pipes from the apartment above..
But we liked the way it sounded and Ojala has been one of our words in Spanish that we are actually able to remember.
I don't get to use it often enough.
Therefore it gets it's own blog.

The man who is buying our apartment is very nice and is doing everything right and helpful for us.
The sale should go through without a problem  .. Ojala.

Yesterday I took quite a few of my favourite plants that were weighing down the balconies and had the Porter put them in the garden.
Now all the neighbours can look out there and see them and remember us and sweet Tate.. happy memories, Ojala.

And the balcony won't fall onto the sidewalk below.
And I won't hear the noise and look out there out of curiosity and see feet sticking out from under the rubble... sort of like the witch in the Wizard of Oz..  this worry can be set aside now, Ojala.

My plants are already laughing and screaming.
The Porter watered them this morning.
They have clean fresh air. I discovered yesterday how dirty their leaves were from sitting on that balcony !
Now they will have clean air and water and now and then someone will talk to them, Ojala.
Surely there is one person in the building that knows plants like to be talked to ..

Tiny steps, giving things away, making plans for homes and life in another land, a familiar land, well, familiar in that they do speak English there .. Ojala.

And my neighbour and her husband might visit NYC again and we will get to see them ... Ojala !!

This was a photo taken one evening , of one of the planters out on the balcony. If you look closely you will see the 2 little baby doves sitting in their nest.
That year the balcony plants didn't get a great deal of attention, the dove nursery came first.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Notes From ABroad

If you like the blog, please do click on here  Notes From ABroad and give me a vote, a note, a nod.
 muchas gracias, besitos, ( see, I do speak Spanish)


I never dreamt of being an "ex-pat".
I used to read the term , a long time ago, when someone referred to an Englishman in South Africa or an American in Paris but I never really thought to myself that I would like to be an ex-pat one day.
Even when we decided to move to Argentina, after wishing I could move to England and then wishing I lived in Paris ... I never thought, oh good ! now I can be an expat.

But here I am .. here we are ... my husband and I .. Ex-pats.

Pup was an ex-pat pup. He loved it.

I am afraid we are not very good expats.
We don't go to Starbucks, or  McDonald's or even the  Hard Rock Cafe.

When we did this- we did it All the Way .. we did not give it a try first, rent an apartment, see if you like it.
We arrived April 21st .
We rented an apartment for a couple of months ( more affordable than a hotel and there was a large doggie with us ) and we spent amazing amounts of hours doing paperwork and visits to various officials, police, fingerprints, photos and some more paperwork and then we bought our home.
We live here.
We are part of the neighborhood.
We speak atrocious Castellano but they seem to like us anyway.
They loved Tate.
That Pup was the most photographed and petted and popular pup in BA.
He was our passport into the neighborhood.
They could care less about two more people moving in, but that dog !
Oh , mi amore, pobrecito, kiss kiss  !!.. that was Tates first introduction to Castellano ..
He liked it.

We miss having a car but I still enjoy carrying my special bags for groceries to the market and lugging it home. Knowing that at around 4-5 am, a truck delivered the produce from the farm.
The eggs often still have a feather stuck to them.
The veggies are often still muddy.
We stand at the market and point out what we want and tell them how many and the boys put them into bags and send us home, the eggs wrapped in newspaper, never is one broken.

We take nice long walks to the various bakeries that have our favorites .. scones for him, scones for me and the French bakery where we buy loaves of bread and croissants made in ovens shipped from France to Argentina.

My husband enjoys Malbec, he enjoys the prices too..

So here we are .. two ex-pats. loving where we are, the people around us and the lovely life we have .

So what do we do ?

We sell our home, pack our bags and move back to the US.
to be continued....

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Morning, Look At This Blog

Made in Heaven

I love this blog.
The photos alone, transport me from summer in Argentina to a cold and Christmasy place back in another world. Perhaps not the world I come from ,
but maybe the world I will go back to.
Whichever, it is a beautiful place and I enjoy her blog so much.
Now you can enjoy it too.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Wanderlust ... a strong desire to travel 

In the past few years, my husband and I have enjoyed a life of "wandering". 
We have always liked to travel, before we met each other, we both went here and there to visit, explore, live and satisfy that need that some of us have to see faraway places with strange sounding names.
He went to some mighty wonderful places, India as well as England, Italy etc.
I mostly moved around in the US but after meeting him, England and France were part of our travels, then came Argentina.

We had been playing with the idea of moving somewhere much farther away than just another state in the US .. we had already done that, moving from the Northeast US to the Southeast to the Northwest and then ... where ? 
We played with many ideas, all of those dreams a person might have , a person who likes to wander ...

 If you could pack up and just go .. where would it be ?

Of course, there are always those pesky limitations, mainly budget .. if not for that, I imagine I would be sitting here in my Paris pied a tier , talking about petit fours and Opera.

Or that flat in Florence, Italy, from which I would send you detailed reports on the pigeons and the bell towers seen from my top floor flat .

Or that little town in rural England where the homes have thatched roofs and we would be perpetually known as the Yanks.

Through the many years of our marriage, yes, it is true, we have been married 100 years, we have gone somewhere "special" for our anniversary. 
The locations varied from Las Vegas to St Martin to London and Paris. 
This time , he said, Let's go to Argentina.
I looked at him like he was crazy.

So that November, we flew to Buenos Aires and spent 2 weeks falling in love.
With each other all over again ( we do this on a regular basis) and with the people here and the city isn't bad either.

From the airport in Texas where we met a   woman and her daughter, who said they were flying home to BA to celebrate a family birthday, who called us and met us while in the city for coffee, bring along her brother, who is a realtor.
We went with him on our last day in BA, for a look at some houses, just to see what you get and would we want it ?
We did. 

We flew home full of memories and smiles and anticipation.
Pup was missing me and I was missing him.
I had all sorts of ideas about clothes, decorating and appreciating being back home where I could understand everyone.

My husband was full of ideas about how to manage a move from one continent to the other with the dog and all of our belongings.

And so, 5 months later, with all the credit going to my husband .. the paperwork was done, the dog was certified and one day in April, we got on an airplane and left our old life behind.

To Be Continued :

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Photo

                                         Waiting for the dog walker to come back.

Well, Will ya look at that !

 Expats Blog 

They like me ! They really like me !!
Top Blog ! Wow !!

Thank you, I am honored and touched and pleased as punch !

Now those who have no idea what I am going on about, click on it and go see.
Apparently you can vote for me too. I hope I won't have to give a speech !
Be careful, aside from my Blog, there are sooo many more to read ..
You will have ideas, I know, you will have many ideas after browsing around those blogs, where would you like to live ?
Where do you see yourself living and having a home and an adventure ?
Can you speak the language ?
Or will you be like me and speak a language of your own, not really English and not really Spanish.

Even if you are content to stay put, it is fun to read about those who have been stricken with the best case of Wanderlust.

Go see. . tell what you think .

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Somewhere I will remember forever ...

Sometimes I wonder what it will be like to be back in the United States.
Will I just wallow in all the luxuries of having our own car, central heat and air and a moment of peace and quiet ?
Will the people be friendly, nice , courteous and ready to laugh like they are here ?
Will I be able to understand them ?
That last one is a joke, I doubt I will understand anyone soon, my mind, she is melting.

The days are turning more glorious by the minute.
Blue blue skies, an occasional white puffy cloud to cast a momentary shadow, then a breeze to keep you from burning in that   warm, sunshine.

The trees are fully leafed and home to what seem like thousands of birds.
The branches of the tree outside our living room, host parrot conventions almost daily.

In the back of the apartment, where it is more peaceful and quiet, there are the doves, cooing on my windowsills, little bitty sparrow type birds in the garden below, squabbling, twittering, cute.
I am about to donate a bunch of plants to the garden downstairs.
They have outgrow the balconies and I worry some days, the building is 100 years old. How much weight can a balcony that old manage ?
I will be happy to know that when we are not here anymore, the plants will be there to remind our neighbours of the very happy years that we spent here.
I expect them to send photos now and then, letting me know my plants are flourishing and the neighbours are too.
Funny, I have moved so often, had so many neighbours but these will be the hardest to leave behind.

I guess when you are in your own country with your own language and knowing your way around, things are just matter of fact, you can figure it out . But here, every single thing is done a bit differently, aside from the language issues.
But the neighbours adopted us .. they helped whenever and however they could.
One lady made a call to an official for us, knowing that while we could manage to say the right thing, odds were we would not understand the answers !
She got up early in the morning and sat on the phone for what seemed like hours, you know those phone calls to any government service .. their goal is to make you wait so long you give up and go away. But she didn't. . she waited and she asked the right questions and she found out what we needed to know. And sent us off with kisses.

That is another thing I am going to miss.
If you meet someone you know on the street, you kiss them.
When you say goodbye, you kiss them.
When you meet someone you know with a friend who is a stranger, you kiss them.. they kiss you, it is the kissiest place I have ever lived in and I am sure going to miss it.

*Yes, I made that word up .. Kissiest ... you wish you were here, don't you *

So our time here seems to be growing shorter, the Spring/Summer days are growing longer and we will make the most of the time we have left, here in Buenos Aires.
Somewhere I never dreamt of visiting, let alone living in ... somewhere I will remember forever.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Day in the Life of an Ex-Pat

Spring has sprung.
After heavy rains and now warm temperatures and brilliant sunshine, we have Spring.
In honour of Spring, we went for  a walk today.
(never mind that we go for walks every day )

We walked through parks, past shops, past restaurants and bakeries and shoe shops and then arrived, somehow, I have no idea how it happened .... in front of Zara!
Will wonders never cease !

So we had a little shop around the store and of course, I found something I had to have and then we walked home.
We received messages from realtors regarding such things as buyers but more about that later, when
it is more of a reality and not some persons fantasy.

Have I mentioned that while Zara sells mostly cheap stuff that is (at least as far as the merchandise here in BA) not worth much at all, but I can't be that picky ..
I am not one of those ladies in my neighbourhood who flies to Miami to go to the mall over a weekend.
I did manage to find something nice . . that I can use. . because the truth is ...
If I can't be packing, I will be shopping.

So there you have it ... a day in the life of an ex-pat..

So if we are  ex-pats .. when we move back to the US , will be we re-pats ?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday .. Look At This Blog

Todays Monday, Look at this Blog is

 Besotted Blog

With a name like that, what is there not to like ?
Go look, tell her I said hello, let me know if you were besotted ~

Blog Archive


And Don't Forget To Visit Me Here Too !

See more photos here

sunset in Buenos Aires