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, March 31, 2012

A Change is in the Air

Do you ever just get a hankering to live somewhere else ?
We have been known to do that.
Do you ever browse real estate websites or homes for sale sections in magazines?
We have done that.
Do you wish that you could live somewhere else , regardless of how much you like where you are or have family etc  ?
We do .
Do you ever daydream about just taking the leap and selling as much as you can, take the rest with you and  taking off to start a new sort of life in a new place?
We did.
Do you ever think, " I could live there, as long as my husband,wife,children,whatever, are  with me and as long  the Pup   comes too ? "
We did.
Now those old hankerings are coming back.
Big time.
A move is in the cards.
There are things to do and people to see ,  don't say the word Packing  .. not yet !
But a change is in the Air.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Photo !

Pablo Picasso with his son's hand in his mouth, sitting next to Jean Cocteau !! at a bullfight in France.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mini Break

                                                  Taking a mini break.  Not Mental .. Mini !
                                                   Hope you enjoy the view.
                                                   Be back soon.
                                                   Like probably tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Before and After

When we bought this place, it was not in the greatest condition.
The owner rented it out and the lady kept it clean but she was obviously not interested in decor or updates.
She was just saving money to buy her own apartment.

We saw it as an adventure, a blank slate in a way, there to do whatever we wanted.
Whatever we wanted within reason, after all the repairs that kept coming to our attention.
By way of mold on ceilings that were not caused by steam in the shower as we were told but by a persistent leak from the plumbing above.
None of these things waited long for us to discover them, they announced their presence by the sound of dripping  ... the sight of water running down a newly painted wall ... the rush of water from the ceilings ..
There were days where I walked into rooms and looked up first .. dread was probably the look on my face most days.

Fear of water dripping might be instilled in my poor psyche forever.

We felt , in the beginning, that we were up to it all.
We were.
Now, I wonder.

The most satisfying of homes to renew are the ones like this, neglected, old and sorry but with the most amazing "bones" and that air of stillness, waiting, knowing that we were just the ones that these rooms were waiting for.

And here they are, the sad but now happy rooms that we call home ..

                                                                  Sad Kitchen

Happy Kitchen

The Bath of Gloom

Beautiful Bath

Sad Bedroom

Dreamy Bedroom

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday .. Look at This Blog !

Made in Heaven

This is where I go,  more and more lately, for inspiration.
Dreamy, beautiful homes.
Go visit her and see if you get addicted to House Dreaming too ~

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Things Are Changing

Five years ago, we arrived in Buenos Aires.
We = Husband , Me , Tate the dog.

We did not speak Spanish, we had no home, our belongings were on a ship somewhere, hopefully headed in the right direction .. South .. to the Bottom of the World.

Our first 3 months in Buenos Aires, we lived in a rental apartment and learned our way around ... a tiny bit.
We learned how to order coffee, where  to find  the coffee less likely to make me grimace and grab a glass of water, how to order dinner to go and who delivered pizza.
We found that there was one place in the city that made coffee that we loved.
We have remained faithful to them for 5 years.

We had to move to a new apartment while still Home hunting.
In the meantime, we had to go to the Police to get some papers stamped, proving we were honest and really did plan on living in Argentina.

We had to go to the Immigrations place ( aka Hell) and sit for hours and try to understand what they were telling us .. it always was the same, your papers aren't here yet, Stamp! Stamp! , come back in 3 months.
This continued off and on for 4 years.
By the time we got the final stamps and were considered Permanent Residents, we mostly understood what everyone was saying, we knew some of them well enough to say hello, get a kiss  and joke a bit and when we got that final stamp, we were hugged, kissed  and sent off like children who had finally passed an exam.

Tate remained our Good Will Ambassador .
Wherever we went with him, people smiled.
Old ladies stopped and had serious whispered conversations with him, ending with kisses .
He knew what they said, he stood still as stone, gentle and quiet and then allowed the kiss with a gentle nuzzle of his own.
Babies got the same treatment .. he allowed the pulling , pinching, squealing, giggling babies to come close, touch and sometimes, he even lay down so they could get closer easier.
If a toddler came running, he would just  lie down, so as not to knock over any unsteady little ones.

He was appreciated by all.
Not long ago, a Porter told us how he missed the sight of him.
His jaunty walk down the street, he was such a "persona" ... yes, my Pup was a person.
The best sort of person.
Now the two of us are thinking of children who are missed, children who are probably thinking of having their own children .. and we are here at the Bottom of the World.

Times have changed while we have been here.

The old Argentine  Presidents Wife has become President.
The old president died.
The presidents wife was re-elected.
Things are changing ..  .

We are starting to admire homes in magazines that are located in woodsy settings.
We talk about a house with no neighbors.
We walk about another dog, a home with trees and room for visitors.
We talk about  Home.

Things are changing.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I knew it would be different living in another country, aside from the obvious.. Language.
Not knowing anyone, getting lost and finding North and South , when you live at the bottom of the World, actually has had me stumped a few times.
Then there is the food.
Even the food that is the same as what we have had in other parts of the world,   doesn't quite taste the same. So I finally gave up that idea of "just like home" ..
Now and then, something will happen .. I will taste something, hear or see something and the first thing that pops into my head is that this is "just like home" .
For various reasons, we ended up celebrating the big day yesterday by going to the Hippodromo.
For one thing, it just looks like a place that would be good for a party.
And there were many people there, it was some sort of Special day at the races.
I guess they all heard I am reaching my maturity. 
Everyone is always in a good mood at the race track. Especially when the horses win for you.
Dinner was pretty tasty too.
My husband had the idea and it was perfect for that taste of something we love, that we rarely have and that tastes almost exactly like what we have "back home" ..
Indian food !
And then of course, someone we all know and love, the Champion at buying the Perfect gift, gave me a series of    small treasures , topping off a perfect birthday.
I guess this getting older thing is not quite as bad as some people say.
And you know what they say about the alternative.

Our lives are about to go through more big changes, changes that we have some control over but as in most aspects of life ... You never know ~
But we are ready ..

Friday, March 23, 2012


                                 Happy Birthday To Me !

                                 Taking the day off to celebrate.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Change is in the air

I do love Autumn.
In the world where  we come from, the first crisp nights of Fall, the changing of the leaves, the trips  upstate  in NY,  where we would go apple picking and buy a pumpkin for Halloween, were all wrapped up in my love for the area and my appreciation for Autumn.
When I moved  to NY  , the song that was played on every radio  wherever I went was  Moondance by Van Morrison.  Since then, I associate Autumn with this song.

I grew up in the South , I dislike extended periods of heat and humidity.
Buenos Aires seems to have a 6 month summer and it tends to be very warm at times and quite humid.
The fall and winter make  up for it by being bright, sunny and cool... never snow.
The scent of woodsmoke is in the air, the parks have dried up leaves on the ground, one could almost close their eyes and imagine they were back in that world that they came from.

Today was such a day.
Of course , a few hours of it were spent in a movie.
We saw The Hunger Games.
I was happy to be out in the sunshine when we left but I was surprised at how cool it was  !
I had to go home and change clothes and get a sweater !
I am so happy.

Hunger Games review:
We liked it.
It was entertaining , tense at times and I am already beginning to forget it.
A perfect afternoon movie when you don't need something that you must pay attention to lest you forget an important part.

I am saving that for the Stuff that we have to do here at home.
Stuff that I will talk about soon enough.. changes are in the air at home as well as in the weather.

But for now, I am enjoying crisp fall nights , sleeping with no air conditioning for the first time in about 4-5 months, taking long walks again without melting into the sidewalk and wearing sweaters that I forgot that I bought !
Don't you just love that ?
You go to the drawer with winter clothes and find something new .. like they grew over the summer .
And not a moment too soon, I am so sick of my summer clothes !

And now to choose where dinner is coming from tonight ~

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Day, Another Bakery

Some might say that it is a good thing we walk everywhere here.
Some might wonder how a Scone, 3 Sables, and a bottle of Vitamin Water can keep a person going all day.
I would say, very well , with no lingering after effects and plenty of room for dessert.

We were looking for a bakery that makes scones as good or  (can it be possible?) better than the bakery we go to now.
This bakery never fails in the good scone category but they do fail with schedules.
The deliveries are not always on the day or time they are supposed to be .. causing some people to make the trip all for naught then stand outside on the sidewalk and look bereft.
A sad sight indeed.

Those same people have been known to be bombed from above by pigeons but we won't get into that ... although it will be a lasting memory .. forever ... to the grave.

It is too hot to eat. Food.
Baked goods don't fall into that catagory.
It is never too hot or cold or anything to not eat baked goods.
But who wants to cook in heat and humidity ? Not I.

We walked to the bakery, we walked to L'Occitane because wherever I go in the world, some soaps make me itch.
Yes, me and the Princess and the Pea, we are delicate when it comes to some things.
So foe me, the best soaps and thank goodness they can be found all over the world ( as I know it ) are Lavender, Sandalwood  ,  Rose or Milk soaps by L'Occitane.
If you haven't tried them, get a little bar of Rose hand soap and leave it out on the sink.. half an hour later your bathroom will have this slight lovely scent of roses.

So now we know I am all about the Sugar and the Scent.

I wish Tate were still here to shop for flowers with. He was so good at picking out the best ones .

Too long

It is another hot sunny day. Ordinarily I would be glad it was not raining and eager to get outside.
But the summer has gone on too long, I think it has been about a year ..
I might be exaggerating but it is enough, hot days and warm nights and very few rainy days have done me in.
I want cool days, cool weather clothes, soothing sights.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What Would I Do ?

What would I do if I were somewhere else, and wanted breakfast ?

Here I have a scone, fresh from the bakery, full of dried fruits and sweet things.
Or a warm croissant from across the street, sticky and fresh and light as air with a lingering taste of honey on the tongue.

Or perhaps just more   coffee with lots of sugar and that jolt of caffeine.. the coffee I said I could never get used to, that I now drink at least 4 cups each morning.

What would I do if I started to feel peckish around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon ?
A light snack, a bit of sugary substance ?
Coffee ? Tea ?

Here I have the cafe around the corner, where apple crumbles or muffins are warm and fresh.
With coffee, of course.
Or a salad from the tiny cafe on the tiny ( 1 block long ) street that serves amazing chocolate cake or sandwiches or salads .. you can sit outside at The table or inside with the other 7 people eating there ..
I said Tiny, didn't I ?
But fabulous things come in tiny packages, as we all know.

How about a grand old Hotel with a fabulous bar with velvet sofas to sit on where you can people watch and enjoy a glass of wine or a Bloody Mary  ?

What if I just don't feel like cooking ?
Dinner can come to us  .. anything you want, they deliver.
Regardless of weather, at dinner time, those motos are delivering dinners all over town !
Pizza ?
Empanadas ?
How about Chinese, Argentine style ?
Pasta ? How about Penne in Putanesca sauce that leaves your tongue numb for hours after ?

Or pick up something at a place where ladies cook Home style .. mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, beef, chicken, veggies, tarts and squash and well, sort of like Grandmas house, Argentine style.

I must ponder this some more ... what would I do ?

Of course, as I ponder, I enjoy a scone from the bakery across the street and a bit of coffee .. okay, my 4th cup of coffee.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday .. Look at This Blog !

Once upon a time, long long ago, I started a Blog.
And one of the first blogs I read and one   that inspired me, was Vodka Mom.
Since then I feel like I know her, as in she is my friend.
We have not met and I have no idea how she feels about that but you can't read her blog and not feel that she is some sort of kindred spirit.
So Vodka Mom is my Monday Look at this Blog .. for all the best of reasons.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

She whines...

It's too hot , she whines, over and over as they walk ( she trudges) up the hill
( slight incline), to the top where trees shade the grass and a nice breeze blows.
You can see pretty far from there. . down the slope, past the huge avenue, across more parks , more avenues, trees, sky and beyond, the river and Uruguay.
All around are beautiful buildings, built at least 100 years ago, grande edificios with large rooms, ball rooms perhaps, salons and floor to ceiling French doors leading to terraces with large topiary lined up along the way ..
Oh , to be in Paris, she whines, same architecture, same beauty , cooler temperatures.

I didn't mean that, really, I just like to whine when it is too hot to be outdoors and too boring being indoors.

It will all be better tonight, Summer nights in Buenos Aires are the best.
Everyone is out, sitting in cafes, walking, sitting in parks, children are out with parents, and enjoying the fresh air without that South American sun beating down .
And no one whines.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Day at the Museum

We planned to go to more than 2 museums today but the heat, the walk and the general lethargy that has befallen us, kept it down to two.
We left out the Belle Artes Museum and it was just as well, since I was carrying my large handbag with camera, phone and most of my belongings ... you know, for Just In Case.
They now make you check your handbags and that was just not going to work for me  ...

First we walked through the Design Center, where many visitors were posing while someone took their photo , past many shoppers taking advantage of the sales and exchange rates and taking advantage of a couple of really good restaurants.
My favorites  Primafila and Downtown Mattias .. lunch, dinner or snack, they serve tasty food..

We went to the Palais de Glace. Built in the early 1900's,  it is a beautiful building with an interesting history ..
Today it is still round and has   continually changing exhibitions going on .
Then on to the Decorative Artes Museum.

Formerly the home of a founding father and his family, it is a wonderful building with all sorts of beautiful furniture and objects of art .
The new exhibition  is Objectos Guardados, from the Museo Nacional de Arte Oriental.

Samauri armour , swords , breathtaking works of Japanese art, watercolors, Kimonos, carved jade, you name it, they had at least one or two things you would want to take home with you.
I actually found many more than two, but that might just be me.

All in all, a good day at the Museums .

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Pretty Perfect Day

Another beautiful day.
Wherever we go, wherever we end up living next, I will always remember the beauty of the days we have spent here.
The weather at this time of year is remarkable.
The air practically sparkles, as if it were full of bubbles.

The absence of the overpowering heat and   humidity, brings a spring to the step and once again, the parks are full of people, the shops are busy and the playgrounds are active with children and their happy noise.

Our day was spent   enjoying a film,   enjoying a walk, a museum, a park and now, trying to decide who is delivering dinner to our door.

A perfect close to a pretty perfect day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday .. Look at This Blog !

there are days when one just needs to sit back and look at beautiful images.
No words are necessary. The Picture says it all.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Walk in Barrio Parque

So I slept late, took my time with several cups of coffee and got dressed and managed to get out the door around 3:00 in the afternoon.
It was a lovely morning.
I might be lacking in energy a bit these days.
But I did want to be out in the fresh air and sunshine.

We wandered over to our favorite place on the Avenue , with the parks lined up, one block after another.
The Jacarandas are blooming again ... purple in the Spring, purple in the Fall.
The end of Summer is coming.
You can feel it.
The days were unbearably hot, then after a few days and nights of thunderstorms, it is cooler.
Nights are very nice, we had no air conditioning on last night for the first time in months !

We walked to our place for Bloody Mary's.
Sitting outside, in the shade, which was almost chilly, we watched the world go by.
Or at least the motorised world of Buenos Aires  .

Always entertaining, with a Big Yellow Tour bus thrown in for fun.
All the people on the buses were wearing hats ( smart, the sun can still cook your brains) and all pointing their cameras .. at the street, the buildings , the cafe, us ..
I thought about pulling out my camera and taking a photo of them, taking a photo of us.
But I lacked sufficient energy.
Did I mention I am very  low energy  these days ?

We walked through my favorite neighborhood , Barrio Parque.
There are only private homes here.
With winding streets, immense gardens , old old  huge trees, flowers everywhere and these amazing homes.
Some are Spanish style with ironwork in the windows and red tile roof tops.
Others are white Center Hall Colonial type homes you might see in Connecticut.
There are   beautiful houses with window boxes full of flowers, beautiful doors, all of them at least 3 stories high.
And you could not hear a sound from the Avenue.
No honking, no car  , truck  or bus sounds came through ..

You only need to be a millionaire to live there, I consider this each time we are there and wonder how to manage this.
But for now, I am content with our beautiful apartment with windows in all the rooms and sunshine always coming in and I can always take a walk in Barrio Parque.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


How many times did I dream of living in a flat in London, near Hampstead Heath or in my wildest dreams, near Green Park or Hyde Park ?
How often have I spent an entire day , lolling, watching the clouds, playing with babies, pups, reading, talking to my sweet husband, in a park.
Living in a city, you need a park.
Even a tiny square with a few trees and perhaps a water fountain .. some birds will stop by, you will catch a glimpse of green.
Here, in the city, where streets are always noisy with cars, people walk and shop and work in buildings alongside apartment buildings.
So every little spot where it might be a bit quiet, a bit green and peaceful is a treasure.
A home with a tree is precious.
All summer long, trees shade the sidewalks, shade the balconies and filter the intense South American sun.
All summer long you listen to birds along with the cars, horns and sirens.

In the front of our building, is a huge old Plane tree.
In my previous post is a photo of 3 Plane trees.
I always associate them with Paris. Where the avenues are lined with such trees.
How delighted was I when we moved here and saw that the people of Buenos Aires followed the French idea and planted Plane trees everywhere ?

That tree almost blocks out the view in one of the living room windows, it is so full and lush right now.
The tree in back is an unknown sort but it houses doves and keeps the garden in deep shade.
It also blocks out the sight of the white wall of the building behind us.

Autumn is on the way , soon the parks will be full of dried up leaves, the tree in front will be bare but strikingly beautiful in that bareness and the tree in back will be naked and we can see the birds better.

We have been very lucky in so many ways with our moves to various states and countries, this was one of those strokes of good luck .

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Summers end

As we all know, nothing stays forever, nothing stays the same, everything changes, no matter how we try to keep them the same.
Loss and grief will only ease over time, new joy and adventures are always possible.
Summer is winding to an end , the nights are a tiny bit cooler, the air conditioning is needed less at night. Days continue to be sunny and bright, but in the parks you can see the trees are a bit dry looking, a bit brittle. ( I often feel a bit brittle myself)

The skies continue to be their glorious blue and the clouds still make me imagine I could walk on them if given the opportunity.
The Argentine flag is blue and white, was the amazing sky overhead the inspiration ?
Wherever we go , whatever we do in the future, our life here has been almost flawless in the aspect of enjoying every minute of living here.
No matter where I go or where we end up living next, I will always treasure the years we have been here .. the people we have met, the kindness of so many strangers.
There may be more beautiful places in the world, but I am not sure there are people who are more wonderful than the Porteños we meet each day .

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's Tuesday !!

Today is a bit cooler, thanks to big ... beeeg storms and heavy rain and lots of thunder and lightening.
They really know how to do Thunderstorms here in Argentina .. especially heavy on the lightening.
I remember how Pup would sidle a little closer next to me, often ending up sort of melded to my side or with his head, chest and as much of him as he could get, in my lap ..
Mama always Made It Better.

With cooler temps, I have re-newed energy and while I am still sitting here at 10:40 AM  , in my nightgown with coffee on the desk , I do have Plans for the day.
It is good to have Plans.

The bakery is open.
Fresh, sweet, yeasty Almond Croissants.
Soft , melt in your mouth Pomme de Chausson .. those are lucky to make it home .. before Someone eats them all, right out of the bag .. arriving at the door , with little crumbs on the blouse, perhaps a crumb or two on the face .. that silly,  sugar high glaze  showing in the eyes.

We have banking to do which means I will stand there and be bored waiting in lines, although my husband is the one who actually does Things like this.
I have retreated into the world of those who Don't Understand Anything .. the language, what to do, which account, which teller, why don't you just do it , it is easier for you ?

We have someone coming to visit at 4:00.
I should have time to go out and take some photos and perhaps buy some flowers.
I am planning on getting great bunches of these long stalks of waxy white flowers that are called Jasmine here.
They smell like jasmine, which is my intention .. the whole house will have vases full and should smell sweet, like a garden  ... or like a funeral home, we will see.

Things are going on here that have the possibilities of Another Great Adventure .. time will tell.

Soon, I will tell.
For now, wishing you a Happy Tuesday and remember, Sugar is Good for You.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday .. Look at This Blog !

Tango Cherie

"Tango and expat life in Buenos Aires--from the point of view of a Californian who lives there".

Not to mention a wonderful lady who is always helpful, cheerful and never forget, who can Tango with the best of them !
After you read her blog, you can read her book .. enjoy !

The Church of Tango 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Palermo Soho again

It was one of those beautiful days, with temperatures around 80ºF and lots of bright sunshine.
After the usual 24 cups of coffee, what ? you don't drink that much coffee in the morning ? well, maybe I exaggerate a tiny bit .. we grabbed a taxi and took off for Palermo Soho.

I felt the need to shop in fresh territory.

There were so many people there !
Everywhere I heard English being spoken.
I kept my lips zipped ..  I was being Argentine.
We just walked along the streets we know best and of course, first place we came upon was our Mexican restaurant, Xalapa .. love this place !

And instead of using some tiny bit of will power and just having something light, I ended up sharing these plates of little "flautas" , dipping them into a bucket of delicious guacamole and washing them down with Margaritas.
The drinks were too strong and I really didn't want the day to pass in an alcoholic haze so I sipped a bit then stopped.
I know as long as I can still feel my nose, I am good to go.

Off we wandered, stopping every 5 steps so I could take a photo .. another Door photo, the buildings are out of some movie about South America .. I have to take photos of them all !
Then , jabbering away to each other the entire time, we got lost, found our way back, all the while taking photos and pointing out things of interest to each other .. window licking at its finest, people watching too.

Then we ended up at Pauls.
My favorite store for Home things .
I bought Té de Bergamot room spray and we bought packages of amazing teas ..
Green tea mixes with names  like Strawberry Fields and one that I love but can never remember the very odd name.
I will stock up on it for gifts for loved ones .. and for me .

I took a gazillion photos , we came home before we melted, my computer decided to not allow me to download the photos and we had tomato sandwiches for dinner.

All in all, a mighty fine way to spend a Saturday.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Sky

When we arrived in Buenos Aires, in April 2007, we stayed in an apartment that had this view.
Pup and I would sit on the bed and watch the colors , the clouds and listen to the doves that were nearby ..
Wherever I go , I will always remember this .
At any time of the day or year, Argentina has some breathtaking skies.
Among other things ~

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 16, 2010 - Life Goes On

February 16, 2010, my first blog post .
The first time Pup was featured on the internet.
The happy beginning of my Blog-Life.
I just read this lovely inspiring blog   which was one of the first blogs that I had read.
And what is even more special about that is that I got to meet her one day, here in Buenos Aires.
And she got to meet Pup.

So here we are , two years later .. still in Buenos Aires, sadly without Pup now... thinking of Change.

Life changes.. nothing ever stays the same, even the boring stuff.
We have to change with it or go mad.
So we came here and it was a fantastic adventure and fun / scary / exciting / confusing / frustrating / fun and wonderful .. It has been almost 5 years now.

Five very happy years with only one terrible sad event, our loss of Pup.

Things are not quite the same, a little different, life changes even when you were perfectly happy with the way things were .. so perhaps this is a good time for us to change things too.
Why wait for Life to surprise us, maybe we should make some changes first.

Who knows, where, when , how things change, but as they always say, Life Goes On .. so let's see if we can liven it up a little.
Do something new and crazy and make some changes of our own !

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sunset in Buenos Aires