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, July 30, 2012

Monday .. Look at This Blog !

The Paper Mulberry

As some people might have noticed, we are moving back to the US and while waiting for our home here in Buenos Aires to sell, I spend quite a bit of time, online, looking at homes for sale.
And when not looking at homes for sale, I look at home decor , design, antique furnishings and blogs that have everything in one place.
The Paper Mulberry is one of those Everything in one place blogs where I spend quite a bit of time lately.
Go look, see for yourself, get some ideas. Or add a house like hers to your wish list, it is already on mine!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back to the Land

My friend Pearl said that she "needs to go back to the land ... like her forefathers, she will buy some land by a river and raise cows and goats and do her own butchering and raise a passel of kitties. "

This made me laugh on a couple of different levels.
One - she is just plain old funny. Clever, silly and funny.
 I need Pearl, she reminds me that I need to smile and laugh more.
There are days that I have a worried face, a grumpy face and often a pissed -off, leave me alone face ... but Pearl makes me laugh.

Then I started thinking about what she said and what we are about to do.

We are going back to the US.
"To the land" .. we will live in the country this time and there will be a river somewhere nearby and while I have no intention of raising cows or goats and God Forbid I ever butcher anything except for flies and mosquitoes , I will be happy to raise kitties and a puppy or two.

I grew up in the country, my father, my uncles and cousins went hunting.
I hated it.
I wanted to live in a city.
I wanted to dress nice every day.
I wanted to go to concerts and libraries that are huge and have enough books to keep me reading for at least 50 years.
I wanted to see people that were different from me, who spoke other languages and wore different sorts of clothing.
I wanted to maybe possibly learn another language , see foreign movies and hail a taxi .
(I grew up watching That Girl)

So  here I am.
I live in a massive city.
In another country.
On another continent .. never say we do things halfway.
I hail taxis , I walk in huge parks and take photos all the time and shop in small markets where the produce comes in by truck with dirt still on it, feathers on the eggs and the truck looks like it rolled out of the showroom in 1952.

My neighbors say hola ! como esta ? and I said Muy Bien !
The doormen wave and smile.
The shopkeepers know us.

The restaurants we go to are comfortable, the waiters know us, some of them even know what we want.
I have to remember to order something different now and then, you know, just to keep them on their toes.
No point in being too reliable.
We are , after all, in Argentina.
Where it is always a nice surprise when things work properly, things are on time and that the price is the same two weeks in a row.

So here we are , waiting for our realtor to bring a person to our home , who will fall in love and make us an offer we cannot refuse.
So far we have refused a few.

And then we will pack up and fly away, back to where we came from , but not.
Instead of the City, we will go to the Country.

I can't wait !

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hey Sailor, Wanna see my scar ?

So the ongoing Saga of the Boo Boo On the Ankle with Many Stitches is coming to an end.
Who is sad about that ?
Who wants to hear about this for at least 5 more weeks ?

The only good things I can think of to say at this point are :
I Love Argentina, I love the people here and I love the doctors.
I would have liked to have loved the doctors more from afar but if one has to get up close and personal with a surgeon, this is the place to do it.
If one has to worry about their skin, this is the place to do it.
The sun shines pretty much 364 days a year.
Even when it is freezing cold ..
My days of cute freckles on the nose have morphed into scary spots on my leg.
Growing up sucks.

Last week I went to see the Lady Surgeon and had high hopes of the plastic surgery being , well, what one would expect... where there had been a little pink spot, there would now be flawless skin and even , maybe, my leg would look .... younger.

What I got last week was the same old leg with a cut with black threads running through it and some very shiny swollen skin.
There went that Beauty pageant  !

One stitch was removed, I was given a small glass bottle of strange liquid that is orange, when sprayed on my leg , the skin turns yellow.
Adding to the glamour.... if you have to have black stitches running through a shiny red cut, make the skin around it yellow... Fabulous.

The surgeon went on a vacation .... she gave me an appointment while she was gone.
Of course that doesn't mean she didn't want to see me ... what made you think that ???

So I got this young sweet surgeon who was very gentle and he apologised for not speaking English ..
I explained to him that he didn't have to, it was all my fault for being a pea brain who can't remember the Spanish words she learned this morning.
So the two of us, with our 5 words of The Other Language, managed to work out that the infection was gone, it would not always be this ugly and come back in 2 weeks so La Doctora can see it and give me something that magically makes scars pretty.

He was good with that last bit.
Men, they learn early how to get out of things and pass on the responsibility.. she made my leg ugly, she can explain how there is no such cream that is going to make it less ugly.

So now it is mostly behind me. .. well , not really behind me, God forbid I have to have surgery behind me !! but I can forget it now... as long as I don't look at my left  ankle.

We are waiting for news from the Realtor.
I send him emails explaining how I am crazy with this and we have to end it and he thinks I am funny.
Someone's mama forgot to tell him about never laughing  when a woman says she is getting crazy.

I have to go now, I need to look at my scar.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Doors of Buenos Aires

                     The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday .. Look at This Blog !

If you ever get tired of reading about Paris .. ( are you insane ??) you can watch out for a book by a certain blogger/writer and when you have a minute to read the New York Times, you can find her there too.

There is no one who doesn't like Paris, Ice Cream, Chocolate, Food and Dessert so I am sure there will be plenty for you to enjoy .
 Tell her I said Hello ~

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fresh Air !

The sun is shining, the skies are blue and it is not freezing out, so we are off to get some fresh air, a cuppa coffee and maybe a little cafe time.
Just sitting and watching the (Argentine) world go by.
chau, for now, besitos ~

Saturday, July 21, 2012

How I Got This Scar

Winter here is longer than Winter in other lands.
Really !
It is at least 6 months long , maybe even almost a year.
Really !

It doesn't snow , so that is a good thing.
It doesn't get icy or sleet, except in summer when the storms hit and hail falls..
so the cars all drive around for the next 25 years with dents all over them.
Ice will gather in the gutters for a little while before they melt.
But  snow ? you have to go to the mountains for that.

Many of the trees stay green, the grass in the parks is pretty green and the green parrots are still flying around in their little squadrons., always making a racket, arguing more than I do with anyone who has the bad idea of disagreeing with me on any given day.

I have Cabin Fever.

My leg is not healing the way it should, the doctor did something painful and gave me this smelly orange stuff to spray on it and it might just be getting better but it is still ugly.
 I am still not allowed to walk far ( I break this rule every day) and I know the scar will be ugly.

I am taking suggestions for the story that I will make up about How I Got This Scar.

Last night the Story about the horse that ran away with me on the pampas came to mind ... or the day I saved a family of cats from wild dogs in Uruguay ...but nothing really has clicked so far.
Feel free to post in the comment section, your good story of How I Got This Scar.

In other news, there is no news.
No one is looking at our apartment because the government is too busy screwing up everyones lives with their desperate grasping for money wherever they can get it.
Everyone is waiting to see what happens next.

I guess that might be the sight of Me, running down the street screaming about Scars, Parrots and Grand-babies .

There is no Grand-baby but I have plans.
Well, I have thoughts of other people having plans.
I would suggest a few things but I know how to keep my mouth shut.
Now and then, but not often.

I miss Pup and I have been thinking about what kind of dog we will have when we move to our next new home and adventure.
I do know I want a little cat.
I think that would round out the family unit just right.
Two old people and a dog and cat in an old house with a garden and fireplace.
Now I just have to find 2 old people.

I hope your weekend is excellent. I hope you are not in pain, limping or cranky.
Be sure to tell me about warm sunshine and not wearing a coat, scarf and gloves when you go out. Just to round out my crankiness.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

No News is Good News

Good News / Bad News
I went to the surgeon and she would not take out the stitches.
It is infected. I have antibiotic spray and I must stay off my feet.
I go back in about 1 week  and hopefully that will be the end of that.
I can't think of the good news part so I will get back to you on that.

A lady in Louisiana feeds her hummingbirds by holding the bowl and they got so used to her that they will now land on her hands and feed. 
Like little fairies coming for a drink. 
How I would love to do this !

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

And We Have a Whiner !

It is cold here.
Sunny and bright and cold.
I am still gimpy. I limp along on errands , eager to be out in the fresh air.
Then my leg starts to hurt, my other legs aches in sympathy and I hobble home to tea and books and the internet.
I ran my errands this morning, "ran" being the operative word ..  walked with as little limp as fast as I could.
It is both tiring and becomes painful and discouraging not to mention the sight of it depresses me.
I know that this "little" surgery, done by a plastic surgeon instead of a regular surgeon, will be the one that will have an ugly scar.
The only one of the three, that shows.
I am vain but not so vain that something like this would depress me, but added to the pain and the hobbling and the annoyance .. I am depressed.
The good news is that once I see her tomorrow, the stitches will be out and hopefully I can forget about the thing.

The other news is that there is no news .

Be glad that you are not within phone call distance.
Or that I have enough self- control, not to go on and on whining here.

So Thank you for the notes wishing me well, thank you for the little comments that cheer me up and I will be back soon with something more cheerful.

I might feel better if I can shop....

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How Do I Love Thee

Let me count the ways :

1-  I love the way the people are always ready to laugh.

2- I love the way someone who met you once will kiss you on the cheek next time they see you. Man or woman, or child.

3- I love the way the old people get out, do things, hang out in cafes and generally don't let anything stop them from living .

4-  I love how the families here spend so much time together.
It is natural for children to go to dinner late with parents, vacations, movies, even when old enough to go on their own, they like hanging out with the family.

5-  I love the Taxi drivers.
They play great music, they have great senses of humour and they generally drive like insane Bombay taxi drivers but with flair.. and they let Pup ride with no problemo.

6-  I love the way children meeting other children, will stop on the sidewalk and kiss each other hello and then goodbye.

7-  I love that the traffic and people and bustle are outside the living room and outside my bedroom is a tree full of doves who are busy cooing most days .

8 -  I love the skies.
They are never boring. If it is just an ordinary day, no clouds, the sky is an amazing blue.
If it is gloomy and grey, the clouds are amazing . The night skies are phenomenal with a billion stars twinkling brightly and seemingly very close. There is no haze, there is no smog.

9 -  I love how everyone , shopkeepers, waiters, people, feed stray dogs and sometimes put a blanket out on the step for the dog to sleep on at night.
How the ladies at the Cemetery take care of all the cats and if they need it, they catch one and take it to the vet.

10 -  I love how Pup's vet came to our house every day to see how he was, to give him medicine if he needed it and how we all cried together , here, when Tate died.
I love how the doormen notice he is missing and get sad when we tell them why.

I know living here has made a huge difference in my life.
I hope whatever I go home with,  after living here, stays with me wherever I go next.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012


You can see me a mile away.
If you don't know me, you can pick me out with a small description.
She is the one that is hobbling along ..

The bandages are off, things look much the way things like that look, shortly after being cut open then sewn shut ... not the prettiest of sights but happily, hidden under socks and behind protective leather boot tops.  With  my sweet husband   there for me to hang on to for dear life, I can march down the street and no one would know.
Almost a week ago I was so nervous about what was coming, hoping this time it would be easier and not look so bad.
It was not easier and looks bad but the outcome is what is good.
It was bad, it is gone, all is well.

It is cold. I mean ridiculously cold.
I am in South America.
Where , in my humble opinion, I should not need  to wear a tee shirt, a heavy turtleneck sweater, jeans, socks, boots, wool coat, gloves and scarf.
And still feel chilled.

We went to "our " cafe where we sat under the heat duct and I was toasting quite nicely.
The cafe is all windows and on a corner so I love sitting and just people watching, crazy driver watching, cute little children walking from school watching and funny people with dogs watching.

From that little cafe on that corner, for the cost of a cup of coffee, your afternoons entertainment is all there.

Then it was time to hobble back home, get off the foot, plan dinner and read a good book.

Tomorrow, someone might come look at our home.
Tomorrow someone might fall in love with it and buy it.
I will be so glad.
I will be so sad.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kisses make it better ...

This is going to be a short up-date on Things here and then I will probably not post for a short while.
My leg is healing but slowly and I found out today that I cannot act / walk around as usual.
My leg complained.
Who knew it would be so cranky ?
I expected this to be just a blip on the radar but suddenly, I am hobbling, taking things for pain and not liking the look of Things.
Thanks to some higher being, I have a husband who was probably Florence Nightingale in an earlier life, or maybe just Sir Galahad.

Whoever he was, he is the Best when it comes to dealing with a wife who is gimpy.
Cranky and fussy ... no, those aren't new additions to the 7 Dwarves, those are me.
It hurts.
I am bored.
I am cold.
I want to pack.
I want to eat chocolate.
Copious amounts of chocolate.
I am considering a glass of wine and a bag of M&Ms for dinner.
But no, did I mention he is also a fine cook ?
So tonight will be roasted salmon and buttery mashed potatoes.
The way to my heart is through my tummy, he already has my heart so I guess this is insurance.

I will post in a day or so, if there is anything interesting to say.
Otherwise, I will give you a break .. really, you will send me thank you cards for not going on and on about how this and that hurts .

You are welcome to share any ailments or complaints that you might have .. there is no sense in me hogging all the sympathy.
Go ahead, tell me, how do you feel ?
Where does it hurt ?

Kisses do make it better... besitos~

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Independence Day, Argentina !
On the 196th Anniversary of the Argentine Declaration of Independence !!

Monday .. Look at This Blog !

The Paper Mulberry

 I am inspired every time I look at this blog, which is more than once a day, I do admit.
Now her timing is perfect, as I spend quite a lot of time, imagining the next home we will be in, the Old House waiting for us to make it beautiful and comfortable again.
I will have trouble not just copying every thing that she has done !

Go look, say hello to Glenda and enjoy ~

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Skin You're In

Good news/ Bad news:

I had to have surgery on Friday.
It was not the worst type of surgery, I was not given anaesthesia, although a  drink before hand might have been nice.
I did , however, have plenty of local Numbing Stuff.
The surgeon was gentle and kind, her assistants were gentle and kind and if one has to be in that position, it was the least awful circumstance to be in, surgery-wise.

I am one of those lucky blonde blue-eyed people. ( if you wish to call this luck)
I tan easily.
I grew up in Southern California, Hawaii and North Carolina.
I was that little white haired child running around with the "cute"freckles on my nose and a tan.
I rarely even had any peeling, I just got brown.
In those days, right up until a few years ago, the fact that I tanned so nicely was a treat.
I looked good in the summer.
I , like most people, enjoyed the pleasures of lying on a chaise by a pool, on a towel at the beach, riding in cars with the top down.
I always thought I looked better with a tan.

Then one day I showed the skin doctor the little bump on my thigh that wouldn't go away.
And before I knew it, I was having my first skin cancer removed .

More than 10 years later, I had this spot on my other thigh, it would not go away, it didn't hurt, it just sat there and silently made me nervous.
Finally I saw the dermatologist here in Buenos Aires.
She did  a biopsy, she gave me the surgeons name and there I was , having skin cancer removed in Buenos Aries.

I am in the sun because we live in a city and we walk everywhere.
But I really think that even if I lived in a cave at this point, a lot of skin issues will still happen, because they started years ago when I lay in the sun and got brown.

Yesterday, Friday , I had my third skin cancer removed.
Basal Cell.
On the back of my ankle.
A tricky place to have any kind of surgery, skin removed.
I will be fine.
A plastic surgeon did the surgery so I expect my ankle to look even younger when the bandages come off.
Until then, I hobble.
I stay in and don't mind because it is cold and windy out there .

So let me feel that I helped one person avoid  having the fright of waiting for a biopsy to come back and from having to hobble or worse , have a scar that might not be on your ankle or your thigh but on your face .. Wear serious sunblock.
Wear a hat.
Stay out of the summer sun.
Sit under the umbrella.
Be smart. Stay pretty.
Stay alive.

Now will someone please bring me a glass of water ... I need a butler.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fight For Peace

I posted this in June, to raise votes for Luke and the amazing work he is doing in Rio to get young people out of gangs and into sports, educational and work programs.
I am posting today to announce that Luke won the support of the Telegraph in the UK  !
This means they will support the charity, the young people in the projects and the work he is doing in Rio and the UK.
I am happy to announce that Luke won !
Thank you all of you who voted for him, who showed that you care.

Luke Dowdney

If I want to feel really old, all I have to do is look at this young man.
I have known him since he was about 2 years old.
His family came to live in the United States, we met and made friends and have kept touch over all these years, all the moves and countries and life events.

Luke is special. He won't just be like everyone else.
He is smart and he is sympathetic and funny and clever.
He is also a boxer, a philanthropist and a wonderful young man.

I am proud to say that I have the photo his mother sent to us, of the Queen, giving Luke his medal, making him an OBE ... how lovely is that ? !

If you can vote for Luke, that would be a good thing.
Voting for Luke, means voting for children who need better lives, children who might manage to live drug free, children who might just live !
Luke has spent many years in Brazil working with these children, the least we can do is support him.
Vote for Luke. ( seen here with boxer Marvin Hagler)

Thank you !!

Fight for Peace

Friday Photo

 In the neighborhood, Autumn leaves hang on as long as possible.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Little Paris Kitchen

The Cook Book will be out soon.
I will buy it.
I even have the little kitchen, in the "Paris of South America" !

Thanks to Little Emma English Home 

Monday, July 2, 2012

At the Cinema

The movie theatre in our neighbourhood is beautiful.
It was is the lower level of a large mall that was renovated a while back and thankfully, they left the old theatres alone , same big comfortable seats, same carpets with stars on them, blue padded walls...
I feel quite tucked in and happy in a comfy dark theatre with those padded walls and big plush seats.
Hmmmm ... padded walls, happy ... have to think about this a while.

Today is the day our housekeeper comes and it is best we stay out of her way.
And best that we don't have to listen to her non-stop tuneless little whistle that she makes... as if she were a little tea kettle that is losing steam ...

Last week she did not show up.
We got an email from her daughter, describing the terrible accident where a bicyclist hit her.
She is a tiny woman, we cringed at the thought of a mad bicyclist, pedalling like crazy, crashing into our poor little Nely.
We sent kisses and get well wishes.

There was no note from her daughter this weekend or this morning so we were sure she was all better and we would see her.
To stay out of her way, we went to the movies.
We went to see the Woody Allen film.
I have not been to Italy. My husband has.
He had an apartment in the area that was a location for  a few scenes in the movie.
I am sure he enjoyed seeing Rome and his old neighbourhood.

I was happy to see Rome , the Spanish Steps, Penelope Cruz and well, that is about it.
I finally can say that I have seen a Woody Allen movie that I hated.
I was bored to tears, irritated with the silly dialogue and everyone looked terrible.
Woody needs to stop starring in his own films.
Even Judy Davis, whom I adore, looked dreadful.
She had no chance to be funny, which she really is.
And then that (awful in my opinion) man Alec Baldwin was in the film.
Looking and sounding exactly the way he does in "real life" .. just with a nice suit on.

It only made me wish that I could see a good Pedro Almodovar film.

And there was no heat on in the theatre so by the end of the movie, my feet were blocks of ice at the end of sticks of ice ..

We came home to No Nely.
No call, no email.
No excuse for not showing up and forcing me out of the house to see a lousy movie.
I will never forgive her.
Not showing up was bad enough, but sitting through a bad movie ? Unforgivable.

Monday Look At This Blog


This Monday I want to remind you to go read this blog.
You might get ideas on decorating, being a pet foster parent or just how to manage .. 
She always seems to manage so well. I admire her soooo much.
So go take a look, say hello and enjoy ~

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And Don't Forget To Visit Me Here Too !

See more photos here

sunset in Buenos Aires