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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In the Land of Rip Van Winkle

You know, I am in the land of Rip Van Winkle. 
The Revolutionary War and Mohicans , the Vanderbilts, the Roosevelts and more history than I can even think of at the moment.
We won't discuss my ever wonky memory .. some days everything is clear as a bell, others I am lucky I remember the names of my children .. you know, what's his name and his sister .

We are going to be living near some wonderful homes that belonged to some pretty interesting people .. 
They now belong to the National Registry of Historic Homes and are safe from demolition and urban sprawl ... if it were ever to sprawl this far into the countryside .. and I intend to spend quite  a bit of time, wandering gardens and taking photos.
Which I will share here.

I am reminded of all this as I sit here in the near dark, as the sky gets ever more black and thundery looking .... that Headless Horsemen rode near here, that Indians hunted in the forests nearby , that settlers came through winters that I cannot even contemplate to make a new home here .. as I sit in a 200 year old house, with a dishwasher and a new car sitting outside.. 
I am struck by the age of it all and how little I really know or remember about it all. 
( not that I should remember the Revolution ... I am not that old ! but lessons learned in school tend to fade fast for some) .. 
I am going to start paying attention again .. I will learn more or remind myself of the history of this place .

Do you live in a Historic place ? 
Near monuments or sites of great events ?
Do you ever think about it or is it just the neighborhood, the area , your town , your home ? 

Thunder is rumbling .. I think I will go make sure the windows are all closed and look out the windows, just in case there is a ghost of a horseman out there .. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Muffins and Memorial Day

Another Day, Another Muffin.
I have become one of those people.
I go to markets based on their speciality. So we go to one market for its produce, one for its soups, one for the roast chickens they have every day, fresh and tasty and one for the muffins they make daily.
Today was chocolate chip and the other is all chocolate...they also have banana !
Each muffin is the size of a nice sized coffee cup.
This is my main meal of the day.
Or it should be.
Actually, what is wrong with eating muffins for lunch and dinner ??
You have grain, protein ( bananas have  protein in them .. chocolate is proven to cure everything that ails you or at least make it not bother you so much ) and sugar .. which keeps you cheerful and being cheerful is much appreciated by husbands and children and neighbors too I imagine.
I know the dogs next door love me.
See... it works on pets too.

So .. Memorial Day Weekend in the Berkshires ...
Small Town American at its most charming and beautiful.
Each little town had its own parade or celebration and we noticed that horses and flags and old cars and motorcycles played a big part.
Then there were the fire engines and flags everywhere ... every where .

We took a long drive, past our soon to be ( something like 2 weeks from now ?) home.. where a gardner is missing.
Where a pool sits and waits for ..what ... removal I hope.. although I am hearing this is not simple nor easy nor inexpensive.
But it has to go, one way or another.
I discovered on the drive by that there are massive amounts of flowering bushes, masses of poppies around trees and so many familiar bushes and flowers that I no longer remember the names of ...
I am going to have such fun !!
We found the supermarket that our realtor told us about .. oh my .. huge.
H u g e.
And it has a view .. fields, apple orchards and in the distance, a range of mountains.
I am so going to enjoy grocery shopping after this move !

So that is about all that there is to say , it has rained too much, we found that every time we start driving in the direction of the new house, it rains .. so we stopped.
Then we went yesterday and it was great, but after we got home, it rained some more.

Oh ... and we saw the Highland Cattle in the same pasture with the little lambs and some regular cows .. we saw a huge stable that boards horses and once again I must remember to go to the Equine Advocates once we are settled in and see if I can volunteer.

Wishing you a good Summer, now that I guess it is official and all ..
Memorial Day 2013 ..

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It Is All Good

Ahhh, life in the Country.
You wake up to bird song.
You smell freshly cut grass.
You fall asleep to the sounds of ...nothing ..
Nothing might include birds, the wind and or rain.
But no dogs barking.
No cars honking.
No neighbors playing music too loud or yelling.

We get thunderstorm warnings on the phone .. .
But no dogs bark and music is not played loudly until the sun rises.

I am not in Buenos Aires anymore.

Which is in many ways, still a slightly sad thing.

I am so happy to be back in the United States.
I am so glad to see and talk to and touch, my family again.
I am so glad to have such variety in the grocery stores.
I am so glad to hear English wherever I go and I can understand the news and the music on the car radio.

It is all Good.

Having said this ...
I miss Buenos Aires.
I miss having our long walks to the market, the bakery, stopping for afternoon tea, coffee and figuring out where will we go for dinner.
I miss the neighbors.
I miss the park with the dogs.
I miss the music .. everywhere you go, there is great music being played.
I miss trying to figure out what everyone is saying.

But we are Home.
It is All Good.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Things Change

Yesterday we got up early, hopped in the car .... well, let's say I wanted to hop but I sort of dragged my tired a** to the car and plopped into the front seat and took a long ride.

We went to the area where we used to live a long time ago, where we used to shop and had fond memories of a nice Bloomingdales and a very nice Saks Fifth Avenue.

Upon arrival, we knew Things Had Changed.

The mall was huge, the shops were strange ( as in unknown to us) and the shops we remembered were not as welcoming, not as interesting and certainly not as appealing.
The merchandise seemed sub-standard .. cheap and certainly nothing original.
The staff was cold, indifferent and thankfully, unhelpful ( I worried one might come over and ask me if I needed help ... they gave me the impression if I didn't like something, I might be ordered to leave )

I did buy some blush and eye shadow from a seemingly normal and charming lady at the Clinique counter and we ran into a lady that we knew from many many years ago who 1- surprised me that she remembered us 2- was warm and friendly 3- kissed us goodby.
That kiss meant a lot ... I told my husband, I am Missing the Kissing.

Upon arrival in Argentina, we were kissed on one or both cheeks by everyone we met.
And you are kissed every single time you meet them again.
On the street, in a shop, wherever , you will get your kisses.
It is charming and warm and too bad they don't do it here.
Too bad they don't do it everywhere .

Shopping in Argentina can be a long process.
You walk in, say hello, perhaps chat about the weather or something, then shop ... taking all the time you wish, no one bothers you.
Try things on, buy them and as you pay and leave, you get your kiss .
Here .... well... everyone stood around, waiting for a customer and no one got kissed. Too bad, it would have added something to the experience, I am sure .

I went to a little shop last week in Great Barrington.
I like this place , funky odd looking clothes .. not your typical Banana Republic or preppy looking things .. and a lot of what look like handmade bags and jewelry.
The name of the store is Karen Allen which meant nothing to me at the time.
I have been in a couple of times and this time was bound and determined to buy something.
And wouldn't you know, everything was too big !
Even the handbags !
But I found a pair of earrings that are beautiful and bought those.
As I was wandering around, chatting to the lady behind the counter another lady came out from the back, smiled at me and went back into the back.
She looked familiar but it meant nothing until we walked out and I looked at the name and my husband said, she was in Raiders of the Lost Ark ... Karen Allen !
So that was fun. And the shop is lovely.

Next weekend we are going to NYC to shop and visit with the boy child and his bride.
There is a baby to shop for.
A baby who will be here in just a couple of months. I have a lot of work to do ..

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

For some time now, even when living in Buenos Aires, I  have been browsing   home magazines and home decor magazines and books and daydreaming of a new house. Here or there, the house was what I dreamt of, not so much where it was.
Then as we all know, life has this way of changing things up now and then and we decided to move back to the United States.

Here came my opportunity to find and furnish and live in a house "of my dreams"..
This "dream house" had a few things about it that made it perfect for me ..

Two story, Center Hall Colonial would suit me.
High ceilings, wood floors and lots of large windows overlooking fields, gardens or woods, no neighborhoods please.

A fireplace or two and plenty of rooms for guests, both big and small and tiny.
A kitchen where the family would gather on holidays and on a property where I would not see another house, only gardens and trees.

As we all know, no matter how good your plans are, they don't always work out .

We found a home.
I don't know why we initially liked it.
I don't know why it didn't take me longer to like it.
I am not quite sure why I like it .

It has neighbors !

It has no fireplace, not enough extra bedrooms to suit me, it is a Mid Century Modern and all on one floor .. no Upstairs/Downstairs !

It does have Possibilities.
It has gardens that are more than I had ever hoped for .
It has trees , a small private forest,  one might say.
A single story home might not be a bad idea as the years go by .
It has what one might call Style .. or at least it will when I am through with it !

Just a short walk up a hill on a nice quiet road, there is a farm.
There are Highland cattle and sheep and goats and horses..

We will eventually have a cat and a dog. And we will get to know the neighbors horses. Maybe even the neighbors too .

So when things aren't going your way and you find yourself battling to keep on a path that you have set for yourself .. a list of Things you must have ...
Remember... sometimes what you think you must have is not exactly what you will get or even want .. in the scheme of things .
And that might just be a Wonderful Thing.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

House Dreams

Just a note to say hello and that things are going along very well here and we are so very busy with this and that.
At the moment we are enjoying  living in a 200 year old house while we wait for our mid-century house to be closed on and moved into.
I can't wait !
We drive by, wander the gardens, sit in front of the house and discuss what to do with this and that and probably cause worry among any neighbors who see us and wonder , Who Are They ?! What Are They Up To ?? !

My mind overflows with plans for gardening, the grounds are a bit unkept at the moment but also have a fabulous hidden garden feeling .. with as yet uncounted huge trees and flowers everywhere and vines ... Wisteria and who knows what else !
Then I wonder, what if the wisteria starts to pull down trees ? we had that back in the last house we lived in the US .. Coming soon to a blog near you ..Adventures in Gardening ~
I have a huge book that was given to me many years ago .. an Encyclopedia of sorts on flowers and plants ... it is finally going to come in handy !

I daydream about standing at the 3 !! kitchen windows ( a windowed bay at the end of the kitchen where the sink/stove/counter are located ) and watch the birds and creatures out in my private woodland... I can't wait !!

When I am lying in bed at night, trying to get my weary mind to stop spinning around, I think about The House.
I have to know where the furniture is going to go, so I can direct the movers when they finally arrive .. so at night when I am the only one awake ... I see the house in my minds eye and know What will go Where and How it will all look (hopefully).

The house is not as big as some we have been looking at and I wonder will my furniture fit !
What if there is no wall for a certain very long chest from South America ??
What if the bed doesn't fit in the guest room which is small and has a wall of french doors to a glass conservatory sort of room ??

What if ?  I hate "what if's " ... they keep me awake too many nights.

We think we are moving in about 4 weeks.
Until then, I will drive by and gaze at my Home-to-Be.
Admire the flowers that are coming up in my Garden-to-Be.
Puzzle my Neighbors-to-Be.

And buy more Home Magazines ... and study ... and Dream.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

And That's All It Took

The days have been sunny and cool and we have enjoyed being out and getting the 23 million little things done that have to be done upon arrival on a new planet, er, I mean country.
Even when it is your own country, your old home.

The banking , the hotels, the temporary rental,new car, new people...all handled brilliantly by my Husband.
The one who still has a Memory.
He also knows exactly what has to be done and when ,where and who has to do it.

I am sure at one time I knew all this too but it seems that my mind/ memory has taken a Leave of Absence.
Lucky me, his mind still works.
I do admit that I remember everything about houses we saw and which ones we loved, hated and especially the one that got away.
And all the decorating ideas!

Now there is just one house to remember, one house to decorate, one house that will soon be all ours.

I loved a house that you could see the living room from the upstairs bedroom, looking down through the ancient floorboards.
It was so charming and had such possibilities ...
 And a millionaire to buy it.

I loved a house until I saw it's location ...across a busy street from a trailer park.

I loved a house that was perfect , we made an offer, they left out that little detail about someone else offering first.
It seemed as if our dreams were really not coming true , at least the way we were dreaming them.

And then our new realtor/ best friend forever took us with her while she looked at a house she was about to list .

It is not the house of my dreams.
It is not even in the woods and there are neighbors.
But it grabbed us.

We went back to see it ...... Twice.
And that's all it took.

We bought it.

Photos will come later.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


We have been back for a few weeks now and I have found that I have done very little shopping.
Oh yes, shampoo, conditioner and a few beauty products but not really much in the way of shoes, clothes or well ... anything that I was looking forward to.
It seems that once we got here, the focus was all on finding a House .. buying a Home.
We have ... almost .. so now it is time to relax and wait for Things to be done, Tests to be taken, this and that to happen, then we will have the Home.
But ... then I will be shopping for the New Home.
Pretty things, ordinary things and hopefully garden and fun things.
But ... where are my new clothes ? my new Bought in the USA shoes ?

I think this week ... which is almost over ... should not pass without my having bought at least one pair of shoes, a new top or bottom or oh, even a piece of jewelry. What do you think?

Oh oh ... what about a new Handbag ? yes... that might work too.

Malls are not really close by.
Boutiques can be irritating and touristy where we are staying at the moment... and styles here seem to run to jeans and loose shirts, boots and sweat shirts, not exactly what I wore when in Argentina.
So while we won't be seeing me in a sweatshirt, there must be a shop where I can get some more casual tops and maybe a sweater or two .. the sun shines but it is still quite chilly .. my blood is thin, it still misses Argentina.

Yesterday we drove into The City. Well, not even The City .. we drove past it and into New Jersey !!
It poured rain, the roads were flooding, there were times when I feared sinking or being crushed under a wind tossed tree.
We drove over the George Washington Bridge and the top half was lost in fog.
That was so creepy, eerie and downright scary !! and then suddenly, we were in New Jersey and we could see the car in front of us again.
Then the drive back ... first we had a little fog , then a lot of rain then as we arrived in the Berkshires, the skies grew lighter and it stopped raining .. welcoming us back.

I think I will wait until Sunday in the Summer before I take that drive again.
Have I become a country girl this quickly ?
Or am I just a bad weather wimp?

Wait til you hear about our new house !
Later .

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Mouse in the House

I guess if I were naming today, it would be Wet Wednesday.
It was drizzling when we left the house, on the parkway into New York City, we hit the rains. And boy did it rain.
Lanes on the road were closed , so deep was the water.
Everyone was crawling along, making a 1 1/2 hour ride close to 3 hours .. that were full of tension .. trying to see , trying not to drive into a bottomless puddle, avoiding the simpletons who were driving over the speed limit while everyone else was creeping along , trying to figure out if we were supposed to pay that toll back there , which lane gets us into the right road ... my head is aching from it all.

We got all the bank things done in about 20 minutes then drove back home .. this time dealing with thick fog and then suddenly, the skies cleared, we were out of the fog and traffic and flying along, homeward bound.

I have suddenly become a HomeBody ..
I like staying home. And this isn't even My home !
Also .. we have mice.
Well, actually, the landlord has mice , they are just staying with us while we are here.
The mornings are full of suspense , you can imagine, was there a mouse here last night, is there a live or dead mouse here this morning ?
I would so like not to have to deal with this aspect of 200 year old houses in the woods.

But ...

We are so happy to be here.
We are enjoying Everything, even the too long , too tense ride into the city.
Which did not tempt me to linger for one moment.
Have I suddenly become Country Girl ?
What happened to City Girl ?
Did I leave her in Buenos Aires or was that Country Girl just trying on the city for size ?
Whichever one I am now, it is good .. it is all good.
I am looking forward to warm , dry days when I can photograph the local wild ( and not so wild) life and share them here .
Until then, I promise, no photos of little mice.

Monday, May 6, 2013

and Look What Happened .

on the corner in Recoleta
I am sorry that I am overwhelmed with all the house hunting, inspectors inspecting, lawyers lawyering and all the Fun stuff that comes along with relocating from one planet to another, finding a new home and then settling in.
We are far from settled in to our new home but at least we found one.
So until I can sit down at my own computer and share endless stories about the Fun and Madness of packing up and moving from Argentina back to the United States and finding a new home .. look at this wonderful building and consider visiting Buenos Aires.
That is what we did and look what happened !
Happy Monday~

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Almost There

The offer was made. The offer was accepted.
All those dreary details that do not include paint colors, furniture and decorating are being seen to on a daily basis.
The decorating is so much more interesting .. if you know what I mean.
The house is the total opposite of what I dreamt of. . what I imagined for my furniture ... the surroundings are a bit less woodsy and isolated than what I dreamt of .. perhaps this is a good thing .. we will see.
But at the same time, there were houses that looked like they might fall over .. that still appealed to me in some way.
Houses surrounded by 100 year old trees, that might fall over too one day.. that still appealed to me.
Fireplaces and isolation and views... that appealed to me.
Now we will have a little of it all, but not such an old house .. not the old beauty full of character but a house that absolutely does still trigger all my decorating and design reflexes and I am constantly imagining this and that in this room or the other.
So we are moving along now.
We will hopefully be in our new home, furniture and all in about a month.
I am unable to download my camera which is bursting with photos of all that we have seen since arrival back in the US.
Enjoy the quiet spell, once I have my own computer ... you will "enjoy" constant catching up on images from Where We Were and Where We Are Now.
It won't be long now, we are almost there ~

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sunset in Buenos Aires