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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


This is the color that we chose for our house.
It was a difficult choice, we  ( I ) picked one color then had Color Regret.
We dashed over to the paint store today and went through a few samples, came home, stuck them on the house and decided we really did like this one best.
So instead of having some MidCentury Modern dark colored house, we will have a Ranch house set among huge old trees and it will blend right in ..

I can live with that.

The chipmunks must have babies, there are little creatures running around that are too tiny to really get a look at. How adorable is that ??
baby chipmunks .. o m g !

There are cardinals who fly in to have a bite in the mornings. You can see the red flash in the garden. Then there they are ... big, red and beautiful.

Now and then there is a raven or crow ( what is the difference again ?) and they are glossy black and huge and I don't mind if they skip our garden and go to the farm up the road.

Speaking of the farm .. we walked up there the other night and I took photos.
I will get around to posting them someday.
Highland cattle .. shaggy huge beasts, with amazing horns .. with babies .. shaggy, no horns yet.
Horses who mind their own business.
Sheep who act like someone called them, they come to the fence with those sheep faces and look at us like they are saying  ... " well? "
The goats just give us the eye ... creepy eye it is too ! and ignore us.

The property is immense, as far as you can see, farm, corn fields and what I think is a field of alfalfa.
Sunflowers blooming , orange day lilies line the roads,  every house has flower gardens and their yards are neat and clean and orderly.
We are the new kids on the block, we don't have "orderly" or "neat" yet but we are working on it.

Every day the sun shines.
Every day birds sing and hopefully the bees are gone to buzz around someones house far far away.

Every day I miss walking to the market in Buenos Aires and kissing my neighbors.
Every day I am glad that I had the chance to live somewhere like Buenos Aires and that I am now enjoying living somewhere like this .. this beautiful place , in New York, in the United States.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Life in the Country

Well, the house is not that new, but it is to us.
The State and Country are also not that new but it has been a while.

So we are still driving from our house in NY state to our favorite grocery store that we liked while living in the rental in Massachusetts.
The old house in Egremont is no less appealing as I see it again .. the neighborhood is lovely, I do wish something had been for sale in that area when we were looking.

The grocery store has my favorite things ... what are they you ask ? Well, since you ask ..
Chocolate muffins. Turkey noodle soup. Chocolate chip muffins. Banana chocolate muffins.
They carry all the Meyers products that I love and a few other things but the muffins will keep me coming back ..

The painter came by today .. he starts tomorrow.
I have to choose a color.
I know, I have had plenty of time but these things take time ... too grey, too blue, too dark , too light .
So I am no closer to a decision but tomorrow is the day.
All the ideas I had for this and that are probably going out the window and it will be done in an entirely new way that I had not thought of and hopefully will like even better.
Or else you and everyone else will never hear the end of it.
Just so you know.

I have Morning Glory seeds soaking in water and they are getting roots so I must go into the garden tomorrow .. bees or no bees.

I have discovered that I like using those big gardening tools with sharp edges and trimming and cutting back are fun ! So tomorrow more things will be trimmed ..
Last evening, while it was still light, I saw a large deer, not quite in the yard, in the small wooded area between our yard and the fields behind us ..
Today was another chipmunk day, they are everywhere and funny as can be.
And the tiniest birds ... flitting in and out where the feeders are ...

I am adjusting to being back in the US .. although I do miss Buenos Aires.
I am adjusting to living in a house instead of an apartment.
I am adjusting to living out of a city ...

Life in the country, not so bad.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Here and There

We no longer walk past buildings built in the early 1900s by a Frenchman who came to live in South America. 
These buildings and houses in North America  came from English and French men too.
We said goodbye to the  French inspired buildings with balconies and hidden gardens in the back.
But we ended up living here where there is so much history and great architecture here too.

We no longer walk to L' Epi, to buy fresh croissants and bread ...
I can adjust to a new croissant. . . each day I work on that .
No more thrill rides in a Buenos Aires taxi.
We will take our thrills on a different road now.
No more listening to the bells ringing in the evening, from Our Lady of Pilar.

But there are always church bells that ring .

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

You know you are no longer a City Girl

You know you are no longer a City Girl when :

You drive half an hour for good donuts ... in another state.

You have an exterminator discuss the merits of vents in a basement that is something from a horror movie .. (vents? like someone is going to stay down there long enough to take more than 3 deep breaths ???)
OK .. I do the laundry down there ... but I hold my breath.
That is known to keep spiders away.
According to me, that's who.

When you put on the outfit that you would do gardening  in ( in a previous life)  and you are still overdressed  at  the supermarket.

Every single place you go , no matter what you need ... is at least half an hour away.

Every single drive you take, you ooh and ahhh the whole time because it is so beautiful.

Every single time you go out, you take the camera ..

Every person you meet smiles and says Hello.

You start remembering which farm has what horse .. or cows.

You start talking to the neighbors sheep .. yes, they listen.

Your back and arms ache at night because you spent  hours pulling up weeds from flower beds and dragging tree branches to the refuse pile.

Your manicure is a thing of the Past.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Royal Babies

Yes, I am on the Royal Baby Watch. I took the fastest shower ever and dressed with the tv on so I can keep up with the "Royal Baby Live Feed " ...
I hope it is a Boy ..

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Then & Now

Walking out the door each day, greeted by this sight.

 And these were our neighbors.

 Now it is quite a different sight.

                                                               And so are the neighbors.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

We are Home

Here we are, in our new home in New York State.
We are surrounded by horse farms, sheep herding farms  , dairy and corn farms.
There are forests and streams and rivers and waterfalls and fields and meadows full of summer flowers.
There are views of the sky whichever way you look.
The birds are singing in the morning and the crickets and frogs are peeping at night.

We drive a short distance to the little town center, we drive long distances to get to particular stores, we are a train ride or 2 hour drive from New York City.
We can be in Massachusetts in 20 minutes where we still like to buy certain things in a certain market, see our friends in Egremont and go for drives on long lanes that are dotted with incredible old homes and horse farms.

Yesterday , taking a drive , we discovered that just about a mile from our home, there are more horse farms. My little girl dreams of having a horse will not be fulfilled but the idea of being able to stop and say hello to one, any time I wish, are coming true.

Seen from the window yesterday ... rabbits, chipmunks, countless birds and a few days ago, a deer strolled in, lay down in the shade of one of the large trees and took a short nap .. then wandered off later.
All creatures are welcome.

I fall asleep to the absence of sound ... no more honking, no cars zooming by, no elevator going up or down and no one talking in the hall. loudly. at 3 am.

My clothes are still lying in little stacks on the bedroom floor, giving me dirty looks when I walk past and ignore them.
My closet is jammed packed but there is order to it at last.
My handbags are not that happy with the way they were stored ... later we will work on that and see if we can all be happy.

There is a small matter of bees who seem to be invading the gutters and outside parts of the house that must be gotten rid of. Wasps. Deadly for some people. Must go .

We have a Mail man that drives up to the mail box and waves to us when he leaves.
We have a UPS man who knows me already .. Hey ! I can make use of the luxury of Shopping Online again !
Deliver it please.... I love it !!

My kitchen is a wonder of convenience, everything within reach and a gazillion cupboards and drawers.
And every day I stand there and try to remember where I put things.
And every day we eat sandwiches or salads.
I have not yet gotten back into the cooking habit.
Some habits are harder than others to lose or to get back, I guess.

Today ... we will take another long drive and return something that broke while we were putting it together yesterday. Making me think I should not be too critical of Argentina product quality ..

I hope your weekend is a good one.
Our  weekend will be lovely .. we are Home.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Buenos Aires / Friday Photo

Yes, I am sorta missing Buenos Aires.
I have been going through my photos.
I have decided to share some here, now and then.

This was on the way to the Supermarket.

Coca Cola is the &^%$ Thing

So ... I admit it .. I drank coke for breakfast in the "old days".
Back when I was only slightly more of a sugar addict than I am today.
Although, the amount of coffee I drink which is laced with multiple spoonfuls of sugar, might be sweeter than a bottle of coke.

So we bought a 6 pack of little coke bottles and it was hot and I was thirsty so  I grabbed one out of the fridge and twisted the little top and it cracked open and sliced my finger open too.

Yeah, I was attacked and wounded by a coca cola bottle lid.
I bled.
I cursed ...
I learned some pretty good Bad words over the years and I think I used most of them.
Then I bled some more.

I took a photo of my finger.
Don't laugh... it gets better.

I took a photo of the bottle cap and sent them to Coca Cola and complained about the lids being ridiculous and what if a child opened that bottle.
With little bitty fingers.. I shudder to think.

So I got a response.
A very long questionnaire about nothing related to why they make their lids so sharp edged that a person can slice a finger open , opening a bottle of coke.

I sent back my response.
"Don't be silly, this is ridiculous, here is a photo of my finger and the bottle ."

So beware of Coca Cola bottles, don't let your children open them although they are probably more adept at most things than I am.
And wear protective gloves when you open them for your children .

Or find a new drink.

This has been brought to you by a 9 fingered typist too. Just so you know. I am wounded.
Flowers and boxes of chocolates do make boo-boos feel better. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I miss the old neighborhood.

I miss the neighbors.
I miss the shop keepers who saw us almost every day.
I miss our bakery- L'epi.
I miss our cafes .
I miss the parks, even though they hurt my heart with all those memories of Pup walking around , sniffing, exploring.
I miss the taxi drivers.
I miss the kind and friendly mounted police who were always willing to let Pup bump noses with their horses.
I miss the music.
I miss Buenos Aires.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Doors, Floors, Lawn Mowers ... Oh My !

All I want  is to be left alone.
I want to be left alone to sit on the floor in front of my new closet and put my handbags away.

Sorry, was I shouting ?

Every time I open the closet doors to get something to wear, I hear the whispers and grumbling ... She is ignoring us, she won't ever put us away, we will molder here and grow dusty, just wait and see.

What ? your bags don't mumble and grumble when you ignore them ?
They must ... they all do ... you just aren't listening.

Mine think that the past few months were enough trauma, wrapped up in paper, in a dark box, in a ship, in a storage facility. Now they are out in the light and they think they are going to be going out every day and partying every night and , well, things didn't work out as they hope.
They  sat in boxes   in the closet in the dark and have been ignored.

The shoes actually got more attention first.
The bags will never forget that.

This afternoon, when I knew there was a small window of time between shopping, going to hardware stores ( I find I am in hardware stores now as much as I used to be in Bloomingdales !)
and figuring out how to feed the birds without stirring up the bees ... a couple of very nice men came to the house.
One is our painter/carpenter. He is fixing walls and preparing to paint my little red house a nice cool Mid Century Modern color ... (don't ask .... my husband asked me what that meant.. it is my way of describing those cool houses in movies with Dean Martin with a drink  or Sean Connery being suave..ok ?)
He told me where to find a door .. for free. I hate our ugly front door.
He helped us figure out how to juice up the battery on the lawn mower ... my husband has his fun coming soon ..

Thanks to my friend Billy, I know that I want the house color to be one color and the trim to be darker. That is as far as I got. Now I have to think of a good color. Grey and Khaki/Olive are possibilities.

Of course, Billy actually does live in one of those houses with a name, like Eichler .. I love him .. I love his house.

So ... the handbags are put away, never mind how many and where the others are that are still waiting for their place . The shoes are lined up and pretty happy with all the room they have .. all in their own boxes, on the shelves, little do they know how close they came to being put away alphabetically.

For the first time in 7 years, I am waiting for things to be delivered to my house.
Online shopping things.
I am loving this being back in the USA.

Coach ... and Sephora .. oh joy oh joy ~

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Gardener

I married a New Yorker.
He was born and raised in a huge city.
He can find his way around any borough and bridge and neighborhood practically blindfolded.
He amazed me when he did the same thing   in London, Paris and Buenos Aires.
It is a City Thing .. you either have it or you don't.
I don't think I have it so much.
I have a so-so sense of direction and some bit of memory left but he amazes me.. it is like he has this little thing in his brain like the cars have, it knows its way and can find its way home.
Lucky me ... I stick with him .. I'm not stupid !

So here we are Out In The Country !
I love it. He does too.
Of course, we aren't even completely unpacked and there is nothing hanging on the walls but we are living in the countryside now, and liking it.
This morning, earlier than I   would ordinarily like,  we were out in the garden.
Where I was treated to the pleasure of watching my Mr Scissorhands  trim huge overgrown hedges like he has been doing this forever.
Dragging huge fallen tree limbs to the back, adding to the compost pile.. my god, who is this man ?

I was raised in the South .. North Carolina ..
Our house was where my step-grandfathers farm had been.
There were no cows when I got there but there were huge fields, gardens that required tractors and apple trees for a little girl who had no friends her age and missed her family back in California.
So I ran wild and played wherever I wished and enjoyed picking fruit or tomatoes and eating them on the spot.

Then I grew up.
I left that place.
I went to California.
Then I went to New York.
Where I met the man who would become our present day Mr Scissorhands.

And now, here I am.
Back in the country.
My husband is happy. So am I.

Especially since I found this lovely gardener who lives here... with me.. lucky me.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Welcome to Rabbit Hall

In the evenings, if you sit in the solarium, you can watch the bunnies play.
The fireflies come along and light up all the shrubs and flower beds.
They skim across the top of the grass, blinking ... blinking... more and more gather.

It gets kind of noisy out there ! with crickets, frogs, whatever kinds of noise-making creatures there are, peeping, croaking, calling, chirping and trilling.

I am trying to keep the bird feeders filled, they are attracting so many pretty birds..this winter I will be there for them. . and the chipmunks and little things that also have snacks during the day.
There are large and beautiful butterflies everywhere, these gardens attract them, no one bothering them makes them happy.
We did some serious gardening yesterday, removing weeds and unpleasant plants away from a Yucca plant that is blooming.
The bloom is taller than me !
Next, more removal of weedy plants and over gardening and perhaps a bit of a stone wall here or there ..

In the fall we have to cut back a Trumpet Vine that is swallowing a pool house and fence alive.
Vines and trees and shrubs and a few other things will bite the dust... we can only allow so much here at one time, otherwise, we will wake one day with a tree in the bedroom and birds nesting in our hair.

Bees ... there are hornets/wasps in the gutters and I can actually hear the droning/whine of them .. not a sound a person who is very allergic to bee stings likes to hear.
The house is going to be painted, the gutters will be cleaned, the men who do that will be warned and hopefully well armed to put a stop to it.
I am welcoming to the creatures here but the wasps have to go.

The neighbor got a puppy.
We heard him .. we have not met him yet. A 3 month old black Lab.
I know I will fall in love. I know some day , hopefully not too long from now, we will get a playmate for the little puppy .

Today a wall is being removed in my house.
I am thrilled.
A very ugly and unpleasant bathtub and tile will be next .. then I think by the time cool weather comes, our little house in the woods will be ready for enjoying with no interruptions.

Now to go back to counting trees ....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Rhythm of Things

It is strangely hard to get back into the Rhythm of Things.
I tend to want to linger in bed with a cup or 3 of coffee.
I tend to linger looking out windows while sitting on sofas or standing in dining rooms or sometimes just staring at the   unpacked box sitting in my bedroom.
Sometimes I think it looks back at me with a sense of disappointment.
Be still ! I think... I will get around to you sooner or later ... later won't make any difference.

We had a landscape architect or some such come visit yesterday.
She arrived at the height of Mosquito Hour .. these things are even larger than the mo -kee-toes in Buenos Aires and while you might not feel them biting, you will soon enough be itching.
So we walked around our property with her, stopping every inch or so and discussing every leaf, twig and tree .
She named all the flowers and shrubs and told us what they do and what we should do and it was all very informative and I might have even stayed for the entire tour but I was being eaten alive so I begged forgiveness and ran and hid in the house.
You just can't take me anywhere.

So the end of the story with the gardens is ....
There are too many "beds" of this and that and too much of one thing that is not so great, so we should move everything around.
Let everything die off, go back , do whatever it is they do at the end of summer then dig them up and move them here and there.
This all sounds like an evil plot to keep me busy this Fall.

She did point out all the poison ivy and oak here and there ... and someone thinks I am going back out into that jungle ???

That is not a Wisteria climbing the tree, over the fence, all over the pool house, it is a Trumpet Vine and the flowers are wonderful and it is crushing the pool house and has to go.

Those little trees and flowers by the back of the house have been eaten by deer.
DEER ??? within inches of my dining room  glass doors ??
I plan to get up in the night and go look, maybe I will see them up close.... eat the bushes, what do I care, we got plenty more !

I like this part of The Plan ...
Wait until fall, when it is cool out and bugs are leaving to go to  Florida for the winter.
Then we will dig up all the bulbs and move them...
We plan to make large beds of bulbs and to edge the property with others .. Iris, Lilies etc.

Then we have a go at the things that need cutting back ...
I like this part, I am pretty good with clippers and perhaps someone will share the electric trimmer thingee.
I think that one will be great fun ... Edward Scissor Hands will have some serious competition.

Then all the wonderful trees out there will dump pounds of leaves on us and we will be busy digging out for months, just finishing in time to be buried by snow.
I can see it now.
It is enough to make a person linger in bed ..

Monday, July 8, 2013

Missing the Kissing

Well, we're back.
Back in the USA.
Back in New York.
I am exhausted, happy, excited, exhausted and thrilled  !
Everything happened the way it should, although a certain tiny person came faster than we could make it to the hospital .. but other than that .. we moved here without a hitch, stayed in a fabulous 200 year old house in Egremont, Ma and had the best "landlords" who are now friends and so are their sweet Labs, Dreyfus and Brady.

We enjoyed adjusting to the seasons being what we were used to .. it is Summer .. in BA it is Winter.
I am fine with it this way .. Summer where we are living is glorious with green .. flowers and farms with amazing horses ( I had not expected to see  so many horses , cows but not so many horses) and sheep and chickens ! Everyone has chickens !

Today in town ... this town is about 6 blocks long, all the shops are charming, everyone treats you as if they have known you forever and there are chickens that wander around. Someone pinch me...this is too good to be true.
Did I mention that for a tiny town centre, they have some nice places to eat ? Cafes, Pizza, Mexican, and a place that everyone flocks to at lunch time, with the best soups !
I am discovering American food all over again.
After 6 years, you forget how certain things taste  .. the way they did "back home".

And after a  few months back here, I am also missing Buenos Aires.
I miss my friends.
I miss our neighbours.
I miss getting all those kisses. Yep, that's me, missing the kissing.
I am considering introducing this custom to the people here.
I have a feeling a lot of them will love it and a few of them will be very disgruntled.
They will adjust.... I did.

I miss walking around the city and window shopping and laughing with perfect strangers in the street who stop and chat for one reason or another.
I am happy to understand everything everyone says to me here.
This may end soon and I will start to pretend I don't intiendo ... si, no habla Ingles ..
This will give me a break when I just want to think ... do you like that idea ?
I think it is brilliant, myself.

So here I am.
Back in the good ole USA.
Down the road from a farm.
Happy to be here ...

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sunset in Buenos Aires