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.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Remembering Arthur

I was browsing some blogs tonight when I came across one that had one of those lists.
You know, 21 Reasons for This and That ..
But this one had something about children flying and people making a fuss if a baby cried and now there is an airline that has a section for people where children cannot fly.
Because apparently, there are people on this planet who have not heard a baby cry, who have not been babies themselves and apparently have never had a baby...
I don't enjoy hearing a baby cry when trying to sleep on an airplane. But I don't like listening to two business men laugh and talk at a normal loud voice through an entire night flight either.

So ... this all makes me remember my Cousin Arthur.
Arthur and I were almost the same age.
His mom and mine are sisters.
He and I were together most of the time as  small children.

Then my family moved to the East Coast USA and his stayed on the West Coast but  we never lost touch ..  now and then we would send a note, a card or photos of children who came along over the years.
He was a Staff Sargent in the US Army and was stationed in various places.
I remember his telling me stories about living in Germany, he loved it.

One of my best memories of the adult Arthur was when he was stationed  in Korea and he was finally flying home to see his family.
For some reason that I don't remember .. he was asked to accompany 2 babies who were being adopted in the US.
So this young man, with his own family waiting to see him , took these two infant babies and flew from Korea to the US West Coast.

Both babies were feverish and cried most of the way ..
He only spoke fondly of how sweet they were and how he tried everything he could to make them comfortable.
I would like to think that everyone on that plane admired him for what he was doing, or at least smiled or were helpful in some way .. rather than glaring and glowering and complaining because little babies were crying.
Then tonight reading this about a section in an airplane where babies cannot fly, I thought of Arthur and how few people there are like him in this world.
And that is a sad thing.

Friday Photo

It isn't Buenos Aires but I will take it .

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Day In The Life .....

At the risk of sounding like a whiner, I have to say that I am really sick of sitting around at home on a beautiful day, waiting for someone to come look at something and to fix it or tell us if we once again are better off Buying a New One!

As usual, when buying a home, we thought that there were many things here we would not have to buy, that would make life that little bit easier.
But noooooo .. every single thing that came with the house , that the ( not so great after all) inspector did not find fault with .. washer, dryer, dishwasher, ... was kaput and we had to buy new ones.
And now that I have a brand new beautiful dishwasher, the water is leaving marks on glasses and silverware that looks like powder .. yuck !

So now we have to get Water Softener.
After we had the old one disconnected.
Which is ok .. I would rather have new and what I chose but still ..
The house has been totally repainted inside and out and now we are replacing all the appliances.
It is enough ( more than enough) to make me cranky.

So today we left it all behind and went to the County Fair.
Our one mistake was going in the heat of the day on a hot sunny summer day.

But it was fun.
We ate no junk food .. cotton candy and jumbo hot dogs fried in batter do not appeal for some reason.

A cold drink would have been nice but we ended up just wandering and people watching and enjoying the thrilled little faces of children getting on Merry Go Rounds and pulling on their mamas arms to get her attention .. getting fake tattoos .. that looked a bit more authentic than Daddy 's   real tattoos !

We watched people go on rides that were something out of my worst nightmares .
We watched really old people pushing other really old people around in wheelchairs.. making me want to push one and give the poor sweet thing a break ..
I somehow worried that no one would take that well.
So I just smiled.
I smile a lot here.
It reminds me of when we were first arrived in Buenos Aires.
I couldn't speak the language and had no clue what they were saying to me but I just smiled and everything went well.

You know what .... I miss Buenos Aires.
Oh sure, they don't have county fairs with Ferris Wheels and pig races but I miss them anyway.
I miss my neighbors.
I miss the kisses and 'como esta' and the shopkeepers waving hello as we walk by and the cafe guy who would see us coming and would come out and spend half an hour just chatting... never mind he had people inside waiting for their coffee or to pay.
I miss taking Pup for those walks at night around 10 pm.
Summer nights it would be comfortably cool and   other people would be out.
We would go through the park, where people were sitting on benches and others were  playing music and stars would twinkle over it all.

Pup loved it when the musicians would play.
He could never figure out why people threw things into the guitar case.
He would want to go sniff it and see if it was tasty, so we kept an eye out for that.
But he would just sit and enjoy the music with the rest of the crowd.
I miss that Pup.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's Wednesday !

It's Wednesday !! What do I have to do today ?? Where do we have to go ? What do we have to buy ?
Who is coming to fix something ?? Where is the painter ? Is the exterminator coming today ???

What ? No ?? They all finished ?? Really ?

You mean I don't have to be up early and dressed so a man can walk through the basement with poison and leave without ever seeing him ... although I still see the bees and bugs ..

What about the painter ? I like him ! He is part of the household now, no ? I liked having him around, big blonde Viking with the great laugh and sweet way about him. He sure did a fine job painting my old red house ... which is now an old olive/grey house.
If I do say so myself, the color is brilliant.
See ... sometimes I do get it right.
I should say We, because my husband is right here with me , choosing, vetoing and keeping me from melting down countless times.

The gardens are starting to look good and more like Our gardens than the gardens we inherited along with the bad paint job and crappy kitchen appliances .. yes, you read that right.
All the appliances that looked new and that I thought would last and be one less thing to spend money on ... yesterday I got my new dishwasher. It actually washes dishes instead of making them look filthy.
So in this case, between my doing them by hand and buying a new dishwasher, the choice was pretty easy. It looks good too ... and you know that is important !

So we moved into a house that didn't need anything but paint ...
and a new washer and dryer. And a new dishwasher . And the floors all had to be sanded and sealed. And all the extra things that we bought so we wouldn't have to go to the stores to buy new, we ended up throwing away because they were actually broken, useless and we bought new.
I am still waiting for the sliding glass doors to be delivered.

So it looks like the only thing we have to do now, Must do ... is hang pictures and mirrors and buy a sofa for this little den.

Today is Wednesday .. there is nothing we have to do. What will I do ??
The pool and the pool house will have to wait until Autumn when we can find them.

 There is something to be said about Riding Lawnmowers and the men who ride them ( women too but in this case, it is a man )

If I ever feel the need for a Library
Or just some fresh bread

I think I will go paint the mailbox now. Have a good Wednesday !

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Ha ! Thought I was talking about something other than walls ?
I live in New England now.
I want a stone wall like all those in the homes I liked best when we were house hunting.
It doesn't have to be a long wall or even a high wall.
It doesn't need to be a perfect wall.
This is something like I think we might end up with.
I started yesterday ... building a stone wall.
It isn't high. So far it is only about 2 stones high.
But it is already charming and pretty.
The stones are large enough to be stones and not pebbles yet small enough for me, the stonemason, to be able to move and stack and rearrange.
I did a lot of rearranging today .. in addition to stacking. 
Most of the stones are really smooth and interesting looking. I cannot image where they originally came from. 
They were in piles here and there near the end of the driveway, hidden under shrubs and one was called the Snake Rocks. I saw the snake once. A bright green Garden Snake.
I think he left, we didn't see him again and there was no hole under the rocks.
This was especially good today as I was out there alone and you know you need someone there with you when you see a snake .. at close quarters .. to hear you shriek and throw your tools in the air and get all shaken and then they can calm you down and promise to kill it if it comes around again.
So it was good that no snake appeared today.
There will be photos when everything looks picture perfect. 
And I can move my arms again.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What Has Come Over Me ?

Summer might be starting to wind down..up here in the Hudson Valley.
The nights are definitely cooler, the trees look a bit dry and I spied a few trees with red and yellow leaves showing up.
The birds are busy, but then, they always are, aren't they ?
The bees are busy and we won't talk about that anymore. 
They have to move. They have to be made to move. They must move or die. Sorry.
Every time we go for a drive, I see homes I love, homes I wish we had bought or I could at least have seen the inside of ... not that they were ever for sale, I just want to see inside other peoples houses ! 
Ha ha.. not really. well. sort of.

Some houses in town are like something from a fairy tale with turrets and balconies and gardens brimful of wildly colored flowers .. walks that are bordered with blooms, bird houses and feeders in the trees. 
I see hummingbirds here more often than anywhere I have lived. . yes, even Buenos Aires. . like in my own garden !
I now read Gardening books and articles more than I do Fashion magazines.
This is a sign of something seriously wrong.
Well, not actually wrong but awry .. what has come over me ?
I miss Argentina.
I love my new home.
I need a drink.
But a few cookies will suffice.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The World I Am In Today

You know .... my Worlds are starting to collide.

The World I was in just months ago ..
Where I slept late, had copious amounts of coffee, dallied over what to wear, went downstairs in a 1920's cage elevator to the street .
Where we would wander, run errands ... medialunas and gilbasiers at L'epi Bakery, stopping at Carrefours, picking up some salmon at the fish market , then bringing it all home.
We always liked to visit our local flower stand for some fresh flowers ..

Out again to visit our favorite cafe for afternoon coffee and a sweet and to chat about what to do for the evening.
Concert ? movie ? stay home ?

When the weather was good, and it was mostly very good ... we were out as long as it was light then sometimes we would walk through the Fashion Center (2 blocks from our door) and sit in the park where all the hotel visitors would be wandering and taking photos and enjoying the city and at that spot, the beautiful Church of Pilar.

On weekends there were always musicians, on weekend days there were always Tango dancers.

When Pup was with us, he would enjoy the musicians and didn't really love the occasional fireworks.
But he was almost always with us ..  he was almost a tourist attraction himself !

His absence is still felt ..

Today we took the car to Albany to see a man who was supposed to fix something for us but he called to let us know it is unfixable.
Not unlike Buenos Aires.

It was not a bad ride, there are homes in Albany that make me consider moving farther North ... or should I stay here, or should I go back South .. it is fun to think one has the choice.

Home again to tackle a project I came up with , thanks to a comment from the neighbor .. but it is too hot and it involves moving large stones that weight about as much as I do so a helper, a wheelbarrow and tools are needed.
The helper complained about tiredness and heat so we left it for another day.
The tiny bit I did , I like.
I am making a stone wall. I will impress everyone.

Now ... about dinner .....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday ... Waking up in the Country

First of all, it is Silent.
Even the birds sleep in and there are no cars driving by and the neighbors are quiet and I can't even hear the sheep or a cow from the farm up on the hill !
It is overcast today so there is no hot sun, just a quiet cool day with a hint of green to the air, it is so green all around.
The trees, hedges, grass, fields .. everything around us is green.

Now and then a small bird flies in and checks out the bird feeders and then there is a bright spot of color .. Cardinals and Bluebirds.

I like to loll around in bed most days. I don't but I like to if I can.
Today I really could have done some serious lolling but managed to get up and get ready to go out and enjoy the day.
Which turned out to be really nice in its laziness, quietness and coolness.
(I think I have had my fill of hot summer days)

We wandered into town .. all 3 blocks of it .. and some shops were open.
Uh oh ! watch out ! the antique stores are open !
I came home with a beautiful green , 1930s vase .. deco-ish in style, much like the "McCoy" vase that the shippers broke... weeping ... and now it has pride of place in the middle of the dining room table to I can see it as I walk past ..

The new glass doors will be installed in the dining room in a few weeks and I think that is the end of the work to be done here.

Anything else will be fun stuff, you know, buying chairs or rugs or a nice sweater to wear in the house.
What ? of course that is part of the buying needed for new houses ! you have to have something new to wear, silly.

My hope is the bees will settle down and not get all buzzed up when we go out the back door... they don't know it but I have plans for them. Deadly plans.

The pool is re-appearing.
The vines, flowers and shrubs have hidden everything from sight and now suddenly, I can see the chairs around the pool and the cover. It is bright blue so it always looks like water.
Anyone want a large in-ground pool ? If you do, you can have it for free. Yes, really.

I like Sunday in the country ..

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another day ...

Crisp , fall ( well, it feels like fall)  sunshine, green green trees, birds running amok, the sounds of cattle mooing up the hill, an occasional sheep baaa... bees humming in the flowering vines that are pulling the trellis right off the wall, no cars, no trucks, no horns, not even people walking by and talking ... my senses are being lulled into some sort of Nirvana .

Another day of men coming to the house to measure and give prices for certain jobs to be done.
Another day of driving to Massachusetts to buy coffee , yep, you read that right ..
Another day of wishing the kids lived closer ... okay, wishing that baby lived closer...
Another day of being so very glad to be here.

That's it ..

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rain Rain ...

Don't go away .. please, let me have just one day stuck in the house so I can get something done without interruptions !
Thank you.

We are having the typical house problems one has with a new or old home .. the dishwasher isn't washing, the basement is housing some crawly things that totally freak the wash lady out so she isn't going back down there until someone ( husband?) goes down first with .... flame throwers ? machine gun ? poison ... and clears the way .

Then we will be back to just grumbling about getting down that flight of stairs without falling and breaking our necks and there is a cobweb over there ! and why is it so dank and dark ?? whine whine whine ...

The birds are beside themselves with happiness, the whining laundress went out there with bags of seed and filled all the feeders and now they are either fighting over their turn at the feeder or they are just lying on their backs on a tree branch, patting their bellies and belching quietly.
Yeah, little country birds do that.

I thought a fly or gnat landed on my arm while I was busy filling the feeder and just swatted it away, then I saw it was a bee.
Bees and I don't get along so well, they sting, I go into shock .... I see them, they die.
So we try to avoid each other at all times.
As in todays meeting, one of us was a bit absent-minded and lucky to have survived.

My husband, the man with unlimited amounts of patience and good manners, is trying to find out why the dishwasher repair man came here, said it needed fixing but you can still use it then proceeded to make it unusable and then he left, never to return.
What ? was that a joke ??

So now my husband is trying to make the lady that answers the phone, figure this one out for herself and get something done already ... personally, a new dishwasher sounds better to me every day.

Funny, we bought a house that had "everything" in it already and there was "no need" to buy appliances or "anything" and since we moved in, we have been buying new stuff and having old stuff repaired ..
My advice, when you buy a house with all appliances, if they are older than a year, buy your own.
It might be expensive but it saves you aggravation .. really.
I won't even charge you for that brilliant bit of advice. and if you buy a house, you will know how valuable free advice is.

I can't tell you how green it is outside.
I can't tell you how much I missed that .
I can't tell you how much I like it ... no, I love it.

Rain rain, go ahead, stay  , it is beautiful when it rains.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Weekend in a Nutshell

Saturday we shopped for food, I cleaned the house .. again .. like the 40th time .. just to be sure there was no dust or germs floating around that might disturb a 6 week old little boy.

I made beds with new sheets and made bathrooms like hotel baths and decorated to make certain people think they were actually in a 1- posh hotel 2- posh retreat - 3-mom's house.

I cooked before the arrival so there were plenty of Favorite foods in the refrigerator and snacks and drinks and everything that might tempt someone to stay a while longer ..

And then they were here.
Everyone looks good, healthy, pretty and handsome and small, perfect and adorable.
The Small Perfect Adorable one occupied all my thoughts and waking moments.

Last night my husband, our son and I went out on the front porch and watched stars fall, what could be more magical than that ! ?

Today while they hung out in the garden with their dad, the small adorable one and I rested on the sofa.
I had actually sort of forgotten the way it feels to have a tiny body lying on your chest .. after a while it grows heavier ! boneless, sweet, soft beyond description , lips that beg for kisses and eyes that are amazing .. tiny starfish hands with fingers that will no doubt play a piano one day or at least paint a masterpiece.

The house is now silent, feels terribly large and empty  .. if I can't make them live here, if I can't have one of my own, I guess we are going to have to get a puppy.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Weekend

Hudson, New York.

I will be busy for the rest of the weekend.
There are a couple of people with a very tiny little boy coming to stay.
I have already begun to cook .. potato salad, deviled eggs, planning the days, meals and figuring out how to make a day and a half seem like a week / a month ! and a half.
I have catching up to do with a certain little round cheeked , immensely kissable little boy ..

Have a good weekend ~

Friday Foto

The Neighborhood - Then

                                                                And Now

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Feeling Alive

I am glad to say that the house looks a bit like a Home today.
Almost all boxes are empty and those that are waiting to be unpacked ( as soon as storage space magically appears) will be quickly disposed of.
Every day is sunny and beautiful, the mornings and nights are getting chilly.
I sometimes have trouble falling asleep .. mind = gerbil in cage... but soon we should be able to relax and not have lists of Places to Go and Things To Do.

As of last night, the front of the house is no longer the same color.
I am thrilled. Absolutely thrilled.
We went from that New England barn red ( which looks fabulous on all barns and some old homes) but not on this sort of house .... to an olive/grey .. no trim.
It is even better than I hoped for. More like the 50's Modern that I never really was attracted to, but now that I have one, it might as well look great.
This is not our house

Every day we do something with the garden and it is showing.
That is one of the things about gardening, your results are pretty instant and then more come later.
I used to like the wild and woodsy look but here, with so much woods and overly wild ...
I am leaning towards manicured ... cut edges on lawns around shrubs and neat flower beds and there is this pile of stones that has a snake living in it that I would like to relocate .
I mean really, there is little beauty or sense in a big pile of white stones just sitting in a large lawn by a mailbox, unless the snake is trained to retrieve the mail, which so far, he has failed to do.

This weekend is a big one.
It will be our first Company for the Weekend.
And who better than a tiny little man who needs to see his grandparents ?
And his mama who might enjoy having someone else walk around with him, talk to him, sing to him and perhaps get him to smile.
And the guys can talk Man Talk and let the wimmen bring them food and drink and my heart can just grow close to bursting with it all.

So for now, things are great, there are many errands to run ( which include drives to Massachusetts and hither and yon ) and plans to be made.
Life is good if you have plans.
You feel good making them, Looking Forward.
You feel excellent when you do what you planned, Accomplishment .
You keep busy ... Alive.
And we all like that Alive feeling.

À bientôt  for now  ~

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Make a Difference.

                                                        Rescue Me 

I am thrilled to be living not so far away, from an amazing place that I want to tell you about.
Equine Advocates.
They rescue and take care of horses, mules, donkeys and keep them safe and well , to live out their days in  the most beautiful of settings . The place must be Heaven to the horses, donkeys and mules who find themselves lucky enough to be living there ..
These are the people who have a benefit for the sole purpose of getting funds to take care of horses and creatures who have been abused most of their lives .
They rescue animals across the country.
I drive by there almost every day, I plan to volunteer there when our moving house business is all finished and I can concentrate on something other than dishwashers that make your dishes dirty and basements that bring to mind old horror movies.
If you live anywhere in this area and don't know about this place, read about it, go visit, enjoy.
If you are too far away, enjoy the videos and photos .. and know that somewhere, where you live, there is probably something similar, a way to prevent the horrors that occur daily in an animals life .
And New Yorkers, especially those in Manhattan, you are in a perfect place to make a difference with votes and complaints and making a difference.
People who kill animals for money, don't like to be exposed.
That is a good first step in dealing with things like this.
Remember the carriage accident that made the news in NY ? Ever hear of Premarin ? These are just a couple of the issues that we often don't know about or even hear about but when you do know about them, you are horrified and disgusted and sad.
Let's make a difference, wherever we can .. we can't save the world, probably, but we might be able to make a difference in it.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Life in the Country - so far

We wake up to the sounds of bird song.
We wake up to the sight of birds, chipmunks, butterflies and bees.
Some mornings there is a mist lying over the lawns and then the sun burns it off and everything sparkles.
We see deer now and then, at the back of our garden, where there are no homes behind us, but maybe deer homes.

We have to drive everywhere .. I want to walk !
Everywhere we go, people are sweet, helpful and full of good humor.
Thank goodness, I was worried that everyone would be grumpy.
( not really but after the way the people were in Buenos Aires, I worried that there would be a big difference)

My back aches and my neck is stiff and I have a headache.
( Gardening, gardening and pollen)

Next weekend we will have our first house guests.
One of them is just 6 weeks old.
He is the honored guest.
I may hold him all weekend.
I will hold him all weekend.

I miss our friends in Buenos Aires .. very much.
I miss walking .
I miss walking to the bakery and then going on over to the park and sitting on a bench under a massive Ombu tree and eating a scone and sharing crumbs with the pigeons.
I miss the music, everywhere you go, you hear good music.
Just walking down the street, it is there.. listen.
I miss the taxi drivers .. insane, funny, helpful and kind and good taste in music !
I miss our neighbors ... we were never really alone, we knew they were there if we needed someone.

So here we are .. our new adventure .. life in the country.
So far, pretty pretty good.

Oh yeah, the house is being painted a very nice color of grey with a hint of olive in it.
We will blend in with the background .. you will drive by and not even notice there is a house in there with all those huge trees.


New York

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Foto


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And Don't Forget To Visit Me Here Too !

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sunset in Buenos Aires