My photo
My husband and I , with our dog, Tate, moved to Buenos Aires.. Life has never been the same since ~ Back in the USA ... life is still not the same !
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.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Looking Back and Looking Forward



Anyone who lives in a city, a large city especially, knows that every day that you are out and going about your business, that you will see and hear, sights and sounds that are not always available outside of a city.
Some of these sights and a lot of these sounds, are not especially pleasant or something that you would want to see, elsewhere.
But then there are sights that almost stop you in your tracks.
Something that you have not seen before, seen in that place before or maybe you have seen them before but they please you so much, you just have to stop and appreciate the sight.


I see everything here.
The old and frail, the healthy and the not very healthy.
The very young , the adorable , the  beautiful and the  handsome.

Fashion-wise, it is a feast whenever I walk out the door.
From the edgiest Street Fashion to the most glamorous and rich Right off the Runway Fashion.
I always feel that the people here, on the whole, dress better than in some states I have lived in , back in the US.
Here they like their clothes to fit . . they are clean and pressed and tidy looking. They take pride in their appearance.. old fashioned maybe, but I like it !

I see people who are so tragically lost in mental illness, who should be in a clean room where people can  provide food and shelter .
Instead we see them rooting in garbage cans and wearing clothes that are so tattered, their modesty is completely lost.
But as in all cities, there it is, the mix , the rich, the poor, the young and old and all the in-between.

I love seeing the very old ladies sitting in cafes with their "girfriends", laughing , chatting, just girls.
The old guys, sitting on the bench in the park, discussing Things.
Who knows what Things,  sometimes it is serious and yet, they always seem to have a twinkle in their eye and enjoy good laughs together.

Now and then there are ladies of a certain age, with a little dog, that she  carries , feed tidbits to while sitting on a bench, this is her baby now.
It  makes me feel sad, that she might be all alone and this is her  family now, the small dog who adores her.
But then, I think, if Tate had lived a long long time, he and I might end up sitting on a bench one day, sharing a cheese sandwich and People watching.

We have lived here almost 6 years now.
It used to be the three of us, my husband, myself and Tate the Pup.
We are known to most of the people in our neighborhood as the Americanos with the Perro.
He was a Standard Poodle.
They don't have them in Buenos Aires.
We would walk him on the sidewalk in the parks and people would stop us every few steps to pet him, ask about him, give him kisses.
He was our Goodwill Ambassador.
Walking around the city without him, has not felt right since he died.

But as always ... Things change.
We are leaving here .
We will start a new life in a new home in a new town.
There will be a new pup and who knows what other delightful new things will be coming along ..
We are excited and looking forward.
Which is really the Best Place to Look.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Living at the Bottom of the World

All of my life, January meant Winter, cold weather.
When I was a child in Southern California, it was not so cold or so wintery.
When we lived in North Carolina, we wore coats but it didn't snow, it was not so cold.

Then one day, I found myself living in New York City.
I arrived in August. From California.
I was used to warm dry weather, the humid August heat of a city Summer was new.
But I managed well enough, with trips to the mountains and visits to the beach.

But then as the years went by, married, with children, living in houses , Summer took on a new meaning.
Vacations, sleeping late, trying to keep 2 children entertained and occupied, keeping  them from killing each other ..
January meant freezing cold, snow, vacations to Islands where for 2 weeks, we would get sunburned, lay on a beach, eat food and fruit that was sometimes a bit different, and go home with a tan while most of those around us were that winter grey white that we end up with by February.

Here I am , all these years later .. the end of January.
The hottest Summer I can remember yet .

Sounds odd, no ?
After 6 years, it sounds odd to me still.
I would never get used to this.
January and February are not meant to be hot and humid.
Christmas is not meant to be   beach weather .. January and February are not supposed to have the air conditioners running non-stop.

Confession:
I heard the air conditioner give a little pause, the motor just made a little hiccup , my heart sank, I had this terrible dread, this awful doomed feeling ...  that I would have to sleep with no air conditioning until we leave here.
So far, it was only a hiccupp.
It is still working.
This is where I am .. mentally.. I am suffering from Fear of loss of air conditioning.
I already have Fear of new freckles and Fear of my hair crumbling off in a sun bleached pile of white fluff and Fear of wrinkles multiplying at a faster rate than doctors guessed possible and by this coming October, I will look 80 years old, instead of .. well ... less.

So I must get through about a month or  more of Summer in February and wait for things to begin and then start the packing process and find a hotel in NY and figure out what to pack and what I can carry on and which coat to bring and all that travel from one part of the World to another means.
I cannot wait !!

This is what it means to live at the Bottom of the World.
Just so you know.
See ? the BOTTOM of the World .. there I am .


Pretty, isn't it . The penguins like it.












Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday, Look At This Blog

For The Love Of A House




I don't remember when I started reading Joan's blog, but it was a good day.
I found myself wishing that we were doing what she did .. but then again, we sort of did but in such a different setting, such a different home.
But now ... we find ourselves, preparing to Do It Again !
And this time, it will be even more similar to what Joan and her husband did .. we know what we want, we just have to see it.
Then we will have a House to love.
And I will keep her blog close by, for comfort and for information.
Please , if you have not read this blog yet, go enjoy a real treat .. and tell her I said Hello ~


Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Photo

            How would you like this view whenever you walk to the super market ?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

After We Leave

Will someone watch out for the little dove in her nest outside the living room window ?

Will our neighbour lady next door be treated gently and helpfully?

Will someone nag the Porter to keep the garden watered because my Plants Are Thirsty !! ?

Will the Porters who say hello to us every time we walk down the street, no matter how many times a day we pass them , with Pup and now without, notice our absence ?

Will the boys at the Green Market wonder why we aren't buying any more tomatoes and cherries ?

Will the Pizzeria people think we have found another pizza we like better ?

Will the ladies at the bakery start to  think we left them for   better scones ?

Will the girls at L'epi, the French bakery, wonder why we have quit eating our pan queso ?

Will the Flower man on the corner come back in the Autumn and wonder where we are ? Will he  miss kissing us every time we cross the street . (Just between you and I, I don't think that is something my husband is going to miss)

Will the girls at Zara at Paseo Alcorte wonder where I am, I haven't gone this long without dropping in and picking something up .

Will the girls at the little shoe shop on Vicente Lopez miss my pathetic jokes while trying on shoes and wonder if I have found a new shoe shop ?

Will the lady that checks us out at the Disco market while beaming at my husband when he gives her the change she wants , wonder where we are ?

Will the people at the EST Coffee miss French roasting our coffee and wonder if we have left them for better coffee ?
(no one in their right mind would do that )

Will the Angels in the park miss us ? I know they already miss Pup.


Will I miss them all as much as I think I will ?





Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nesting

Seems everyone is moving house these days or just making a new nest for the future.
This is right outside one of our living room windows.
I can almost touch them if I leaned out and tried .. of course, you would read about that in the papers.

Woman falls out of window, hangs off tree branch for hours waiting for someone to notice and bring a ladder. 
She requested firemen but the Porter brought a ladder instead ... 
(You have obviously not seen our firemen if you think this is strange.)

It is hot. These birds were smart to choose a shade tree.
Maybe I should climb out there and see if it is comfy.
I grow weary of being inside .. but walking up the block, you can feel your skin starting to sizzle and I have only so much skin to risk  having  more removed by the dermatologist !
And freckles are only cute on redheads and children .

Pretty soon the people in the mall will know us by name.
They will send me on errands for them .. since I am there and just standing around.
Sometimes I go to the mall, not to shop but to be in a cool place with other people .. as much fun as I am, my sweet  husband can use a little time among other people.

So that is the (non) news from way down here at the Bottom of the World.
If you come visit ... bring ices from Little Italy.

Gracias ~







Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday , Look at this Blog

Closet Cooking 

I love this cooking blog.
I sometimes feel like I am cooking in a closet, my kitchen might be new and fancy modern but it is not very big.
So this blog is great for me. And when I am living in a house with a bigger kitchen, it will still work for me ~

If Chocolate and Maraschino Cookies does anything for you, just the mention sends chills up my spine, then take a look, browse around, get a recipe and tell me how you liked it.
And say hello to Kevin for me  .. I'll be here, licking the chocolate off my fingers.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lazy Sunday Mornings

Back in the US, we would spend Sunday mornings with the New York Times spread out all around us, drinking cups of coffee, listening to WQXR Radio or a CD .. catching up on news in the world and not breaking a long standing tradition of Lazy Sunday Mornings.

Now we are here at the bottom of the world and things are a little difficult at times , in the way of carrying on certain traditions.

So our Sundays begin the same, coffee, lots of coffee.
My husband on his computer, reading the Times.
Me, in here, on my computer, reading the Times.

Listening to Classic FM on the computer Radio.
The music is beautiful, all the advertising and speaking is in French, so even that is not disruptive.. it blends in with the music.

After 3 - 4 cups of coffee, I am sufficiently awake and ready to decide with my husband, what to do today.
There were storms in the night.
It is much cooler out there in the city.
We are going Out.

Out in our book just means out . No plan, no goal, no time set, just wander and enjoy being Out.
Something always comes along to make things interesting, there is always something beautiful or wonderful or even comical or odd to see and of course, for me to photograph.

So off we go .. Out .. into the world , the world of Buenos Aires on a Sunday.



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shopping Online ... for a House

I never truly appreciated the wonderfulness of being able to shop online.
Oh sure, I can go to Saks or Sephora or Mark Jacobs and look at make-up, shoes and clothing, but I never depended on it or spent that much time.
It is always worth a quick trip to the online shop to see what is new etc but being there in person is what I prefer, so I wait until I can Be There.

But while we wait for the final closing on the apartment and the buying of the airline tickets, I sit each day and browse Trulia.com.
This is my new version of Online shopping. These days, it is better than Bloomingdales.
I can pick out the State, Town or County that I am interested in, fill in the blanks and browse for hours through houses.

I had a certain kind of house in mind.
A Center Hall Colonial. Surrounded by big trees and no neighbors.
Big white house, lots of windows and very nice proportions and no neighbors.


Then I saw a Contemporary house.
High ceilings, lots of glass, light and clean surfaces.
After living in a 100 year old French style building with nothing but moldings and high, high ceilings and squeaky 100 year old floors, I am not so against modern and new as I used to be.



So I am getting more open-minded as the days go by, although I am still not living in a house on a lake ( bugs, snakes, people fishing) or a house in the middle of a forest that goes on forever and I know there are things hiding in that forest that will want to come into my yard at night and scare me... not really but the idea of being the only house for miles is a little creepy and isolation is not what we want, just no neighbors .
Yes, there is a difference.

Today I found my house.
Mid - Century Modern.
On a small hill, on a few acres, views galore, a neighbor waaay in the distance and gardens.
The living room has a wall of a grey stone fireplace with a raised hearth.
Huge windows with views of trees and gardens and sky.
The back has flower gardens and stone walls and is completely fenced in with a charming white picket fence, to keep our new pup safe.

I am already planning the colors.
Did I mention the kitchen is a wonderful stainless steel, marble and wood space that is perfect just because it is new and I don't have to put one in.

We have about 6 weeks, we think. Then we are off ... to our next new home and adventures.

I will try not to post about house hunting every single day ... really.



Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Photo

I would love to live in a house in a Mews.
Particularly in London but this street in Buenos Aires will do nicely.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hot

Today the temperatures are forecast to be 89ΒΊ F and it is cloudy .. which means if you have curly hair, you are going to need a hat.
If you have straight hair like mine, it will just hang there so do something with it !

I have my sunblock on .. as soon as I walk out the door, the clouds will part.
The sun will cook me.
I am tired of wearing the same flimsy summer clothes because they are the coolest thing in the closet and I don't feel like buying something new ( I know, the heat got to me) and I keep thinking if I wait, it will cool off.

It is getting warmer.
Even the palm trees are limp.

So off we go to the market.
Scurrying along the edges of the buildings, staying in the shade, popping into various stores along the way to get a blast of air conditioning then scurrying onward.
When we enter the grocery store, the air conditioning ducts are blasting air at the doorway.
I tend to linger in that spot a little longer upon arrival.

I will buy only food that does not require cooking.
I might be inclined to buy something that can be microwaved .
Something that can be eaten in a cone or a bowl would be fine too.

If you don't hear from me again, you will know, I am that little puddle on the corner of Agote and Vicente Lopez. Adio ~


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Capturing Beauty

I carry a camera with me every day.
Wherever we go, I have my trusty little camera with me.
Just the past couple of years, I have about 1,000 photos in an online album.
I worry that if I sat down and started paying attention, I would see that all of the photos are of houses and streets .. no people, a dog or two, some pigeons and Pup of course but that is about it.

I am totally  , head over heels in love with the Look of this city.
I keep taking photos, hoping I can capture some small bit of the beauty of the place.
I love the buildings.


French, modern, ugly Soviet Bloc era buildings that should be torn down and something nicer put in .. but the old Spanish style homes are the ones that I love.
With courtyards and flowers spilling over walls, you have no doubt that you are definitely not in Kansas when you walk down one of these streets.


 It has been so hot, we have stayed in so much, it is sort of sad to think that the days are going by and we are not out there, spending the last weeks soaking up all the atmosphere and beauty that is Buenos Aires.
But we (I) melt after the second block.. skulking along the shady side of the street, swatting mosquitoes away , grumbling and whining..
 I am loads of fun.

But as many photos as I have of this place, I always feel that there is something I forgot to take a picture of, something I will wish I could see again, once we are gone.

Buenos Airs means good air .. to me it will always mean Beauty .. just beauty.
The skies, the clouds, the architecture, the people.. definitely the people.
Even they are better looking than some places we have been.
Must be something in the air ~

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Monday Look At This Blog

Mandy Fish


Smiling at Strangers

If you click on the title ,  you will be taken to the reason why she is my Monday Look at this Blog.
I love her and I love this story the Best of all  !

Go look, say hello, enjoy. and Smile ~


Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Photo

Somehow I don't think I will be seeing a lot of homes like this where we are moving to.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I'm melting

If you are in Recoleta, here in Buenos Aires and you see a puddle on the sidewalk, with a straw hat and a pair of ballet flats lying nearby ............... it is me.
I have begun to melt.
It is only a matter of time before I am just a little puddle on the ground.

I will leave here after a very long hot summer and arrive in NY in early cold spring.
We will not discuss how excited this makes me.
How much I am looking forward to being able to whine about the cold again.

Nowhere did it ever say in any guidebook , when we were planning to move here, that the summers are really about a year long.  Well, maybe not a year ... but it feels like it.
And every day there is this beautiful blue sky with an occasional puff of a white cloud and sometimes a little breeze and this huge H U G E sun that blazes down for at least 12 hours.

I think I saw a bird lying on a tree branch, fanning itself.
I did see a street dog lying in a puddle where the air conditioners drip water.

The parks are pretty empty. In cool weather, you will see all the benches full of people, enjoying lunch outside, having mate and visiting with friends or just sitting and enjoying the trees and people watching.
Not now ... I think the pigeons went to Bariloche. The parks are empty .

They are putting in a new subway line.
I see the men who work down inside walking by, in orange jumpsuits and hardhats .. I think it must either be very cool under ground or these guys are Super men .. really.

My plants on the balcony have stopped speaking to me.
No matter how much we water them, they are burning up out there.
I hate to say goodbye to them, but I think for their sake, they need to be carried downstairs to the garden where they can sit in the shade and chat with the other plants and be cool and comfy.
My jade plants are down there and have been so very happy since they moved off of the balcony.
I miss seeing them but they are happy.
One jade plant is about thigh high to me .. we were walking on the sidewalk one day and noticed a man snapping twigs of jade plant off of a giant jade plant growing by a tree.
He saw us watching him so he gave me a twig of jade stem and told me to plant it.
I could not believe anything would come of it but I did it.
And now, almost 6 years later, that twig with one tiny leaf is a big fat shrub that takes two men  to carry.
I might have a Green Thumb.
Unless it has melted off.

Enjoy the cool or cold weather wherever you are.
I will be here , melting ..

this is the last of my hot weather complaint posts. I will spare you anymore.
maybe.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cranky

It's hot.
Hot and humid.
I grew up in North Carolina.
It was hot and humid.
We lived in Florida once.
It was hot and humid.
Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike hot and humid weather ?

I imagine leaving the country and at the gate they ask for a reason why we are leaving.
I will just have to say , It was  too hot and humid.

Winter in Buenos Aires is perfect.
Cool, sometimes even cold .. but crisp and clear skies and the sort of brisk sunny days that you are invigorated and want to walk miles and drink lots of hot coffee or tea.

Summer in Buenos Aires starts out nice enough.
After a while, even a pretty nice winter can get  boring.
Especially if you are ready to put on new Summer clothes instead of that tired sweater that became your uniform all winter.
Everything blooms , the days are bright and sunny and dry .
The   birds are happy and so am I.

But then, as in all things, even good things, too much of it and you grow bored, you remember how cozy you were in that old sweater, you miss your Doc Martins and walking miles without getting heat stroke and you realise that even in summer, too much staying in the house, makes a person cranky .

It's hot.
And humid.
And I am cranky.
I need to find a creek somewhere to get my feet wet .. maybe I should go visit someone in North Carolina.






Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Look at this Blog

Unquiet Time 







This is one of the most well written blogs that I have read in a while.
I discovered her when reading on Blogger about the various bloggers who have won awards for their blogs.
I strongly recommend that everyone take a look and have a read .. it is such a pleasure!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and  some Happy Travels too !


Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Years Resolutions

Hey ! it is Better Late than Never !

I am going to try to eat less bread and pasta and more veggies and salads and fruit.
(this will be much easier when we are away from the land of steak and bloody animal parts)

I might start taking vitamins
(can grown-ups take flavoured One A Day Chewables ? ... it might make me remember to take them)

I will remember to use sunblock before I go out the door, winter and summer.
(shall we discuss the new freckles and no doubt wrinkles that are arriving as we speak? )

I will eat less Sweets.
(do they make really sweet chocolate covered vitamins ?? )

I will continue to walk at least a mile a day..wherever we end up living
(let's hope this does not involved cow pastures, climbing over fences in fields and perhaps running from angry farm animals)

I will do my best to blog something interesting...
Other than what paint color I decided on for the new house and where should I plant the hostas.
(You know I won't keep this one, don't you ?)

Although I will be living in the countryside and people often dress for comfort , I will maintain my standards and still dress properly ...
(you will never see me out of the house in exercise outfits, sweat shirts and pants , big baggy things but I might go to the mailbox in my pyjamas, just to keep things exciting.

Although I will be out in the country and no one will see me anyway, I will maintain an excellent wardrobe of Outfits To Wear in the Country

(Starting with Wellingtons for mucking about in the garden.. the right jacket for going to the market and the right shoes for going out to dinner in a nearby village restaurant or do they wear the same outfit for all of those activities ?  )


It is all a day dream at this moment but there will be a day when there is a kitten and a new pup in the house.
I will do my best not to blog about them every single day.
(this might be as successful as my not eating chocolate every day)


I will probably post photos of them .. you will just have to live with it.

Happy 2013.
Wishing you a  Safe  Happy Healthy New Year.

Be sure to be dressed properly ~






source



Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Photo

This is Where I Live 




                                                          And I still can't believe it !

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Summer Days


Summer days in Buenos Aires, for us, consist mostly of trying  not to get too much sun, stay cool and avoid being eaten alive by mosquitoes.

To top off the eaten alive part, I have also run into a problem with a bit of a spider invasion in my home.
In my bed,  to be precise and if anyone reading this has a spider phobia ( like I do ) then you may be excused while you go have a fit of shuddering, making odd little noises and twitching at the thought.

At first I blamed it on mosquitoes.
We have had so much rain, it is so warm, mosquitoes are expected.
But the night I pulled back the sheets to get into bed and a large spider was found, just standing there, staring at me defiantly, I realised that 8 legged creatures have been wandering around in the bed with me at night, taking a bite here and there.

Have we mentioned that I am spider phobic ?

After two messages to the managers, no responses and another bite on my arm, I have resorted to spraying Raid under and around my bed and washing everything with bleach.

I worry that all the bleach and Raid will do something to our chromosomes and we will wake up with antennae of our own !

So added to the heat and boredom of a very hot and seemingly long summer, I itch.

Moving on to more important matters ... I think I should buy more handbags.
I mean, really, one can never have too many handbags and I think if I have enough, there will be no need to ask for more when back there ... in the Real World.
I will have all those lovely reminders of my life here, hanging on my arm as I go about my life in my new/old home.

We have been watching old television shows on the computer at night ..
I am now all caught up on Mob Doctor, Downton Abbey, Justified , True Blood, Dexter, Homeland  and Boardwalk Empire.
We do enjoy watching old BBC shows ... I sort of don't mind if they are very old, corny and silly, they are entertaining and I can understand the language.

We go to the cinema when something is appealing and in English, which is just about every week.
And the cinema is in a mall  so while we can eat , drink, see a movie and shop, the Summer days are still long and there are many of them.

It stays light until  around 8 pm. The days are very long. Good thing I start my days very slowly.
It is 11 am and I am in my nightgown with my third cup of coffee.
I am not ashamed of this, these days are coming to an end and I will be up early and busy and wishing I had a moment to just take a breath.
I can't wait.
So I will enjoy this time of quiet and relaxation, changes are coming, I will be ready for them.

Speaking of Summer, we will return to the US, leaving behind the end of Winter and arriving to the Beginning of Spring. Not bad ... not bad at all ~



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