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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Waiting

Waiting.
Waiting for offers to be made.
Waiting for offers to be accepted.
Waiting for unexciting things that must be done, to be done quickly and finished !
Waiting for our ship to come in.
Waiting to move into a new home.
Waiting for our furniture to arrive ... my Things ! my Clothes ! my Handbags !! my Shoes !!!!
Waiting for the Fun Days of Decorating.
Waiting for the Lovely Days of Gardening.
Waiting for New Arrivals and Happy Family Days and Nights and Weeks and ... well, you get my meaning.
I was never very good at Waiting ~

Hollyhocks and NasturtiumsĀ 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Happy


It is Saturday night, we have been back in the United States for a little over one month and I am sitting here listening to my son have a discussion with his father about this and that .. while my daughter in- law naps on the other sofa and the only sound from outside is Silence
We are in a small town in Massachusetts, in a 200 year old house. 
This makes me happy.

We got emails from friends in Buenos Aires today.. they miss us. 
I miss them. 
I miss the sweet people in the street, the shopkeepers who knew us and helped us and when we spoke Castellano and they would pretend that we spoke perfectly ...
I miss my furniture.

I miss my paintings and The Rug.
That rug was bought when my son was 4 years old. 
It has lived in a few homes, in a few states and now another continent .. and now it is on a ship and I miss it .
It is time it has a new home.

I am tired of the clothes I brought. I have worn them for a month. 
My skill was pretty impressive in picking out the tops and bottoms that would make multiple outfits for a month .. today I got to skip the coat and wear my little "tuxedo slippers" instead of boots.
It is time we had a new home, with nice big closets for my stuff. (shoes ... handbags)

We have seen a few houses.
Quite a few.
We went as far as making an offer  on one .. actually, you can call it a bidding war.
Our "opponent" pulled out all the tricks and managed to win the house.
We stopped looking for a couple of days and tried not to think about buying a house.
Then Thursday, we looked at a house, with the realtor as she had to do something for someone at this house.
Now I think we want the house.
Monday we will go and take another look.
It is everything I said I did not want.
I have to come to grips with that.
If I do and If we do and If it happens, you will hear all about it.

For now, I am being Mom. 
Cooking, listening, advising ( whether anyone needs it or not ) and laughing and enjoying myself ... very very much.
It's Saturday night and I am surrounded with family( with only the girl child missing) and the sound of famiar voices and laughter and I am Happy.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

This and That

We found a house that was perfect for us.
The location, the house ,  just about everything  was perfect.
We were in love.
For about 2 days .
But there was this couple.
They saw it first.
They did everything they could to keep us from getting the house and they were successful.
So the house hunt continues.

Flowers are blooming everywhere.
My sinuses are not happy.

The birds and  bees are out ..... and little gnats that make a person walk down the street waving their arms around and make spitty noises .

We went to a mall.
It was huge.
I said hello to Banana Republic and Pottery Barn, my old friends.

We are trying out North American pizza again.
I am now comparing it to South American pizza .. that won't last long.
It has been so cold, I have enjoyed soup everywhere we go.
The best soup so far was chicken noodle from an Italian restaurant.
I need to try some Egg Drop Soup next .. the last time I had it was in Buenos Aires and I had one of those pesky Chinese food reactions that calls for Benadryl.
Who knew eating a bowl of soup could be so exciting ?

We found a supermarket called The Big Y.
I walk through the place like a person from another planet who has never seen this thing called a Super Market.
It is huge and has large baked goods, fish and packages of paper towels and toilet paper that require a van to bring it all home.
In the years we were away, everything got larger.. or was it all just smaller in Argentina ... which is a huge country ... something to ponder.

Our new car runs like a top and gets washed often.
We have discovered the do-it-yourself Car Wash.
I like it.
Sort of.
I have this lingering fear from childhood that something will break and we will be trapped in the car, in the car wash, with all those things squirting and blowing on you.

We saw a house that is by a private airport.
Small planes, the sort that you crank up to fly.
The house is adorable, the neighbors not so much and there is this lingering fear of a small plane falling down short of the runway .. like in the guest bedroom.

We drive past horse farms every day.
We see cows. Yesterday I saw sheep.
There is a wonderful wonderful place here called  Equine Advocates  .
A place of shelter and rescue for horses. .
I had hoped that living nearby , I would be able to volunteer there.
Now I have to find a house first, then go volunteer.

This weekend the Boy and our sweet daughter in law will visit.
I am excited. I will cook for them.
We will go wandering.. antiquing .. maybe even house hunting ... perhaps, they will bring us luck.

I want my own house now.
This has been fun, but you know how it is .. when you do something  all the time, it stops being fun.
So it is time to find a house and get our belongings delivered and get a dog and a cat.
Oh .. and make a nursery in one of the bedrooms ..









Monday, April 22, 2013

It is all Good

We woke to bright blue skies, birds singing, daffodils blooming and full of anticipation of Good Things happening this week.

Being back in the US , back where  family is close by, where the food is familiar and quite tastey   and where I understand everything everyone is saying, is Good!

The weather has been pretty good.
We did have rain, but even that was nice.
Staying in an old house with woods and streams nearby, hearing the rain  hitting the skylight puts me right to sleep and waking up to a newly washed world with the sun shining again makes a person cheerful.

We take walks up the hill, past farms, fields of corn ( now cut down but this summer it will be quite a sight, miles of corn fields ) and past a grand home with tennis courts and private roads and old fences with barns that probably house nice cars these days.

We see hawks floating high above, on the look-out for field mice and small things .. the yard has been full of tiny little birds right along side the larger birds, pecking away, catching worms and eating whatever it is tiny birds eat ..

Everything is getting ready to burst into bloom.
The trees have a green haze on them, the buds are ready to pop !
We enjoy our drives here and there, seeing horses in fields, cows, there is a sheep herding place north of here, I would like to see the Spring lambs running around.

Today we drive to an area called Red Rock.
It is just so beautiful.
We looked at a house there but of course, as luck would have it, it was too small, no fireplace and not good for us ... but the area is wonderful, with houses up long winding driveways, a river that runs alongside the road, over big rocks and through the trees, very "enchanted woods" feeling.
We will go visit with our realtor. ... bringing this and   that and high hopes.

The people we are renting this place from, left a bottle full of yellow and white daffodils on our doorstep the other day.
They now sit on the kitchen table, cheering up the rooms.

One day we were in  hot sunny Summer, then here we are , early Spring.
It is all Good.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Next week ....

We had a date tonight.
Well, we  didn't actually have a date tonight.
Not a romantic date.
More like a date to meet a realtor at a house .. a date to meet a lady that is selling a house.
A house that I/ we have fallen in love with.

Not to say too much too soon .. but ...

It is exactly what we want.
It is the color I want.
It is the size we want.
I even love the name of the town.

All I can say at the moment is that offers will be made.
Hopes will be high ... excitement levels will be high ... anticipation and planning will be full speed ahead.

But for now ... I can't say anything.
But you know why I am not saying anything.

I will say something  .... sometime next week. . . fingers crossed.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not to be a Whiner of anything , but .......

It is cold here.
Spring is showing up in the sight of new flowers, buds on trees ( makes me sneeze) and a green haze over everything.
Spring is showing up in the sound of birds, and geese flying over honking and ..... the sound of me sneezing.
Hello Hay Fever .. I am back.

Or perhaps it is just a cold.
You know .. you fly from Summer/Fall  back to Winter/Spring, it rains, the temperatures are low, you have to go househunting regardless ... the heat in a 200 year old house is not something one would choose if one were thin blooded from living in a warm climate .. whine whine.

But ... it is so beautiful wherever I look.
Even if I just look up , out of the skylight upstairs, to the stars at night, the tree tops, the geese flying over in formation, honking as they go.
The little bitty tiny birds in the grass, the bright red cardinal standing out among the drab little sparrows.. the baby calves seen at a farm, the horses napping in a field when the sun was warm ..

I don't sound so good and I have a cold but a whine does slip out now and then but it is really wonderful to be here and now we go meet the realtor.
My dream house is waiting impatiently for me to find it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Neither Here nor There

I am waking early each morning, my body clock is still not sure what time it is.
For that matter, I am never sure what day it is ~

A few weeks ago, I was trying to find something that was comfortable to wear in the summer heat, yesterday I considered buying a warmer coat.
My husband reminds me the clothes are on the boat which will be here someday .. that knowledge somehow does not keep me any warmer .. I must buy flannel pajamas, my summer silky ones are useless in keeping me warm. ( I have no idea why I packed summer pajamas)

It is nice to see Spring in the Berkshires .. crocus are up in the yard, the trees have a green haze on them, baby leaves about to pop open.. shrubs have little nubs of buds on them, soon to burst open into greenness .. flowers peeping up in the ground.
Along with the occassional warm day, comes a thunder storm, and colder temperatures again.

We see baby lambs, baby cows and hear the birds each day ..
This is life in the Country.

We like it !

The house hunt continues, with a new realtor , we have high hopes.

Today- I find a mall.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Here we are ...

Yes, here we are ..  back home, back in the USA, back where things are familiar but not, children are here, but not that close and the food is tasty and we totally understand the language .. well .. mostly.

Due to the  slightly misleading advertising done by some, the houses we thought we would love, the homes we thought we would call ours, are disappointing, ugly, depressing and downright condemnable.

(If condemnable is not a word, it is now... don't mess with me, I am in a Mood.)

So we met the realtor this morning and we all piled into his car and off we went.
One really sad house after another.
If Pup had been with us, he would have refused to get out of the car.
At one house, I almost refused to get out of the car.

All that real estate talk about cozy just means that you and your husband cannot stand in the kitchen together at the same time and that spiral staircase is there because the only way you are getting up there to that bedroom is by ladder or that rickety scary staircase...
Never mind you would have to do it in the dark of night if you should feel the need to visit the loo ...

Then there was the cute little house where  you had to forget  the fact that every room had a wet spot on the ceiling, that there was an all glass door to the outside in the master bedroom !
I imagine waking up in the night and having shiny eyes staring in the door .. who cares if it is a deer, a bear or a raccoon ..
I will have nightmares about that now, here in my upstairs bedroom with plenty of doors, windows and curtains !
I think I might just forget it all and stay here, in this delightful rental.

We won't even discuss the one where the house was situated on a corner, with cars coming and going on all sides and the realtor suggested maybe some shrubs or landscaping might help ... help what ? the view for the people who will be sitting at the corner waiting to turn ?

I am cranky.
I am disappointed.
I am really counting on the lovely lady with her lovely  English accent, who will show us some homes Saturday.. and tomorrow, someone is showing us a house that I have lost all memory of asking to see .
This is what happens .. moving, househunting, eventually, the mind, she just melts away.

It is raw and grey and cold and as we walked out to the car, a squadron of geese flew overhead , honking and beautiful.
Little tiny purple crocus are peeping out of the ground, trying to decide if it is warm enough or maybe they should wait a little longer.
The shrubs are getting this pale yellow haze, soon they will be blooming flowers and leaves .
We drive by fields where horses are grazing, some have cows grazing.
You can smell the woodsmoke in the air .

It is raw and grey and cold and so very beautiful.















Wednesday, April 10, 2013

And the Hunt has begun




Things took a little time to get started but we are now easing into the serious job of House Hunting.
Realtors like to listen to us , our list of wants and don't wants then they give us a list and tell us to pick what we want to see.
As in all things in life, some things (realtors) are better than others.

So we think we have hit the Realtor Bonanza with our Massachusetts realtor B .. and the lovely lady in NY , J.
J has an office in an area that I dream of living in .. it reminds one of a green corner of Scotland , hills, streams, narrow winding road and beautiful homes with fences that flowers cover .
I really must live there.

B is warning us that tomorrow we are going to be here there and everywhere , we should rest up and be prepared.
I have been prepared, we are so glad to be doing this..

The weather has gotten slightly less cold , a little cloudy and damp but everything is starting to bud and bloom and the trees have a green haze about them .. birds are everywhere and I am so glad to see it all.

The house here continues to be a treat.
As is the man who owns it .

I am not letting the fashions of the area slip past me .. I see what they are wearing, I check out the shoes/ boots and hats and coats and figure where I will be in that mix.

I am not what one would call a Woodsy type of person.
I am no longer a  Country kind of girl.
And I have ceased to be the NYer or the Buenos Aires Senora ..

Who will I be ?



Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring

Spring flowers

Spring showers

Cold nights, promises of warm days.

Gardens full of crocus and hyacinths.

Trees full of birds busy building nests.

Baby deer.

Black bears coming into gardens to rob bird feeders.

Sun warming your face in the car, wind freezing you when you get out of the car.

Baby colts in pastures with their mama.

Looking at the night sky through the skylight and seeing every single star !

Walking down the block without a winter coat on.

Going to bed with socks on. ( some things stay cold longer than others)

The long line at the car wash.

The days are longer.


I am not in Argentina anymore but we are in a most beautiful place !




















Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bears

Here I sit, in the Berkshires.
Massachusetts has some very pretty towns, villages and roads and woods and fields and farms and ... well, you get my drift, I have a crush on Massachusetts at the moment.

We are staying in an ancient house, with clocks ticking and birds chirping and geese flying over and no sound of cars, trucks, buses or motorcycles.

It seems like we have been gone from Buenos Aires for months and months, when it is only from March 19th.
We have been so busy and moving here and there, house hunting, getting lost, meeting new people, meeting sweet old dogs and friendly people just about wherever we go .
It feels good here.

I worried that people would not be the same kind of warm and welcoming that they were in Buenos Aires.
They are.
Maybe they don't kiss you every time you see them but they laugh easily, give advice freely .

This old house we are in is amazing. 200 years old.
The stairs are small.... they had really short feet 200 years ago.
The floors upstairs are all at a slant. I feel like I am on a ship.
I got dizzy the first couple of days, now I just know I have to get my sea legs and stagger on around the house.

The sweet dogs next door have welcomed us.
Dreyfus and Brady. Chocolate labs. Huge. Sweet.
My new best friends since Dryfuss got an good ear rub and back scratch.

We were told if the bird feeder is knocked down and emptied , the black bears were here in the night.
We were told not to walk around in the back yard late at night ( this is where we usually enter the house to avoid a steep flight of stairs ).. so there are bears in the woods. ..
Beware of the bears.
I can't wait to see them .. from inside.



TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC

If you go down in the woods today,
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down in the woods today,
You'd better go in disguise.

For ev’ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday.

See them gaily gad about,
They love to play and shout,
They never have any cares.

At six o’clock
Their mommies and daddies
Will take them home to bed,
Because they’re tired little teddy bears.

Ev’ry teddy bear who’s been good
Is sure of a treat today.
There’s lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play.

Beneath the trees
Where nobody sees,
They’ll hide and seek as long as they please.
That’s the way the teddy bears have their picnic.















Catching up .. from this old house


Well , here we are , in a 200 year old house in South Egremont, Mass.
I am typing, on the  laptop, early in the am ,  trying to stay warm ( laptop in lap works well for cold weather ) ...  I have so much to tell you and so little time.

Here  is a quick catch-up:

We went to the realtor and talked about houses to buy , available etc and mentioned needing a rental.
He looked through books at rentals and then the Brainstorm hit the realtor, he made a phone call and we have been gifted with the best house you can imagine.

It is old .. very old,  .. 2 story and  originally the owners family's housing for workers who came each year to work on their farm. 
Picture a farm that takes you hours to drive around its borders. which is still alive and working .. these people are from the founders of the area here from early days.
It is impossible for them to be any nicer or more helpful and welcoming.

The house is mind boggling .. we are living in a museum. The main source of heat is the furnace in the lower regions, this heat comes up through vents that warm the main area then wanders upstairs to the top floor.. where we sleep like babies under antique quilts , on antique beds, with windows that look out over a stream , woods and skylights that show sky, tree tops and now and then a formation of geese flying by, honking a hello as they go.

We heard last night that black bears rob the bird feeders in the yard. 
No comment.

We have been enjoying sightseeing, trying out various restaurants and markets and of course, my camera is begging me to give it a rest.

We stayed in a hotel in NYC before coming here to a motel which got great reviews on TripAdvisor but eventually became a Not-So-Great place to be. 


So you can imagine our delight when the realtor said " I think I know someone who can help you with a place to stay for a couple of months " ..

It looks like winter here. There are crocus trying to come up, buds on some trees but otherwise, it is cold.. which is kind of a treat after the heat of Argentina.
Which leads me to say that our hearts and thoughts are with the people of Buenos Aires who are going through this horrible time with flooding rains and loss.

We are happy. I wake up and hear nothing and I am delighted . 
(Nothing = cars honking, trucks, ambulances, dogs barking, city sounds.)

We went to Hudson, NY and got our New York drivers licenses.
I had anxiety attacks before this. 
It was the most pleasant experience I have ever had in a DMV.
They smile, they joke, they do things efficiently and quickly and the entire thing ( that I had been dreading for months) was over in half an hour.
Followed by a celebratory breakfast in a French cafe... warm croissants slathered with chocolate and hot fresh dark French Roast. 

So off we go today, looking at neighborhoods, towns and hamlets and wondering , which one will be our next home.
Photos coming .. when I figure things out with cameras, iPhones and laptops.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Important Things

When you have men pack up every one of your belongings, large and small, ordinary and precious, you view all of those things  as Important.

When you pack a bag to live out of for months  ,while you travel, stay in hotels, look for a new home, the things you pack are viewed as very Important.

When you are packing and repacking in hotels, moving around and trying to figure out what to wear each day , knowing where everything is , is very Important.

My daughter in law and son are the champions, they pack small bags full of things folded just so, and manage to wear them, look good and go months without buying new clothes or crying out that they cannot wear this thing one more time !!

We have been living out of suitcases for 2 weeks and I actually have different outfits to wear each day and I don't feel crumpled , like I am living out of a suitcase.
Which I am ... living out of a suitcase.

It helps that it is freezing cold and my coat covers everything anyway.
I brought a couple .. OK, 2 pairs of shoes and 2 pairs of boots to keep the foot story happy.
So far, there have been no complaints from the feet.

It helps a lot that the atmosphere in the area where we are staying  is very casual and full of vacationers, skiers and locals who are not fashion minded ..
I still don't blend in ..

Today we got our Drivers Licenses .
I have had nightmares and panic attacks about this.
I have been driving since I was 16.
I have never had an accident and I can drive both a stick and automatic as well as any teenage boy.
(I grew up in NC .. blame that for my attitude )

We went to get our licenses in Oregon when we lived there , I failed the written test.
Of course, I didn't study for it , I didn't expect to have to take a test to renew a current license.
Tests apparently now make me freeze up... lights go off in my head.. Fail Fail Fail !

So I kept my license from before and hoped I would have better luck / better study habits when my next license renewal came along.

Today we drove to a town where they could do the renewals.
I was having panic attacks when my husband called and found out that a test was not needed.
1-there was no one there .. well, a couple of people. No waiting time, no big lines.
2 - every person we met who worked there was friendly , sweet and helpful.
3- my photo is actually not as scary as I expected it to be.
4- I got my New York Drivers license and so did my husband within 30 minutes.
Yay !

We celebrated with tasty hot coffee and hot croissants smeared with chocolate at a French cafe .. Tres bien !

Then we went house hunting.
We looked at 2 homes.. in Connecticut.

One is a center hall colonial, beautiful outside, beautiful grounds, dead end street with a lake and bird sanctuary sort of place at the end of the street .. in the woods.
We saw a Heron !! and its nest.
The interior of the house was a nightmare of old wallpaper, damp spotted basement and a neighbor with 2 huge black pitt bulls who mosied on into the yard while we were there ..

The next house was Grandma's House or The Cottage.
Depending on how you feel ... I felt like it was Grandma's house.
All the rooms were on the small side, the kitchen was large and all appliances were new, the living room had a huge window and beautiful fireplace and the stairway and hall upstairs was papered with brown and white toile.
I would have bought it for the toile and the fireplace .
Upstairs was a wood paneled study, with windows looking out over a stream and deep woods.
The bedrooms were charming. Both bathrooms were too.
I liked it a lot but it was a bit too small, and there were doubts about over all condition..likely camoflauged with pretty wallpaper and carpets.

So the hunt has begun.
I enjoy it.
This weekend we move into a 200 year old house we are renting for a couple of months or until we find a house.

We are still having Fun. That  is the Important Thing.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Sunday and Where To Get Dinner

Yesterday was Easter. We sort of remembered but then forgot.
When we remembered was the time we should have gotten some food in .. instead, at 10 pm my husband was going through the phone book calling all restaurants in the area and none were open.
NONE !
Except one.
McDonalds.

We don't eat meat and I don't think I have been in a McDonalds for at least 20 years.. But the fact was , we were 'tarving ( as a certain little boy I know used to say) and it was 10 pm and this McDonalds is about a block away.
My sweet husband and I had our Easter dinner in a booth in an empty McDonalds in Great Barrington , Massachusetts.
I had french fries too ... just to be sure my cholesterol and salt intake were at the maximum levels.
Good thing these are not a problem for me but that is the first thought I had .. this food will not do me any favors.

After all the months of packing and planning and worrying and packing, I am sleeping like a bebe and feel relaxed and happy.
Maybe it is because I have always enjoyed staying in hotels .. a long time ago, in a faraway land, I worked with someone who traveled. . thus I got to travel a bit too. Not that far but it did seal my preferences for good hotels and better seating in airplanes.

We drove to Chatham, NY today.
We had a little lunch in an adorable cafe and met  a realtor who was very nice and helpful.

As we drove home ...... it began to snow .
Only flurries but they were the first snow flakes we have seen in quite a long time.

Tomorrow Connecticut.

Eleven Days Ago


Eleven days ago I was in Hot , Sunny, Summery Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Today I am in Cold , End of Winter, Massachusetts.

Eleven days ago, I couldn't find anything that was cool enough to wear in the hot humid summer weather.
Today I can't find a sweater and socks warm enough for this damp winter weather.

Eleven days ago, I was eating salads and making lists for packing .
Today I had hot soup and I am making lists for moving into a new home.

Eleven days ago, I said Goodbye to my friends, neighbors and the beautiful city I lived in for the past 6 years.

Today I am meeting new people, discovering new places and looking for a new place to live.

A lot can happen in  11 days.
on a summer day
Chau, BA ~

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