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 29, 2014

Friday photo - Magical

If I tried and tried again, I don't think I would ever manage to photograph a hummingbird ..
In the neighborhood, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Cat Whisperer

Minette thinks she rules this house but I just let her think that .
I am very diplomatic that way.

She runs amok, knocking things over and off and down.
She sits in windows watching chipmunks.
She sits by the doors in the garden room, on a pillow that is meant just for her, watching for chipmunks.
She might be getting just a little neurotic.

If I walk into a room and make the sound CHI ... as in CHIpmunk .. she flies across the room to the window or door and stares intently, where is the chipmunk.
She is easy to mess with.

I can leave her at the window staring and go to the supermarket and have a nice drive home and she will be in the same spot ...

Neurotic might not be a strong enough word.

When she takes breaks from obsessing over chipmunks ... she concentrates on getting my attention.

She manages this by ... walking where she should not . Dresser tops, kitchen counters, glass stove top !!
generally irritating me ..
As in just now, trying to climb into the trash basket. Which fell over. Which spilled papers out ..

She laughs at me when I scold her.

But she does understand when I hold my finger or hand up in front of her face .. she bites .. she loves me therefore she bites me.
I have tiny holes all over me ... I am well loved.

So I hold my hand in front of her face and tap her on the nose... she Hates that !
Now if she starts to chew on me, I hold my hand up and she immediately flattens her ears and stops biting.

She just fell into the trash basket, time to go  ... we must have a Talk.

I am the Cat Whisperer ..

Monday, August 25, 2014

A little friend

We all need friends, large or little.
Minette needs a friend  and I think I found one for her.
Even the blonde hair color .. definitely going to look into this.
Thank you to Living the Life in St Aignan for the inspiration and the photo !!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


There is nothing like the silence of  a house when it was,  for a little time, full of laughing , talking, baby noises. Happy noises.
Full of  questions, recipes, music, kitten appreciation, baby appreciation .
All those  lovey noises.

And then those silent noises .. the ones that your heart hears ...
Hugs, and pats, soft touches . Loving touches.
Then there are the tiny baby kisses and even tiny kitten kisses.

The sighs of a baby who is just too worn out from all the fun to keep his eyes open another minute.
The tiny sigh of a kitten who can't stand guard over the chipmunks AND a baby any more.
The sighs of satisfaction when a dinner is appreciated ..
The feelings of satisfaction when the cook is appreciated.

The quiet of walking around the garden in the morning sun, saying goodbye for now to that little one.
The quiet heaviness of a heart that has to say goodby .. see you soon.
I will miss you. Blow kisses !

Saturday, August 23, 2014


How people treat you - it is their Karma.
How you react -  is yours.

Friday, August 22, 2014


This is the view of  Recoleta/ Barrio Norte, on a rainy day in Buenos Aires, from the waiting room of the Aleman Hospital where I was about to have surgery.
I was all set to have some skin cancer removed, the hospital does it very well.
My surgeon was the Head of Heart Surgery .. go figure .. he was good.
And most charming.
I love it when you are waiting to see a doctor and he walks in and goes right to you and give you a kiss.
Definitely helps with the nervous tension stress white coat syndrome some people have ... especially when they are in another country and hoping they are understanding everything everyone is saying to them ... about their leg ... and the surgery ... and the way things will look afterwards.

Everything went fine, you can barely see a tiny white line on my leg and I have nothing but good memories of how everyone treated me.
Let me hear from you if your surgeon kisses you hello and goodbye ...

It is raining here today.
Looking out the windows , I see nothing but green. Which is not a completely bad thing ..not at all.

Minette is bored.
This is not an especially good thing.
It means she likes to knock things over, off table tops etc to get me to play with her.
No matter how many times I talk to her about this, she ignores me and does it anyway.
Stubborn little kitten.
She always wins too.

The weekend is hours away and I will have company.
I am ready.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I have been overcome by laziness.
I am slothful ..
I find that I move very slowly and take long breaks between slow moves.
I sit for long periods of time just looking out the windows.
I stop here and there and rest .. or contemplate .. or just hang out .
I might be turning into the cat.
Although I think she moves much more quickly than I do.

I have excuses though.

One could blame my childhood spent in the South .. where everything seemed to move at a slower pace than , oh ... say New York City.

or one could say that I am in a place in my life that does not require me to move any faster than I feel like moving .. so I just go slowly.

or one could blame the fact that there is really nowhere that I am required  to be  and I can take my Good Ole Time getting there.

I spend too much time alone and hanging out with strangers in a market isn't for me.
Or the Garden club where the average age is 82 , I guess the younger Gardeners have their own club ..

The people at the farm market know me .. I like buying dinner, fresh, each day .. the way I did in Buenos Aires.
I don't eat red meat, have not for over 40 years, but now I have quit eating chicken ... no particular reason .. it just lost its appeal.
Now I eat veggies and fish and being able to buy everything that was still in the ground this morning is a treat.
A treat  that I am taking advantage of before winter comes along and everything I eat will be from the freezer . Or shipped here from Florida yesterday.

My laziness has resulted in meals that look like a big tomato sandwich .. a salad with a couple of avocadoes tossed in .. a piece of salmon with couscous and tomatoes and black olives.
I don't eat much but I eat well.

I think I have to go lie down now .. I have been awake for hours already and now I am overcome with a need for a lie down .. before I make the bed.

Maybe later, I will shop online .. if I can find the energy ..
I might watch this again though .. before I have to move  ... to the other room on this .. this is me..  Ma !

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

All Alone In the Woods With A Kitten

Yep, that's me.
In a silent house, in a silent neighborhood, in what might be a silent world .. all alone with a kitten.

There were probably a gazillion times , through the years, that I might have wished to be alone, just for a little while, with some quiet time.
Well, I got my wish and all I can say about that is Be Very Careful What You Wish For !

The kitten is on her pillow, nose pressed to the screen door, watching for chipmunks.
She will be there all day.
Unless I pick her up and talk to her and give her ideas for other pastime, s which she will ignore.
But she is polite about it .. she will stare at my face while I speak, making me nervous because I think she will poke me in the eye or bite my nose .. then I put her down and she dashes back to her pillow by the screen door to watch for chipmunks.
~sigh~ Kittens are stubborn .. very stubborn.

It is really beautiful outside.
I really must get dressed and go out and meet the day.

I have a feeling it will involve a drive .. a long one maybe ... perhaps to another state .. which isn't that far away .. buy some good coffee ? maybe a pair of shoes ? see another celebrity hanging out just like the rest of us ... buy some chocolate goodies ... the world is waiting.. too bad the kitten can't come too.

Or maybe I will stay here and work in the garden.
Put on the hat my husband bought when we moved here .. he said You will look Beautiful while you garden ... how can I not wear that hat  now ??
The kitten and the chipmunks deserve it.

I have been shopping sort of the way I did in Argentina.
Each day I think of what I might want to eat that day then I drive to the farm "stands" and buy fresh produce and fruit and that is what I eat.
Last nights dinner was a sandwich made with a gigundous  malformed red tomato and instead of mayonnaise, I used Creamy Ceasar Salad Dressing  on a big round Naan.
 I managed to eat most of it.
It would have been better for two.

I am thinking of making a vegetable couscous .. sauteed zucchini. tomatoes  and onions and lots of spices and mixing them with couscous made with vegetable broth.

I am thinking that I never eat out anymore and I never get dinner delivered.
Boy has my life changed !
I think I can get pizza delivered but at night here, having someone come to the door in the pitch black dark gives me the creeps so I don't even try.

Besides, I still miss Argentina pizza ..
Minette is calling, she probably got tired of stalking chipmunks and now wants to play Bite Mamas Chin... yeah, she likes to think up new games.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Monday ...

Monday Monday .... I miss the Mamas and the Papas, don't you ?

Last weekend I had a meeting with the corner of a car door.
I am sure the car door has no memory of it but I have had this nagging pain, only when I breathe, since it happened.

1- I got tired of painful breathing
2- When it started to hurt when I picked up a shopping bag, it was time to do something about it.
3- When family members started telling me stories of doom ... well .. you get the picture

I went to the doctor this morning and we had a few laughs ... No Doctor, it only hurts when I laugh.
I am fine, no breaks,  diagnosis- Chest Wall Contusion =  a deep bone bruise ...

So I cheerfully walked out , hugging my ribs close to me and moseyed  on up the road to the Farm Stand.
Where I bought my Macadamia Nut cookie and some Zucchini.
The Zucchini was merely for show- how could I  be buying giant Macadamia Nut cookies at 10 am ??? Surely I would not eat one that early ??
I have to go back out to the car with the car vac, there are cookie crumbs all over the place !

So my ribs still hurt but I don't care, they are not broken.
The sun is shining, there are a few clouds and the world is at its peak of Summertime flowering and greenness .. I will be so sad to see it go. Autumn is fabulous here but it also means the bare trees and cold weather and Please God don't let it snow  without a break kind of Winter.

I hope your Monday is good.

Tell me about it.

Someone enjoys the sun on her face too ..

Friday, August 15, 2014

In Answer To The Often Asked Question ... No

I will not, nor will I ever be on Instagram or Facebook .
I find that email, blogging and generally wasting time online is time consuming as it is, I need no more outlets for wasting my life sitting at the desk, staring at a computer screen.

Besides, no one pays me for it.

Which I think might go under the heading of Unfair.
I should get paid for it.
(sulky face here)

I do this for fun , entertainment and because someone told me I should write a book.
This is easier.
I don't deal with rejection that well.
Editors are picky too .. they want you to beg according to a certain set of rules, how you write to them is important. Not what you write but how ... so that right away gave me a chip on my shoulder and I said ... to noone in particular ... screw that , I will blog instead.

I made about as much money blogging as I would if I published this in a book.
In fact, I would probably have to pay Them to sell my book.

So here you have it .. Free ...

But I don't give it away completely .... that would be Facebook or Instagram or whatever .. here you at least should leave a comment .. you know, like a tip before you leave the table.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Which one would you choose ?

Where I live

Where I used to live

Can Kittens fly in the cabin from the US to Argentina ?

Monday, August 11, 2014

I Might Have To Go Buy Something

I don't know which is worse, being alone All the time or having company for a couple of days then being alone ...
The alone after having company seems worse ..

I have to settle back in . . adjust again .. get used to waking to silence that is only broken by a kitten who wants her breakfast.
Get used to not hearing familiar sounds that I heard upon waking every morning for 43 years ..
Getting my own coffee, not having someone to discuss what the days activities will be ..  not having someone to discuss anything with ... any time ..

I talk to the cat too much.
She doesn't care but I feel that I am still young enough not to fit the requirements for the dotty old woman who lives with cats and talks to them all the time.
I caught myself telling her to "Look ! look at that bird ! What kind of bird is it ? "
She didn't even look.

She does like the chipmunks and understands the sound of the word ... Chip is all she has to hear and she is at the glass door, little bitty nose pressed to the glass. . tail whipping back and forth .. she is too young to be subtle .. she has yet to learn the cool cat slinky thing.
Now she just dashes around and crashes into things and breaks too many things .. coming close to the Wrath of Mama when she broke a piece of china , while I was still having my first cup of coffee.

Pup knew better than that ... Pup would walk with me to the kitchen, he would sit and wait while I got my coffee first, then his breakfast ... then he would walk into the bedroom or living room and lay down and relax while mama woke up.

Minette ? I have my doubts .. she will most likely never reach that state of quiet calmness.
Right now she is staring at the white blanket in her crate, trying to think of something to do other than to lie down and just Go To Sleep.
Now she is staring at me.
It Won't Work.

I am still going through sad stuff with paperwork and changing things into my name .. regardless of beautiful weather, sunshine and flowers, there is a sadness that just sort of hovers over me.

Tomorrow should be another beautiful day.
I am thinking of getting some flowers and planting them around Minettes Chipmunk Retreat.
The birdbath is there, they drink and relax out there , have their pistachios that some nice lady tosses out there when they aren't looking .. they laugh at the cat behind the screen .. very laid back chipmunks in my garden.

I was supposed to get a haircut.
I was excited about it.
Then today I started worrying. What if ... she cuts it too short, too many layers, she doesn't know what she is doing ?
What if I can't manage it after she cuts it ... what if I look like a dork ... or worse .. ( is there a worse than a dork ? )
I might cry if it is horrible ...

I might have to go buy something.
Shoes might be nice .. or a kitten toy .. I need a Smart Phone.
My iPhone bit the dust .. it was fabulous.
A gift while we were in Argentina.
Even when it couldn't be used as a phone, I got/sent emails, took photos, got directions for driving .. now I just have the plain ordinary cell phone.
It does nothing but take or make phone calls... imagine that.

We will see what tomorrow brings .. you never know. .

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Be Smart, Be Pale

So I had this dry spot on the bridge of my nose.
Since last year.
OK .. since we were in Argentina.

I finally got too worried to stop thinking about it and made an appointment with a skin doctor here .
Of course, I compared everything to how they did it in Argentina.

It took longer to get the appointment.
I didn't have a great choice ( very limited) of doctors to choose from.
When I got there ( an old Victorian house ) I had to wait too long and then they showed me into the examining room where I waited too long again.

He only looked at my nose, did not take any history or seem that interested.
So he looked at the spot, was making noises of agreement with me on being worried..that it is not quite bad yet, he thinks and he would freeze it.
Freeze it, then I can see him in a few weeks if it doesn't look right yet.

So he froze it twice.
Freezing your nose is less painful than having it cut.
It is sort of shocking to you but definitely not horrible.
And no stitches , black eyes or unsightly results .. except that it looks like you have a bee sting on your nose.
Which would actually hurt more than what he did.

So now I wait until the redness goes away and hopefully the tiny bit of swelling and enlarged pores go away. Then I can slap on the sunblock and glory in my white cancer free skin again.

I have had 3 skin cancer surgeries.
I know what I am talking about.

See a doctor yearly and stop tanning.
It really isn't all that attractive and is definitely not good for you.

Being white and pale is much more attractive than scars from cancers being removed and absolutely more pleasant than the worry and fear of waiting for a biopsy results to come back.

Be smart, be pale.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


When we moved here, we knew we were moving into a small town in a big place where people know their neighbors and are helpful and watch out for each other. We assumed this .. that is what you always hear about small towns.

From the start .. curiosity plus neighborliness was demonstrated daily- with help on how to start the riding lawnmower to when the garbage is picked up and where to put your garden refuse for pick up.

The lady next door helped my husband with the Riding Lawnmower which was endearing and hilarious. She is better at a lot of things than most men I know .. plus she has a heart the size of New York State ...

My husband loved that lawnmower .. he would get out there and drive around, he waved at me as he went past the living room windows, he tried his best to get me to try it.
No .... I said ... You do it .. you like that stuff.

I would sit on the ground and dig and weed and plant and water and talk to the plants.
He would keep the grounds neat.
We had an excellent partnership.

We would take long drives and explore the area, discover places .. sights .. never did I once dream that I would be doing any of this alone one day .
Never did I think I should pay more attention to how he starts that damned lawnmower, what road to take to the car dealership .. a million little things that he took care of and I didn't worry about.

Then suddenly ... from one day to the next .. actually within moments one morning .. I was alone.
Alone, frightened, broken hearted , panicked, desolate.
I prefer  the word in French  .. désolé ... It sums it up so well.
My world changed so suddenly .. I was unable to catch up .. to realize, to adjust ... to face it.

It has taken months .. I still weep at odd times, I have trained myself not to think about some things, I am weeping now as I write.

It has been all this time and I am starting to feel like being out in the world .. going somewhere and doing something .. I was married so young, we were together always, I have to now adjust to doing things by myself ... being alone all the time.
It is so difficult !
Who knew ?

I want to go back to Buenos Aires. Partly because that is where my friends are. That is where we were so happy and where I feel at home.

I can't though .. obligations, kittens and babies tie me to this place.

So I say in a grumbling way to the neighbor that I want to get out and do something.
In my past life, the neighbor would suggest a new museum exhibit, shopping, restaurant or neighborhood. Here my neighbor suggests going to a Garden Club meeting.

In my past life, I would tell an acquaintance that I want to do something with my time ..  I am thinking to myself, perhaps they will say Join me for a drive to the Llama farm .. but in reality they suggest I get a job at a Co-Op grocery .

I have discovered that while I speak the same language as everyone here, they don't understand what I am saying.

I feel the pressure of Winter coming and being alone here again.
I am not sure what to do ... the person who always gave me the most brilliant advice is no longer here.

I will talk to Minette, she might have an opinion. If I can just pry her away from her spot by the sunroom doors where the chipmunks scurry back and forth and snicker at her because she is stuck inside.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summers Bounty and all that ..

The Neighbors
 Everywhere you look, it is lush and green and flowers are everywhere.
It is hard to remember just how desolate and cold it was this past winter, how sad and miserable I was , trapped in the house for weeks with feet of snow everywhere.

I have enjoyed the weather this Summer, the nights are still cool, no a/c is needed and the days are long and full of bird song, the sight of flowers everywhere, gardens are bursting with vegetables and flowers and the farms are crowded with babies.

The baby Highland calf died unexpectedly- giving rise to thoughts of something dreadful.
A fox, staggered through my garden .. from the front to the fields behind me .. an obviously sick little animal.
When I called the Police to find the Animal People... I was told there really was no one to call.
The police did not come of course, but in farm country- one would think reporting a wild animal that might be rabid would give rise to a wee bit of concern.
But no one got bothered by it.
Besides me.

Minette is safe inside at all times.
The chipmunks hang out and visit with her keeping her in touch with the animal community.
I just wait on her hand and paw and chase her around keeping her from breaking things.
She likes to wait until I sit down at the computer before she jumps up onto the counters and knocks things off ... she thinks she is cute.
I think she is courting serious injury ... from me.

I would like to be more social but my choices are extremely limited .. I can go to a Garden Club meeting with an octogenarian , I can wander aimlessly around the area by car, but always fearful of getting lost and not finding my way home  ... since losing my husband , and being so far from everyone I know, I feel vulnerable .. there is noone here to call or to notice if I am gone or don't come home on time .. except Minette but she is too young to dial the phone yet...the police would pay no attention to her anyway... I  can see the headlines now -
 Panicked Kitten calls Police .. Dinner is late, where is Mama ?

There are so many photo opportunities in my area, I really would like to go out with the camera and just spend a few hours taking photos
Maybe I will just go to the Garden Center and take photos there .

My hair is super long and I have no idea where to go for a haircut.
I got a trim months ago but the stylist is home now with a new baby.
I will look like an old Mountain Woman soon.

Today I am going to attempt to start and drive the Lawnmower.
If you don't hear from me after this - call 911. Although Minette might do that ..
Maybe I should hire some deer to just come and eat the lawn .. I will pay them in grass.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Foto

                                        Yes sir,  that's my baby .

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sunset in Buenos Aires