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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I want her - you can have her !!

Minette might not but you never know.
She is living on borrowed time.
If you live in NC .. consider getting a puppy. Soon !!

Postscript :
Nemo has been adopted ... yay !

Chipmunks, Cats and Hedges .. Life in the Country.

It was a nice day today, weather wise .. A sweater was all that was needed. The sun would hide behind the clouds for a few minutes then come out and blind everyone .. more and more trees are turning colors, red seems to be popular this year.
The corn fields are either full of dry rattling old corn stalks or it is all cut down and bare and cold looking.
The crows and smaller birds are very happy with everything right now.
In my neck of the woods, the deer, rabbits, chipmunks and Mrs Woodchuck are content.

Minette will be hopelessly neurotic about watching the chipmunks and this winter   she might be in for some therapy, if those little creatures don't show up every morning for her.
She has breakfast then dashes to the dining room windows to look for them.
I open the doors to the sunroom and she dashes out there, to spend the day ... The ..Day , on her little pillow, face against the glass, nothing moving but an occasional twitch of her tail .. keeping track of every chipmunk movement and conversation.
Some days I see them just sitting out there, they know she is there watching, but they figured it out, she can't get them.
They still scream and run when I open the doors, but Minette doesn't scare them anymore.
I have not told her this ... everyone needs their little dreams.

Right now she is zonked out in her crate.
She had to be put in there for Time Out.
After I got half a dozen new cuts and scratches .. she starts playing and then goes crazy and my hands tend to get the worst of it.

I look like I do drugs. My arms are covered with little bloody holes .. the size of , oh, say a cats claw.
Even when she is happy, she digs in and leaves a hole in me.
The vet tech did a lousy job Saturday with her manicure.

There is a big privet hedge that runs along my driveway from the garage to the street.
It was left to just grow and now it is too wide, too high and not a good idea.
Not to mention, someone is going to scratch their new car on it as it reaches out over the driveway.
Friday the wonderful man who tends the gardens and pool, is going to take it down.
The chainsaw has been rented, I will call the gardener Leatherface .. ( get it ?)

Then I will plant bulbs and plan what should go in its place ... something low .. perhaps something green .. perhaps stones. A New England stone wall .. I have a tiny one .. I can just extend it to the house... how long will it take me to get that many big round-ish stones ?
Bulbs might be easier. Any ideas, feel free to tell me.

I am now going to go visit Sephora . com ... It is that or eat a slice of cake.

Which would you do ?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Leaving for now, be back later.

Company is coming this weekend and there are a gazillion things to do.
I have decided to cook as much as I can, ahead of time.
That leaves me with way more time to hold a baby, play with a baby, take a walk with a baby,
and, oh yeah, say hello to my son and daughter in law and take the baby.
I hope your Autumn weekend is a good one ..

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shopping to Tango Music

You know what the big bummer is about living out in the countryside ?
Of New York ..
Well, let me say it diplomatically , nothing really is a bummer about living here. But ..

I have been living in a huge city that was full of beautiful people. They love fashion and style and it shows. Everyone looked good. They dress well, they all seem to have fabulous hair and good haircuts.
They are in a country known for good leather so you can imagine the delight of shopping for shoes and handbags in Buenos Aires.

I made sure, pretty much the day I arrived, to make a good stab at shopping and being in every handbag and shoe shop there is ... at least in Recoleta, Palermo and Palermo Soho.

I now have to have closets that can house many handbags and many shoes and boots.

Of course, today I was thinking, it is getting cold.. I need boots.
I have  my furry Ugg boots but only wear them in the house.
But I need winter boots and snow boots and maybe a pair or two of pretty boots ..

I think the handbag section is ok but you never know, I might see something that will be perfect for a winter day in Upstate New York.

What I would really like to do is take my shopping dollars and buy tickets for Minette and I to spend Summer in Buenos Aires and come back here in the Spring.
But for some reason, the little family here doesn't love that idea.
I have to see what I can do ... Shopping to Tango Music.. what could be wrong with that ?

Rita Ora Givenchy Bambi Skate Sneakers

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Big Red

So.... Today  I left Minette at home ...  alone ... with nothing to do .
With  no one to think of something useful for her to do...  so she got on my computer and started playing around .
She went to one of those Singles websites and she pretended to be older than she is and she made friends.
While I was out today she had some friends over.
I know this because there was reddish hair on the sofa.
My hair is blonde.
I noticed there was absolutely not one drop of water in her dish and there were what looked like footprints on the bathroom rug.
The white one.
Then I realized my Polaroid camera was missing.
I asked her about it and she looked me straight in the eye and said ..  She had no idea what I was talking about.
Tonight I got an email .. addressed to Minette .. from Big Red.
He said  he  had a great time, the camera is cool and he will be over again next week.
Minette and I have to have a talk.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I miss ....

I miss the old neighborhood.
Especially one days like today when to get a tomato , I had to drive for 20 minutes.
Then if I forgot something, I have to take another drive or go without.
Todays salad was missing a key ingredient because I just didn't feel like taking another drive.

The kitten and I muddled around for most of the day being lazy and I was trying to be organized.
I should have just followed her example and taken a lot of naps.

I miss my Buenos Aires neighbors and friends.
I miss the music ... you can just walk down the street and you will hear music. From a car , a taxi, from a store .. once we were waiting to cross the street and I heard music, someone was giving violin lessons in the apt on the ground floor of the building we were standing by ..
I stood there through another light , just listening ...

I miss taking that night time walk with my husband, after dinner dishes were all cleared away and we needed to walk off the fullness, we would walk a few blocks to the best .... THE BEST ice cream shop ... called Volta. In Recoleta .. we would buy 2 flavors and mine was usually chocolate cherry and his was dark chocolate .. and he would buy a small cup .. so we had our ice cream to eat on the way home to eat ice cream.
My husband was genius in so many ways.

When Tate the pup was with us, he would love going to the ice cream shop.
There were benches outside, I would sit on the bench holding his leash and my husband would go inside and stand in the often times very long line for ice cream.
Tate would draw a crowd every time.
There are no Standard Poodles in Buenos Aires ... there were none then, I should say, I don't know about now.
But he was treated like royalty, a freak, a vision .. you name it .. people were agog when they saw that dog !
And being such a sweetheart, he had a following of ardent admirers ..

My husband would come out with the bag of ice cream and we would slowly walk back home, stopping to hear the musicians in the park, sometimes watching the couple that would Tango .. the man that played the Bandoneon .. Always music .. wonderful music everywhere.
I miss it.
I miss it all.

 Music !!

Last year

Last year at this time, we were so busy with the yard work and gardening and the house being readied for winter. My husband was in love with his John Deere and we made many visits to the dealership for this and that. He kept wanting to show me how to do it and I kept telling him, he looked much better driving that thing, than I would. so I never learned how.

We went to garden shows around the area. We went to one in early October. There were little houses with windowboxes and flowers in them, a tiny garden of veggies, an Alpaca  in a garden, it was wonderful and there were soooo many people.
We had to park the car and walk a long way to the actual place where the gardens were.

He was so happy, he loved it all. He had such grand ideas of what he was going to do with the gardens, the pool and I just cheered him on and told him I would watch .. I make a better cheerleader than actual participant in some things.

He was happy about that , he knew who had the nice hot cuppa tea waiting or even a nice glass of wine waiting when he came in from a hard day in the garden.

Now all the flowers are back, the shrubs need trimming back, the garden needs to be put to bed.

Minette and I now watch Miguel, who does all of these things for me plus some .. he took the monster air conditioner out of one of the bedroom windows for me .. Miguel is a godsend.

I sure wish I could look out there in that garden right now and see my husband, happy as a kid with a new toy, riding around on that John Deere.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Photo

Friday Feline Photo.

Insane ? Who ? Minnette ? Nooooooo ... what makes you say that ??

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

One of those days .....

It's One of Those Days.
It started out OK but went downhill from there.
I was looking for something and I hit my head on something. Hard.
I have a lump on my head.

Everything I do is taking too long and I am not getting anything accomplished.
Well, I did make a bigger mess of my closet.

I am trying to make a list for the market.
I went yesterday.
I bought an avocado.
I need a lot more than that.
Today I will make a list.
And forget it and find it tomorrow.
And see that nothing on the list has been bought yet.

I was dressed and all ready to walk out the door.
In fact, I was at the door .. I looked at the dish where the car keys are ... they were not there.

Thus began the waste of hours of my day, with a fascinated kitten following me every step, listening to my ever growing repertoire of "bad words" ... some of them are reeeally bad.
I said those a lot.
A Lot.

The kitten gave up looking under the bed and in the closet and took a nap.

I sat on the floor and almost wept from just being so tired of forgetting things and not knowing things and not having anyone to talk to.

I will soon be standing by the mailbox, waiting for someone to drive by , perhaps they will slow down and I can run alongside the car, just chatting to them.
Nothing special, just talking to another human.
The kitten will watch from her spot in the front window.
She will be relieved that I will give her some peace and quiet.

If someone calls on the phone, I am very aware of not being the one doing all the talking.
It barely slows me down.

Luckily, only my children call me.
They understand. Or at least they are sympathetic and don't yell at me/mock me/run away.

Minette might be wearing little tiny kitten earplugs.
She has gotten very weird about me looking at her ears.

I am exhausted from searching for the keys.
I threw some things in the wash and now I will go to a small market and get what I need and see if I can do it without talking to the checkout lady.. the man stacking the produce into perfect pyramids .. the old guy by the door who always says hello ... I will take his place soon.

I remembered that I wore a vest yesterday with the jeans .. aha ... the keys... sitting here so innocently .. waiting for the madwoman to find them.

It looks like rain now.
There go my plans to go talk to the horse up at the farm.
Maybe Minette wants to play cards ..

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Doors

Every day, many times a day, my husband and I , with  Tate the pup, would walk in and out of these doors. These were the doors to our apartment building in Buenos Aires.
First you went through glass doors, down 4 steps then walk to these doors.
You got in and out with a key. A big brass key. I loved that key.
I also loved the doors and the view.
Outside those doors .. across the street, when we moved in, was an ice cream shop.
My husband quickly became the owners best friend forever ... or at least until they closed up and left. He was sad for a day or two then found another one even better around the corner.
You don't have to walk far to get ice cream in Buenos Aires !
Across the street, those buildings are fabulous examples of the French architecture that can be found all over the city. Lacy ironwork balconies, French doors, lots of windows and inside at night you can see the lights hanging from 18- 20 ft high ceilings.
And I knew that if they were looking out their window, they were seeing the same thing in our windows.

We watched demonstrations on that street, we saw a riot with police and water canons.
We saw Hari Krishna parades with colored water and singing and beautiful saris and no elephants.
We saw mounted police on horses that looked like they should be in a horse show.
We saw mounted police that looked like they should be on the cover of a magazine .

The taxi would stop right there by the little tree and take us wherever we wanted to go.
Those rides were thrill rides, no matter how the taxi driver drove, there was Buenos Aires traffic. Buenos Aires drivers ... the speed demons, the "I laugh at red lights" drivers, but they all seemed to listen to the very best music !
 I never minded being stuck in a taxi ..  now and then, there was a driver who would sing along to the radio whose voice was actually better than the singer on the radio.
We never had a bad taxi driver.
We only had some who were exceptional but they were all great.

I waited outside those doors with my husband for my son and his bride to arrive for a visit.
We waited outside those doors for the taxi to take us to San Telmo to go antiquing,  to take us to dinner at night with friends, to take us to a milonga to watch people dance Tango, to avoid getting soaked in a rainstorm ..

Those doors are where we accepted our pizza deliveries, Chinese food, Indian food ..
We could have had our groceries delivered, ice cream, items from the pharmacy, whatever you buy, you can have delivered, right to your door.

I remember walking in those doors for the first time ... my husband and I grinning at each other.
I remember walking through them for the last time ... my husband and I wistfully smiling at each other ... we were looking forward to coming back to the United States but we were sad to be leaving Buenos Aires ...

They are good doors .. I miss them.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Having visited a doctor and having been told to stay home, rest, relax, eat ... I have decided to put the time to good use . I got out the Kindle and started to lose myself in worlds far from here, where Minette and I muddle along together.

I have a perfect house for reading and relaxing .. there is the huge sofa in the living room with a massive window to bring in light and remind me of where I am.. ( I   tend to get lost in a good book). There is room for Minette to sleep, play, be  a guard kitten on the sofa or  in the big window.

There is the "solarium" .. a room in the back .. all windows, floor to ceiling, with views of trees, birds, an occasional deer or three, the resident woodchuck and Minettes chipmunks.
That is where you can find Minette most days- keeping an eye on the chipmunks.
She may have slipped over into the realm of neurotic or maybe just fanatic .. we will see.

The bedrooms and this room all have big soft beds, big soft sofas and lots of windows, I am spoiled for choice as to where to settle in with a good book.

Today will be the living room sofa.
It is beautiful out and I am feeling weak and pitiful so I can be snug on the big sofa with blankets and still see everything out that window,   in the light and sunshine and enjoy a good read ...

It would be nice if someone were here to make my tea for me or just to curl up at the other end of the sofa and read also,  but I try not to think about that too much.

I wish they still delivered the New York Times here,.
I used to read the Fashion pages and Magazine while my husband would find out about the World, the USA and where to take me to dinner this week or better yet, where to go on vacation .. which leads to Where to Live after having been there on vacation ..

Happy Reading ..

I just finished The Garden Plot , by Mary Wingate... 
Great  light read.. combines all my favorites, Mystery, England, Gardening and Romance.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

There are days

There are days that I lie in bed in the morning and try to think of One Good Reason why I should get up.

Here she is.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pack up the Moon and Dismantle the Sun ..

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W.H. Auden

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Here and There

The neighbors.
This building is across the street from the British Embassy . This was 2 blocks from my home.
This is where there are miles of parks along the  wonderful street called Libertador ,  where there are cafes and shops and   parks, fountains, trees of all kinds and a large man-made lake for sailing boats.
Little boats .. sail boats for little boys and often big boys .

See the color of that sky ? That was the usual.

Today here in Upstate New York, the sky is blue .
The trees are very green also..but they are thinking about a change of color.

Minette and I are muddling along. I was thinking of driving the lawnmower around.
I was just thinking, I have not actually gotten to the point where I will get on the mower and think about it or try it.
I did try it once.
It wouldn't start.
I took that as a Sign.

The chipmunks are very busy- I bought fresh corn and put one out for them. They like it !
Minette enjoys watching them .. obsessively ... morning til dark.
Poor thing, she will have a twitch soon and will need therapy.

So before I develop a twitch too, I will go start the day .. after starting it at 6 am with a fussy kitten ..

Monday, September 8, 2014

Winter Is Coming

Yes, those are words that strike fear into my heart.
I have Minette to keep me company on those long frigid nights alone, and the day after day of snow falling and no one visiting and feeling lost on another planet.

All I can seem to think about these days is packing up Minette and leaving for Argentina.
I want to rent a tiny flat in my old neighborhood and stay there until Spring returns to the US.
I think I need to keep my Argentina ID alive too ... getting those stamps in it are important.

Or I have to consider putting all that behind me and going forward.

But I don't want to go forward. I want to go Back.
I want to go back in time but if I can't do that, I want to go back to where I was so happy, where I have friends, where there are things to do all the time and I don't need to drive or mow grass, rake leaves or shovel snow or pay anyone else to do it.

But most of all, I just want to go back to where I have friends and so many happy memories.

I need to figure out how to convince my children they should come too.
Or at least visit me ... every month ... for a long visit .

I look out the windows and everything is Green . . so green that it is hard to believe that it was all white just a few months ago.

The time is coming for me to start making decisions.
I hate making decisions.
My husband was better at that sort of thing. I agreed with them, I was consulted but he always just knew the Right Thing to do.

I am not that sure of myself.

Minette is useless, she says as long as there is somewhere to play and if she can see the chipmunks, she will be happy.
I have not told her yet that I never saw a chipmunk in the park in Buenos Aires.
She might have to make do with mice. Although I never saw any of them either.
Only once did I see cockroaches on the sidewalk that were the size of mice.
We won't talk about that ... shudder ~

The weekend was lovely and went by too quickly.
The Little Family stayed and the wee boy is learning to walk. He barely look big enough to crawl and he is walking. Tiny feet, huge smile ... he thinks he is Something Else.
He is right.

I have to make decisions on so many things and as soon as I begin to think about them, I get a panic attack and eat a cinnamon roll.

For purposes of weight control... I will no longer be thinking of anything but shoes and handbags..

I hope your Monday is a good one.
If you buy a new handbag, tell me about it. Shoes too .. skip any stories about chocolate though.

Did I tell you about the Apple Farm that has a stand and they make Macadamia Nut cookies ? and apple cider donuts rolled in sugar ?
Nevermind. Better not.

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sunset in Buenos Aires