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.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

When an Animal Behaves Better Than A Human

I think I am just going to give up on even trying to understand what goes on in other peoples minds.
Because it would be like trying to think like a serial killer or a child molester ,  your brain just can't wrap itself around that kind of thinking.

That is what came to me while reading this article. After seeing the dog.
When a dog behaves in a more human way than the actual humans involved.

(It was a coincidence that it took place in Argentina. I didn't notice that until after reading the story, of course Argentina like the US and certain European  and Asian countries, has terrible issues with animal cruelty and neglect .. but this story just knocked me over. now I really want a dog. )

On A Quiet Summer Day

On a quiet late summer Sunday in our old neighborhood, in Buenos Aires... where you could walk without the crowds of people on the sidewalks, cross the streets and be the only people crossing the street, linger at the windows, find a cafe open and always find a table open ,  hear birds instead of cars honking  ... on a quiet Summer day in Buenos Aires.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

Wishing you a Merry, Happy, Joyous, Cheerful, Warm, Snowy, Full of Love Christmas  or whatever else you want to celebrate this week.
Thank you for being there .. for reading ... for commenting .. . I consider you all a gift.
Happy Holidays from Minette and I ... to you. Thank you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Only Happy Stories

This is Miley. She was found in a garbage dump. She was so weak and sick and injured, there was little hope she would live. 
But this man, rescued her, took her to the vet, and they did their miracle work. 

This Christmas will be especially good for Miley and her new family. 
She just smiles all the time now.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturdays, Skies, Snow, Stuff

No, that isn't my house.
It is cool though, a barn with the garage on the side .
But to give you an idea of what my neighborhood is like, that belongs to a nearby neighbor.

And this is my sky. Our sky. The sky.
But those are my trees !
Many of them decided that their huge branches were just too big, too long, too heavy so they dropped them in the yard. I will do nothing about it for now, with the snow and ice and what have you, I am sure there will be more large objects in the garden soon enough.
When it is convenient , the Tree Man can come with his brave men, large equipment that chops whole trees into saw dust in minutes .
Good thing I have a gazillion trees, I can afford to lose a few.
Why am I up so early ? Actually Minette allowed me to sleep until 5 .
She is like any baby, she is awake, the rest of the household might as well be awake also.
Then when you get up, stagger around with your first (of many) cups of coffee ... she goes back to sleep.
It is all a plan. She knows exactly what she is doing.

I will spend the day buying last minute Christmas presents, wrapping paper and Stuff.
Have a good weekend.
Stay warm.
Or Cool if you are that lucky ... just don't tell me about it if you are.

Friday, December 19, 2014

What ??

The cats face makes me laugh every time I look at this.
Right about now, with the final days of shopping frenzy for the holidays, I thought I would share a giggle or at least a smile with you.

It has already snowed, iced, rained and fogged here .
Winter didn't want me to think it would be gentle this year.
I say, bring it on ... I lived through last winter ..

I have plans ... Things are happening, although slower than I would like.
Not huge plans in the scheme of things but a change of location, a change of view, change ... that is my plan.

Now my luck just has to stay Good, my timing has to be Perfect ...

All during the holidays ... I don't know if you would call that good timing or not.

I will be here with the kitten.. wrapping wee presents for a wee boy who hopefully will get a kick out of Christmas this year. Last year it was all a big puzzle to him, what is that ? who is she ? why am I here ???

Actually, those have often been My thoughts these past months ...

Enjoy your Last Shopping Days til Christmas, Christmas parties, Secret wrapping of gifts after everyone goes  to bed ... all the things that make it so much fun.

Now I must go talk to a little kitten about the need for quiet and peace first thing in the morning.
Maybe she wants a dog ?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

7 Days ....

So I have just a few things left to get for Christmas presents.
Things like a gift for my son, his wife and the baby. Stocking stuffers too. And something for Minette. In other words, I have done no shopping.
So I have to get a few things. soon. like tomorrow.

I will be spending as much time as possible enjoying the baby who will be having his second Christmas but the first that he will actually be a part of ..

This year I am ... getting a real tree.
Minette will be delighted.

I have the lights and bought red ribbons with gold trim and those will be the main ornaments.
I will find some non-breakable child friendly ornaments for the baby to enjoy .. play with .

The biggest job will be to keep Minette from climbing the tree and batting at all the dangly things that are within reach and getting in the way of my son ... he has no patience for kittens.
His mom has no patience for sons who have no patience for kittens so it will be a jolly time at my house, I am sure.

Christmas dinner will be pasta with smoked salmon. With something chocolate for dessert.
I thought maybe I would buy a bottle of Asti Spumante for some cheer.
Maybe someone would be relaxed and not want kill my kitten if she goes close to the baby..
Hopefully the baby won't try to kill her either.
Minette has no idea how her life is threatened in so many ways :)

Last night she fell asleep, at the foot of the bed.. lying on my robe that I had thrown on the bed.
I woke up around 5 am and she was curled up on my pillow, next to my head.
I moved her and went back to sleep.
I woke up later with her sleeping under the covers ..  she travels a lot in her sleep ..
What I really really love is she will be sleeping and I will lift her up to move her and she starts purring loudly.
Go head, Minette, sleep anywhere you wish.

Countdown .. how many days til Christmas ? yikes !! 7 days !!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Days Until Christmas !

 And I have still not bought presents.
I have been snowed in, people were here that required my presence and now there are no presents !!

Today I went to a shop to buy something ... anything ! and the store was closed.
Monday .. all the shops close on Monday !! ARGGGGHHH !

And I braved driving out of the driveway covered with snow.

Dear Santa ... don't forget I need boots for walking in snow.
I only have nice boots for walking on city streets ... dry city streets.
And my Ugg boots for being warm in the house .. there is nothing like a suede boot full of shearling to make your toes curl up and sigh.

Today I will make lists.
Tomorrow I will go shopping.
IF I can get to Great Barrington Ma. That is the best little town for shopping, you name it, they've got it. I plan on getting myself some good snow boots too. A good down coat would be nice.
Last year I didn't bother .. this year I must get a coat. For living in the Frozen North.
I never needed a coat that warm before ...

Minette has fallen in love with the scarf-thing that I bought .
It is a circle .. you pull it over your head to wear it around your neck.
It is some ridiculously soft furry looking stuff but creamy white with dark chocolate brown at the roots ...
I wanted to wear it to bed last night.
It can be my Security blanket during the Night and a Scarf during the Day.
I sleep alone, I need the extra warmth that is missing..and at the same time, there is no one here to laugh at me for looking so goofy.

Now I have to get back to making lists and figuring out my Christmas Dinner.
It is going to be something that can be made ahead, so I can spend all my time with a one year old who is going to experience a Christmas very unlike last years.
There will be a real tree and lights and stockings and presents and laughter and music.
Oh ... and a cat.

(who is staring at me right now, sending telepathic messages to me ... Mama ... Mamaaaa, I want something to eeeeeat ) ...

If you haven't done it, remember to mail your Christmas cards so they aren't late.
I hate getting cards After Christmas !

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Our Lady of Pilar

Our Lady of Pilar .. and Recoleta Cemetery... my neighbors.

On a Sunday , we could lie in bed and listen to the Church bells ring.
We would walk Tate over to the parks and peek inside the church when everyone had come out.
An ancient church, tiny , perfect.
The Convent for the nuns was next door. They were always busy with their good works, taking care of things and well, being nuns.
I don't know what it was but just being around it, was peaceful .. comforting .

I loved walking through the Cemetery. My husband would laugh at me and tease me about being a ghoul. Then he would make some corny joke about me being the ghoul that all the boys liked.
He was so silly. He always made me laugh. I could use a few laughs these days.

I was constantly pointing and saying, Look at that sky !
Or I was photographing the skies.
Buenos Aires - Good Air ... the sky is always beautiful. Even when stormy.
And being a city that doesn't have a gazillion highrise buildings, you could see the sky forever ... it was usually an intense blue , especially summer, and the clouds were fantastic with shapes that I would try to figure out, is it a horse or a ship ?

I miss hearing those bells ring.



What do you do when you are stuck inside for DAYS  with snow ?
Today I looked in the cupboard and noticed that there was not much to eat.
I wasn't really prepared for this snow that was bigger than expected and it is soooo cold out that it is not melting.
Only the street .. not the driveway or walks ... just the street.

So what do I care ? I am snug inside with Minette the wild maniac biting snuggling kitten and television, a Kindle and music.
If they delivered groceries and cat food ... I would not come out until May. or whenever snow is finally finished. When I don't have to worry about sinking to my neck in a snowdrift or slipping and falling and not being able to get up .. or all those snow related issues that come up.

I am getting bored. I want to eat something tasty.
I have no more pasta left over.
I have coffee ... thank god.
I have some Nutella.

So thanks to Tastespotting .. I absolutely love this website !! I will be baking
Drum Roll ********

Nutella Bread Pudding.

I will see you in the Spring.
I will be the one with the chocolate on my face .. with a few buttons undone to accommodate the sudden "growth spurt" !

Saturday, December 13, 2014

How lucky we are

How lucky we are .. to have computers and a comfortable chair to sit on at the desk and heat in the winter and food to keep us going and people who love us and a dog or cat to love us and to keep us company.

The way I can think of being thankful for that luck is to share my good fortune in some way.
I think this man and his pup should have a home together and be able to enjoy their lives just a bit more. What do you think ? For Christmas  ,,,

Friday, December 12, 2014

New Times

I am here alone ... with a sleeping kitten.
It snowed all last night and some of today. It might snow again tonight. No one came to do my driveway but it is OK .. there was nowhere I wanted to go.
I was snug.
Snug in soft , floppy, too big on me, sweat pants and a big chenille sweater that is like wearing a favorite baby blanket.
There was no one to see if I was fashionable or not.
My hair did look amazing though, too bad no one saw it.

I started the day with Good Intentions.
You know what those are .
You wake up and lie there and think .. there is nothing to do , nowhere to go .. no one here but me .. and an insane kitten..
What do I want to do ?
What do I want to do more than stay in and be  snug and warm ?

So I vacuumed.
Yay me !

Minette ran away .. next time I am trying to eat something ( Ramen noodles ) and she is struggling to swat them with her paw as I lift the fork, I will get out the vacuum. That'll teach her.

I dusted and tidied up.
Which is sort of sad, how much untidiness can one woman and a kitten create ??
But it was pleasant enough, good music playing while dusting always helps.
Today mine was classical. Sometimes it is Argentine or Tango but today was Vivaldi and a wonderful Bach Solo ..

Tonight I will snuggle in with the kitten and make plans.
She likes it when I tell her The Plan.
This Plan involves selling houses and buying new ones.
New ones that are just the right size for a lady and a kitten.
And possibly an occasional visitor.

Yes, new times are coming.
I am trying to be ready for them.
Minette and I  !

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Best Laid Plans

I had plans for today.
I had places to go and people to see.
I had ambition. I had energy. I had no idea it was going to be a big snowstorm.

Minette is bored.
Therefore she does things to make me jump up and chase her around yelling.
She laughs.

It is so very beautiful out.
Yes, I took a gazillion photos.
Like I never saw snow before.
Like it didn't snow all winter last year.
Like I won't see it again next winter.
Minette just shakes her head .. rolls her eyes .. I have no idea where she got that from !

So far this morning, I have had a full pot of coffee ... watch out !
I have eaten about 5 of those tiny cinnamon rolls that come in the round plastic container at the local grocery .
I have another one in the freezer ... I thought ahead.

There is enough soup ( I made Ribollita and love it !!) and there is plenty of pasta makings and if things get really bad, there is Bisquick , milk and eggs...
Pancakes for dinner !

Oh ... and I have potatoes and spinach .. omelets !

See ... I am getting the hang of this snowed in thing .. as long as I don't lose power I am all set.
As long as I don't lose my mind ... is another matter. .

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What To Do In An Ice Storm

What to do in an Ice Storm.

Wear a lot of sweaters.
And anything fuzzy and warm on your feet.
With a few pair of socks if you like.

Drink a lot (a    Lot ) of hot tea.
Have some hot soup.

Be sure the heat is on in the bathroom.

Take frequent looks out at the trees, covered in ice, huge branches drooping.

Be sure you have the items needed if you lose power.

Be sure there are plenty of warm fuzzy blankety things in the kittens carrier. Things that can be a kitten cave if needed.
When making soup, be sure the kitten does not stick her head in the pot while you are doing your taste test.

Keeping curtains closed keeps the cold from radiating off the windows and into the room, where it will go directly to your back .. right in the middle, between your shoulder blades.
If this occurs, add another sweater.

If the kitten finds a warm and snug spot to nap ..... Be Quiet.


Finish your tea and take a nap too.

Later you can amuse yourself with watching the icicles grow , as they form off the overflow in your gutters ... that you never had the gardner clean ...

You can watch the cars drive by too fast and see if This is the one that crashes.
So far, no crashes but one fishtailing slidey moment ..
My car is warm and dry in the garage where she might remain until Spring.
I am no dummy.

Plan a trip.

The farther South the better.

Make soup. If it has pasta in it, it will be a hit. Even if you are the only one having soup for dinner.

While there is still electricity, baking anything sweet is a good idea. It goes well with tea and keeps your mind of the length of that icicle outside the window.

This has been my public service announcement.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Life is just a Big Adventure ...

The first week we were living in Buenos Aires .. we were staying in an apartment on the top floor of a small building and the windows looked out over the parks and other buildings. The views were good .. as you can see here, Very Good.

You would have thought I never saw the sky before moving there. Every day I was oohing and aahing the clouds, the color of the sky , the sunsets . I was at the Bottom of the World, ! what did you expect ? The sky is different. I am sure it is. And there is so much of it .

We never went to visit our friends out at their estancia and I was always sorry. I wondered if the skies were as breathtaking .. as far as you can see, sky.
As far as you can see , Argentina !

Here, I have good skies. Clean air/ country air.

I am about to begin a new stage in my life. Everything I do now is a First in one way or another .
This will be the First time I have ever sold a home , bought a new home, moved by myself.
It should be interesting ... I hope I am brave enough to do it alone.
I hope there are people around me who are encouraging and not negative.
I always think, I can always move back to Buenos Aires ..
Minette likes that idea. She seems to be a bit of a tiny adventurer ..

Today I bought my first Christmas present ! yay me !
Maybe I can do it like this - each day, one gift . I should be finished by Christmas.
next year.
Oh well, we will see ... life is just a big adventure, isn't it ?

Friday, December 5, 2014


 I have been stricken by a serious case of Wanderlust.
I could pack up the kitten and not come back for years. If ever.
Carla Coulson did not help. Actually, she just added to the list of Places I Must Go.
Minette is trying to pack her bag ... she is having trouble deciding what to take.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Room of Washing, Next to the Room of Swinging

I fell asleep last night with water heaters and flooded basements uppermost in my mind.
Throw in a few dreams about hiding in closets and I woke up exhausted! at 6 am.
Thank you Minette.

At least I was warm and snug in my house. Nevermind there is no water . My hot water heater thingee died .
I want to call it a tank but that machinery down there has nothing that resembles a tank.
So the Thing went kaput and I have no water .. anywhere ... water water everywhere and not a drop to drink.
The very nice plumbing and heating man and his trusty sidekick ( son?) will be here any minute and they will install my brand new machinery and then I can sell this house to the highest bidder.

Yes .. I am serious.
This convinced me that I need a smaller newer or at least better house to be alone in.
Minette is really useless when it comes to fixing things and I can only  do so much or even want to do only so much.
I just don't see me down in that basement sticking my hands into dark corners where anything could be waiting. I have a hard enough time walking from one side to the other to the laundry room.
Why they put it there I have no idea.
I have to walk down a bad flight of stairs, to the door, walk down a passageway past dark rooms where creatures lurk ( in my mind maybe ) and turn on lights as I go.
 Listening for the sounds of scurrying ... or god forbid, shuffling .
And switch on more lights and there is the brand new washer dryer we bought when we moved in.
It stays with the house ... anyone who is interested in buying .. if you have a thing for doing the laundry in dungeons etc.

There is a room that was sort of halfway finished, old fake wood paneling on the walls and most ridiculous of all ... a fake fireplace.
My son is convinced that one of the previous owners were "swingers" ... you know, 60s music, shag carpet, fake wood paneling, fake fireplace .. bouffant hair-dos and mini-skirts and maybe white shiny boots and a big sofa. With a cocktail bar.
Michael Caine would have loved it ... ( reference to all those good Alfie movies)

So when I go downstairs, I pass the dark empty rooms and come out into the room of Washing found right next to the room of Swinging. Only in a 50s house in the country, down the hill from a farm.

When the plumbers are gone , I am off to visit my Realtor.
I have to discuss a plan .. while I have just gotten used to being here alone .. I still sleep with my bedroom door locked. I think a smaller cozier home would do better for the kitten and I.
With a nice light clean basement that has no ghosts of former swingers. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Wish us luck ..

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What would I do ?

She was just watching me , wondering what I was doing.
Waiting for me to come and play.
She has made such a difference in my days, in my life. I once again have a "baby" to take care of, she keeps me company , especially at night and a  noisy little creature to wake me up too early in the morning .
When I am really wanting to be asleep and snug under the covers, she sits on my pillow and washes my hair. She will purr loudly and constantly ... then if I stay really still, sometimes she will curl up next to me and fall back asleep.
One morning this happened and when I woke the second time, she was nuzzled in the curve of my neck and snoring away.
Of course, I had to lie there without moving, until she stretched and woke up. Ready to  chew on my fingers and make sure my hair was clean.
What would I do without her ?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It is just one of those days

First of all, it is soooo cold out.
Feels like Snow kind of cold.
Gloomy and raw and still ... I know it ... it is going to snow.

I have errands to run. I went to the mailbox .. yes, the one at the end of the driveway .. it was far enough.. it is too cold to be out.
Minette thinks I should get back in bed and play.
With her.
Take a nap.
With her.
At present I am not speaking to her.
She keeps sharpening her claws on the sofa.
Yes, the sofa we  shipped back here from Argentina.

I think it might be time to look into slip covers or whatever they are ... I like the idea of Toile.
I will become the old woman in the house with her cat, surrounded by Toile.
I might make a little mattress cover in Toile for her bed.
With a tiny pillow ... in toile.
She likes red.

I need soup recipes.
Feel free to email them to me. Or post them here in the comment section.
Think of it as doing your bit to keep me from getting that starved , locked in a house with a wild kitten look.

I made my first Apple Crisp in ages the other day.
Amazing how good it is for Breakfast.

I need a plumber.
I have ice cold water that comes out of the faucets like Niagra falls.
When I turn on the hot water, it dribbles out like .... well ... let me put it this way .. a bird pees with more power.

You can imagine the pleasure of a shower with that kind of water pressure.
In the frozen North.
With a kitten banging on the door to let her in.
So she can leave the door open and run out again.
Over and over and .....

She just knocked something off the dresser ... I stomped in there ... she flopped over on the floor and played Dead Kitty.
When I scooped her up, she made that little tiny scared kitten noise.
A love-in ensued ...
I am such a pushover.

I have to get out of the house ... the Apple Farm is waiting... fresh Macadamia Nut cookies, cider and apples and maybe some zoop. yes... zoop. soup. zoop. same thing.

Stay warm ..

Monday, December 1, 2014

It Always Starts With Just One

It would be so easy to be the Crazy Cat Lady on my street.

She is only 2 months old. Minette might enjoy the company and she could teach the baby .. you know, the things a kitten should know.
I think it might be nice.
I have to give this some thought.

I am in danger of being that crazy woman down the street with all the cats.
It always starts with just one.

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sunset in Buenos Aires