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, July 27, 2015

Minette and her chipmunk watching

There are days that I have to actually lift her off the desk and carry her away from the window, talking to her softly about birds in trees or Merlin or anything but chipmunks.
I worry about  her.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I Get Ideas ...

My little family arrived early today and we walked up to look at the cows with the baby.
He wanted the sheep.
They all stayed too far away, stuck up sheep :(

But he had fun anyway, he is growing fast but it is the talking that gets me.
Last time they visited he wasn't saying much of anything, now he jabbers away.
He is very cute.
Of course.
What grandmere do you know who says her grandbabies are not cute ???

Minette is curious then hides from them.
I have a feeling one of them was not nice to her, giving her a bad memory .. she avoids him now.
Old Merlin slept on my bed, I am not sure if he ever knew anyone was even here !

I made a really good summer lunch then they left.
I made Spanish Rice then let it get to room temperature then mixed it with sauteed yellow corn, then added, red onion, cherry tomatoes halved, black olives and tortilla chips on the side.
Everyone like it and asked for more.

Early this morning, people came to see the house ... groan ...
I drove up the hill and hid out by the barn. Hung out with the horse and some sheep.  They are nice and quiet and easy going .. no demands or asking opinions, I like them.
The realtor spoke to me nicely and did not get snarky or make me feel bad.
Thank Goodness for small favors.
No word on if the people love it or hated it or what .

So that is the news from here.. not much .. no news is good news sometimes.
Looks like another summer storm coming ..

I have been looking at hotel rates in Buenos Aires and airfares.
I have ideas.
They involve selling homes, buying homes, having money, spending money, packing cats and flying, lots of ideas.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Drifting Along

I worried after getting my old sweetie cat Merlin, that Minette would change.
Someone warned me that could happen.
But she is getting to be a grown up and she is changing naturally and I am happy to say that I see no change in her personality.
She is a tough little cookie. She might get scared of something but she doesn't back down .
She is my little bitty warrior kitten.

Merlin is a huge cat. He looks like a pile of hair .. I don't know how much he weighs now but he is not just skin and bones anymore,
I have fattened him up some. He is weighty .. he seems more comfortable and quite content.
He grumbles at Minette. She says something snarky to him and he looks away.
Then she will lie down and nap quite close to him.
I really wish I could understand Cat ...
I wish I could speak it too but they seem to get it whenever I do speak to them ..
Perhaps cats have a better grasp of other languages than we humans.

I sit as I do every day and wait for someone to come look at the house.
There was one woman, the realtor told me I could show    the house because she had to be somewhere far away and would not be back in time.
What ended up happening was that the shopper brought a friend who thought she was the realtor and she had too much to say about everything and really intruded into the whole thing.
So I gave up and just let them walk through and leave.

If the realtor had been here, they would not have done that.
If the realtor had been here, it might have been something .. the house was everything the woman claimed to want.
But the realtor was not here .

The days go by , quietly, I don't have company much and there is nowhere I want to go alone .
It is so beautiful, I look forward to the lawns being mowed this week, I plan on having picnics and lolling on a blanket in the grass with a book.

I wanted to open the pool and make it pretty but I need someone here with me.
It will be so pretty  , the wisteria is taking over the fence again and there are flowers hanging over the area where the table and chairs are ..

So as the days drift by, it is a very beautiful summer .. an occasional thunderstorm rolls through in the night but the kitties and I sleep through them mostly.

I came out one morning to many large tree branches down and I have to get the Tree Guy to come chop them up and make the garden neat again.
yep, it's always something.

So I am just drifting along right now , there will be changes made but for right now, things are peacefully pleasantly the same.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Best Friends

This is the sort of place that I am so tempted to visit and have the feeling that a visit would lead to a new member of the family at least, a move and change of life perhaps.

It would be or is very appealing to imagine living in a place , devoted to caring for and loving homeless animals. Pets that deserve only love and affection and gentleness.
A place that has names like Cat World, Bunny House,  Dogtown, and how about Paradise ?

I have to start planning a trip ..

This is Melanie

Or how about adopting Sugar Baby ?
Read about it , tell me what you think ... isn't it wonderful ?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lazy Days of Summer

Yes, where I live, they still have Garden Parties.
I know this because I read about them after they have them. Not because anyone ever invited me to one. whimper whimper.

I should have my own. I have a plenty big enough garden.  Which has just been mown ...
 an acre doesn't look that big when the grass is cut .

It is one of those days .. the air is so clean and fresh that it is as if it was carbonated.
The sun is shining but the air is just cool enough that you don't get too warm out there .. which can be dangerous for those of us with fair skin and freckles......and all those little bitty scars from skin cancer surgeries.
Yep.. I learned that lesson.
I can blind you with the whiteness of my skin .. no sun tan here ..

But it is easy not to get burned here and easy to spend the entire day outside just enjoying the air.
Sleeping with no air conditioning. My air conditioner for the bedroom, is still in the closet.
Maybe I will need it this summer. Maybe not.

Minette has gone from a chair cushion in the sunroom to her perch in the living room window.
She took a nap and now she is on chipmunk watch.

Merlin has been sleeping on the guest bed since breakfast.
He looks at me, mumbles and goes back to sleep.
I am overcome with the need to snuggle him now and then, he tolerates it well, blinks a few times and goes back to sleep.

I am going to get my book and go out into the sunroom and read until dinner time.
Kindle, one of the best inventions .... ever.
After Pampers and computers.. and ..........chocolate .....sunblock ...... Pinot Noir ... Brazilian Santos dark roasted coffee ... cable tv ......  flyer miles .... did I mention chocolate ?

Made my day

A hummingbird just flew up to my window and looked in ... hovered then left.
It was something like having a little fairy stop by .. or a tiny angel.


I would like to sell my house ( it is for sale already) and take all of my belongings and have them put 1- in storage
2- in a new house
and pack up Minette and go spend a few months in Paris.

Rent a studio apartment on the Left Bank and just Be There.
I will go to all the old spots we went to every year, the galleries, we always brought some small piece of art home with us as a souvenier.
The museums, I will have lunch at the D'Orsay , under the clock .. The Rodin, I will just sit in the gardens and absorb the beauty of the place.
The Picasso in the Marais then I will wander the Marais , the shops and stop and have a bite to eat and people watch.

I will sit in parks on a bench and be one of those old women in the park feeding the birds.

I will take a ride on the Bateau Mouche which I never did in all our time spent in Paris.

I will go to the Flea Market and root among the junk and find a little treasure to bring home.

I will have afternoon coffee in a cafe and people watch.

I will go to the cinema.

I will go to the Garnier and listen or see anything with music.

I will shop... boutiques, flea markets, department stores, galleries.

And every step of the way I will be talking to my husband in my head / heart .. about all the sights and sounds and smells that are Paris, the Paris he took me to for the first time , all those years ago.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Minette sees a chipmunk

She is standing on my desk. She went away for a couple of minutes then dashed back in and jumped back up to look again ... she has a chipmunk obsession. She will have to see a therapist.
She will lie on a little bitty sofa and tell the doctor about those damned chipmunks driving her crazy.
He will tell her to do deep breathing exercises and to learn to meditate.
She will tell him that cats invented meditating.
And all the while, the chipmunks look in the window at her and laugh.

Oh My Aching Back

Tuesday I was full of energy , well , sort of and made sure the house was in perfect order, everything dust free and shiny. I have company coming. They are here now in the town but will be here in the house on Friday.
"They " are the young woman and her baby son who befriended me when my husband died and I was floating around the yard and up the hill to stand and stare at the animals. There were no people to comfort me, there was no comfort but adding to my grief was the terrible sense of being alone.. the only person on the planet sometimes.

You wake in the night in a bed that is startlingly big and vast and cold and you are huddled in your little spot. I still sleep on "my" side of the bed .. I am just adjusting to sliding over towards the middle, hogging the bed. Some nights I  have to hog the bed before the cats do.

I wandered around my garden, around the house, avoiding looking at spots where there was no one there .. listening, even though I knew there would be no such sound, it was ingrained in me to listen for that voice.

I could never bring myself to sleep in the middle of the bed, I still stayed on my side. Acutely aware of the cold space where someone warm and comforting had always been.

Last night I was very tired, I made sure the house was tidy for visitors, and climbed into bed. Seconds later, 2 cats climbed into bed. Thank goodness they were On the bed and not Under the bed.

About 3 minutes after getting in bed and just starting to relax, the bed collapsed.
The mattress, the cats and I crashed to the floor.
For some reason the slats that hold the mattress in place had been moved, pushed back and there was a big enough space that the mattress just pushed the rest out of the way and crashed down.
It did my back no favors. But we were all not harmed. If you don't count the shock and pounding heart from it all.

I made the huge mistake of trying to pull or drag the mattress off the bed frame....and there went my back. Those poor pulled muscle just slammed into rigid painful knots and that is what I have today.

I dragged my pillows and blankets into the living room and got on the sofa.
5 minutes lying there in pain and knew that it would not do.
So I went to the guest room where the bed my son complains about is all made up and neat and just flopped down on top of it with my comforter and pillows and thank you God, I slept.

Of course, a cat or two had to be sure I was alive and tried to figure out what I was doing in there, but by then I was awake and fully feeling the pain in my back.

I have taken 2 Advil and will have to find someone to come put my bed together.
My friend and the baby will be here Friday so I have lots of time to get myself back into shape .. or at least be able to hold a sweet baby.

What was it Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say ? " If it isn't one thing, it's another. "

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Settling in with the kitties

On the street where I lived.
See how pretty Autumn is in South America also ?
Today is a dark gloomy day in Upstate New York. Rain is just around the corner ... I might hear a bit of rumbling thunder .
The cats are in the garden room, napping on pillows placed at the doors where they can get all the fresh air and not wander away.
I have separation issues/ loss issues ... those cats cannot get lost or wander away. It would just about do me in.
I get panic attacks when I leave them here for the realtor to show the house. I have been leaving Minette in the big crate, now with Merlin, I will have to take one with me in the car carrier .. we will sit in the driveway at the farm up the road and listen to music.
I think Merlin might do better with that, he is just such a big floppy relaxed boy .. he just makes me smile when I see him. A large mound of hair . That walks. Slowly. Very slowly.

I have had no visitors in such a long time.
Now my sweet neighbor who moved to Florida is up here visiting the family and I get to visit too and see the baby !
Oh my ... me and babies.. we get along just fine.

The realtor has not called, emailed or shown any sign of any interest in the house.
She is obviously   not interested either ...  in the house or in me .
I will bide my time. Not much more I can do.
Plus my goal has been to try not to be upset over every little thing that happens. My husbands company did that for me .. he was the most Zen of men.
I was just soothed being in the same room with him.
Now , well, let's just say that no one would use the word Zen when describing me.

I baked blueberry cake yesterday.
Like a cobbler really but more dry.

I don't especially like blueberries but I like to bake.
I am giving it to people as a gift.
What might be seen as a good news bad news gift  ...

Well, more storms and rain coming.
I guess I will run any errands I need to run now - then settle in with the kitties and my very good book.

This is exactly what Merlin looks like
And this is Minette

Monday, July 13, 2015

NYBC Stand By Your Commitment

New York Blood Center committed to  LIFELONG CARE of the Apes in Liberia.
After 30 years of biomedical research they are just dropping them, stopping the support.
The Humane Society of the US is helping support them through Emergency fundraising but they are not responsible ... the NEW YORK BLOOD CENTER  is  responsible.

Monkey Island (Liberia) (AFP) - A speedboat laden with fruit approaches and four chimpanzees come bounding over from the dense forest, screeching excitedly as volunteers throw them pineapple and mango chunks.
The apes are part of a colony of former research lab captives enjoying retirement uncaged on an atoll deep in the jungle of southern Liberia, known as Monkey Island.
The only significant inhabitants of the six islets, the chimps have been living an idyllic existence, fed by human volunteers on their very own 'Planet of the Apes' -- a nickname given to the archipelago by local media.
But the colony of 66 chimps has been at the centre of an international storm since the New York-based blood bank funding it announced in March it was stopping the cash.
The New York Blood Center (NYBC), which carried out about 30 years of biomedical research on the animals, had publicly committed to their lifelong care after they were retired in 2005.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is supporting the colony through emergency fundraising as the Liberian government and the blood bank lock horns over who should be responsible for their care.
"NYBC may believe that people will forget and that this will go away, but I can assure you that it won't," HSUS vice-president Kathleen Conlee told AFP in an email from Washington DC.
"They are absolutely responsible for the long-term care of these chimpanzees."
Conlee described the chimps' care costs -- estimated at $30,000 (27,000 euros) a month -- as "a mere drop in the bucket for this organisation that has hundreds of millions in revenue annually".
- 'Moral obligation' -
The Liberia Biomedical Research Institute (LBRI) entered into an agreement with the NYBC in 1974 to carry out research in a lab about 65 kilometres (40 miles) southeast of Monrovia, capturing or buying the chimpanzees.
The research project had gained a world class reputation in the field of viral infections, particularly hepatitis, by the time it ended and the NYBC appeared to make a commitment to the chimps in retirement as a reward for their contribution.
NYBC director Alfred Prince wrote in the American Society of Primatologists Bulletin in 2005 that Monkey Island was to become "a dedicated full-time sanctuary".
"NYBC recognises its responsibility to provide an endowment to fund the sanctuary for the lifetime care of the chimpanzees," he wrote.
The chimps are entirely reliant on humans for their survival, as there is no year-round fresh water supply or enough food on their islets.
LBRI head Fatorma Bolay said initial emergency funding from the HSUS, pooled with cash from other sources, had probably saved the animals from dehydration and starvation.
World-renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall sent an open letter to the NYBC in May urging the organisation to consider its "moral obligation" to continue funding the chimps' care.
"I find it completely shocking and unacceptable that NYBC would abandon these chimpanzees and discontinue support for even their basic needs," she wrote.
AFP emailed and telephoned the NYBC but the centre did not respond to requests for comment.
- 'No different from humans' -
John Abayomi Zeonyuway, a volunteer at the institute, showed AFP the animals' care routine on a recent visit to Monkey Island, a 25-minute speedboat ride up the John River from Roberts International Airport.
As the boat approached the first of the islets, a nine square-kilometre patch of jungle known as Island Five, a welcoming party of four chimps began screeching and jumping up and down excitedly.
"This is their way of saying that the food is here," Zeonyuway explained as he threw pawpaws, bananas and other fruit for the animals.
Zeonyuway visits the colony every second day, and each time he does a mental roll call to ensure all are present and in good health.
"I can't see Samanta. Bullet is here -- he's already eating," he called out to his crew as the rest of the residents came to join the feast.
The boat then proceeded to Island Four, 15 minutes away, where the clan of 10 apes included four unplanned babies, the result of failed vasectomies, according to the HSUS.
Birth control efforts have since been stepped up so that the population doesn't grow further.
At all six of the islands the routine was the same: an excited greeting and a feast for the animals.
"The chimps are part of me. I am glued to them because I see them every other day," Zeonyuway told AFP.
"They are no different from humans. They fight and they make peace. They need help, they need attention. We cannot afford to lose these animals to hunger and sickness."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Weekend

We walked past this building almost every day. It is  near the parks. My day dream was to live there, on the top floor.

I drive around where I live now. There are rarely any houses that make me daydream.
None of them allow me to pretend that I am really living in Paris or Italy or Buenos Aires.

Some make me think it would be like living in the 1800s or maybe in another state but none can transport me like the buildings in Buenos Aires.

I have been vaguely house hunting.
I found one house that I will like. I found a condo that has possibilities.
The house is perfect for an old woman and her cats.
The Condo is too.

The house is in a town that is hardly a town, a cafe, market, church, gallery and I think that is it.
But it is a gorgeous town.
The house is on a street that is forest and river on one side, homes on the other.
Old Victorians, grand old homes and then a few smaller quirky homes then the one I like, a "Sears House". I have never heard of such a thing.
I am a lover of the Arts  & Crafts style and have a few things from my Great grandmother that would fit very nicely in a home of that style.
A house with a fireplace ... which as we all know .. is not just a luxury up here ..
A small house with a mountain behind it and a forest in front ..

The condo is in a town that is brimming over with History and homes from the early days of the United States .. before there were even States.
Traitors and heroes and Presidents, they were all here at one time and they left their homes and legacies too.
I want to live in a town where I can walk more and drive less.
Either of these houses will do, although the Condo is in a better area for walking.

I try to imagine myself a few years from now - an old woman with her cats and maybe a little dog.
Do I want to be in a Condo ? or do I want to be in a little house with a little garden and a porch and nature all around me ?
This is one that is going to have to be decided by fate.
Whenever this house finally sells, whatever is still available might be the one I will grab.

In the meantime, my realtor has ignored me .. no one has looked at the house and I am at a loss as to how to go about fixing it.
But then I think, I am not being tortured living here, I will just wait and see.

I have my hands full these days anyway- 2 cats who do not see eye to eye on things .. a garden that is going wild, you can watch things grow just sitting there and looking at it.
Deer visit, many chipmunks and squirrels and hopefully no bears.

When the warning came out for people not to leave their dogs out at night because of the bears, I considered an apartment in the City. any City .

It is Saturday. That used to be exciting. Now it is just another day.
For those readers who are happy it is finally Saturday- Have a great day !!

I will be going for a walk, to see the Highland calves up the hill.
The horse and I have a chat and the sheep eavesdrop and the little lambs all run around yelling.
It is very pleasant up there.

Have a good weekend !

Friday, July 10, 2015

Crow Cottage - good Stuff

If anyone is in Chatham New York this weekend , go to Crow Cottage.
This is my favorite store up here.
I buy things, some small ,some not so small.
I have lots of plans for things to go in my next home, as soon as that happens !
The actual Real Estate things  are moving too slowly  , I can't even discuss it.

So I visited Crow Cottage once , over a year ago. I fell in love.
It is full of Stuff ! full of wonderful charming, artsy , folksy , sweet, nice Stuff.

So if you are in the neighborhood ... stop there and enjoy it and enjoy the lady that owns it.
I love her. She is one of those people that you meet now and then and think about and realize that they are really good.
Don't tell her I said that. She will get all bashful .
But say something to her that will make her laugh, she has a great laugh.

So go .. to Crow Cottage.. # 5 Main Street, Chatham , NY

Thursday, July 9, 2015

That Cat

Someone would like for me to return That Cat,  who is , at the moment, sleeping on Her new bed.
I am not sure if she will ever forgive me for bringing him into her home.
He is the sweetest, slowest moving cat I have ever seen and I am totally in love with him.
She seems to know this.
She gets to sleep with me on My bed and I tell her I love her all the time but she is jealous.

This is my world these days.
Cat world.
I guess there could be worse things. Actually, I know there are worse things. Cat world is fine.

Todays adventure will be following the directions that I got off the Mapquest thing online and see if I can manage to get to the really nice Mall where I can buy new jeans and perhaps .. oh , I don't know, it is a Mall ... it will just be so nice to be in a Mall. Like the old days. sort of.

Minette will be here with That Cat. I should leave a video camera running .. see what really goes on when I am not here .

I had family here yesterday and it was delightful. I miss seeing them more often and sadly, we are a tiny family now, so we have to remember to stay close and see each other as often as possible.
I am one of the Lucky Ones. I adore my In-laws.
There are not that many of them , sadly but the ones I have are the Best !
I was accepted the minute they met me, I was loved.
I never felt that they did not love me and that has been so comforting these past couple of years.
I wish everyone had such good in-laws.

My USA Gap jeans fell apart ! My jeans from Argentina are still going strong, what happened with the Gap ??

So while I am at the mall, I might wander past a makeup counter or something .. there is this store called DSW which I am sure Everyone is familiar with .. I will probably stop by, you know, old times sake and all that.

Well.. guess I had better start getting ready - I have highways to figure out and kitties to give instructions to .. you know, stay out of the bread box, no fighting , stay out of my closet .. no fighting.

So I did not go to the mall.
I went to the market first ...
I came home to men ... men in the yard, men in the street and a man in one of the trees.
I was so glad to see these particular men.
My property is lined with trees. I don't actually know how many, there are so many.
But a lot of them are dead or dying from that blight that certain pines get.
The one on the end of the line that was totally dead, was close enough to the street that the town did me the great favor, even though I didn't actually ask them to do it ... they cut the tree down.
It took a very long time, with quite a few men and when they left, there is no sign that a tree ever stood there, the stump is hidden in the ivy.

Then it started to rain.

It will be a nice cozy evening in with the kitties, PBS mysteries and perhaps something chocolate.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Have Fun !

This will be me some day.
My hair will fall out, I will get all saggy and bottom heavy and my ears will grow large.

I had better have fun while I can.
The cats have agreed with me .
We are going to go get into trouble this weekend.

Monday, if I am in condition to tell about it, you can read here if it was fun.

Have a good weekend. Have fun.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Where is all the Purple ?

Spring in Buenos Aires

I never really knew what a Jacaranda tree was. Just that it was a tree that was mentioned in books that I had read, nothing that caught my attention.
Then we moved to Argentina.
Our first Spring, I must have at least 100 photos of those trees, in parks, on the street, outside the window, I can publish a book of Jacaranda Tree photos .. for your Coffee table. Let me know if you want one.

I was already in love with the place.. the old buildings, the people, the French architecture, the music and the weather. I just don't remember ever reading about or hearing about Spring in Buenos Aires. Not in the way that I experienced it.

One day it is grey and chilly and damp ( that is a bad winter day in BA) and then we woke up to sunshine, birds and these purple flowering trees ... everywhere ... every where.
The big street  down the block from our house is lined with them ... a long Avenue with rows of purple trees on both sides. Like fine jewelry, you don't notice anything else but those trees, that color.

It is Spring, here in New York State.
After a long .. very long winter of snow and ice and freezing temperatures, the smallest sign of Spring is a good one. Cheering a person on .. a few more weeks.. a few more days .. don't give up .. Spring is almost here !

And then it is as if you went to bed in Winter and the next morning you woke to Spring.
Green, flowers, but something is missing .... where is all the Purple ?

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sunset in Buenos Aires