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My husband and I , with our dog, Tate, moved to Buenos Aires.. Life has never been the same since ~ Back in the USA ... life is still not the same !
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Making New Memories




A long time ago, when there was no hint of sadness or loss in my life .. my husband and I went to this restaurant for dinner. It was lovely. Everything about it was perfect. The food, the place , the company.

Not long ago, I drove by .. funny, all those years ago, I would never have dreamt that I would live nearby .. I drove by and remembered that happy weekend and all the happy days and years I had with my husband.
Sometimes I smile and the memories are good.. sometimes I weep because they are so sad ..  I miss him as much as ever.

So I am going to wait until summer and for a treat for my tiny family and I, we will go there for a meal and make new memories for me to hold close.

I have been snowed in for days.
Today the pony-tailed knight in his blue truck came into my driveway and before I knew it, he cleared it out . I went out to thank him and got a hug and a goodby and off he went.

I am thankful for my neighbors. I hope moving to another house , with other neighbors will be as nice as it is now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ribollita

Ribollita

There is nothing better on a cold snowy windy night than a big bowl of hot soup. Or a big bowl of pasta. Tonight I made the Best of Both Worlds .. Ribollita.
Instead of little noodles or shells or whatever shape noodle you might use in soup, ribollita is made with spaghetti.
I break the strands in half ..
Plenty of garlic, tomatoes and broth and I use fresh spinach .. boil, add spaghetti  and before you know it, you have the Best Winter Dinner Ever. Really. Ever.


8 to 14 inches of Snow

Minette just yawned when I told her.
I left her on the bed , having her morning nap   .. after  being so  busy  catching lint on the blanket. I went on a mad dash run for more water and food at the Supermarket.
It occurred to me this morning that while I have food in the house, I don't know how long it will take to get dug out, even after the snow ends.

Yes, I admit it, the people on the radio made me panic.

So I dashed to the supermarket that was bustling with other people who woke up and thought my exact same thoughts .
They were all in a very jolly mood.
I love the people up here .. good kind and friendly .. and most have a great sense of humor.
Or at least they pretend to think my bad quips are funny.

It is a pain in the neck to have a blizzard while trying to sell ones house.

It is annoying that the people that did my driveway last year didn't come by this year.

It is kind of sad as it was last year, to be snowed in, alone and wishing someone special was still here with me ...
Nothing scared me or worried me.. I  knew he would take care of everything.
Now that is the way Minette feels, I guess ...

So to quote the man on the radio

This could be a Whopper of a Storm.

Oy !


If you don't hear from me, I lost power/internet/went back to Argentina.



Sunday, January 25, 2015

I will be fine


Blizzard Watch


URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY
953 AM EST SUN JAN 25 2015

...POTENTIALLY HISTORIC WINTER STORM TO IMPACT THE AREA 
FROM LATE  MONDAY INTO TUESDAY....


I don't know how to feel about this. 
On one hand I got a slight feeling of panic , worry , nervousness.
On the other, I am looking out the window at bright sunshine and  blue  skies, it is windy and there is snow on the ground, from the last snow we had.

So a Blizzard means ... what exactly?  .. it will be more windy ? we will get more snow ?
Last year we had something like 5 -7 snowstorms , one after the other ... constant snow.
When it stopped for a minute, people would run out and dig out their walks and driveways then rush back inside for the next few days or wind, snow, cold.

I have groceries, I have company ( well, as much company as a tiny kitten can provide  - which is surprisingly a lot )... I have plenty of candles and blankets. and a flashlight.

But truthfully, it is all getting to be tiresome .. a bit much already.
If my husband was here, we would just shrug our shoulders and know that we would snuggle in and read and listen to music and be content.
I was never afraid of anything when he was here with me.
I was fearless. I had him .. 

But now .. after last years non stop snow .. I feel sort of like, Ho Hum, more snow .. how boring, how long is winter again ??

Oh , and you people out there that are called Snowbirds .... I totally get it.

I think I will make some pasta and soup this afternoon and put it in the fridge .. you know, for Just In Case.
I have peanut butter and Nutella .. I will be fine.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Brilliant, just Brilliant

  Why Finnish Babys Sleep In Cardboard Boxes

This is just brilliant. So thoughtful and sensible and just brilliant.
  ...


Thursday, January 22, 2015

When I found Minette.

AnimalKind

Katrine was understanding and kind and so very sweet to me when I walked in to Animalkind the first time. I was in my early days of grief after losing my husband and longed to have some small pet to cuddle and hold and to make me feel that I was not really the only person left on the planet.
The cold and very lonely planet.
The first time I visited, I walked in, looked around and left ... weeping.
It was too early yet.

A month or so later , I tried again .. the place was beautiful .. it is a very old Victorian house but the entire ground floor has been renovated into floor to ceiling glass "rooms '' for cats only.
They see everything and they are safe .. we see them and enjoy that.

Before I knew it ... this tiny little blue kitten came walking out of one of the glass rooms and walked up to me. That was It.
Everyone was smiling and someone said that I had been chosen.
I certainly was lucky that day.

It has been almost a year now... Minette is about a year old now... Life changed in so many ways so suddenly and while part of it was horrible, the part with Minette is wonderful.

And every day I tell her how much her Daddy would have loved and spoiled her.
That she was exactly the kind of cat that he wanted to get and that he always admired.
She likes it when I tell her that story before she goes to bed.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Farm






















Fabulous photo, no ?
That is The Farm.
That is where my Highland Cattle friends live, with my Horse friend and the countless Sheep, Lambs and a few goats   ...
The farm is beautiful, the area is beautiful but the sky boggles my mind.
How it hovers over the farm, the weight of it .. the color .

My friend whose family owns the farm sent this to me.
Wherever I go and whatever I do , this photo will always remind me of one of the things I truly love about where I live.

The times I walked up there , in the cold, alone and desolate, I would stand and just watch them, sometimes they came to the fence and stood and watched me .. for whatever reason, it comforted me.
Maybe because I didn't have to show a brave face, they didn't have to think of something sympathetic or comforting .. knowing there is no comfort .. it was fine.

Being there with those great shaggy Highland Cattle and their babies, the horse with his  scars from years of abuse before the farmer saved him .. the silly sheep .. baa baaa ... over and over .. I think they baa in their sleep. And the slightly creepy goats with those eyes ... chewing and staring.

This photo sort of sums up my time here so far ...


Thursday, January 15, 2015

In the Neighborhoods ( aka Homesick)



In the neighborhoods ... with the Spanish, English, French influence in Buenos Aires, the architecture is fabulous.
There are homes that look like something from a movie, some that belong in museum .. which is exactly what they did with the Evita Museum .. it was her home.
But there are a few things that are constant in the look of all the homes in BA ... balconies and grand windows. And they all have some sort of private gardens, in the back on the apartment buildings, in the back of the private homes, some homes with courtyards in the middle of the home .. glass ceilings and conservatories .. however they can let in the sunlight..
I love the balconies and the fact that almost all windows are French doors ..


And wherever possible, like most cities, there are Green spaces.
These Plane trees were brought to Buenos Aries in the 1800's I think it was ..
A man from Europe came to Argentina and planted the city with wonderful parks. Thays ..
His park is where we lived, where we walked the dog every day, where we wandered and sat and chatted and people watched and just enjoyed ourselves.











Pup was pretty fond of these parks too.
He couldn't believe his good luck, no one cared if he ran around without a leash .. he was a Good boy and never bothered people, although we did have a few problems with unneutered dogs off leash who thought Pup was a girl.
That led to a few confrontations, usually with me in the middle of it .. 2 large dogs and me .. the referee.
Sometimes the bodyguard. Always the mom .. even if he was a dog.
I still miss him.

I have a standing invitation to visit BA. I am trying to figure out how to manage it with houses and kittens .An idea is fermenting now .. we will see what comes of it.

The view from my living room doors .. tiny balconies holding pots of geraniums that always ended up also holding a doves nest each year. Many a baby dove started out on our balcony.
I look at these photos then I look out my window.
We had fresh snow today. "Snow squalls"
Minette is hiding in her crate, sleeping in her igloo, she muttered something about "Call me when it is Summer" ... I might join her.














Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Here and There ...


Overcast
-9°F
-23°C

I would say that this is cold enough.
It might be time for me to consider moving farther South than half a mile away, when/if I ever sell this house.

I have a feeling that moving a mile away is not going to put me in a milder winter zone..don't you think ?

Minette wants to go back to bed.
She didn't even want to go out to the Garden room and watch the birds.
She hates snow.
We agree.

I think I will work on the closets today.
That is something we always put off , I want to have to pack less clothing that I will never wear .  .. yes, I hate to throw things away .. I always feel like as soon as I throw it away, I will need it.  

But if I am lucky and this house sells soon and I buy the little house I want .. the closet situation will be greatly changed. 
As in here.. I have massive closets, there... I will have mini closets .. old fashioned small closets.
Something tells me I will be having closets made or those special shelf things put in to make them all more usable. 
The house was used as a second home, she didn't have a big wardrobe here ... 
I never throw anything away- I need Big Closets !!

In Buenos Aires, we bought an apartment that was in a small building from the late 1800s. The building was a former home .. of my neighbor on our floor  actually.


The building was converted into apartments at some time, many many years ago and it had all the character one would expect with the look of French interiors.
High high ceilings, french doors everywhere, windows that were as big as doors and molding ... everywhere .. 
The former maids room became our walk in closet .. dressing room.. heavenly. a room with a window/view and closets to the ceiling. Once in a lifetime for me I think .
Before we moved in.. the painters came and painted the entire place .. walls, a warm cream color, molding very white. Floors were stripped, sanded, revarnished.
We went on daily shopping trips to neighborhoods known for Furniture made in Argentina, Antiques, Lights, fabrics , appliances.. 
I had kitchen appliances from France, the desk I am sitting at now was made by artisans out in the countryside in Argentina, the sofa was made in Italy and the Thonet dining set is from France.
We had a very "Continental " apartment .
I liked to pretend I was in Paris . 

I like this house for a few things, windows everywhere .. huge windows. Views are gardens, woods, fields, skies. Squirrels, chipmunks, a gazillion birds, hawks, a snake and now and then Mrs Woodchuck . But it is a "mid century Modern" and that bores me. I grew up in one of those. I want character .. antique .. farmhouse.. cottage . . charm !
I think the little house I want will provide those .. charm definitely, cottage yes, hopefully it will be snug and warm in winter.

I want to share some of the homes in the neighborhood I am hoping to live in.



Hopefully after all the house shopping and moving etc, there will be some money left for a little trip to Manhattan where I can buy this and that .. for the house and for me.

so there will probably be some quiet moments ... when I am not online ( rare but true) because I will be packing, moving, setting up, no internet etc.
 Until then, here I am , waiting for the Realtor to bring the next owner to meet me.
Gotta go, Minette wants to play.
with me.
my hair to be exact.
don't ask.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Zoop !




I finally got myself out of the house and over to the market where walking from the car to the door was scary , very scary.
They did a horrible job removing   ice  all around the doors and I was so afraid I would slip and fall  ... these little fears pop up now ( they never did before -  I was fearless) but now being alone, I worry ...

I was not sure what I was going to get , what dinner would be but there they were ... all the ingredients for a big pot of Ribollita.
So I scurried home with a bag full of carrots, celery and garlic and right now, on the stove is a big pot of soup bubbling away.

My Version of Ribollita:


 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 sweet yellow, onion diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic , minced
Salt and Pepper
1 large can of chopped tomatoes - with juice
1-2 cups spinach - chopped
basil oregano (to taste)
6 cups of broth ( I use vegetable)

you can add a chunk of Parmesan rind
1 cup (I alway use more) spaghetti , broken into 1 inch pieces

You just saute the onion, carrots and garlic in oil,
add the tomatoes,
add the broth,
when it is boiling add the pasta
 when the pasta is cooked, the soup is ready.

*I don't go by timers or measurements that much .. taste it at the end and decide what it needs if anything .. sometimes it gets too thick, add some water or broth ..

Have grated Parmesan on the table. Enjoy ~

Happy Birthday Baby Boy

It is my "babys" birthday.
He is now old enough to be my father. Funny, how that happens.
I remain the same, They grow older.
We won't even talk about his older sister.
And her baby ... who is taller than all of us...

There is something not fair about this ... how am I supposed to look young and fresh with children who are grown-ups ?
I dress the way they do ... well, more grown up perhaps than the Baby Boy but still .. I think I am going to lodge a complaint with the Fair and Unfair people.
This is unfair.
The baby, who , by the way, still dresses the way he did in college, has his own baby.
A wife that I adore and a baby .... a BABY !!

I am going to send them on a cruise and keep the baby ... I will pretend he is mine.
I can go back in time and pretend that I am the young mother with 2 small children and think I know what I am doing .
I didn't the first time, I don't think I knew much when the baby boy was born .. I was 22 ! who knows what they are doing when they are 22 ... well, more than what I knew when my daughter, his "big" sister was born.

Still ... I burst with pride when I see the way these two "babies" grew up and the fabulous adults they have become. There might be something to say for being a young mother with no clue ..look what I got !

Happy Birthday Baby Boy.





Friday, January 9, 2015

And so it begins


My house is on the market, it is spotlessly clean . No one is allowed to sit down, squash a pillow, leave a crumb on the counter or leave a fingerprint on anything.
Good thing I live alone and Minette doesn't have fingers.

The First Lookers came today.
Minette stayed home in her crate ...
I am sure she said only good things about living here .
I took a drive in the car.
It snowed, I don't want to drive anywhere and it is only about 16 degrees out,  so I didn't get out of the car.
I just drove around then came home.
They were all just leaving.

I wish the realtor would tell me what happened.
I wish the realtor would call and say they want it.
I hate this part of house selling and buying.

I played with the idea of selling the house, buy  the new one, move in -  then leave .
Take Minette South and stay there until Spring.
I have enough friends and my sweet daughter to stay with until Spring.
I will be that guest who showed up and never left ... with her cat !!

I hate to do it but I will cook tonight ... unless ...  I order Chinese food  .
I feel like something Salty with a lot of MSG in it.
My heart needs to pound for a few hours.
I need to wake up tomorrow with puffy eyes and tingling lips. Nothing like some good MSG.

Maybe I can get a pizza delivered. Oh wait, I forgot ... I live out in the middle of nowhere and they don't deliver  !!  I have to go out in the dark, ice, snow, cold to pick it up.
Nevermind.

Maybe I will make some soup.
How boring.

Did I mention that I am watching all of the Doc Martin series since its beginning ?
Yes, every night Minette and I loll on the sofa and watch Doc Martin and every night I ask her if she wants to go live there.
So far she refuses to commit.
cats ~

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Poor Minette

This is a photo of a Russian Blue from online.
I made the photo Big and held Minette in my lap.
She just wanted down.
I tapped on the computer screen and said Look ! a Pussycat ! Just like you !
And she froze.
She got close but then would not get closer .. she just froze.

So I turned off the computer.

She may never go near the computer again, I may have given her  her first  phobia.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Snowed in ... Bored ... Send help.

I am snowed/iced in.
This is getting old fast.
I am now considering the advantages of having friends and family in Florida.
Since airfare to Argentina is ridiculously high and I am not sure I can bring the kitten with me, I might have to start considering Florida.

Or perhaps, when I move out of this house and land in a new ( small  adorable darling) Miss Marple house, I will be more content to be stuck in the house for days on end with bitter cold temps .

And if the kitten doesn't stop flipping over the corner on the rug and having a good go at it with her claws, I will have to bind her feet. Not really but it is a good thought now and then.

I have made soup ... Spinach Noodle. It is OK...

I might order pizza. I have not had pizza in about a year. I seem to remember taking a bite of someone elses and I still didn't have a taste for it but it might be long enough now .. I might be ready for it again. I mean, really, sooner or later, isn't everyone ready for some pizza ?

The house is clean.
The kitten is unravelling the leather binding on the leg of the desk chair now.
I must go. She will wait until I get right up to her then she will stop and run.
She knows exactly what she is doing.

Stay warm !





Friday, January 2, 2015

I Could Pee On This ...

There are two books I have to get.


One is

 I Could Pee On This ; and other poems by Cats 

and

I Could Chew On This ; and other poems by Dogs.

This is part of a Dog Poem .." I Lose My Mind When You Leave The House"

The plants are torn
The garbage strewn
The wires chewed
The couch and I had a fight ....
I went places I should never go
I saw a side of myself I should never see
I said things to the cat I can never take back
So please, don't ever leave again.


Thank you to NPR






Thursday, January 1, 2015

Just The Two Of Us ... Looking Towards the Future


In the Summer, I look out the windows towards the sky and see Tree tops.
Some sky but mostly tree tops.
 If I look straight out the back, there are shrubs, trees and vines and of course the grass and shrubs etc in the backyard.

Now ... I look out any window towards the sky and I see sky ! a lot of it ! Nice sky.
I see bare tree limbs, naked shrubs and trees and I can see the fields , golden brown, behind the house, beyond the bare naked trees.

I see more birds, the bird feeders need filling every   day ..
I always "spill" a little by the back patio where the chipmunks live.
Last year they got a bag of cashews for Christmas.

The deer will get a bale of hay this year.
I have to ask the man who owns the farm up the hill to drop one off ... poor things, last year they were eating birdseed .

In the Summer, I can't keep up with the birds, as far as which is which, what kind , do they live here year round or are they just summering up here like the City folk.

In the fall, they start to leave but others, new ones, stop by .. and there is always the sound, as I just now heard it again, of the Snow Geese, honking  and  flying, honking and flying .. headed South.
Better hurry, it has already snowed and I don't expect that to be the only time this year that we will get snow.
I think I am ready for it.
I think I will manage better than last year.

Minette makes a big difference.
Time makes a big difference.

Plans for my future help.

I am selling this house.
I hope to buy a little charming house nearby.
A house that would suit one lady and her cat.
A sweet little house that will not have ghosts or sad spots or memories that come along and slam into you when you turn your head just so.

And there is a garden with a grand birdbath/water fountain and flowers and garden walls.

And I can walk .. no more getting into the car to go to the market or Post Office, I can walk now !
It makes me feel a tiny bit Miss Marple-ish ..
Me , the cat and the house with gardens and birds.
Cross your fingers for me that it all works out .. Minette has her heart set on that house.
Just the right size for the 2 of us. With an occasional visitor of course.

But it is perfect for just the 2 of us.

Happy New Year !




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