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, November 27, 2016

Happier Times

Yes, that is Tate the Pup , lolling on the ground after a wild romp in a pile of flower petals .. and me.. I stayed out of the flower petals.
He would lie there so quiet and peaceful and serene .. I would talk to him or just pet him and share a moment of sweetness with him .... then he would bounce up like he had springs in his legs and go bouncing off into the park to chase, run, jump and generally act like a kid ... or ... a Pup.

It was impossible not to smile when he was around.
I am sure there was not a day that he wasn't touched, kissed, and told how beautiful he was ... in most of his life. Especially in Buenos Aires .. where there was such delight in seeing him, the only Standard Poodle that most people had ever seen. And being so sweet, he made friends every time he met someone. When we went for a walk without him, my husband and I were asked by strangers, Where is the dog ?  ... he had his admirers, that is for sure.

I had a solitary day. It is beautiful here, cool and bright sun , blue skies and excellent for sleeping weather.
The cats and I spent most of the day, out on the lanai, reading and listening to music and they napped.

Tonight they watched Downton Abbey. Merlin yawned.  Honey asked me if there was more fish and Minette was caught, red handed ... red pawed, trying to get  a bit of fish off my plate when I was not looking ... and she didn't even look apologetic.

Thanksgiving came and went ... I keep forgetting we just had Thanksgiving.
It was a day I prefer to forget anyway- I made a mistake with time and this and that and I am sure I will not be forgiven for a long time. I hold grudges so I can't blame anyone else who holds them too.
So ....  I daydream about visiting Buenos Aires, taking the cats and spending a few months there , looking into life in the future.
This is a good resting spot for me ... between homes.
But I won't stay here, I don't need a huge condo with 3 bedrooms 3 bathrooms although the gated aspect of it is nice and the forest behind us is a State Forest so it is populated by armadillos and deer and so many birds.
Sitting out on the lanai with my first cup of coffee and just breathing in that clean air and the sight of the trees, sky and sound of the birds ... is a mighty fine way to wake up.
But it is a bit isolated and I do get lonely. Cities are noisy and less green and peaceful but there are people and life outside the door.

So Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the upcoming Holidays ..
I have begun shopping , by the way ..
And already got mail Thanking me for my Loyalty with a Rewards card ... sonofagun.

Friday, November 25, 2016

High Expectations

I was always the Optimist. I was a well loved child, I had a happy childhood and Luck seemed to tag along with me most of the time. Actually, Luck might have been with me All of the Time.
Because of that, I think I was more fearless and less cautious .. I assumed Nothing Bad Will Happen.
Along with that came Expectations.
I never  well, hardly ever, considered the possibility of Things going awry, not working out, crashing down on my head.

And as the years went by, I had some wonderful times, meeting my husband by ridiculous luck .. or it was Meant To Be as he always said ... but however it came about, I hit the Jackpot there.
We were very close, neither of us preferring friends, girlfriends etc over spending time just with each other.

We had 2 children who were as dear to our hearts as one's children can be.
We were proud and happy with them, we had great expectations as most parents do and those expectations pretty much came to pass ...
I am proud of them and content to know that they are going to manage fine ... when I am gone or just not able to give and do for them the way I have when they were young and still needed Mom or Dad.
Now they get to be the Mom/Dad and see how it feels !
I would say, if asked, don't worry honey, it feels great.
Even when you consider shipping them to a relative on another continent .. or sending them to the school in England where the Headmaster is scary but has an owl in his room ..

All parents go through those times, all of us went through them .. we all hopefully learn and appreciate each other more.
Sadly, I appreciate my mom and her trials and tribulations with me, too late. It would have been nice to be able to sit down with her now and laugh at the adventures of a teenage me .. She used to tell me great stories about her younger years ...she had me when she was a teenager .. there were some really good stories.
So now .. it is time for me to start making new stories for me.

I have had this time to recover and regroup, to heal and come out of shock at the sudden, shocking death of my husband .. the man that I lived with since I was 21 years of age.
It is difficult to manage alone when what seems like all of your life has been shared with someone.
Someone who just Knew Everything and Did Everything Well.
He made some great decisions .. easily and smartly.
He asked me to marry him. That was easy ! yesyesyesyesyes!
He asked me if I thought he should open his own business.
He asked me if I would like to have a dog . A standard Poodle.
He asked me if  I would like living in other places
He asked me one day, how would I like to go to Argentina. And off we went.

Now I am totally responsible for making decisions and living with them.
Some I worry are mistakes but then they work out great.
Some I think I Should have known better, should have waited, should have been more cautious, should have known better ...
But so far .. nothing has been set in stone. My caution paid off a bit .. I have a beautiful place to live and I can leave it when I want to. I am not trapped nor am I forced to live here if I would rather not.
That is a great feeling .. a freedom that I appreciate these days .. Being able to pack up and leave, and go, and explore or return to happier places .. I have the Freedom to do those things.

And as old as I am getting ... yeah, I have birthdays ...which I will be happy about because I really don't want the alternative ... I am still going to think the way I always have .... Life is to be Enjoyed, It is Full of Adventures and Nice People and Beautiful Sights and Cats are welcome.

So when someone is a disappointment, if I have to deal with sad, unpleasant things still, I know that the worst really happened, nothing else can be so bad.
And I can just pack the cats and go ....

Expecting to have yet more Adventures .. the cats and I ..

Monday, November 14, 2016

Feeling Catty ?




Monday - Learning As I Go

Monday Monday

It is almost one o'clock in the afternoon. I have laundry in the washer, I am afraid to leave the house in case this washer breaks down also and floods the place ... It is brand new and works fine but the trauma of the last break down will probably be with me forever.

The cats are being especially sweet and cute and all that cat lover stuff ..

Honey is huge but she gets around like any small young cat ... she goes from the bed to the top of an armoire ! where she sleeps next to 2 antique teddy bears.
Too sweet for words.

Minette is asleep in the big basket on the kitchen counter. I don't know how it happened, it was always full of fruit or veggies or just there for looks, now it is a nest , complete with soft folded dish towel, for a little cat.

Merlin, God bless him, is curled up on the sofa, sound asleep.
He will remain there until dinner unless I disturb him, move him or a tree falls on the house ... even then I am not sure he would notice.
Then when he does wake up, it is slowly , grudgingly , with a lot of thought given to 1- going back to sleep 2 - finding food  3- eating then going back to sleep.

I don't know- I look back on the past few months and the changes are huge in some ways, comforting in some and confusing in others.

I decided to sell the house in NY and move to Florida because I could not stand one more year, one day ! of being snowed in alone again . I could not bear the thought of not being able to go anywhere, see anyone or have company for weeks at a time. I worried about bills, heat, something breaking down. I moved into that house, my husband died and almost every month, something happened, the boiler broke. Replaced. The washing machine broke. Replaced. Floods too.
The final straw was the Exterminating company that told me I was infested with fleas  ( turns out I was not) so they told me I had to leave with the cats and come back in many hours.
I went back early to find the floors of my home awash with poisonous oil. I slipped and almost fell into the stuff .. I called the company, in tears, they came out right away, apparently whoever did it had no clue what he was doing.
They did a massive ( in the sense of how much there was and how fast they did it ) clean up. Toxic cleanup. The cats and I were sent to a motel.

They did not charge me for anything.

The house sold. Thank you God. The girl that bought it will never have to kill a bug.

That was the sort of final straw, that and the broken door knob on the back door of the garage which is connected to the house/kitchen.

I called the Realtor. I called my son and my daughter. I called the movers.

When I moved in here, I had to have an exterminator .. the washing machine broke mid cycle and flooded the apt .. through the ceilings in the kitchen ..
At least I didn't have to pay for this catastrophe.

I got a new washing machine. But it's too late. I have a fear of washing machines, actually of plumbing. I may never recover.

I am bored and it is lonely here.
So of course, what do I think about all the time ?
Buenos Aires.
A visit would be nice. That would show me what it is like alone and after a couple of years away.
I can't imagine it being that different... every thing I do is different if you think about it.
Since I was a 20 year old girl, I had a husband, a companion in all that I did. Now I don't.
Here or there, that is the same.

So ...

The washer is silent. I hear no dripping sounds. The wash is done. phew.
Minnet is asleep in the mail fruit basket on the counter. Merlin is asleep on the sofa.
Honey is asleep on the armoire.

I will not go back to bed. or lie down on the sofa.
I am going to the store.
or I will drop in on the take out places and just bring home a bunch of stuff and decide what I want to eat tonight.

When you live alone .. you can do that.
Eating whatever you want, from wherever you want, whenever you want .... sleeping in the middle of the bed .... talking to cats anytime ... eating chocolate (Nutella)  on croissants for lunch ...these are things a person can do when living alone.
Somehow, my memories of not doing anything alone are still better but I am learning as I go.

Tuesday ... I go shopping in another part of Jacksonville and pretend I know how to get back home.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

What Are You Doing For The Weekend ?

Babies and Pups

I want a dog.
I can't have a dog.
I am renting a condo and have 3 cats.
One of them the size of a small dog.

But I won't be in this condo forever.
And even if it is a wee little dog for an old lady, I will. have. a. dog !

The cats will have plenty of warning. The experiences I have had in the past with cats and dogs in one house are all good.
I think Minette would like a dog, she thinks she is one sometimes.

Meanwhile .. Cats and I need to talk about what to do for the weekend.

I have ideas about today and tomorrow but no energy at the moment, thank you cats for waking me at 6 am.
I have a feeling a plant nursery and curtain rods might be on my list today

What are you doing for the weekend ?

Jacaranda Time

Spring in Buenos Aires. This is one of the parks that my husband and I took Tate the Pup to every morning. We were 2 blocks from these parks. How is that for good luck ?
We hunted and hunted with the realtor for a home when we moved to BA and then one day, there it was, 2 blocks from miles of parks , massive museums, Embassies and fantastic shopping and everything we had dreamt of when we were dreaming of living in Argentina.
We renamed the parks ... they are now known ( in certain circles) as Pups Parks.

Looking at this photo takes me back to warm days, the sounds of traffic, music, parrots bickering in the trees and children laughing and dogs barking ... Pup was so happy, this was his playground.

Funny, looking back on those days , seeing photos like this, thanks to Sandra from BA Travel Guide,
I am almost overwhelmed with memories of sounds and scents and sights.
It was an enchanted time in an enchanted place. Jacaranda time.

Monday, November 7, 2016

I Love Buenos Aires ..

When you feel like seeing where Evita was buried or any of the many residents of Buenos Aires, famous and not so famous.
2 blocks from our home ... parks, cafes, hotels and a massive cemetery.

I love Buenos Aires ~

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Magical Time

The National Library in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
We lived a few blocks from here, there are parks all around and behind the building. We were there all the time with Pup.
It is known as the Brutalist style, Architecturally speaking.
It was just magical and wonderful, if I were speaking.
Some sort of strange alien spacecraft that landed in the middle of the city ..
I miss sitting in the park and watching the children play futbol while Pup sniffed around and explored and my husband and I would chat about the day or the plans for the evening .. it was a magical a magical place.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Finding a home ...

When we first moved to Buenos Aires, we stayed in a little studio apartment. While staying there with the dog , we went out each day with our realtor and toured the city, looking for a home to buy.
He was a great realtor and became our friend quickly and easily.
He took us to a few neighborhoods and showed us various types of homes .. single family houses in an area that was sort of "gated" and posh .
He took us to San Telmo where antiques abound and it is very "Old Buenos Aires" in feel and look.
Cobblestone streets and walled gardens, it was appealing.
Then one day , after weeks of looking and finding nothing that appealed .. we were standing on the sidewalk and talking about the "state of things" .. we were discouraged, he was out of ideas and the dog wanted to go to the park .. which he could see from where we stood.
I was looking across the street, at these buildings. I said to my husband, I would live there . He laughed. So would he, but sadly, there was no For Sale/Vende sign outside.

As we began to walk away, I looked up .. way up. And there it was .. Vende.
While we stood and admired the building across the street, while we spoke of not finding anything we liked, we were standing in front of a building .. that we liked from the outside ... with a Vende sign up on the 5th floor balcony...facing that building across the street.

The realtor made a phone call. Made an appointment. The next day we went to see the apartment.
To be continued.

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sunset in Buenos Aires