My photo
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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Finding My Way Again

It has been a day of quietly nice chores and things happening.
It is very cold out. Dangerously. But the sun shone and there were very few clouds and no threat of snow so far.

I went to the market to pick up some things then scurried home .. driving past a little area here in my town that calls to me.
I swear, if someone were to give me a small push and a house appeared for the right price, I would buy it and stay here.
I know it is cold and hard here but I am used to it now.

So I came home from the store and had a visitor .. I love her, she is so so nice and that cheered up my day so much.
You don't realize how lonely it can be to live alone in an area where your neighbors are all quite old, never come out and there really isn't much to do.
Summer it is a totally different place but this area, in winter, is for families to live in .. not widows with no family.
I will be sad to leave here. It is a place that could have been the best place yet. Instead, the sadness that hangs over me keeps me stuck in one place.. so I have high hopes that the move South will be all for the Good.

I made the decision on movers. There was a choice between 2 .. both huge companies, well known. Expensive.
I went for the one that was one thousand dollars less. They will pack and crate big things and fragile things .. Tomorrow the man will come by and hopefully leave me a bunch of bubble wrap and some boxes.

The cats have spent the entire day, so far, curled up on cushions on the sofa , sleeping.
Merlin is warm and snug and so contented. When I whisper in his ear, he doesn't move, doesn't open an eye but he purrs really loudly.

Minette reached out with her little paw today and gently touched my cheek. I was waiting for her to scratch me or bite my nose ( she loves to bite my nose) but no .. she just gave mama a pat on the cheek.

We will be fine.
We will drive on a weekend.
We will stop when we feel like it, there is no deadline to be anywhere.
We will sleep together in a big bed in a hotel each night and eat in the room too.

And at the end of the road, will be the Ocean. Sunshine. Warmth. A young Viking whose Grandmother needs to kiss him. A daughter who needs a hug. and more cats, god help us :)

I am daydreaming about apartments with views of the ocean. Condos with golf courses and palm trees and everything brand new. St Augustine is calling to me.

I look forward to Movie Night once a week with my daughter .. and the boy if he wants to come along.
Going to the cinema in the middle of the week is fun.
I have not been to a movie since I got here.
In Buenos Aires, the films changed each week on Thursday. Which happened to be the day our cleaning lady came.
So we would leave the apt and the dog and go to see a movie.
Coming home to a happy dog and a clean home.
And dinner out because no one was making a mess in that clean kitchen !

I have to make my own routines now. movies, shopping, sightseeing .. alone or with someone, I will explore and be out and find my way again.
I have high hopes, great expectations, a positive outlook .. dreams ..

Did I mention the apartment with huge windows that looks out over the ocean ?
It keeps coming back to me ... it would be like living in a movie.


So there you have it ... hopefully one positive step leads to another and we will be moving right along ..




Sunday, February 28, 2016

Be a Good Friend

I was thinking today ... actually I often think . I was thinking about the idea of "friends". You meet someone, you have something or a lot in common, or even nothing in common but something clicks and you have a friendship. You laugh at the same things or have the same ideas, sentiments, tastes, whatever it is but a Friend is a wonderful thing to have.

My daughter used to talk about her "friends" .. the lady at the candy store .. the kids that were nice to her, the little girl down the street whose parents were actors and had a dozen children... the little girls were allowed to go up into the attic where they tried on costumes and played make-believe for hours  on a cold or rainy day.

My son had one friend from kindergarden to today .. they were always best friends.
Of course, things change, you get a wife/husband, children .. you don't live nearby .. things change but that one sentiment is still there ... he is my friend. We are friends.

We (my husband and I) had friends in the 1970s .. the husband worked for a newspaper and they came to live in the US from the UK.
My husband had lived in the UK and I was  / am an anglophile so we got along well .. so well that today, not only am I still in touch with the friends but their daughter still emails and sends photos of her children.

Then there are the people who are here online or in person. You bond over something and you become "friends" .. if someone goes wrong, if something horrible happens, they are there for you, sending comforting words and giving you a  virtual shoulder to cry on.

But then there is that odd, strange, unusual (thank god) "friend" who writes every single day, sends gifts at appropriate times, shares confidences and then they disappear.
They were there yesterday , they are gone today.
You wait because you figure, they are busy, life happens.. it can be difficult to keep up an online friendship .. for some anyway.
Then you realize how much time has actually gone by and not a word, you send a note and ask if everything is alright.

No answer.

Now that my year of mourning has passed, maybe I am no longer considered needy for a friendship.
Maybe their lives are so busy, busier than they were when they would email me, that it is absolutely impossible to even send a few words saying I am busy. Will write later. love.
I know, that was a time consuming idea ... how can anyone find the time to type out all of those words ?
They would surely have to walk on the beach 2 minutes less if they stopped to email .
They would probably lose their job and have to move to a cheaper house somewhere on the West Coast if they wasted valuable seconds sending an email.

I have given the benefit of the doubt ... maybe they are on vacation .... that is the longest vacation I ever heard of .
Maybe they are stranded on an island with only a dog for company .. no such thing.

So I learned another lesson.
I wish these lessons would stop already .. I thought my living through 2 years of grief and solitude was enough of a lesson.

I am moving soon. Leaving this house and these beautiful surroundings and the lovely people who were here for me at the worst time of my life .. people I did not know .. people who were kind and open hearted ... Good people. Honest people.
I hope when I land in my next home .. the cats and I are honored to find friends like these people here, making those people I thought of as friends just an afterthought ..

Be a good friend. You never know what it means to the other person.








Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Batten Down the Hatches

Stormy Weather

We already have high winds. It isn't raining yet, I think. I just hear the wind.
Strong. I worry about the trees ... falling .. on the house.
A storm is forecast but hopefully this is as bad as it will get.

The cats went to bed early. Most likely because their house is starting to look different.
There are these boxes ... everywhere.
Big cardboard moving boxes .. they can't even climb into them !
There is bubble wrap lying around, no one wants to touch that stuff !! yuck !

Minette gave up and jumped up onto my dresser, the hopped across to the high box in the corner of the room that happens to have a couple of towels folded on top of it.
That is her new highrise bedroom.
Mama added some soft things to make it even more cushy.
Merlin naps most of the day in the living room on the back of the sofa cushions.
At night comes in here and naps beside me, on top of the crate which is covered in towels and pillows. Inside is the same .. there is no lack of soft cushy places for these two sweeties.

I went to the Dollar store and bought more boxes of plastic bags that I am packing clothes, small framed pictures, knickknacks ..
The plan is ... fill the bags with bubble wrapped Stuff ... then put the bags into the boxes.
Everything is safe and secure and easy when the time comes to unpack and find everything.
Between the Dollar store and having a month to pack, it will be my finest packing job so far .

I had to choose between Bekins and Allied. I was going with Bekins. I just liked them better for no particular reason. But there is a large difference in cost and I finally made a judgement based on that.
I am packing very well  .. I do not expect anything to be missing or damaged.

It is so stormy out ....

My sweet friend Mimi told me about Pinterest. uhoh. I have not gone there today.
That is why I got something done today .. heehee.

Apartment hunting online is fun for a while then gets frustrating.
My daughter found something fabulous.
I hope it is for me  ... she is also moving.  Busy times ahead.

Stay safe if you are getting the same storm system coming through here ..



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

As I was by Andrew McClaren Scott



Everything ruined by worry
was I
Every fear that existed
was me
Every disaster was waiting
to fall
Every demon my number
to call
Every day was a struggle
to live
Every night was a trouble
to dream
Every dawn an unwelcome
awakening
Every birth a reminder
of death
Every smile a grimace
a sneer
But ...
nothing to fear, to fear to fear
but fear
I hear.








I love this. It has such meaning for me. Mr McClaren Scott is brilliant.

I Pinned ..

https://www.pinterest.com/NotesFromABroad/notes-from-abroad/

I've gone and done it.
Another blog ..
At least this one means I don't have to say anything or think of something pithy to say .. my photos speak louder than words.

I love messing around with the photos so it occurred to me today that Pinterest is about photos, no ?
So I tried it, I will see how it goes.

A Winter Day

I had forgotten how beautiful it can be in Buenos Aires in Winter.
Oh sure, like anywhere, it has its fair share of grey dreary days but it seems that most days, Winter and Summer, have clear blue skies.
It wasn't named Buenos Aires for nothing !

My days here in New York State are drawing to a close.
I have begun packing .. which so far has resulted in not much done but my closet looks neater.
I found some things that were going to be thrown away, a sweater and a top ... that belonged to someone else ... but I am wearing them to bed .. they are soft and warm and comforting.

I am not shopping for anything until I get to Florida.
Then I can see what new things I will need.
My old clothes will be new to everyone in Florida .. lol ... a good reason to move every few years.

My daughter sends me photos of homes that are so appealing. It helps quite a lot when I find myself sad about leaving here. Here where we had so many hopes and dreams.

I miss Buenos Aires so much.
After my move, there will be a trip farther South. And West ... there are new babies and old babies waiting for me in Florida on the Gulf Coast.
I must fulfill my Godmother duties. And stock up on fresh soft baby scents and kisses and nuzzles.
If I can't have one of my own, it pays to have a sweet friend who has two !

My hope is that I will be on that street in the photo above, within the next few months.
In time for Winter .


comments are being moderated again because .. well... you can imagine.












Monday, February 22, 2016

Packing ... where is that damned cat ???

Blue skies, sunshine, birds and chipmunks running amok .. I am enjoying the sight of a sunny day in Upstate New York.
I am inside , still in my pajamas, packing.
I have to stop now and then for coffee and a cinnamon roll, snuggle a cat or 2 and go back to my Super Anal Packing method.
This is when you buy countless boxes of giant ziplocks for clothing bags.

You put your garments in the bag, zip it up, put it in a suitcase or in this case, a box.
There will also be a suitcase but not yet.

My clothes will be safe - clean, dry and neat in their bags until they get to hang in their new closets, wherever those are !

I had things go missing on our trip from BA to the US , shippers, movers, packers, who knows. this time I am the packer and I am making sure my things leave here neat and tidy and arrive .. all of them .. neat and tidy.
It keeps me sane. . being prepared for anything. Because sadly I learned, anything can happen.

Breakfast today ... cinnamon rolls with a schmear of Nutella and a banana .. with a pot of coffee.
The Breakfast of Champions !!

Minette got bored and went to take a nap. I have to be careful not to pack her.
I already had to pull her out of a wardrobe ..
Merlin has no idea of anything going on here at all. He is asleep. Since 9 am.
I think he slips out of the house in the middle of the night and parties with the other neighborhood bad boys .. he always looks a little hungover in the morning.

So thank goodness for the Dollar Store.
For a few dollars, under 20 .. I have enough zip locks to pack everything in the closets and some dishes.

I have to figure logistics of certain things .. but mostly I just have to get it all done, time's going by faster now. and I seem to be going slower.
So if I am missing now and then, send a note if you like, I will be back .. sooner or later.

besitos ...

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Some days ...

Some days are much longer than 24 hours. Today was one of them. At least I  got to sleep a little later.
7 instead of 6 am. Thank you Minette and Merlin.

I want to make myself small and crawl into this photo.
It is warm there. The air smells good. It smells of warm stone and growing things and here and there the faint scent of coffee or flowers .. the air is good, in Buenos Aires .

Here ... It is very cold. I had to get some things at the store and I wanted to go , maybe for the last time, to the supermarket that we used when we came back to the US and moved up here.
In Great Barrington Ma, the Big Y.
Google says it is a "World Class Market? and it is next door to Guidos .. a very good, very expensive specialty grocer .. I used to like getting coffee there and seafood but these days, my practical side tells me that the seafood at the Big Y is excellent and so is the coffee that I get .. from Starbucks.
Yeah .. I am a sucker for strong Starbucks coffee in the mornings.
After 7 years of waking up to Argentina coffee, Starbucks is the only one here that comes close.

So after making sure the two kitties were comfy ( sleeping on their own little fleece beds, all warm and snug) I hopped in my trusty little car and took off.
Over the hills and dales, past fields and streams, horse farms and sheep ..

Getting out of the car and into the store was uncomfortably cold .. getting groceries out of the cart and into the car was dreadful, the wind had started.

Tango music played loud with the heat on high, the trip home was nice.

I have only a few weeks left.
I started packing, I will keep at it .. the movers will crate the special things.
I have to hop in the car with 2 cats and fly down the highway, staying in hotels and arrive before the movers. They will have to store my things which bothers me ..
I thought about having them hold everything here until I call and tell them to deliver , rather than unload the truck and store then have to move them again.

I have seen a couple of places, thanks to my daughter, in St Augustine. I like them a lot.
I like that town. It is closer to the ocean which is so nice .. I am going to look into it more seriously tomorrow... having let it sit and simmer a while, it sounds more and more appealing.

I have to go see the sweet men at Trombleys. These two older gentlemen who run a car repair place nearby. They also do inspections and tune ups , things that I had done when I thought a car had to have that all the time. Luckily my car has been working fine. But I want it to feel good for that long drive.
After my husband died, I had to go get names changed and then the car guys had to put stickers on the car .. when they asked about my husband, I told them he had died then I started to cry.
I did that .. all the time .. I tried not to go out if possible, I couldn't help it.  I didn't make a big scene but the tears had a mind of their own.

These 2 old guys, working with cars and motors all day , every day, brought me coffee and a box of tissues and told me to sit in the office where it was warm.
The car was ready in half the time as usual and I got hugs when I left.
I have to say goodby to them now.
I hate hate hate saying goodbye.

So the Big Adventure is slowly starting.
I will now watch Downton Abbey and let my mind relax somewhere else. Somewhere that is warm now and sunny and the trees are green and shady.












Saturday, February 20, 2016

My Little Blue Cat



I don't know what I would have done these past months without her and now the both of them .. they are little gifts..

The family came and went .. lunch was a big hit, much praise and walks in the yard with tiny pinecones found and thrown .. I saved one to remind me of today.



After they left, I came back into the house, feeling sad and sorry for myself . And who was there waiting for me ... squinting at me in the sunlight ... purring like a mad cat when I picked him up ?
Yes, Merlin my love.
Minette watches over him too. They sometimes seem to ignore each other but at night, the two of them toddle off to bed .. into my room .. where I am welcome but don't make them move.

So last night, I had one at my side and one by my legs and although I woke up and thought I had lost my legs overnight, I was comforted by the warmth and sounds of purring.

Life is strange .. we would have gotten a cat , my husband and I. We were also talking about what kind of dog we wanted to get .. we had all these plans.
I got the right sort of cat .. that was definitely magical.
My husband wanted a Russian Blue. He had friends many years ago and they had two Russian Blue cats and my husband loved them.

So when the loneliness and quiet of a large empty house just got to be too much for me, I went to Hudson NY to see if they had a cat or kitten I might want to adopt.
I walked in the door and the place was empty .. no cats .. my heart sank ..
The lady at the desk pointed behind me, no one spoke .. I looked behind me and there was this tiny blue kitten with these huge yellow eyes.
Sitting there looking at me.
Telling me ... come on mom, let's go home. And so we did.

One day I was thinking about her being lonely, should I get another cat .. would I like it as much as I love her , would she hate it, would it ruin things ?

Then I looked at the Hudson County Animal Shelter and his face was the first one I saw.
I was there about an hour later ... we came home together ... that huge furry gorgeous pile of hair that purrs louder than any cat , feels amazing, weighs a ton and allows Minette to boss him around.

We are a happy threesome. And if anything comes along that would frighten me or Merlin, my little Warrior is there to attack.
Just ask my son.

I am not as sad as I was, I am not as lonely and I am very thankful that these two little creatures came into my life when they did. It is almost as if Someone knew what I needed and made sure I got it.

Now back to packing.
They informed me yesterday that Closing day is the end of March.
I have lost a bit of pressure to get everything done in time.
I have to meet the movers and make arrangements.
I have to pack.
and pack.
and pack.

Then the kitties and I will go on Our Next Big Adventure ~










Friday, February 19, 2016

I am Overwhelmed

There are closets in every room of this house. And they are full of Stuff.
My bedroom has 2 massive closets.. full.
I thought I would be super organized and pack some things now - like my handbags and shoes that I won't need upon arrival to a Warm climate ... doesn't that sound lovely ... Warm Climate ~

I thought I had a lot of big boxes left from the move here. I found one, it was filthy , I had to  clean it before bringing it up from the basement.

It is full of boxes of shoes and handbags.

Yet I look at the closet and It is full of shoes and handbags !
Hey ! What's going on ?

I have to call the mover and request boxes. Otherwise, I am sitting here and time is passing by and nothing is getting done.

I went on to the chore of deciding what things to throw away.
Then it will be easier/faster to pack. No decisions.

My need for neatness and organization was satisfied when I was able to put many sweaters and things in "garment" bags that I bought at the dollar store.
I will be back there tomorrow for a few more.
They are great, they mean you can put all of one kind of article in a clean lightweight zipped up bag that will fold and go into a box. I got plastic ones that are like giant Baggies that are a thicker tougher plastic and they zip close and you can pile those into a bag without worry of wrinkles or dust or whatever. And I love arriving somewhere, opening the bag, taking out the ziplocks and tossing them in drawers .. Whether a trip or a move .. they are so handy and work so well. Your clothes don't wrinkle as much or any and they stay clean.

My things will be on a truck to Florida then in storage if I don't find a place immediately.
So I will have to stay in a hotel or a temporary rental.

Thanks to my daughter .. there are temporary rentals  that are  super appealing to me.
Picture a castle with walls lol ... well, just picture the walls .. the big gates that no one can come in without knowing the Password .


The cats will love it. screened in rooms with grass and lakes and birds just waiting to tease a little house cat. Or a big sleepy magical cat.

I want a loft apartment. one huge room with a bedroom and bath. Semi loft ?

Minette actually slept with me last night .. like a sleepy baby she got in bed and went to sleep.
I was afraid to move this morning, she was sleeping so well.
Merlin lies down and that's it til morning. He is the Best when it comes to a good quiet boy at night time.


I don't know why but I have this urge to shop online tonight.
Sephora ...  When I am in Jacksonville, I can shop in person at Lush ... do you know Lush ?
Do you like Lush ?
My husband would refuse to go inside to shop, the smell made him queasy :)
I love it.
I will also have a spree at L'Occitane ... do you like L'Occitane ?

I keep thinking today is Saturday .. if it is Friday, I must be in New York :)

But I still haven't made a dent in the packing ..

Thursday, February 18, 2016

In the dark


























Can you tell what it is ?
quite a few cats in the dark LOL

My two cats will be spending today watching me pack feverishly as I have about a week to pack everything. I will let the movers do the big stuff but mostly I want to be in charge of my own precious things and clothing.
I will regret this decision, probably by this afternoon.

The cats started the day out nicely by sleeping later then leaving me alone to doze a bit longer.
Keep in mind this is all still before 8 am ..

But then Minette spoiled it by knocking things off the counter and generally being a pest.
Merlin just watches her get in trouble and refuses to tell me what went on. He is a loyal friend, Minette should appreciate him. He never rats on her.

I have to be very careful with the packing of big boxes.
Twice today I have heard little bitty meows coming from a very large box, with a small blue cat who figured her way in but not out.

So have a Happy day .. I hope the sun is shining where you are... it is here... I looked it up and the description is the same as what I see out there ... Sunlight ... lovely.

chau for now~

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Packing

My nice neat rooms with pretty things in them , pretty things on the walls, pretty things on the floors .. have become square spaces that accommodate large boxes.

The walls have become bare .

The floors still have rugs down because I cannot roll a large rug up, the movers get to do that.
They will move the furniture and carry out the many boxes that I will fill.


There is so much to do and now very little time to do it.

The cats know Something is Up.
They both ... BOTH ... left me a present in the bathroom Right. In. Front.  Of the Litter Box!!
I am not speaking to them.
They will not meet my eyes .
They won't even look at each other.
Guilt on a cat is not pretty.

My sweet daughter showed me apartments last night online. We were both house hunting together .. it was So Much Fun !
Especially since she knows where these places are and I will waste too much time online falling in love with a condo that is in the worst possible location.
So she is a big help. Plus she is encouraging.
Some people have Nothing to say or Nothing to say that is not Negative.
So I am sort of happy that the only person I am hearing from is my sweet girl.

The cats slept all night on the bed. I knew this when I woke this morning and could not move.
My legs had fallen asleep and my back warned me not to make any sudden moves .. I listened.. I did not move at all. I lay there and thought about what to do and how to do it... moving.
Something I have done so many times, to so many places .. some very far away .. but this is like I am doing it for the First time.
It is not half as fun as it used to be.

So I have to call and tell them to bring me more Boxes.
I have to go to the Dollar store ( thank you bargain gods for inventing this thing) and I already need more tape.

So if it is quiet here on the blog, you can send me a note, I will answer it .. I might just not be able to blog .. or it will be my only outlet for the craziness that will come over me once I get into it.

be prepared ...





Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Feeling Sorry For Myself

Funny, not long ago, a friend, or a person who acted like a friend for quite a long time, through emails .. just stopped writing.
At first I put it down to personal things on her side .. big changes in her life .. a new home, everything can be too much and keeping up with emails to someone you actually have not met, will be low on the priority list.

But then I found out that things changed greatly in her life and it made a lot of sense that she was not busy emailing all day - she had a vastly different life she was living now.
I was understanding but admit to being hurt that some old friends were not included in her new life.

I know, being alone up here in the middle of nowhere, I have more time to send emails than some people with busy lives and a spouse or obligations but when I was married and had 2 children and schools and work to deal with, I still enjoyed sitting down in the evening or morning and catching up with friends.

I considered them friends, whether we had met in "real life" or not.

And when I lived in Buenos Aires, I know it was more interesting than emailing with me in Farm Country,  NY , USA ..
Which makes me stop and think, was I of interest or was it just that my husband and I up and moved to Argentina and people thought that was interesting.
When my husband died, I heard from friends and it was so kind and dear of every person who would write now and then to see how I was doing, that they were thinking of me.

Being isolated up here , grieving .. those emails and little gifts now and then,  were cherished and  so comforting to me .. someone cared .. someone thought of me ...

Just an email saying Hi, How are you ? showed that I was not quite as alone as I felt.

So now I have 2 cats.
It is entirely the fault of those people I thought were Real Friends.
If I weren't so sad and alone, I would not have adopted two cats to keep me company and to snuggle when I feel bad ...
So in case they are reading this ... Know that I was your friend, whether we ever met in "real life" or not and that I miss you just as if we were living close by and suddenly you moved away and left me behind.

With 2 cats.



Save A Baby Horse





A baby horse is recovering after he was rescued from the bottom of a ravine Sunday morning, officials said.

Animal control officers and firefighters responded to a report of a colt found lying in a ravine about 11:30 a.m. at Morrison Canyon, said Fremont fire engineer and paramedic Osh Ahmad. The baby horse was stranded in a pool of water about 150 feet down a steep embankment.
Firefighters rappelled down to the site and used rescue equipment typically used for humans to save the 80-pound horse, Ahmad said. Officials named the colt Valentine because he was rescued on Valentine's Day.
"In the fire service, you really don't know what calls you're going to get," he said. "Part of our job is to adapt and overcome with certain situations."
A 6-day-old baby horse is recovering after being rescued from a ravine Sunday morning in Morrison Canyon.

During the rescue, Fremont Animal Control Officer Sarah Cattaneo cradled the young horse's head in her arms, according to ABC7 News.
"He was laying in a creek in a pool of water, he was soaking and shaking," Cattaneo told ABC7 News. "He was probably in shock at that point."
Police are investigating how the colt got down the ravine, where he was trapped for two days. He has a broken pelvis near an artery. He will be transported from a veterinary office in Pleasanton to UC Davis for surgery.

Every time he gets up and lays back down, the fracture rubs against a major artery.
If it runs the wrong way and it ruptures that artery, he could bleed to death .

Valentines emergency surgery will cost about $10,000.
The Tri-City Animal Shelter is accepting donations to cover the cost during business hours.


The Tri-County Animal Shelter is accepting donations during business hours.
Call 510-790-6640 for more information .







Monday, February 15, 2016

A Good Boy

He was a Good Boy.
We would come into the apartment from outside  where it was pouring down rain.
He would just stand there and wait, my husband threw the towel over him and told him to Sit.
So he sat and waited for me to towel him dry.
He was  a Clown in a dog suit.
If I laughed , sometimes sitting down because I was weak from laughing at him .. he loved it.
He would bump me with that big nose.. wagging his tail. just a big goof.
He has been gone about 3 years now, I miss him still.
When I get moved to Florida ... there will most likely be a pup in my future.
First I have to go back to BA for a visit ..

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Valentine

Happy Valentines Day ..
I used to have the Best Valentine's Days ! Flowers, presents, dinners out ..
He knew all the Good Husband/Sweetheart tricks  :)
I was so lucky  ~

Shame

/troops-betrayed-as-army-dumps-hundreds-of-heroic-war-dogs/

Shame .. shame ... shame on the US Army.


Friday, February 12, 2016

" Friends "

Friends.
If you are friends with someone, be a friend because you like them and enjoy talking to them .. be there when they need a friend but be there just because ... you are a friend.

But if you are not someone's friend... then don't even start.
Leave them alone.
Let them find real friends.

When you need a friend, find someone honest and sincere.
Value them. You never know when you will need one .

When someone considers you a friend, unless they are your pen pal in prison, value their friendship.
Giving one's friendship is special.
Making someone think you are their friend and you are not, is deceitful  and unkind.

My daughter used to think , when she was about 4 ... that everyone who smiled at her was their friend. They probably wanted to be, she was adorable.
She referred to half the people in town as her friend. But she grew up .. she knew what the real meaning of Friend was and she values that and she is a magnificent friend herself.

My son has a friend that he made when he was in Kindergarten.
To see these two men , laughing and talking .. and remember them as little scamps playing in the yard .. those are friends...

I have friends from when I was 19. We have been through a lot of crazy stuff, wonderful stuff and everything else.
She still calls me her old nickname from when we were 19.
And we can still fall over weak with laughter talking about things.

She would never and I would never say , that we were no longer friends because she lives in California and I live in NY.
Location isn't what makes a friend.

When she got divorced and was heartbroken. . I talked to her every day.
We supported each other through bad times as well as giggling on the phone like kids.
We are friends.

I have learned , sadly in the past couple of years, that people act like/pretend to be friends for their own reasons. Not the real reason, you are someone's friend because you like them and you care about what happens in their lives. Whether you visit each other every day or only email, you act like a friend because you are one.
I , at my advanced old lady age, have still gotten hurt by adults who for some reason of their own, have pretended to be friends.
I only learn from that ... not to trust. And to miss my husband more because he would know in a minute if that person was honest ..

So be a Friend or don't. But don't be so unkind as to pretend you are for some odd reason.
Fake Friends are so not what anyone needs in their life, at any time.

This is after having a conversation recently with someone ( a real friend ) and we were both talking about people we knew and what we thought and how things turned out - whether we saw it coming or not .. we had our doubts but hoped to be wrong .. we were not wrong . We were disappointed.







Dreaming Of .....


Spring
A Walk in the Woods



Forget Me Not 








































A Summer Flower Garden
 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Today's Trip to Massachusetts

The cupboards were bare.
There was cat food. A couple of bottles of sparkling water, cat food and tomato sauce.
But no food.

There were no more mini cinnamon rolls.
I am addicted to the mini cinnamon rolls.

I also felt like getting away from here for a few hours.
The cats nap, it was grey and gloomy, they were warm and happy.
So I left them and took off for Massachusetts !

I love the drive there ... truly an Over the River and Through the Woods trip. Past breathtaking vistas of farm fields, old homes , homes along rocky river beds with water churning along .. a nice winding curving road past vistas that you want to just slam on breaks and take a longer look ..

Driving through Egremont where there are the Old New England style churches, tall steeples with bells that really ring .. corn fields,  walled in properties where you can just see a bit of the massive wonderful home inside ..

A small private airport where no one was about today .. clouds, high winds and cold .. who wants to fly in that ??

I love shopping at the Big Y.
I had never heard of it until we arrived here from Argentina.
We were renting a house then, the Big Y was the nearby grocery.
They always have something good and tempting in addition to nice groceries.

Today I came home with groceries ... and a freshly baked chocolate muffin ... and one made with cinnamon ... and hot homemade noodle soup with chunks of sweet carrots ... lots of water, cat food and litter and did I mention bread, just out of the oven ?

Driving home , I was flying along, the only car on a beautiful country road, winding along .. thinking that this is where we started our Adventure .. we landed in NYC, 2 weeks later , in our new car we were driving up here ..stopping in Great Barrington to check rental listings .. that was the beginning of it all.

Now the couple who owned that fabulous old house live in Florida and someone else owns the house.
Now I live alone and take a long , albeit wonderful beautiful drive to that grocery store.
It makes me sad but the memories are all good.
I try not to think how things might have been if we had stayed there instead of moving to this house.

My plans have not changed but I was thinking on the drive back here, if it were possible, I would stay here if I could live there ...

Then I was met at the door by 2 kittens who were sure that I was never coming home and what did I bring them and what's in the bag ??? and can I fit in that bag ?? mom, merlins in the bag !!!
muffins ? what are muffins ? can I have some of that soup mom ...mooommmmmmm....

It was good to be home.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why I Am Not Sorry To Be Leaving New York



VERY COLD TEMPERATURES WILL COMBINE WITH STRONG GUSTY WINDS TO
ALLOW FOR WIND CHILL VALUES TO REACH DANGEROUS 
TO POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING CONDITIONS 
BETWEEN FRIDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY NIGHT.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Anything But a Clown


I am a bad person. I laugh every time I see this.


Something similar happened to me as a child. It wasn't a dolphin though, it was a clown. Yes, a clown. At a children's event .. some scary huge man in clown makeup dancing around ( he was either drunk or totally manic) and there I was , at his mercy.

My (too young to have children) mother, was thrilled that the clown was paying special attention to me.  I almost hated her .. I hated the clown... I would have been so much happier if the clown had been a dolphin.

Even a Killer Whale .. anything but a clown.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Day Has Begun

A simple park lamp. So pretty.
Sometimes we would see lamps with the glass broken and a little bird's nest inside. I liked that the park people never disturbed the nests until the babies were gone. Then you would have a lamp with
a little bunch of twigs and bird down ..  with a nest for rent sign out ..

Looking out my window at the grey sky and knowing how very cold it is right now in Upstate NY, I dream daily of the warm sun in Buenos Aires, the flowers, the trees, not wearing a coat ! and the music.
No matter where you go, there is good music playing.

We would walk for miles , we rarely took a taxi, it was so much more fun to walk.
Now, I sit and when I go somewhere I sit in a car . The places to go are so limited, I am not sure how I feel about the people at the supermarket knowing me on sight .. I don't think all of my neighbors know me on sight.

I am listening to one of my favorite CDs from Buenos Aires.
Aqualactica. We saw them one summer night performing in the park and bought a CD.
Now I want all the CDs .. http://www.aqualactica.com/

It is not Tango music.

There are two cats in my home.
They sleep with me at night, after about half an hour of vying for Best Spot on the bed , regardless of the fact that I might already be sleeping in that spot.
They don't seem to move all night .. but around 5 am they decide it is time to get up.
Merlin will stand at the door to the bedroom and tap on it ... maaaa,  I  want out ....
Minette will get all alert and hop down and sit next to him and just watch him. Does she think he is going to show her how to open a door ?
Finally she throws herself at the door ... that always works.
Mama gets up and opens it .. they leave.
Mama closes the door, goes back to bed ... relaxes .... Minette throws herself at the closed door.
Mama gets up, opens the door , Minette comes in .. Merlin slowly mosies in .. Mama goes back to bed.
What is that sound ? a rumble .. a phlegmy rumble , Merlin .. .. purring.
Ouch ! Minette has decided biting my head will get breakfast started faster.

I stagger into the kitchen, feed them, grab my coffee and head back to bed.
But I am awake.
I sit at the computer ... the day has Begun.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Bear Hug

I am packing.
I am waiting to hear how a baby who just had a huge surgery is doing.
I am packing and wondering how will I manage .
I am not needing advice at the moment, though, thank you .
I do need boxes though ..
A Hug would be nice ..

Thursday, February 4, 2016

To My Sweet Young Friend

I wish I was there with you to hold your hand and convince you that Everything will be alright.
I wish I was full of magic and could spread a little around where you and that baby need it most.
I wish that I could show you the future, where your little boys are running around playing and laughing and being boys ... healthy boys.
Both of them with perfect little hearts. That will beat and last for many many years.
I wish you and your boys and your husband a long and happy life with perfect hearts that will always be full of love.


Lighten Up

I was married when I was 21. My husband was a few years older. We were married for many years.
Not once did he ever make me feel young and stupid or that I was immature or a clueless girl.
He always acted like  and said he valued my opinions.

I am finding that he was special in that way .. in many ways really ..  but I am learning that other people have a problem,  if someone has a different opinion than theirs.

I found that the way my husband and I spoke to each other about things.. often times he would say something totally outrageous, just for me to hear, to make me laugh.
Or try not to laugh.
He made life fun.

So I grew up with the thought that I could say whatever I wanted and people would "get it " ..
I would say things that might be wacky but it would make someone laugh.
I like making someone laugh. It makes me feel good.
We all need to lighten up and laugh more.

So lately I have found that some people are just walking around with these little invisible antennae, sticking up all over the place and those antennae pick up anything that could possibly be considered offensive or rude .. the silliest comment can earn a person a frown or worse, an empty headed lecture.

You can imagine how much I enjoy the occasional person that I will meet who  Gets It.
IT doesn't have to be complicated, hard or even unusual .. it is most often just seeing something in a different way.

So my motto has lately been ..


LIGHTEN UP.

Life really sucks in sooo many ways ... there are so many sad things, tragic things happening and that have happened, so many broken hearts and lost souls ... wouldn't you rather look for the good, light and fun in something rather than always being on the lookout for something to take offense at ?
Do you  mistrust everyone ?
Do you think to yourself ... what did he / she mean by that ???

It is exhausting being that kind of person.
It is exhausting being around / talking to that kind of person.

Consider this a Public Service Announcement ... Lighten Up.

Even if you already are a Light Hearted Soul ... keep it in mind.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Missing Tate

I like this place ! 
 It smells great .

Nice Beds !

My Own Park Bench !  
                             







































I love to make Mama laugh.
                                               




























Tuesday, February 2, 2016

In The Country

A drive through the country .. over hills and past farms, llamas, sheep and dairy cows .. horses .. beautiful horses. . sheep , lots of sheep  .. wooly , white, round , some with lambs by their sides, all grazing in a field .. a large expanse of green with dots of white here and there .
Close to home, Highland Cattle with magnificent sets of horns .. you can stand feet away from them and if one turns his head, you can get hit by a horn ... wicked horns with very pointed tips .. watch out for them. But if you bring something tasty, they will take it out of your outstretched hand , gently and carefully .. the nose of a Highland Cow is soft as soft can be.

The Horse ... stands there and watches, will mosey over for an apple or a carrot , his scars standing out in the sunlight .. he was rescued by the farmer .. he is scarred and skittish and seems to be quite content being the only horse in a field full of cows and sheep .

Some days I get impatient with the farmer, there is too much mud, the animals are knee deep in wet mud .. then I see the hay scattered around and I am glad he did something about it .. I will miss the farm.
That horse let me cry on his shoulder on a daily basis when my husband died.
When I could not bear to be around people, I would walk up to the farm and weep on the horse, he is very sympathetic. The sheep ignored me, which was fine .. the cows kept their distance but looked sympathetic ..
Not far from us is a Llama farm .. they are cool ..

I will miss them all.
A very tall pine tree, broke in half and fell. Just past my bedroom .. I did not hear a thump, a snap or a crackle ! But what a surprise to look out the window and see it lying in the yard ..  it is still lying there, I have not had the energy to find someone to remove it.
I drive to the store. I drive home. No one calls. No one visits.
This has been my life for a while now.
I have grown used to it. I wonder how long it will take me to adjust to being somewhere different, somewhere busy or noisy or too many people talking to me ..
Perhaps the cats and I should consider all of this when choosing the next home.
The location and the home itself.

These things are so much easier when done with someone.
Someone who cares.

I have to stop writing now. I can't take the pain.
Minette wanted to be close to me. So she jumped up on the chair and I am sitting on the very edge.
My legs and back are protesting too much.

I cannot even think about that drive ... alone .. with 2 cats in a big crate.
I will think about it tomorrow. Maybe I will have a new idea.
Maybe the cats will have an idea .. one that doesn't concern stinky cat food.


Maybe the sheep will have an idea ..... you never know.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Stress, Friends, Choices .. Being Thankful

I am stressing big time over the paperwork and requirements that come with selling a house.
I have everything I need, I worry about not having everything I need.
I found that I have more copies than I need,  of one thing  ,  but that is good.
I thought one thing that I needed was in a bank in NYC .. the lawyer has it ... yay !

I interviewed a mover this morning.
No thanks.
How much ???? good god, no thank you .

I just stop and pet the cats, drink some tea, appreciate the view and stop thinking about the drive down alone, making a mistake, any mistake ..
I just hate it when people let me down.
When people make a commitment then back out .
There are so many things that I worry about ... even things I can't do anything about .. I just worry.
I have not had company in weeks, no one even calls.
I guess I was lucky to have had that for as long as I did.
It is sad to be disappointed by people you really counted on.
But I guess that is Life ... humans, you are lucky when you find the ones that you can count on.

I had a friend who was there whenever anything happened.
Fun things, happy things, terrible things, worries, laughs, she was there.
Then this and that changed for her ... she dropped me.
No emails, no nothing .. like I was never there ..
This saddens me on so many levels but the one that worries me is ... when you make a friendship online, is it real ?
Or are they only real when you actually have met ?
I totally understand life changing and things being different, if I didn't understand that I would be some knucklehead !
My entire life changed in an instant ..
But I sort of always depend on everything else remaining the same.
Maybe that is my way of keeping less insane, less frightened .. less insecure.

I am interviewing moving companies.
Today was a No .. I have a list .. tomorrow I will call the next Big Company.
If anyone has a long distance mover recommendation - do tell me. Please & thank you !

So that is what's happening here .
Of all the people who let me down and disappoint me, there is one lady here who I am so grateful to and grateful for. Lenore, I love you.
For those who let me down, the future will tell that tale. What happens next is whatever you earned.

Friends are telling me how it is in Buenos Aires.
I will still go visit as soon as possible.
Friends are telling me about beautiful days in another part of Florida and I think about that.
I will visit there too.

It is nice to at least feel I have a choice .. that I am not yet in the position of Having to do something that I just don't want to do. Thank goodness for that.


Monday

Those eyes ! I love this cat. I love the photo, the colors and the cat .. purrfecto ~

Monday news:
Papers signed, taxes paid, agreements made.. hissy fits dealt with .. more lists made.

The house is sold.
I should be out of here in 30-60 days.
Movers are being interviewed, today was awful.
Scratch that one off the list.

The tree continues to lie in the yard.

Certain people continue to annoy me and disappoint me and spoil what should be good days.
Certain people have no idea how this will come back and bite them ..

I look forward to saying goodbye to freezing cold weather and isolation.
I look forward to new beginnings and perhaps a visit to an old beloved place .. old friends and good memories. .

The cats ... Merlin continues to be a sweetheart. He just sleeps .. he has his favorite spots.
When I pick him up he sometimes mutters then starts purring .. he is big and heavy and seems quite content.
Minette and he have become best friends , she looks jealous now and then so she gets a bit of extra attention, snuggles etc. After all she is still just a little girl. This was all very sudden for her. But she is so sweet, she will be fine and Merlin loves her .. they talk sometimes ..
They also, both sleep on the bed with me ..

I kind of shy away thinking about taking that trip alone, managing everything with no help .. I know I can do it, I just dread it in a lot of ways. Especially when I had imagined it being so different.
You just have to learn, .. you never know if you can rely on someone else.

So Have a Happy Week .. I will be here, with the kitties and closets and  boxes and packing tape and ......











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