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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Merlin


This is Merlin.
Better known around here as Merlin My Love.
He is old. He is softer than soft. He has the bluest eyes and the croakiest meow.
You can hear him purring all over the house , all you have to do is pet him. A good long snuggle will have both of you purring. He puts me to sleep at night, listening to that purr.
Minette likes him. She checks on him, lies next to him, eats next to him.

This morning he went under my bed and he is not coming out.
I lay under there a while with him, trying to convince him that it was a good day to come out and let Mama hold him a while. So far he has no interest in doing anything but laying under the bed alone.

Of course I am worried. He is old and he always likes his food and he isn't eating this morning.
I lay under the bed with him for a while, stroking him, he purred a little. That made me a tiny bit less terrified.

I really can't lose any more loved ones at this time.
A person can only be so sad then your head explodes.
So let's all hope and pray that Merlin just wanted to be left alone for a late morning nap, that he has had enough ditsy female kitties running around annoying him.
It is chilly here today, maybe he is warmer under the bed.


For now, we will hope and pray that Merlin feels fine .. because in the grand scheme of things, he, Minette and Honey are the Important things.
My son and daughter know they are important .. even if they have to play second fiddle to cats.

New Years Resolution #1



Try to tolerate fools more gladly , provided this does not encourage them to take up too much of my time .

James Agate

Friday, December 30, 2016

Not What You Expect To See

Not one of the sights you usually expect to see, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There was a parade, that is all I remember. It was fun and cheerful and had interesting sights to see.
This was one of them.
Yes, he was wearing a kilt.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Love .. Loss .. Starting Again ...Hope

Dashed hopes, sad endings, angry words, regrets ... awful things aren't they ?
And top that list with the word Loss.

Long story short ... We moved back to the US from Buenos Aires, after living in Argentina for years, it didn't take long to adjust to being back in the States.
We found a house in NY State and moved in and looked forward to all those country days and nights .. full moons, meteor showers, snow, autumn leaves ... it was all there to enjoy together.

Then as fate would have it , a couple of months after moving in , a simple medical test ended up causing a problem that no one detected, no one felt anything, it just happened one beautiful Autumn morning, my husband woke me with those words ... I'm dying ... and then he did.

An aneurysm, caused by a blood clot, caused by a test.

In the the blink of an eye, I was a widow.
The man I had loved and lived with since I was 21 years old, gone .
I was in a place I knew no one .. I got lost a few times finding the grocery store .. I quit exploring, I became frightened of getting lost alone.

I heard noises at night, probably deer or raccoons but an acre of dark woods where my house sat was totally different at night .. scary, big, dark.

On weekends my son and his little family would take the long drive up to visit .. I just wanted to talk to a person .. aside from the sweet grocery clerk or lady who cut my hair, when I finally got to that stage of bravery.

I was amazed over and over that winter, which saw something like a snowstorm a week .. total strangers would pull into my driveway and get out with shovels and dig out the walk to the door and the drive.
I spent most days weeping or trying not to weep.
When those kind people showed up at the door, I wept. I am not that strong .. Kindness did me in.

In the spring, I met a young woman who was married to someone that I didn't actually know but I sort of knew his father. It was as if someone thought, this poor widow has had about all she can take, lets send her a sweet girl who will ease her heartache.
And she did.
I didn't see her often but I loved / love that girl as if she were my own...

I sold the house. The young woman went to live with her husband somewhere else, my son and his family remain in NY .

In my grief, I needed a pet .. a cat. Something small and easy to deal with, rather than a dog needing to be walked at night ...
I went to Animalkind in Hudson NY and asked if they had a cat ... they always did when I visited. But this time I wanted one for myself and there were no cats in sight !
The lady at the desk smiled at me and pointed behind me ... and there, stalking me, was this tiny blue kitten. She was checking me out ! Hmmmm, this lady looks like she might be nice ... and so I brought Minette home. She was found in a snowbank, curled up next to her dead mama .. She and I belonged together.

The house, the town, everything seemed a tiny bit easier to cope with. And I had this tiny blue kitten purring on my shoulder at night ... or draped across my neck !

She grew and played and was enchanting and I said to her one day, you need a playmate. More fun than Mama.
So I looked at the Animalkind website and then checked the County Animal Shelter.
And there was his photo ... that cranky frowny faced Himalayan cat .. who is now known as Merlin.
I called, "Is the cat still there?" Yes ... "Hold on to him, I am on my way"
And then Merlin came home with me and upon arrival, got up on the sofa and fell asleep.
He knew he was safe.
He found out soon enough that he also had a little sister. She loved him right away.

They made things better. Just having them in the house with me .. at night everyone curling up and keeping warm together .. the rumbling purr of Merlin, the little soft purr of Minette.

The house was too much for me. Everything broke .. water heater, etc. Someone tried to break into the door to the garage, I had police patrol by my house every night, they would flash their light across the house, I felt like it was a pat on the back, "sleep , we are watching out for you "..

Spring came and it was beautiful .. all that snow certainly did wonders for the lawns. The color of the grass was amazing.
And all I could think about was mowing ... then something else came along and gave me a new worry. Taxes. Good grief that town has high taxes !!!

Now I have money to worry about ..

It was enough .. I liked the house, I would be sort of sad to say goodbye to it, really sad to say goodbye to the neighbors.

In only a few months, someone bought the house.
I scrambled to pack, get a good mover and figure out how, where , when to get out and to my new home.
I was convinced that Florida was the best idea.
It did seem so at the time.
I am proud that I drove, alone with 2 cats  from Upstate NY to Florida.
The cats told me they liked La Quinta Inns ... so did I. Not one was bad .. the La Quinta here in Jax Florida is very nice, we stayed there longest while the househunt went on.

Happily my daughter helped me find this condo , I am renting, I will leave when the lease ends.
I have another kind of home I would rather have and probably in another location.

I did everything alone. No one there to remind me or tell me what to do  ... I managed for the first time in my life to sell a house, pack it up and get a mover and drive to Florida from NY State and settle in here in this condo .
It is very comfortable, very luxurious and pretty safe, it is "gated" ..
It is also quiet which I appreciate and pretty with a pine forest (State Forest) behind me.

But I am not happy here.
Oh yes, I am happy the weather is good ( that hurricane that didn't really hit, damaged my brain though)
My mom died upon my arrival here, I comfort myself with the knowledge that she saw me and knew I was there .. I inherited her cat.
Honey, who will break your back if you try to pick her up.
Honey is huge.HUGE.

I love her. Minette likes her and Merlin always looks surprised when he sees her.
So we all get along fine.

But I miss Home ... New York. I even miss home...Buenos Aires.
So things will change again .. this time on my schedule and according to what I wish for .. no one else has a say in this.
I also miss the few people I was friends with in NY but in Buenos Aires.
Living in a city, in a building for 7 years, you make friends. You miss them when you leave.
I might have to do something about that ... in the near future.

The one thing that came out of this was that I , the girl who went from home to husband so young, is grown up now, mostly. No one can decide for me, I can make my own decisions or take the advice I want .. or not take any of it.
Sadly in a way, it is all about Me now.
Some people might have a problem with that, but they don't matter .. what matters now is Me and the Cats and the Rest of My Life.

Some people like to control others .. some people like to be told what to do.
I like to be helped but you can't tell me what to do ...
So with my new decisions made, my cats and I are going to be here for a little while, maybe another year but there are changes coming.
This time they will be made by me and under my control and what I want.
And whatever the cats tell me to do.

Happy New Year to Everyone.
To my old friends, my blogging friends, my new friends and those who just like to read about other people in other places ... and then there are those who like to think they can keep track of me by reading the blog.
Wouldn't it be funny if I was writing this from Paris ?

Happy New Year ... Thank you to all who read this blog, who comment and who tell me they enjoy it.
I hope you will stick around for the Next Adventures ... they should be interesting ..

I do have to note that I would not be in this posh condo without the help of my daughter, I would not be able to do so many things without the help of my daughter, she even gave me the number of the personal shopper if I need her :)
So Happy New Year and Thank You to  .... my husband used to call her Sabrina Ballerina ..

Until the next time ,  Candice and the cats ..





High Hopes

Just yesterday, I was sitting outside with the cats , well not Out side but on the lanai , we are safely screened in with a big fan and everything ... and I was contemplating my situation.
My landlord is a delight. Kind, helpful, good sense of humor and a gentleman. My neighbors are mostly invisible, which makes a good neighbor at times.
The views are good, the sound quality is good and I feel fairly safe ..unless there really are bears in those woods !

My daughter and her son live nearby which has been a delight.
It is easy for her to stop by and visit, we get along well, quite a few giggles can be heard .. she is extremely helpful ... so much so that I have to be careful, I could sit back and just let her take care of Everything.
But I don't and I won't and I am just glad we get to see each other.

Her son is busy with school and friends but he was always a sweet cheerful boy .. hopefully he can remain that way and not lose his niceness when he matures, some day.

Last night after she had gone home from visiting me, I was daydreaming about a Girls Trip to Somewhere. She loves Belgium, she has a friend there, I know someone there .. she did a road trip in Europe once with her son .. She had a great time .. it tempts me to try something like it.
Just the two of us girls ... laughing and driving and asking for directions .. Maybe we would film it, the next "European Vacation" ...  Or a PBS special ... Two Twits on the Road .. sorry S... you aren't a twit but it makes a good title.

Her son can stay home and take care of the cats and do his homework ..
A lot of people still don't realize that this is one of the big reasons to have children.
They can stay home and feed the cats.
They can run to the market when you forget something.
They can grow up and find their own home and have their own life.
Hopefully before they are in their 30s lol

Yes, while she and I are still in our 30s .. we should go on a Big Adventure .. I might work on her, see how she would like Buenos Aires .. I can see it now, giggles , nothing but giggles.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Old Year, New Year

Yes, I had to sleep under a big fluffy comforter last night , 3 cats along with me ... it was cold !
Then I remembered, I forgot to turn off  the A/C ...
We all slept like babies ... although it was still a bit chilly this morning.

I think I am a bit emotionally wiped out but that will right itself in a day or two.

I have friends who offer comfort and good advice ... this goes under Priceless.

I have Plans starting to form and Hope always poking me and telling me not to despair.

So today is a day of making lists, talking to people who handle things for me and making another list and checking it twice.

I think this is the proper way to say goodby to the Old Year and prepare for the New Year, don't you?


If things are quiet here, don't worry, there is 1- nothing to talk about 2- nothing going on 3- too much going on ..


Wishing everyone reading this, a Happy New Year and Stay Well !!

Candice & the cats .. Merlin, Minette and Honey

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Was it Happy ? Merry ? Good ?





The cats got presents.
It was so cute. Stuffed cat toys. Merlin stared at his a minute and when I moved it closer to him, he ran. I found him a while ago, under my bed. He might need to see a therapist ..
Honey is her same sweet self. She will play with a toy if you play with her. She will nap , she will look out the window... she sometimes sits and quietly chats with Minette. Who is about as big as Honeys tail.
Merlin naps. Sometimes if it is chilly, he wraps his tail around him like a big fur boa.
Right now he is under my bed...where he will stay until bedtime then I am allowed to pick him up and plop him down in his spot on the bed, next to my spot.. I sleep on the outside, they all sleep on the other side.
I can just imagine me having to get out of bed in a hurry, falling over cats in every direction.
So far, everyone stays in their spot and we all wake up in our spot and happy to see each other.

So that was my day .. dinner was something I whipped up a day ago when bored ...
Thinking that I was possibly feeding more people than just me, I had a lot of leftovers.
I will be eating Christmas Dinner for about a week.
Until it becomes New Years Eve Dinner.

Tell me about your day .. presents, did you get what you wished for ? Did Santa come through for you ?
Anyone taking a trip or are you away now, instead of the family around a tree thing ?
I know of a couple who took their grown kids and their small (grand) children on a flight to an island and  celebrated that way- a much better way of spending money than on gifts, if you ask me.

My first trip to England was in March, my husband gave me that trip as my birthday gift.
It became an annual Anniversary gift to ourselves, to take a trip somewhere .. much better than another ring or bracelet or whatever ...


I got Christmas cards from my neighbors in NY.
I was so glad that all are not only well, but the other neighbors are still alive and kicking too.
And me ? Alive ... Kicking ... Learning to speak Cat .... Making Plans for the Future.
Isn't that what New Year's is for ?? a New Year, a New Plan..


















Christmas Toys

I am trying to explain the idea of new toys that appear out of nowhere to Merlin, the old boy... who was horrified at the sight of a toy doll standing by his dish this morning.
Who knew ??
Now he keeps looking back at his dish, wondering what other demon from hell will pop up while he is eating ..




Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Not A Creature Was Stirring, Not Even A Mouse

If any mouse ever came into my house it would be so sorry .. not that anyone here has a Problem with Mice but the other inhabitants would think it was a fun present I gave to them .. to play with before killing ... 
So this Christmas is going to be , yet another, unique Holiday for me.
I thought that losing my husband and how the world and everything in it changed, shifted just that little bit, was settled, the cats and I have our expectations .. our new reality.
This year I thought just not being in NY where I still call Home, would be the Big Change for this Christmas, this year .. but no ...
I am and will be, alone for Christmas. For the first time. Ever.
I have the cats, I have friends online but here , today, the cats and I are alone.
If not for the mix of cats and very large dogs, I would have driven to the Gulf Coast and stayed with a friend from NY and her babies. That is the way Christmas should be spent .. with children and loved ones.
I will celebrate anyway- my cats and I are going to enjoy the holiday because most likely, this will be the last Florida Christmas for me.

How does New York sound ?
Argentina ?

Christmas dreams .... it is all a year away, who knows what will happen in the meantime.
From my house to yours ... 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

 Merlin, Minette, and Honey and Me 


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays to All

The radio is on  a Christmas music station.
I do what I can to get a little Holiday Spirit going in a big house with only 3 sleepy cats for company.
It is nice. They are napping in their favorite spots where the sun warms them. ( it is actually quite chilly outside)
Minette keeps a close eye on the comings and goings of any little birds she spies.
Merlin is just happy if he can have a warm spot for a nap .. if that spot is soft and comfy ( thank you mama) then he is satisfied.
Honey is a baby. Just because she is the size of an adult beagle, she is still a baby.
She has a little bitty baby meow too.
She likes to be petted for the amount of time only she knows.
She lets you know when you have run out of time.
Minette and Merlin will let you pet them, no, they expect you to pet them, until your arm falls asleep .. or falls off. . . whichever happens first.

Last night Mama was feeling sad so she gave them an extra bit of fresh roasted salmon ..
Late last night she regretted it. Minette races her to the kitchen .. Merlin wanders in, sits and stares at the fridge ... waiting ...waiting ... Mamaaaa.
Honey is figuring out how to open the refrigerator door.

I will be alone this Christmas.
First time that I can remember. Even when my husband died, my son and his little family drove up to spend the holiday with me.
I had a husband for the past 30+ years who spent Christmas with me ... and let me tell you, that man caught on to Christmas like a house on fire.
I never met anyone better at picking out the perfect present.
And having fun every minute of it.
He was my Joy at Christmas... he was my gift.

Now it is time for new gifts, new Christmases and a new life.
It should be fun ... no point in an adventure if it isn't fun.

Happy Holidays to All ... Thank you for being here through the highs and lows. Let's all look forward to nothing but Highs in this New Year coming ...







Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It is Cold

Wow, what a day it has been and it is only 2:56 in the afternoon.
A grey cold , really, it is cold ! afternoon in Florida.

It has been a day of small dramas so far ... and I am so not up for any dramas for a while. .

I woke up when it was just becoming light and it was freezing in the house.
I went downstairs where it was even colder and turned up the thermostat.

I went back to bed, shivering and grumbling and there, waiting for me, were 2 cats, enjoying the warm spot I had left behind ... so they had to move over... grumbling and shivering and muttering.. Maaaa maaaa ....it's coooold .... maaaaaa 
I pulled the New York Winter comforter over us all and things settled down nicely.
They were in a dark warm nest with mama ... maaa maaaa.

I really like it when they call me maa ma.

Your cat's don't say Mama ?? What on Earth ?? why not ?
Don't all cats say maaa maaa.... ?
Check and see, you might have just missed it , or misunderstood.

So it is totally cloudy and cold out. I might have to go South for the Winter.
With all the cats. They go where Maamaaa goes.

Did you get your Christmas shopping finished ?
All I can say is Thank you God for such things as Sephora and Amazon ...

Some little bitty boys in Florida will  have stories read about cars and there are little cars too !
A little boy in NY will have a few things to play with and make noise with and drive Daddy crazy.
( a hidden side benefit for mothers of grown children who get to see What Goes Around, Comes Around)


It will be a very quiet Christmas, more quiet than Thanksgiving was   , I will be completely alone.
Too bad the NYers couldn't come to Fl for the holidays ... we have to work on that .. if I stay here, I am going to have to have visitors .. or else I will have to go where the only excuse for not coming to grandma's house is that the AirFare was too high.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday Monday ...

I was allowed to sleep 5 minutes later this morning.
I forgot to close the bedroom door so they were able to go out and roam the flat, meowing and messing with things .. they can be so very irritating .. especially to someone who is not a "morning person" and has very long days ahead .. a later snooze in the morning would be nice.

Merlin is having fun now- his belly is full, he is making a pillow more ... pillowy .. so he can take that post breakfast nap.

Minette is in the bathroom, meowing like an alley cat and throwing litter everywhere ... I have no idea what is on her tiny little kitty brain.

And Honey ... sweet, quiet, enormous Honey, is taking a morning nap on a pillow on a chair.
No fuss no muss, just eats her breakfast like a good girl and takes a nap.

I am sitting here with my giant mug of coffee , thinking of past Christmases , loved ones no longer here to celebrate  with ... realizing this is the first time in my life that I have celebrated Christmas alone.
Wow ... imagine that .. family, friends, husbands and children .. and in a flash, just me and the cats.
Never complain about life being the "Same old same old" ...... you have no idea what the change might be and you will wish for Same old, same old.

A good day for online shopping here .. dark and gloomy. Rain. This is good.
Having a home on the edge of a forest, makes a person aware and appreciative  that  pine trees not be too dry and the forest staying green and healthy ...

I have to keep busy today. one week until Christmas and I have not gotten the cats one thing !
Yes, first stop, Petsmart ..
Today would have been my husband's birthday.

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Morning in the Life .....

Wake up at 5 am. Look at the clock. Grumble. Go back to sleep.
Wake up again, at 6 am. Look at the clock. Grumble. Try to go back to sleep again.
Someone is trying to dig a hole in the mattress , throw a blanket over her, she settles down and goes back to sleep.

Someone is cold, his old bones feel the early morning chill .. he huddles close, grumbling. I pull him close and wrap my arms around him and he settles back into a nice old cat slumber.

Someone young and with enough fat on her young bones to keep the chill off, is looking for something to do, something to eat, someone to play with .. mama ... mamaaa ...maaaaaa.


I get up when the clock says it is not that bad, it is nearly 7:30 ... give or take half an hour.
The automatic coffee maker sends me a signal , Come And Get Your Coffee ! Hot and Fresh !!
I stumble out of bed, find a slipper, the other one was used as a kitty pillow, under the bed ... got it .
Down the stairs, hang on to the rail, these cats tend to swarm when food waits downstairs.

Everyone has something to say, even the usually silent Merlin has a creaky old meow and grumble.
Sometimes I hold him while I prepare their bowls of dry food topped with a bit of wet smelly canned food .. the younger ones can be annoying , he is old, he deserves to be held and pampered as much as possible. I want him to live forever ..  I can't lose anymore loved ones , not for years and years and years.

Even in NY State when it was snowing and I could barely open the front door for the drifts that piled up .. when a car could not go down the road until the plows had been by , when my mailbox got battered from plows flying down the road, sending huge spumes of snow flying in arcs on either side .. it was beautiful, it always made me feel like that little kid from North Carolina who never saw snow in Real Life ... even though after a day of it, I longed for warm sunshine.

Now I am in the land of Warm Sunshine.
I miss that snow. I miss that place, with the huge trees and fields and farms and the rescued horse on the farm , hanging out with his new buddies, the Highland Cattle.

I never thought I would miss that place.
I guess what I miss is the good part, I will not think about the loneliness or sadness or isolation.
Which if I do think about it , I have here too.
No one visits, no one checks to see if things are OK ...  .. it just isn't snowing.

I will keep adjusting and making plans. Far away places call to me all the time, I will do something about that .. the complications are really just a matter of 3 cats .. no cat sitter ... airfare and accommodations for me and 3 cats.
It can be done. I just have to get some energy again. or go back to sleep.
Without a cat on the pillow. I have discussed this with them... they are all for it.
In fact, Minette said something like When Do We Leave ? and Merlin whispered, Can I bring my blanket ? and Honey said, do they like cats in Argentina ?
Soon .... Yes .... Yes , very much said I.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

My First Cup of Coffee

One of the aspects of being alone, is not having someone to talk to during the day.
Some men might like this.
My husband was a quiet man, but he was also ridiculously smart and funny. And he appreciated sarcasm.
I have learned since he has been gone that way too many people are clueless when it comes to sarcasm.
Which leads me to wonder ... why ?
Do they take everything so seriously ?
Do they have such fragile egos that it might be All About Them ?
Are they just humorless ?

I have been lucky to have friends who can just say a word or two in commenting on something or someone and I am helpless with laughter.
I wish there were more people like that, you know, those who are not so tiresomely all about themselves.
OK.. now let's get back to My Blog ... About Me ! :)

As some might remember, I have inherited a very sweet cat named Honey.
Minette is close in age to Honey but Honey weights a good 10 lbs more than Minette.
Yes, Honey shops in the Big Girls Department.
I get a backache from lifting her, but I bet now I could bench press a few pounds !

So anyway- the morning begins with old Merlin jumping on up on the bed, making his way to a pillow where he will lie down and reach out and hold my hand.
Yes, he holds my hand.
He wraps his big furry paw around my fingers and holds on.
If I try to pull my hand away, claws come out and he very gently hangs on ... "No, Mama, that is My finger and I am hanging on to it" ..
Needless to say, I often fall back to sleep, my hand held tightly by Merlin.

Next is Honey, the Two Ton Kitty.
She, of the very large body, but short tail and delicate little feet with her comical markings.
She has a big black spot which makes her nose look big, my Groucho Marx kitty.
She hops on the bed as if she was as light a a feather, always making a little chirping noise upon landing , I wonder why.
Relief that she landed in the right spot ?
Is it a kitty sound of "Great! I made it "?
Or is she just saying "Good morning , Mama" ~

Right now, Merlin who moves slowly but gets into mischeif with ease, is holding Minette captive behind the massive mirror that sits on the floor because I am afraid it will pull down the wall ... haha...sort of.


And all this with my First cup of morning coffee

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Freeze Warning !

What a day. I never left the house. . well, I walked to the mail boxes but otherwise, I sat inside, I sat outside, I was upstairs, I was downstairs, but I never went anywhere and the cats had me all to themselves for the entire day.

But then ... the heat came on, it is cold out .. the thermostat wasn't set high ./ low enough so the heat came on .. it smelled like old heat ... then the fire detector on the ceiling in the hall upstairs started beeping.
The ceilings here are very very high, I have no ladder, I freaked out with the cats and called the landlord.
Thank you Jeezus ... he was here fast.
I can freak out faster though ... my heart is still thumping away.
The cats stayed hidden. I should have followed their example.
Next time something happens, just tell the police/firemen/emergency people that I am in the closet on the shelf under the bathrobes .. back there, in the corner ...  possibly covered in 3 cats ... Thanks.

It is beautiful here, winter is nice so far. Not counting heat causing fire alarms etc.

So far  as wildlife goes, Minette has spotted and shared with me, the sighting of a young deer, the armadillo that came to visit and various very small green snakes, lizards and large birds.
The first green snake came in. We all had a good time with that ( I am such a liar) ... the landlord came to the house for that occasion and put a nice metal strip along the bottom of the door from the lanai to the outside ... you know, out there where snakes and deer and armadillos hang out.
Then there is the inside, where cats and faint hearted women hang out.

But all's well that ends well.. I am fine, cats are fine, we are all in our proper  locations  and no one / nothing else can come in ..

A freeze warning .... in Florida ... my oh my.

This is Honey. She knows all the Good Spots for naps and staying warm ( she is on top of an antique linen chest .. over 6 feet tall.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Good Memories


 We never felt that claustrophobic feeling of being trapped in a city with buildings and cars and noise and so many people... not when a block away from our home were parks that went on for miles and miles.
Where birds and people sat on benches and children and men played ball games and mothers sat and talked to friends or just watched over their young ones.
Where people like us, soaked in the pleasure of Being there.
Tate was such a happy dog in Buenos Aires ... Out the door in the morning and a block down to the park where he could sniff every single inch of the park while we had a morning scone ..
Often sharing mine with pigeons .. there was a homeless lady who sat in the park each day .. after we had been there for some time, I started to get more brave and one day I offered her a scone. She looked very suspicious but nodded at me and took it.
I saw that she only ate some of it then put the rest away. I felt she didn't want to eat it all at once .. so I started giving her a small bag of scones each Monday when we bought ours.
She never acted like she knew us, recognised us nor did she smile ... but it didn't matter. I knew she was getting something tasty to eat .
I heard from a neighbor that there were places that all the homeless people went to at night, to wash, eat and sleep. The city would not allow them to camp in the parks, but they provided clean shelters and food for them. That is why the old woman in the park never looked so unkempt as the homeless I have seen in other cities, in other countries.
Those parks were their own little worlds .. for us, a green space with fresh air, benches under massive old trees, police on gorgeous horses that would allow Tate the Pup to whimper and wag his tail and just have a glorious fit of adoration .. why he loved horses so much I have no idea but he was never so happy as when he got to bump noses with the police horses .
The police were always a bit bemused but also always gentle and quiet with him.


I sit here and write these memories down and think of how time has passed, what has changed , what has been lost and I am grateful for the memories.
There are so many good memories.

The Little Cat That Made Me Smile Again




A Morning Well Spent

With my big mug of coffee on the desk, a sweet cat sleeping in the sun, another sweet cat taking a nice long cat bath and an old cat still on my bed, snoring away ... I spent way too much time looking at websites with photos ..

Some from my blog and this one  http://afp-photo.tumblr.com/ AFP photos from around the world.
All sorts of topics, locations, happy, sad, funny, terrible.

And I listened to music  ... Classical .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kYJZoDrFeQ

I especially liked the old blog by a lady in England who bought a very old house and made it fabulous then moved somewhere else and did the same thing. This is something that is very familiar to me :)
Nothing like finding a home that you can see becoming a fabulous home ... once you have painted, moved, changed, tiled, cemented, rebuilt, added on, removed .. you know what I mean.

It is called The Paper Mulberry ..
Get a cup of coffee and enjoy.

The sun is shining . . so what else is new ?
The cats are sitting in various windows, warming up and napping.
Minette is here with me, watching out the window, birds ? squirrels, whatever it is, she is spellbound.

I have no plans for the day.
I am not sad about that , I have become a lazy ( ok, lazier) person, I take a long time to get ready in the mornings and then I mosey over to the store and make sure there is cat litter , oh, and sometimes groceries.
I wanted to buy flowers but then I remembered, 3 cats ... might not be my best idea today.

Maybe I will just go online and shop for something from Anthropologie 
Yes, that might be perfect, Christmas shopping made so very easy. I can even buy the cats presents !

What are you doing today ?
Tree up ? decorated ? Presents bought ? Wrapped ?
Will you be going to someone's house for Christmas dinner ? or are you hosting it ?
Do tell ....


Have a good weekend !

Friday, December 2, 2016

Minette and the Serpent

Tonight's story, boys and girls, is about the very brave little blue cat who tried her best to save her mama from a very green snake.

The day was beautiful , the summer heat was nowhere to be found, a cloud here and there , a breeze that reminded us the cool days were coming.
The cats have their favorite spots here and there on the lanai.
I opened the doors in the morning and had my first cup of coffee while the kitties found their favorite morning nap spots .
And so the day went, quiet and calm, peaceful.

I went grocery shopping then home to read a good book on the lanai and daydream about This  and That.

Suddenly I notice Minette running toward the screen door , doing her best fierce jungle cat stalking.. a scary.  ....snake.

I don't know what came over me but I jumped up. , grabbed Minette up with one hand and with a tissue in my hand I picked up the little snake and sent it on its way ...
My neighbor watched then said you know, they are not poisonous, they are harmless.

I said I knew but try telling Minette !
She sat by the door and just watched for a while then I brought her in the house so she could relax.
She sat inside , looking out the doors until she fell asleep.
The condo owner is going to come by and put a guard at the bottom of the door to make it a bit more impossible to get inside.

Merlin slept through it all.
Honey waited by her dish.
Everyone is sleeping now , Minette in the basket on the top of the fridge .. snakes can't climb that high.

                                                           My little Snake Hunter

Thursday, December 1, 2016

If We Don't Like It, We Can Go Home ... part 1

Living in Buenos Aires is where and when my love for architecture really came alive.
Of course, I always liked a house with charm and character but to live in a city that looked like the best parts of Paris, balconies and arched doorways etc ... my interest and love for architecture really came alive.

I have been to and stayed in London and Paris for long amounts of time, over the years.
We rented apartments and "lived" there .. my husband actually did live in London and in Paris, years ago, before he met me ... so we can all agree that was a time known as Once Upon a Time.

Once Upon a Time, my handsome husband took a job that was not actually a job but he got paid very nicely and no one else did it... at least not in NYC.
And part of that job was dealing with people from all over the world, all sorts of characters and personalities. From that , he grew to know some very interesting people and they called him their Friend.
This made life very interesting for me, the girl from California .. who grew up in NC.

So as the years went by, we traveled but we also had small children so the travels were places for children , not too far to travel and safe and fun for all ages.

Then came the day that he decided he no longer wanted to work, he wanted to stay home with me and play.
So he did. We sold our home and moved South to Florida.
That lasted about a year, a hurricane and a sun allergy.
We had gone to Oregon on a vacation , to experience a Pacific NW summer ... it felt like a NY Autumn. We liked it. We moved there.

After a year of rain, he started to go online a lot ... we were across the street from Powells Book Store. He was found in the Travel books section almost daily.
Then one day, those famous words were spoken ... How would you like to go to Buenos Aires ?

After a 10 day visit, we went home, buzzing with ideas, questions, many thoughts on life as we know it vs life that is kind of  ..  unknown ..

It didn't take long to make the decision ... there was this one thing he said that made it all happen.

"If we don't like it, we can go back home. "
So Tate the Pup and I started packing ...

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sunset in Buenos Aires