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, April 30, 2017

How Do You Cut the Cats Claws ?

1- Hold the clippers in one hand and hold your cat's paw in the other.
2- Gently squeeze the top and bottom of your cat's paw, on the joint, just behind the claw to extend the claw"

Now for the True Story :

Roll your cat into a bath towel, you should have something that looks a little like a large cat burrito with head at one open end .. tail ( it will be swishing  at a rapid rate) at the other end .

There may be a sound .. a little like a small wild animal growling because he wants to rip your throat out ... or it could be a small pitiful meow that breaks your heart, but don't let him/her fool you ... those claws draw blood better than my doctor.

Merlin is large ... he is mostly all hair as far as the bulk of him goes, but his bones, his size is large. He is twice as big as Minette ( Russian Blue) and nothing in the domestic cat world is as large as Honey .. my late Mom's cat. Honey will beat your dog's ass. Believe me.
But when she meows, she sounds like a tiny little girl cat ... just hidden in a huge cat body.

So ... Merlin decided to take a nap by my bed, under the windows. I decided to take advantage of the 2 of us being alone, with good light, and I had the energy, he had none. Or so I thought.

Having been through this before, I was prepared.

1- cat nail clippers. scary but brilliant.
2- bath towel ( why a bath towel ? you'll see)
3- be sure you are wearing clothes that can get hairy, torn, keep your flesh covered and hopefully resistant to blood stains.

Merlin was lying there like a large hairy pillow .. I started baby talking, he started purring .. we were doing well !

I tucked him up against me ( as if you were going to nurse a baby) and took his paw in my hand. He complained but did not really move. Merlin keeps moving down to a minimum if possible.
I squeezed his paw, the claw popped out ... 4 claws were no nonsense, long but ordinary claws ... hooked, sharp as they could be and dangerous if you are not into being clawed bloody.

This is where the towel comes in.
You roll the cat in the towel like a big cat burrito .. head and front legs sticking out, back /hind legs with muscles and long claws, wrapped up nice and safe in the towel.

Front legs .. nice and easy, he was complaining but purring too.
I am always terrified I will cut him and make him bleed. So being still is a very good thing .. for the cat to do .. I am trying to make use of 2 arms and hands when I really need 3 or 4.

Each nail cut easily and quickly, him grumbling, me telling him how fabulous he was.
Then we got to the "thumb" mail ... it is the biggest nail on the end ... 
This is where the Horror of cat manicures comes ..

The nail was starting to grow into his foot pad ... omigod !!!! omigod !!!!
I had a moment of hating myself so much I wanted to slap me, letting his nails grow that long .. being afraid of being clawed more than worried about something like this happening .. I am such a loser.

Then we got down to business.
Roll up that old cat, get that clipper situated under the nail, be sure his pad/flesh is not there too and then ... He yanked his paw away, growled at me and tried to hide his foot.

So I begged for forgiveness, kissed him many times, then made sure all feet were wrapped up safely and tried again.
Now I am shaking too ... the damned clipper would not go under the claw, and I was terrified of cutting his foot ... so this went on for several minutes, me continuing to beg him for forgiveness and whispering to God to be sure I don't cut my cats toe off because it would definitely be my Last Straw.

He never tried to claw me. He only wanted his foot ( probably sore) back .. but we managed.. Merlin and I.
He now has a nice manicure on both front feet, back feet are another day, he and I can only take so much .. 

So this is the way to cut your cats nails.
Or ... if you have a good vet or groomer that you like, pay someone else... it is So Totally Worth It !!

Loll around

It is Sunday.
The cats and I are lolling about the house .. having gone over earlier today to feed and water the kitties at my daughter's house- she is living it up in a fancy hotel somewhere that is a bit more fun than Florida.
I am listening to the weather forecasts and dreading hearing the word
H u r r i c a n e.
This is the reason I want to move back North.
I am unable to cope with hurricanes and tornadoes and well, most things .. like the snake that was headed towards my door, the cats were so excited, I was not.
I managed to steer it back to the woods ...  it was harmless, I knew that , but still, it was a very long snake !!!
What if it had been an alligator ?
So .... friends and relatives are traveling, cats and I are lolling about and thinking of what would be good for dinner ... delivered .
What are you doing this  weekend ? Has it been fun ? Weather co-operating ?
Doing a lot of lolling ? cooking ? eating ?
I hope you are doing a lot of laughing ... kissing ... playing ..lolling.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sun Dappled

This is the street   we walked down to the parks in Buenos Aires.
The British Embassy to Argentina is also on this street ... so there are lots of high gates, fences and then the park. I used to daydream of living in one of these apartment buildings instead of on the big boulevard where we lived. To be able to walk out the door and cross the street and be in the park, was such a treat .. but sadly, our sweet Pup died, we stayed in the apt we bought upon arrival in Buenos Aires and we still walked down this street every day.
We had picnics in the park in the shade.
We just sat and took photos of people and a spontaneous futbol game now and then .. it was our back yard .. our green space.
Now I live in a condo with manicured lawns , its own lake and everything is clean and manicured.
But happily, behind my condo, is a forest. Unmanicured, unmown and raked and blown. A wild wood. Full of small creatures and even a large one now and then.
Yes, they do have jaguars in Florida. Yes, the do have alligators and yes a green snake did come in to say hello to the cats and I.
The snake we could deal with, the others not so much.
The wildest animal I ever saw in Buenos Aires was a drunken party goer with his friends trying to get him inside his house.
It was very funny.
I love the trees, in Buenos Aires. The same trees as in Paris ..
If you have been to both places, you would understand my conundrum ...
You can take a trip. Stay in a nice hotel. have a  driver for a day .. where would you go ?
Paris France ? Buenos Aires Argentina ?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Things I Am Thankful For

My children who remember me from time to time lol ...
My cats who don't allow me to leave their sight.
The Encouragement of Bloggers , most of whom   I have not met In Real Life but who  I feel great fondness for.
Those sweet notes and emails are so very dear to me.
This time that  I have had , living in Florida, in a beautiful place with nothing but trees and skies and clouds now and then and all sorts of birds and top that with some sweet people,  has been good for me.
I am feeling more capable, stronger, getting back a bit of my old wanderlust.

Due to where I am and what I am doing, there is not much to blog about but there will be a change and with changes come, hopefully, something interesting to talk about .. or at least a photo now and then ..

My cat sitting duties will keep me busier than usual .. but that is for 2 weeks then it will be time for my own plans and setting things into motion.

I hope you stick around, I hope you are there when things get more interesting.
Thank you for being there all this time ..


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Enjoy your weekend !

And I will leave you for the rest of this weekend with something to smile at. Have a good weekend !!

Saturday - Clouds, Puppies and Pussy cats

I have nowhere to go and no one to go with.
I have nothing to do.
I am not complaining. I like it !

I was out on the lanai, admiring the clouds.
I know, sounds lame but there is a storm somewhere and this place is SO Flat !! So there are these  amazing huge fat clouds going overhead all the time. Especially when there is a storm/hurricane out in the ocean ..

So the skies are an amazing blue and the huge fat clouds are puffy and white.
The forest is very green  .. just in case someone wonders.
Now you know what it looks like in Florida.

I was out on the lanai, admiring the greens, blues and whites of nature when I saw a young woman with a tiny dog go out into the lawns.. I watched because the dog was so small ... then I fell in love.
Has anyone ever seen a 3 month old Shiba Inu ? No ? well, I will just say this ...
Like ... today.
That puppy was smaller than any of my cats. I have a feeling it will be smaller than the cats when it grows up ! Definitely smaller than Honey ... the Godzilla of pussycats.

So that is my day so far. Never let it be said that I don't live a fun and glamorous life.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Family ... Who Knew ?

So my sweet daughter with the insatiable need to KNOW EVERYTHING turned her attention to Our Family.
There are all kinds of mysteries .. or were ... nothing is safely hidden if my daughter wants to know ..

Not to mention, she should be the head of the Department of Whatever that Hunts Down People Who Are Trying to Hide. Even if they have been dead for 200 + years.

I say all of this with Great Pride ... she is amazing.

So here is todays news ...

I have a photo of the gravestone of my  10th Great Grandfather ... pretty nice stone .. all these years later too !

But then she sent me the photo of the man ...
wow ..

Sir Richard Hale (Sir Knight de Halys)

Cheerful looking old coot, no ?
So at the moment, I am boggled that my daughter has found out so much so quickly and with photos !
I am considering hiring her out, our sweet family bloodhound ... You can run but you can't hide.
I can't wait to see who/what she finds next. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Quickie

 As we all know, here in the US anyway, it is Tax Time.
The person who did mine for me since my husband died, is out of the country.
I am in a state of low level simmering panic because the only person I know who could help, is ignoring me.
Too busy, gotta go, talk to ya later ...

So there is a good chance I won't be posting for a few days , you don't want to hear my whining and moaning and it would bore me too .. plus talking about it exacerbates my panic attacks .. I kinda want to keep breathing on my own, you know.

I will be back when this new glitch in my search for peace and contentment is dealt with and I can start back on my new goals ... they are good... I can't wait.

Cats are excited too.
I know this how ?

When I told Merlin, he purred louder.
Honey looked up from her bowl and said Yeah?? then back to the bowl.
Minette butted heads with me and purred .. she seems to be the only one that takes a real interest in our lives ...

Ta ta for now,

Monday, April 17, 2017


Monday Monday

The Cats

For some reason only known to God and Cats, I was allowed to sleep late this morning.
And when I did wake, the sweetest old cat in the world, curled up against me, tucked his head under my chin and snored some more. Sending me back into a little nap.

Minette broke things up by jumping on the bed/on us and carrying on like only a Drama Kitty can do .. Maaaaaa, I'm staarrrrving ~

I allowed her to get the drama out,  then snuggled a while with her ... well, let's be honest, I snuggled for about 14 seconds with her then she pushed me away and demanded food ... or else.

Merlin remained in bed, he is no dummy... I toddled off downstairs with Minette, Honey quietly coming along too and fed them. Slowly but surely  Merlin, came along and everyone had breakfast and went out on the lanai to see what was happening.

Apparently not much, they are all in the house with me, Minette howling... this is a new thing and I am ignoring it ... Honey is napping close by ... such a sweetheart and Merlin is mooching around looking for a good nap spot where Minette will not talk his ear off.

The sun is shining, the impossibly blue sky has no clouds in it and I will appreciate what I have here, while I make lists .. and plans ... and go to the store and buy more cat litter and Nutella.
Two things that one cannot Live Without ...

My cats are smaller than the fellow in the photo but he is too gorgeous not to use ..
a smokin' hot tiger lol

I hope your Monday is a good one ..

Monday Monday   *click here*

Saturday, April 15, 2017


I was a cat today.
I lay on the sofa. After that got boring, I went out on the lanai and sat in a chair and listened to the birds, watched a cloud float past, admired the blue of the sky .. the sounds from the forest and quietly laughed at the cats, acting like .. cats.

Right now the newbie in the family is sleeping behind my chair.
She latched on to me the minute we met and I am so glad .. she might be huge and give me backaches but she is the dearest thing .. because of her size you forget she is just out of kittenhood .. bless her heart.. with her tiny meow and her massive body .. she is a character .

When we take a trip, there will have to be an extra crate, for a single cat, a plus size cat.
Today, Merlin scared me by being himself.
He is old. He is quiet. He is slow and gentle and magical.

So he was on the sofa sleeping. then he was out on the lanai, sleeping. Then he was on the rug, sleeping. I started to worry. I started listening to him breathe ..
I talked to him, he acted normal, Merlin normal.
I fed him, he ate like an animal ! He must be ok .. just not feeling like talking.

So this was my Caturday ... quiet, serene, peaceful, good food ... good music and lots of snuggles.
I hope your day was as good.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

That time of year

                                                       Jacaranda Time of Year

Jacarandas bloom, the air is sweet with the scent, the sidewalks are covered with purple petals, the parks glow with purple here and there ... birds are happy too .. it is all just so very beautiful.

When you wake up all cranky and tired in the morning and you drag yourself down to the park with a bouncy cheerful dog, there is nothing you can do ... your mood will lift, you will start to enjoy the day .. everywhere you look, there are those masses of purple, trees line the boulevard, in the parks, along the streets, in the back gardens of homes .. Jacaranda trees .. bringing fabulous color and scent ..

They don't last long, the petals fall, the ground is covered with them, then the leaves are green and you have to wait until next year to see them again.
It is worth the wait.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

a plan

I am slightly jealous ... ok, I am jealous .. my son and his family are going to Japan to visit her family  and to show the family my grandson .. the little charmer... the little dictator . lol.

I do not envy them a flight that long with a child that never liked a long car ride !

I guess I should start making a list of Things I Want From Japan, right ?

I should drive up and stay at their apartment while they are gone, using that time to do some househunting of my own.

I wish I could rent a place near where we used to live, Park Ave and 62nd St ..
Or in my favorite shopping neighborhood, Soho ..
Or the Upper West side where I can get a little dog and walk it in Central Park ..

I wish I could just move back to Upstate NY and visit them in the City when I felt like it.
Oh well, you know what they say, If Wishes Were Fishes ...

it is a gorgeous day ... not a cloud in the sky .. which is a deep blue today .. I was considering trying to find my way to a shop somewhere ... but I will get lost. It never fails lol
I have a delivery coming after Noon so I will hang around at home and wait for that, read out on the lanai ... control my urge to make plane reservations ... eat more cinnamon rolls.

sounds like a plan.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


This is a New York Sunset .
This is the view from my old home in Upstate NY. I miss that view. Forest , fields, deer and an acre of gardens .. all the neighbors homes were on at least an acre with landscaping and or wonderful trees.

In the winter, deer would come into the back yard and eat out of the bird feeders.
In the summer they would troop in a line across the field, through my property, crossing the road ( which made me so tense) and to the neighbors property where they enjoyed a nice fresh water pond.

Mama deer , fawns, all big deer, there was nothing small and delicate about the adults. And the big daddy had a nice set of antlers.
I never got tired of watching deer mosey across the garden and through the yard ..
and for those who were always warning me about ticks, I never found any ..

Not too long ago, the cats were sitting outside in the lanai, on top of crates and trunks that are out there just for the purpose of cat naps .. and they all perked up .. got very still .. and I did too. What did they see .... then I saw ... a young fawn with its mother.
It brought back all those memories of the NY House ... some of the Good Memories .

Monday, April 10, 2017


Where is Minette ? She was here just a minute ago ! Merlin is sleeping. Honey is lying in the sun ... where is Minette ????

Saturday, April 8, 2017


I don't work. I don't have to be up at a certain hour ( although having cats sort of negates that, I have to be up when they will not allow me to sleep any longer) ..
But the sun is shining, it is chilly and the a/c is off ! and old Merlin is snuggled down in the covers next to me, so while I had all good intentions about getting up early and doing something, I fell back to sleep with Merlin.

We got up eventually and we had our coffee out on the lanai, where the wind was a bit too cool but the sun is shining full blast and the sky is full of contrails.
White lines zigging and crossing all over the place ... were they trying to play Tic Tac Toe ?

The only sound is the wind in the pine forest. I walked past the pool to go to the mailbox, people were in the water, which has to be heated ! and I thought how long it has been since I have been In a swimming pool. A very very long time.
We had one in the NY House but we never even took the cover off.
In BA, there were no pools. There are pools, our cousins had one but other than that, everyone we knew in town, went to the beaches.
I loved it ... in NY, you say , we're going to the Hamptons for the weekend, or Montauk .. ( we went to Montauk) but in BA .. they are going to Uruguay for the weekend ... la .... it sounds ever so much better than Hamptons or Montauk ... Like living in France and saying I live in Nice ... oh oui ... my husband and I were  on the beach .. we had a lovely waiter, dinner was fantastic .. on . the . beach.
Can you imagine ? I love it.

So here in Florida ... where there are beaches that I have not even been to yet .. none of them to be exact .. I enjoy the sunshine, cool breezes, palm trees and no sand .. in my lanai or at our pool. . which I do not visit because I do not suntan anymore.
You see ? this place is wasted on me.
I really should leave.
I am not a proper Floridian ... I have no huge sunspots on me , the skin is not peeling off my nose and I am very pale. I should be ashamed.

So by rights, I should be content.
I can sleep late, as long as the cats allow it ... I have sunshine out there if I need it ... the food is good here .. I eat fish and veggies almost every day ..   It is not depressing to wake up to sunshine.

But I miss NY .. I miss the drama of the weather .. the seasonal changes .. the anticipation at the end of summer for the fall colors and chill in the air, the winter and the holidays ... there is something to be said for Seasons. You notice that when you only have 2.

My little family is going to Japan.
I do not envy them taking that long flight with a 2 year old who does not want to sit still for 24 hours or whatever amount of time it takes .. it might make me give a kid a drink !
Here little one, taste mommies vodka. Oh .. want some wine ?

So the kitties and I are Hanging Out. We are enjoying it. We are using our hanging out time for important things.

We will talk about those things later, another time ... I have gone on long enough, time for a snack out on the lanai with Merlin. Honey and Minette are already there , waiting, tapping their little paws ..

Enjoy your weekend !

City Green

The man who planned the city and its parks, in Buenos Aires, sure knew what he was doing.
His name was Carlos Thays , born in France, fell in love with Buenos Aires and stayed there .. leaving behind a legacy of green .. parks , botanical gardens, miles of flowers and green shrubs, trees and grass ..  Gracias, Senor Thays !

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

If you don't hear from me ...

Just in case you don't hear from me tomorrow or ...
We are going to have  a big storm.
Joy joy ...
What annoys me is .. I have nowhere to hide. There is a forest a few feet from the back of my home. There are no storm shutters on any windows or the wall of glass doors.
The cats refuse to practice storm preparedness drills.
Honey was willing to be the cat that got carried but then Merlin grumbled something about old men going last ... so here we are .. not even a hurricane but " strong damaging winds and heavy rain."
Ugh !!
You know what this means ....

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ever Had One Of Those Days ?

Like you can't get your head out of your water bowl !
My recommendation in this case was a nice nap out on the lanai with the warm breezes  blowing away all the worries you might have .
It seemed to work .. he slept fine last night and he is out on the lanai .. and hasn't dunked his head into his water bowl today.

I, on the other hand ... I have to find a good dermatologist but have this new dread of going to any doctor.
 ( I can sort of understand my dread but I think a doctor looking at a dry spot will be safe enough)

It is very warm, humid and cloudy out ... I think it feels like a good Thunderstorm coming soon.
Some heavy rain would be fine.
I don't want to hear any more of these fire hazard discussions .. I mean, what else ???
Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Forest Fires , all that's missing is frogs falling out of the sky and we are in some sort of creepy Fairy Tale .. Or Bible or Something !

Yesterday was my day - I woke and just lay there ... it was a day that you just can't get your head out of the water bowl.
But I forced myself to keep busy and find something to read ... so far the freebies I got on Kindle are letting me down.. they are free because they are so boring ... but I will manage, I have book cases full of real books plus the Kindle is packed with more ..

I am waiting for someone to come here today and then the rest of the day is mine .. to read, and loll around covered in cats. There are worse ways to spend a hot stormy day ..

Clouds in the Sky

You would have thought I had never seen a cloud or even the sky before, the way I went on and on about them when we lived in Buenos Aires.
I still say ... I have never seen skies so blue and so vast ( of course the vast came from the fact that we were in a very flat part of the country where you could just seen on and on forever ) .. every day, vast blue skies ... the bluest blue and when there were clouds, they were large ... I became an avid Skywatcher lol not to mention, photographer.

In the coming weeks, be prepared, there will be more Buenos Aires skies to look at ..

Right now, I am sitting next to a large window on the second floor, with a pine tree forest outside, and as far as I can see, cloudy skies. Now and then a break in the clouds will let a flash of sunlight through .. reminding me that it might not be blazing out there now but it will .. soon ..

I must admit, a cloudy day is nice. I mean, if you have the same pretty blue skies with nothing but sunshine every day - it gets boring.
Buenos Aires had a rainy season, otherwise, the photo above was what you get ... that and no clouds at all.

I liked that  ... a lot.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

So Its Sunday,

One more Caturday post because it is too good not to share.
Then we will talk about the important stuff... like weather and what's for dinner.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


I was going shopping with my daughter.
I wanted to go look at Stuff in shops / boutiques, not that I need anything but it is fun browsing and my daughter is fun, so I know there would be a lot of laughs.
But ....
Merlin is not himself .. he is an old man. I cannot imagine him not being with me so I will stay home and watch over him and see if he is just having a bad day or not.
My hope is that a good nap and some stinky food will have him back to his old ... old self.
He is old. But I am not ready to say goodby so he has to snap out of it today  !!

It is beautiful out ... really beautiful.
Cloudless blue blue skies and not too warm, very comfortable. I turned off the a/c and have the lanai doors open ( this means that a set of 4 sliders are open so the wall of my living room is now open to the lanai which is very nicely screened with my old wicker furniture ..  Everything I have had from one home to another, one city, state, country to another, has fit in the next home .. amazing.
I even have my own laundry room so I really never have to leave this condo. I could live here without going out ... hmmmmm....
The cats would probably beg me to leave ... just for a while mama, give us a break  mama ...
They like their little Cat Chats.

My son and little family are preparing to go to Japan.
I guess Florida just didn't hold the same appeal :)
I kind of wish I was going too.
But then, if I have choices to make, Buenos Aires would be the next Big Trip.
New York would be the next Not So Big Trip...
The cats  would be much happier in a car for 3 days than a crate in a plane for 12 + hours ..

It is gorgeous out .. did I say that already ? yeah, it is worth repeating.

It is nice to be able to sit back and remember past homes, past places , compare various things you liked or didn't like, just remember what a variety of lives you live when you move from one place/home to another.
It is a tiny bit addictive I think.

Tell me about your Saturday.Where, what did you do and what is the plan for tomorrow.. Sunday/Funday .....

Minette the Beautiful 

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sunset in Buenos Aires