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 ...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Happier Times

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

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

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

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

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

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



Friday, November 25, 2016

High Expectations




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 14, 2016

Feeling Catty ?

Honey

Minette

Merlin

Monday - Learning As I Go

Monday Monday


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They did not charge me for anything.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So ...

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

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

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

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








Saturday, November 12, 2016

What Are You Doing For The Weekend ?

Babies and Pups

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

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

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

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

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

What are you doing for the weekend ?

Jacaranda Time

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

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

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

Monday, November 7, 2016

I Love Buenos Aires ..

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

I love Buenos Aires ~

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Magical Time

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

Finding a home ...

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

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

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

HAPPY HALLOWEEN



I wonder ...

The girls, lolling around, talking about the days plans.
I remember when they both hissed at the sight of each other.
Merlin still looks surprised when he sees Honey .. I don't know if he forgets her or if the size of her constantly shocks him.
Every time I have to pick her up, it shocks me.
And then Minette weighs nothing and Merlin is like picking up a large soft feather. . with a cranky voice.
My arm muscles must be getting stronger .. my back is getting more achey ... she is just enormous and dead weight when I pick her up. I think she makes herself heavier when I pick her up ..
Her little legs look so short .. if she was the right weight, her legs might look like they belong on that body. lol ...
I totally love her though. We lost our mama .. we are totally bonded now.
And Miss Minette and Sweet Merlin are part of Honeys family too.
I wonder how they would feel about a dog .......



Saturday, October 29, 2016

Let Sleeping Cats Lie
















Honey is an expert cat napper.
I have been taking lessons from her.
I seem to be a quick learner.

Have a great fun Weekend ! and don't forget to take a nap !

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Lovely Sunday

Today is sunny, with blue blue skies and no clouds and not very hot at all.
A perfect day in Florida.

One of us decided it was a perfect temperature for a long afternoon nap.
Others of us enjoyed napping outside in the sun and one of us enjoyed a shopping spree with the daughter.

All in all, so far, a Lovely Sunday in Florida.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

All of My Life

 Through all of my life
summer winter spring and fall of my life
All I ever will recall of my life
is all my life with you

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pretty in Pink

While I miss the colors of Autumn back up North, I think I miss more the colors of Spring, back down South .. in Argentina.
This time of year , there are Lopacho trees, up and down the Avenues, in the Parks, everywhere you look ... hot pink trees.
At the end of winter, which is mild but can be dreary ... it is such a pleasure to see the signs of awakening, the trees budding, that pink haze wherever you look in the parks .. they are truly fabulous when you see a whole group of them in full pink glory.
Thank you to Sandra at My Buenos Aires Travel Guide for the use of her photos ( without asking first) ....un beso.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Autumn






































Upstate New York ... my old stomping grounds  ... this is the time of year that I miss New York.
The look of it, the smell of it, the feel of it .. crisp Autumn days and chilly nights with the scent of woodsmoke in the air.
An especially good time to have someone to snuggle up with at night ..

Sunday, October 16, 2016

My Grandfather

I was telling someone recently that my Grandfather had been a chef in a New Orleans restaurant, way back before I gave a hoot about restaurants or New Orleans.
Then suddenly, reading a blog that comes out of the UK .. and recipes are spoken of and I was reminded of something about my grandfather and now I am wishing that he was alive now to give me cooking tips.

He was not your typical Grandfather.
He was actually my mom's stepfather but he loved us all and we belonged to him and you knew it. When my mom had me, she was super young, my dad died in an accident and she went to live with her parents ..
That Marine Sgt Grandfather of mine, was known to put me in his Studebaker and drive me around in the middle of the night ..in San Diego... because I had colic and apparently the only way I would fall asleep was in a moving car.
So there went the car, slowly cruising through the neighborhood, my grandfather driving, no one would ever mess with him .. and this wee baby sound asleep on the seat next to him.

Apparently he never slept.
He was big enough and tall enough and man enough to never think twice about being the best Nanny a wee baby girl ever had.
He would have friends over to play cards.
When I was about 4 he had his regular Poker night.
They were all Marines, quiet and respectful to my mom and grandmother and sweet and "Auntie-like" to me.

He would pour them all beers and they would play cards for hours.
Those games took all of their attention.
I was able to get into small bits of mischief without anyone noticing.

When my mother noticed me acting strangely, silly and off balance, she was frightened and picked me up. And she said the smell of beer on my breath almost knocked her over.
I had gone around and finished the wee drop left in each glass.. while the men played cards and paid no attention.

Grandfather was in the DogHouse for weeks over that one !

He got out of the Marines and became a chef.
My mom remarried and we moved from California to North Carolina.
Where everything was different and I missed my Grandparents all the time.
Then he got a job as chef in a New Orleans restaurant.
Then he sent me a book, made of paper he had written his own recipes on ..
I saved it all these years .. I can't find it now.
I will find it but you know how it feels, that sadness for something you have kept so long and now need to see... even if I never use one recipe, I have to keep that book.

I thought of him today because I found a small cookbook from the restaurant where he worked in New Orleans .. I should make one of those dishes.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Paris, Across the Street

I wouldn't mind having my old view back.
It is so French to me. We had an apartment in Paris where we stayed each year and it didn't look as "French" as this view, in Buenos Aires .

At night they would turn on their lights, massive chandeliers , summer nights they would throw open the French doors.  I felt like I lived in Argentina but Paris was across the street.

If you think about it... or when I think about it .. after our first couple of trips to Paris, we started renting apartments for our stays. This is, in my opinion, the very best way to really visit a place. Being plunked down right in the middle of it all, with neighbors and shopping and managing with or without knowing the language that well.
The first time we ever did this, was in London.
After years of going to London every Autumn  and staying in a hotel, we decided to try renting a holiday apartment.
My husband had lived in London and we had visited enough times to know just which neighborhoods we wanted to stay in ... We rented a little one bedroom in Knightsbridge and with the shops, restaurants and museums, not to mention a certain Palace and Changing of the Guard ... we were always happy with our visits.

One year we had 2 weeks .. we arrived in London, moved into our flat and for a brief time, pretended it was our home. We packed an overnight bag and took the train to Paris for a 3 day weekend.
Leaving all our belongings in the London flat, we went to Paris.
We stayed at the Hotel Lutece on the Ille St Louis. It was perfect in every way.

After that visit, when the following year rolled around, my husband said what did I want to do this year on our vacation time... Paris I said .. I want to go back to Paris.
So once again, we rented an apartment, this one just blocks from the Eiffel Tower and we went to the markets and shopped, ate in local cafes and generally spent 2 weeks pretending.

Years later ... Imagine my delight when we visited Buenos Aires for the first time.
The architecture is very French.
There is a heavy French influence in many things but to look at it, you can see why my dreams of living in a flat in Paris, came true in Buenos Aires.

Molding, high high ceilings, doorways, French doors, the only door in the house that was solid was to the loo. The rest were all French .. I spent a fortune on sheer curtain panels to put on the doors. To at least give an impression of privacy.
It was a dream to decorate. We shopped for so much .. happily we brought it all back with us.
The desk that a man made by hand .. a lamp bought in San Telmo in an antique shop, our sofa that is the favorite spot for anyone who wants to be able to stretch full out for a nap ..
Which was what my husband and our dog Tate often did ..

Visiting a country, city, state, is fun. No matter where you go, even if it is just the next town .. you can experience the little changes that make you appreciate your own view and place you live or make you consider changing that view and where you live.
But be careful, you might walk into a room one day, and across the room are these windows, and there is this view and you will be planning to live there before you know it.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Found

This morning. In my bathtub.
Now ... sunning himself in the grass in the back gardens ... adventurous little gecko .

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New York Shelter Kitten

You know if I was in New York right now ....
Wearing a sock as a turtleneck.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Small Unexpected Treats

My daughter bought a condo and is preparing to move in ..
My very nice brother offered to come to her house from his house in the Carolinas, and paint for her.
He brought along his step brother.
I got the treat of stopping by her new home and getting to see my Baby Brother ... and his step brother, who I last saw when he was around 10 years old, if that old.
I babysat for him when he and his siblings were little.
But there he was, this nice looking young man with this great smile and those eyes that some smiley people have ... like they might twinkle.
I had not seen him since he was a little boy. He grew up quite nicely. And he acted nicely .. the little boy I used to know.
It was a treat on a day of sadness and feeling lonely and sorry for myself.

Good news ... I did the laundry and the machine works , quietly , water stayed where it is supposed to stay and nothing bad happened. That was a treat for sure !
I am not sure how long it will take for me to get over my fear of washing machines flooding. Perhaps never. I might have to move to a home where the laundry is not on the second floor of a condo that is fully carpeted.
Or better yet, live somewhere like Buenos Aires where you take your laundry to the lava ropa down the street and they do it for you. plus ironing. Does anyone see Anything wrong with that ???
I thought not. It is a treat.

The skies are cloudy but there is no wind.
It is getting dark ... Yesterdays storms are out there somewhere   ... I think Florida is being skipped by one but I am sure there are others lurking out there ... making sure I am never relaxed. Although I think when it is officially winter, the hurricane season ends ... right ?


But for now .. my daughter will soon be living close by, which includes my blue eyed grandson and his killer smile ... it will be nice. Just knowing they are there.
I will be a great mom/grandmother, I will only visit when invited.

I hope they invite me !! :)



Sunday, October 9, 2016

Storm Free

On a hot Summer day in Recoleta, where we used to live.
And now here I am, on a sunny warm day in Florida ... not the same but at least it is sunny.
The Hurricane blew through with no fuss and around here, hardly any muss ..  one dead pine tree lay down quietly in the forest behind my home .. there is no sign today that there was even a wind or rain.


You know, they don't have snow storms or blizzards in Buenos Aires.
And while they have summer storms, the streets overflow until the gutters drain it all down .. there is no snow.

The weather is not really something to watch out for , to prepare for .. unless you count Sunblock .. remember that.
 I love that Florida is so close to Argentina ... heh heh.

On a Sunday in Recoleta, we would have coffee and the scones that the bakery nearby made fresh every day. Full of dried fruit or plain.. soft and tasty. I wish they would send me some.
We would read the NYTimes online, have our coffee and scone then head to the park where the massive Feria was taking place .
After our initial arrival, I didn't feel compelled to buy something , every single time I went to the feria. But we did wait to go to the feria to buy certain things that we liked and the prices were great.

My sister in law bought 6 purses on her first visit, she liked the feria :)
She and I were the delight of the purse vendors, you can bet on  that.

I loved just walking through the quiet streets with Tate and my husband. We would chat or not, Tate would sniff things and just enjoy being a well loved dog.
We were all well loved, those were magical days. And no hurricanes :)



Have a good safe storm free Summer day ...

Saturday, October 8, 2016

And Things That Go Bump In The Night

The last time I lived in Florida, my husband and Tate were with me. There was a hurricane warning. Then right on top of that, came warnings about Tornados. I am terrified at the idea of a Tornado.
There is no staying and riding in out .. putting your things out of harm's way .. nailing down the shutters. Your house is finished it that thing hits it.
You have to have your Emergency kit ready to go ..

This happened suddenly. Or perhaps I ignored/blocked out the idea of a Tornado  word when they used it on the news.

I got all heart pounding dry mouthed anxious and weepy. And that was just with the news .

My daughter called and said pack your bag and the cats and come to my house.

Now never mind that her house is exactly like my house and very close ... but the best would be that we would be together, I would not be alone here terrified and explaining Hurr -I -Cane  to a cat. Or worse, Tor Na Do.

So I packed everyone up and off we went .. There was no real sign that things were going to get bad, weatherwise .. grey and breezy and quite nice. Also quiet.
Most people know what to do and when to do it and they were long gone.

My daughter has not fully moved into her new home. The kitchen was almost finished, there just was no furniture.
I looked around the neighborhood and knew that everyone had left, they weren't dummies, they packed the kids, cats and dogs and went to Grandma's house up North ..
And here, poor daughter, has Grandma and her cats at the door, with that white panicked face and shaky hands ...

The cats were not sure how they felt about any of it but they were thankful to be sleeping with me.
They saw my daughter's cat. They were not quite sure about it .... What is that thing ??
He is a Persian. His name is Habibi .. Beebs for short. He is beyond adorable, with his summer cut and big eyes.
I think Merlin was a little jealous. When I was holding him and loving him, he said something really crabby and frowned at me.

It continued to get more windy and the sky got dark early in the day ... very dark as the day went on.
I wondered what it would look like but was determined not to be able to see it ... I would be under a lot of things. With cats.

And then ... it was here ... quiet and calm one minute, then the tops of the trees were thrashing around and whipping back forth and it was loud and kind of made your ears feel like they needed to pop.
Then it rained even harder and I could clearly hear my daughter say, OK, it's gone now.

No sight of a girl with a little dog .. a witch on a broom ... just black clouds on a summer day then blue skies again.

It was horrible in the fear I felt, insecure through and through, but amazing and nothing like what felt like a near death experience to make a person grateful for a sunny day and a house that is all in one piece and family alive and well.

The kitties came home with me this morning.
We all miss being at my daughter's house.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pre-Hurricane

Yesterday there was a nice man here installing more machines to suck the water out of the walls and ceilings.
Today, he removed them all.
The cats and I were so very thankful.
Although I think Merlin was not quite aware of anyone even being here, he just enjoyed the warmth of that loud fan.
We all slept in my bed, hid in the bedroom as much as we could. We went out on the lanai and watched the sky change.

Now there will be a hurricane in the vicinity.
My daughter and grandson, all of our cats and I .. will be staying at her new place.
Air beds, picnics on the floor, hopefully no power outage and no flooding. Here or there.

Funny, when I was here before with my husband, this happened.
We sold the house and moved to Portland, Oregon. Hmmmm.

All morning I watched my neighbors load their cars up and leave.
That is a weird feeling. To see everyone leave and just be left standing there ...

So that is the story so far.
I will post here when I can. A sort of You Are There Live !! hurricane reporting.
And my hope is that this is the last time I have any reporting to do on a hurricane.
You can hit me on the head only so many times before I get the point.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hurricane Watch

You know, I love going to the ballet and watching those dancers !
I enjoy a Polo match in Buenos Aires, watching those men on those horses ...sigh ~
I love watching a good movie ... Almodovar comes to mind.
I can sit and watch my grandbaby ( he isn't such a baby anymore) doing what little boys do with such concentration and imagination ..
I can sit and watch my grandson have a discussion with his mom ... he definitely is no baby anymore.
I probably watch the cats all day... there is always something going on when you have 3 cats, one very young, one about the same age and until recently having been an only (child) cat ... and the one old one .. fragile, easy going, gorgeous but not into the young girl cat spats .. so I watch out for him.

The ONE thing I have no wish for, no desire for .... a Hurricane Watch.
This is nothing I ever want to participate in.
This is something that I left Florida for , years ago.
And my husband was with me then, he made me laugh, bringing me a drink and snacks while I sat in the bathtub, no water, fully dressed, having read that it was a Safe Place ..

Now it is all up to me.
I have 3 cats to protect and all I can think of is what if the house collapses on us , there is nowhere to drive to .. there is no one I know to visit that I could get to before the storms hit here.
Everything I have is here with me in this condo .. and there is a Hurricane Watch.

When this season is over and the weather turns cooler and so pretty, everyone forgets times like this.
I still remember times like this - a time - and I had my husband to share it with.
Sharing with cats really isn't the same thing.
I don't want to live like this. I don't care if everyone in Florida lives like this and likes it anyway.


Let us all hope and pray that it fizzles out and is just a bad rain storm for a few days ...

The cats want to know who gets to ride in the front seat when we GetTheHellOuttahere ...

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