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.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Happy Holidays !!

                    Happy Holidays to you all !

Friday, December 8, 2017

Psalm 53

Psalm 53 Sung in Aramic



I find this  to be just so beautiful .. soothing, calming, perfect ..

Sleepy, Chilly, Catty

It has cooled down to what I think is Florida Winter .. but my air conditioner went on at around
4-5:00 am and we were freezing until I got up at 6:00 am and turned it off.
I thought it was off anyway ... I am going to learn the ABCs of Florida air conditioning today.

I only used to get up at 5 or 6 am when I was going to be leaving for an airport .. or if the baby woke up for a bottle.
Look what my life has come to ~

We have a change of scenery , of a sort.
Dark grey skies , wintery looking .. I don't mind.

TGIF ....what are your weekend plans ?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Lost Cat

                                             Lost Cat ... Bartram ... Stonefield  ... Jacksonville Fl

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

This 'n That

11:00 pm, Tuesday night , the cats are in bed waiting for me to come and turn off the lights.
I am tired but restless.
I have all these ideas and plans running around in my head and no one to discuss them with, the cats fall asleep as soon as I start to tell them .. sheesh.

It is getting chilly in North Florida .. I like that .. it feels a bit more normal.
I keep forgetting what month it is .. this sort of weather is not the middle of Winter , not Winter as I know it.
Summer was nice .. Fall.. nice ... Winter ? nah .. I am not complaining, just remarking on the huge difference . And yet ... I miss New York, I miss real Winter, I miss getting ready for Thanksgiving when the trees are losing leaves and it is chilly, getting ready for Christmas when it is cold and wondering if it will be a white Christmas .. or just a flurry ..

I am more isolated here than when I lived in NY.
I am alone as much or more than when I lived in NY ..
This is not a complaint, this is just what happened .. I left NY to be away from snow and utility bills and being alone.
I live where the utility bills are the same, I am isolated and I am alone.
Don't tell the cats I said that .

So now more decisions have to be made.
There have been some real disappointments .. people I never expected to treat me in a nasty hateful way, shame on that person , my daughter is a champion .. she has been so very thoughtful and helpful and caring ..
But she has her own life and home and a new puppy .. ( adorable does not describe it ) ...

I am feeling more like finding my own life again .. where I want to be, doing something more than sitting here day after day ... if I get to live so long, there will probably be a day when I will sit and do nothing all day long .. but for now, I would like to do some Living ... around People ...

I am not going to get lost finding a mall here, so I am shopping online for presents ... it is nice.
I like shopping this way ..

For myself as well, Sephora is one of my favorites .. Amazon, music, books ... even gardening websites .. and I never have to deal with crowds and traffic .. online shopping is a Good Thing.

What are your Good Things ?
How are you managing the holidays this year ?
Are you staying home ?
Do tell ...

I want to take this bus !


Monday, December 4, 2017

Oh Christmas Tree



Why is it that I cannot get a tree to look the way they do in magazines ? Ever ?
This is a little over the top ... ok, it is way over the top but still ..
I think more lights are needed ... not here, but on my tiny tree.
And tiny sparkly ornaments.

You see, since I am alone with 3 cats and all, there are some things that are difficult/impossible.
1- getting a tree ... as big as this one .. or even slightly shorter .. Trees are heavy !
2- keeping 3 cats out of , off of a huge tree with cat playthings ( ornaments) all over it.
3- I am the only one that would see the tree, unless I start inviting strangers in for a viewing.

So as I did last year, I put up my tiny fake tree which is sort of a topiary in its own iron pot that weighs a ton .. covered with tiny lights and small ornaments .. I put it on a chest, hoping a cat or 3 would not manage to get to it and chew things, knock over things, get electrocuted, etc.

That sure is a pretty tree ... but mine is Special ... it is a tree for one human and 3 cats .. Score !

                                                    This is not my tree but exactly like it 




Sunday, December 3, 2017

Merlin , Weather , Cooking .. ho hum

This is Merlin napping. He has this thing, he looks uncomfortable to me but he tucks his chin in and kind of curls up and off he goes to Sleepyland.
I adore him.

His wound ( made by the vet) is healing nicely .. I had the awful thought that it might be scar tissue and his hair will never grow back .. being on the back on his neck .. it will be noticeable.

On one hand ... as long as he heals and is well, I don't care how it looks.
On the other ... he is a gorgeous long haired cat and he should have hair on his neck ..
but however he looks .. as long as he is comfortable, pain free, itch free, I don't really care how his hair looks.
I am working on thinking that way about my own hair too ..

It is a grey and cool day in Florida .. most likely long and boring as usual but that's ok .. I have good books and plans to make and something I might cook .. maybe a walk to take with the camera .. maybe not ..

Wishing everyone a lovely peaceful Sunday .. will you be Christmas shopping ?
Got lists ?
 I do ... too many ... I have to start working on who has been naughty and who has been nice.

I was thinking about cooking something that takes hours to cook, fill the house with yummy scents, but then, when it is only for me ... I lose the urge .. I am thinking a good hearty soup made from leftovers might be just the right thing ..

Any recipes, feel free to leave them in the comment section .. thanks !

Have a quiet peaceful day ... tell me about your holiday decorations too !! send photos .. I will publish them :)



Saturday, December 2, 2017

Candice Cooks ... or ... Mama Mia !

1 box of Penne
Cook in one large carton of Chicken Broth
1 bunch of fresh Broccoli , sauteed in olive oil and garlic.
Add Cherry tomatoes sauteed in olive oil and garlic  to the broccoli.

When pasta is tender, add broccoli sauce , stir, leave it to soak up the broth.

Small peices of cooked chicken can be added or cooked fish. ( salmon is always good with pasta)

Bon Appetit !


Saturday / Merlin

Merlin has lost a large patch of hair on the back of his neck/shoulders where the Frontline drops burned him ..
It was almost immediate .. god knows what is in that product but believe me, I will never use that product again on any of my pets.
He seems to be doing ok ... the vet said it was a bad chemical burn and not the first he has seen from using Frontline drops on dogs or cats.
And I barely used any because I am so aware of his being older and perhaps more fragile.
But then vet said he is in as good shape as Minette who is just out of kittenhood although he is a little arthritic , but hey, so am I ..

I know anyone out there who has a beloved pet or even a child, knows how I feel ... a person who should know what they are talking about .. tells me to put these drops on my pet so there will be no fleas .. and what do I get ?
A gorgeous old cat with long hair and the most gentle disposition, with a huge chemical burn on his back, from the poison that I put there .... noooooo I don't feel terrible ... I cry every time I look at this sweet gentle old cat who just wants to nap and snuggle and eat a nice dinner in peace.

I am seething. I keep putting soothing ointment on his burns and hope for a very quick healing .. I have no idea if he will be scarred and if his hair will grow back ..

As a Public Service Announcement ...

DO NOT USE FRONTLINE TICK AND FLEA DROPS ON YOUR CAT AND MAYBE NOT YOUR DOG EITHER .

The negatives outweigh the positives in a terrible way ... you don't want to lose a beloved pet or burn and scar it for life ... there are other ways to prevent fleas on a cat ... a flea collar is one.

Have a good weekend ... I will be here, apologizing to Merlin ..
                                          Merlin Before the Burn

Merlin after the burn .. ugly and painful.

https://78.media.tumblr.com/6b838cc1e1a38599baae001b4733b800/tumblr_p0cd64FXRc1qgju3co1_500.jpg

The Morning After the Night Before

I am not quite sure where and how but I am figuring out what the cats do at night while I sleep.
Certain little cats don't handle it well, good thing she doesn't have to get up and go to work in the morning ...


Friday, December 1, 2017

Florida - You Never Know Who Is At The Door

Ha ! and I thought all I had to worry about was the green snake that wants to come hang out on the lanai .. Yes, there are coyotes and large and small birds and everything else you imagine might live in Florida ... they do warn us that there are alligators that get into our pond ... right in the middle of a gated community in the city .. but apparently, alligators have no respect for gates.

This makes me rethink the cats alone on the lanai during the day - makes me rethink walking to the mailbox ! sure there is a paved road .. sidewalks .. but also a forest and lake and well ... maybe a gator  or two ... shudder.

Can you imagine ?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday Morning Threat



Merlin is sleeping, uncomfortable I think but still purring ( which could be because of pain) but resting.
I look at him and that wound on his neck and my blood boils and I make phone calls.
I controlled myself ... I only used the "sue" word once.

He has a terrible burn on his neck from the "medicine" the doctor told me to use.
He immediately lost all the hair from the skin that was touched by this crap.
He is or was in pain and now he is sleeping .. He is old and naps a lot, he is, after all, a cat ... but he will, I hope, wake up in no pain and much happier.

I, on the other hand, would like to do something drastic to the vet ... like maybe spray some of that crap on his head ... but I will control myself.

I could not control myself with the phone call though.
I called and told the girl on the phone right away that I was talking about the vet and not her so please do not be offended or hurt by what I am going to say ....
That the vet has no clue what he is doing, that he could have killed my cat ... that he is not only inept and stupid but he is dangerous if he treats all his "patients" in such an ignorant and careless way,.
That he should be very happy that my cat is improving .. that I am not preparing a suit against him .. because that will happen if this beloved cat dies from this ignorant POS treating him with some totally unnecessary drug .. a drug that is used in chemotherapy ... on a cat with a dry skin patch.
An old Himalayan cat who means the world to me.


My daughter works for a team of attorneys ...  this is my threat today.
Let's hope Merlin is happy and comfortable this afternoon and from now on ...


me ... on the warpath ... it won't be pretty.
This is not pretty either .. the back of Merlins neck ..

Update - Merlin & the girls

Merlin slept on my bed most of the night. He does not snore but he is quite cranky when he wakes up and you want a kiss.
But then,  I have been known to be cranky in the early morning too so I let it slide. Kissing him anyway so there !

His neck is pitiful , he is pitiful... this large gorgeous cat with a large bald spot on his neck .. making his head look way too big .
I put his medicine which is like Vaseline , on his raw wound and then wrapped a wide strip of gauze around his neck .. he looks dashing. sort of . Well, if you squint and imagine really hard.

No matter how much I apologize, he won't look at me and he actually hissed at me last night.
But then .. this morning I scooped him up and ignored the growl and started kissing him and baby talking and he purred. phew ! I might be forgiven ... some day.

My hope is that by the end of the day, there will be a big difference in the look of his wound.
That I will have no more dramas , cat or otherwise.

I have learned ... that  cats are company , when alone,  even a cat can make you not feel like the only human on Earth.
Cats are more like dogs than we think ... they are affectionate, they like to snuggle and love a good warm body when it is time to sleep.
And they hear things and are alert to outside noises and voices ... mine will go stand by the door .. I know something or someone is out there and even when it is not My door... the neighbors are out there.
It isn't like having a Guard Dog but it does comfort me ...
Now if they could just learn to talk .. speak Human ... they absolutely do talk.

Merlin told me today that he wanted back up on the bed and that he loved me ...
Minnet just purred. Honey told me to put her down ... my back did too ... I have to weigh her today.

Have a good Thursday .. weekends coming !

***
PS

I took Merlin to the vet who is a total jerk and charged me well over $100- for looking and talking for perhaps 3 minutes then walked out ... pretending he is really Dr Kildare ..

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Update on Merlin

My sweet boy had a (not uncommon) reaction to Hartz Mountain Flea Drops ...
To be sure he doesn't catch fleas from the outside when he is on the lanai ..otherwise, he is never out of the house and his feet never touch the grass / ground.


I put   flea drops on him because he is on the lanai and there are no solid walls, just screens .. You never know. . I thought it better to be safe than sorry.
I woke up to find my sweet beautiful cat with a bald spot where the drops went on and raw red skin .. he was not very happy and I was heartbroken, guilty feeling and very worried.
Merlin is old ... over 11 - right now I forgot exactly how old he is . He is in great shape, just don't put flea poison on his back.

The vet was pleasant and at least informative- Merlin got a shot and I am not to give him flea drops ever again.
FLEA COLLARS !!!!! Wear a flea collar ...

So he got his shot, which worried me and he is now home and resting .. and so am I.
I don't remember worrying like this when my children were small and had to see a doctor ...
Yeah, I know I did and I was always thinking the worst that could happen but the cat is like having an infant .. they can't tell you what they feel or how they feel or where it hurts ..
I speak a little Cat though so today I had it figured out quickly ... most lame brains can figure this one out.

Flea and Tick drops ... are poison. It is absorbed into their skin and they repel or kill fleas and ticks  ..
But but ... it is a cat, a living breathing cat that you have now squirted poison onto his skin.

We are lucky ... it didn't kill him ...  He got his expensive shot of cortisone and now he is napping.
My sweet beautiful boy ... who got a shot, felt like crap and still purred when I whispered in his ear that I love him   ~
  Red Heart on Apple

Hartz Mountain , Consumer Affairs & Cats

 I have 3 cats and I live in North Florida.
North South, doesn't matter, we have bugs ... mosquitoes, spiders that are all too big , snakes and lizards too ... and the usual beetles and roaches etc that I pretend do not exist.
Especially the spiders ... shuddering....

The cats have been pretty good about keeping the bug population out on the porch to a minimum .. in fact, there are never any bugs out there ... can the screens be that good ? or are there cat picnics going on ?

"Mmmm taste this beetle Minette, you'll love it .... oh wait wait, have a bit of this spider Merlin ... yummy isn't it ? "

But even having  3 cats doesn't always help .. like when I saw a snake outside the lanai ... then saw a snake come in under the lanai door ... I grabbed the cats and ran inside ... scared the pants off the snake who ran back under the door and out into the grass.

Now I have Honey. Honey of the late Michelle R who adopted a tiny kitten that turned into this creature that is dog sized and heavy .. like back ache heavy ... with this tiny meow .. makes me laugh every time.

They are all City Cats ... what do they know about bugs ? especially living with me ... Bug ? where ? dead.

So picture this ...

Cats on the lanai. sun shining . mama in the house .. snake coming in under the screen door .. Mama happens to come out into the lanai as snake makes its presence known.
Minette the fearless, goes in for the kill.
Mama grabs Minette, swoops up Merlin who is wondering what the **** is this fuss about ?? and grabs Honey and rushes into the house ... slamming sliding doors shut .. snake makes for the exit as fast as he can ... telling all his friends for weeks about the dangers of going into the house with the cats and crazy lady ...

Now ... it is a totally different situation but actually bothers me much  more.


The little homeless cat in the woods ... appears in the late afternoon and cries.
Came to the door recently .. how can I let her in ? I put my kids in the house, let her in and feed her and give her water and pet her while she purrs like the best of car motors ....then she falls asleep .. safe, she thinks .. full ...   so tired.

When she woke up, she wanted out and out she went , back into the woods.
She is not out there now but she will be later .. or now, I will worry ... I can't have her but I can love her.

I put foil along the bottom of the door to discourage snakes from sneaking into the lanai ..

Now about Hartz Mt products ...
Since it is summer and Florida, I bought the cats Ultraguard Plus flea and tick drops ..

Merlin got the first drops and got very fussy about it ... I wiped it off and gave Minette hers ..
Then I started to worry about his reaction so I wiped Minette clean too.

By evening, I noted that Merlin lost hair where the Hartz Mt crap had been applied and there were 2 red almost bloody spots about the size of dimes .. pink skin, hair came right out.

I will call them. I will complain but mostly this is a Warning.
Don't use this stuff. I am thankful Merlin is OK .. I am thankful I had not put any on the others yet .
You just don't know what or who to trust anymore ..

The Little Cat - A Conundrum

I have cats. We all know I love and live with more than one cat. Okay .. I have , as of now, 3 cats. Not so terrible.
I adopted Minette because I was deep in grief and loneliness .. She was a tiny orphan that needed me as much as I needed her.
I adopted Merlin when I saw his face online at the County Shelter site and knew right away that 1- no one was going to adopt an old cat ... really ... old  2- I fell in love with that grumpy face.
So this and that happened and I sold my house and the cats and I drove to Florida .. a neat little package, one lady with 2 cats ..
Upon arrival, my mom died. And my daughter decided that I should inherit the cat .. Poor sweeter than sweet Honey .. Honey will break your back if you try to pick her up ... She is huge ... heavy and just out of kitten hood.
She is this massive black and white cat with a tiny kitten voice meow.
The landlord said it was ok for me to have a cat ... imagine his surprise when my cat turned out to be my little tribe ... a clowder of cats ... yep ... a group of cats is a clowder..
Or in my house ... my little Tribe.

So we have been fine .. we all get along with each other, we all sleep on the bed or under the bed and One of us has their own bed .. double sized bed in a separate bedroom because Someone thinks they are Special. But somehow, when I wake up ... too early ... there are three hungry cat faces staring at me. I might not want to get up yet but it is much less painful when those little faces are there to greet me.

A couple of days ago, I heard meowing and since my cats don't actually meow unless something horrible is wrong, I dashed to see what happened.
Imagine my relief when I saw them napping then staring ... at the young grey cat outside the lanai, face pressed against the window ( sort of ) and meowing to ... come in ? eat ? be loved ?

This  little cat also has no collar and a terrible injury/new scar on her flank .. it looks like she was hit by a car but managed to sustain no permanent injury or be killed but the scar is her mark of bravery.
This little young cat with no collar, scavenging for food, begging at doors, sleeping in the sun on the grass and hiding in the forest at night. My Heart Breaks.

So against all the Rules, before I go to bed, I put out some dry cat kibble and a little dish of water.
Last night it was supposed to rain, I put out a big movers box with plastic over it ... and the dishes inside .. not sure if she used it ... but the food was gone.
This morning she was crying at the door ... I need to find her a home.
Not send her to death at a shelter .. I know this is close to impossible ... I won't keep her but I will feed her because if you know me ... you will know that this is something I just cannot do .. ever ..
knowingly let a little cat starve..

So if there are suggestions other than the shelter which is my last choice since they end up getting euthanized or never adopted ... there are so many cats in shelters.
Humans should be So Ashamed of themselves.

So at 8 am on Wednesday, I am blogging, after waking to my cats being concerned over the sound of a young grey lost cat crying at my lanai door.

If there is anyone near Jacksonville Fl with recommendations of places or people to help me with this little cat, do email me or post it here in comments. And Thank You So Very Much.






Sunday, November 26, 2017

Where Is My Watch ??

Don't you just hate it when you put something down and later come back to get it and it has disappeared ? Gone .. which is especially annoying when you live alone .. and cats haven't the energy to play mind games with Mama.

My watch disappeared.
It was there , then it was not.

I wear it every day.
I put it away in the same spot every night.
I don't take it off during the day when I am out of the house ...

It is gone. Yes, that small cracking sound you hear is my heart breaking just a tiny bit more.

It was more than just a watch.
It was given to me by my husband.
It was totally unexpected and different. It is a Movado .. all stainless steel with little gold screws in it and it fits my wrist so well that I don't even feel it.


Thus we have the mystery, did it fall off at home ? did it fall off in the grocery store, parking lot ?
Where is my watch ?

The only positive side effect to this loss is that I have dusted , swept and vacuumed every inch of this place to find it possibly hiding under a large piece of furniture ...
Basically I live in 3 rooms in a 3 bedroom townhouse .. with 3 baths and a laundry room and lanai and garage and ....aggghhhh... where is my watch :(

I have to go listen to the monks chanting, I need some help finding any serenity today ...

Wishing you a serene and sunny Sunday ...

**the watch was found. hiding in plain sight. All is well that ends well. **

Friday, November 24, 2017

Autumn


Autumn is my favorite time of year.
I got very excited when I saw that the trees in the parks in Buenos Aires did change color a little and then fell off, giving me a slight taste of what I really  missed...living so far from "home" where I knew that certain things happened at certain times of the year .

Like Christmas being in the winter ....  Autumn leaves falling .... crisp cold nights replacing the warm summer nights and air  conditioning .. Looking forward to cooking and baking and holidays .

When Spring (Fall) came ... everyone prepared to leave the City and go to their Summer homes.
In the mountains, the countryside, the beaches of Uruguay ..or just loll around the pool at their home in the City.

We have relatives in Buenos Aires ... cousins in law. They had a gorgeous home in a residential neighborhood .. Houses behind high walls .. their home was fabulous with mostly glass walls and a green lawn and a big swimming pool with a pool house that could sleep several people with kitchen, bath .

As sometimes happens, language gets in the way and what is supposed to be fun or relaxing becomes a chore .. we ended up not visiting that often and I always think now- that if we had only spoken Castellano more fluently, we  all would have had a better time .
But I think of them fondly, how they tried to make us comfortable and how really sweet they are.

I have bites on me.
I have a pretty stray cat hanging around the back door ... peering into the lanai and making me sad and the cats annoyed.
I petted it, fed it because as wrong as it is, I could not let it starve ..
It is not there today, or maybe it is now ... I try not to look ...feel sad ... my cats growl and hiss ... This is Their Home and he can't have it ... poor cat.
Which leads me to thinking how much I hate people who do not watch over and care for their pets.
We are not living on a farm in the country .. this is a city with highways and parkways and a gazillion cars that do not stop at Kitty Crossings ..
It is a lovely cat that I have to ignore when it cries for food or just to be petted and treated like a sweet cat ... who might have fleas.

I think I will go through my closets today.
Do something useful, make lists ... plans ... what will you do today ?





Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gregorian Chant

Chant


I have been listening to this all morning ..

I am still listening to it ... it put the cats to sleep .. I will have to remember this if they get too frisky late at night.

I am feeling fine but this sort of music combined with being alone ( with cats napping) and a rainy dark day .... is perfect.

I will record this so I can play it in the car on any long drives I might take ..

I have bites all over me. I made the mistake of holding a stray cat that I brought in .. to the lanai .. but it was frantic to be outside so I let it back out .. sad to think it was at the mercy of cars and animals , cold rain etc.

Sometimes it is easier living in the city ... my heart seems to just be this large sloppy thing that goes out to every pitiful thing .. man, woman, child, animal ... I am here to feel sorry for you .. to grieve for you ... to wish there was Something I Could Do ..

Yes, I am alone on Thanksgiving.

I imagine what it would be like if I had stayed in NY ... I would have had neighbors and friends and family visiting or inviting me over ...   

In Florida, I take in pitiful cats and weep for them.

I am going to learn the words to the chant ... I actually took Latin in school and got excellent grades .. I can't balance a checkbook but I can read and translate Latin ...
How Blonde of me ~




Happy Thanksgiving

Image result for happy thanksgiving images

Friday, November 17, 2017

Winged

It is SO hard to adjust to the seasons here ... it always looks the same, the sun shines, the flowers bloom and trees  stay green .. of course most of them are pine trees.

Birds  fly over ... coming South from way up North.
Not long ago, in the lake in this community, a large flock of geese stopped to take a break from all that flying, had a bite to eat and floated around , making quiet a lot of noise and probably mess in the water.

Then they took off in one grand display of  Winged Migration



The cats were SO annoying this morning.
If they are cold, get back under the damed covers and shut up !
If they are hungry, there are dishes of food all over the house !
If they want company ... get on the bed with me and STFU ...

Yes, I woke up cranky. Cold, annoyed and cranky ... oh and there were remnants of a dream that was best forgotten.

It is Friday.
I will do whatever is on my To Do List then I will go back to making plans.
This living in Limbo is depressing .. Time to do something about it..

I might need to dust off my wings.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Story So Far

It is not punishment to live in such a pretty place . Although an alligator has made its way into the water and will have to be escorted back to where he came from. So no small dogs, humans or cats near the water for a few days ... AS IF I would go there ever again ! Even without cats or dogs..

There are no clouds today .. pure blue skies. Chilly, a sweater or light jacket is needed.
My car is totally legal, I can drive without worry again. I admit I didn't really worry that much .. for some reason... I , who worry about Everything ... did not worry about my license plates.

Someone said to me one time, about being brave etc ... When the worst has happened .. you sort of don't worry about the same stuff the way you used to ...

Perhaps this is true for me ... I only worry about the cats and having enough gas in the car .. and making sure that all the doors are locked  .. the crime rate in this city is not good ... shameful.

So plans are still being mulled over.

A Story For You :

Once upon a time, there was a man who was married to a lady .. they were madly in love  .. every year they laughed and commented on Another Year and Still being so In Love.
They were both travelers .. they loved to go to faraway places and see things and meet people and hear different languages and music and see the sights .
The Man had lived in quite a few Faraway places .. wonderful places ... India, Kashmir and Paris and London and Italy etc.
He knew People which was quite a kick for the Lady who got to hear the stories, see the photos, make plans to see them again , with him ... to meet his friends and go to their concerts and listen to them talk and to travel to faraway places ... with him.

Then one day, that chapter ended and the lady had to start figuring out how to go on with the Story.
She thought a change of scenery would be good.
She thought a change of climate would be pleasant.
She packed, changed address, drove a long way with the cats and ideas and plans and .........

to be continued ..

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Touch of Red

I took this photo years ago. On one of our daily walks all over the city of Buenos Aires .. camera in hand, dog leash in the other hand ... husband by my side ... Boy , have times changed.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Cat Saga

When everything bad happened in our new home in New York .. I sat for days , alone and quiet .. waiting.
Waiting for something .. not sure what  .. I didn't know then, I am not sure now .. but I remembered how my husband would tell me to just sit down somewhere comfortable and be still, be quiet and breathe ... it will all happen ..
So that is what I did ... I would sit and just be still ... let my mind drift .. not to linger on one thought or another too long .. just drift and it would settle in its own time and I would be more peaceful.

My husband lived in India .. he trained with someone well known  and eventually taught people how to Meditate .. how to Be Still ...
So it was easy for him to tell me how to relax , how to avoid a panic attack , how to Be Still.

I sit around too much these days , I take walks and go to the market ( by car) but it isn't the same as it used to be .. I am not in the same great shape I was when we got back to the US ...

So I have started taking walks in the afternoon and while I live in a 2 story condo and run  up and down a big flight of stairs all day long .. it feels better to do that walking/running outdoors, where you can breathe and clear the cobwebs ..

I , through fate and perhaps someone watching ... am the mother of 3 cats.
Minette I intended to get ... Merlin was a surprise that I wanted and got ... Honey .. my moms sweet huge baby was not expected, wanted or even considered ... until I was informed that she would be put in a shelter or whatever ... then I took her.. how could I not ?
I loved my mom. She loved her cat. I love my cats. How could I not take Honey ??
Who will take my babies ? Merlin would be so confused and sad .. and afraid. He isn't that brave anymore .. my poor old man with bad eyesight.

Minette would be freaked out because she is still a baby girl with only Merlin and I for a family, with Honey now too ... she knows nothing else .

And Honey, sweet huge Honey, no one would want her and no one would treat her well.
She can beat up a dog. She has the meow of a tiny cat ... She breaks my back when I pick her up ..
but when she purrs, I will pick her up a dozen times.

A couple of days ago .. the cats were out on the lanai, their daytime home ... they don't want to come in anymore, they love the lanai and the fresh air and sunshine for naps all day.. and an occasional curiosity, like the sound of big birds, the men who ride standing up lawn mowers , a snake , etc.
But it was none of those things .. it was a cat.
A lovely cat ... black and white. Came right to the door like it knew it was home .. how could I let it in ?? I made bowls of food and water and put it outside the lanai door.
It ate, drank and left.
Now I worry about it, I wait to see it , I wonder ...

I got my license plates. I am a legal driver in Florida. Guess I will move back to New York . Laughing. Out. Loud. or maybe I'm not ..


Monday , Cat Monday

So far it has been a perfect Monday ...
I was awakened too early by grumpy cats .. some want in , some want out, some want to snuggle, others are just plain grumpy.
Count me in   the grumpy camp.

We all traipsed down to the kitchen, way before 8 am and food was quickly arranged in the right bowl for the right kitty and peace returned ..
Except for that faint meowing I heard ..... the lost cat.

There he was .. outside my lanai door, meowing, huddled close to the screen, away from the wet grass and chill of the early grey morning ..

I know all the Smart things to do and Not to do and How I should manage things .. I did that yesterday. But today, this is a damp, chilled, lost young cat with a not very old wound that the neighbor thinks is from being hit by a car ... it walks, it talks, it eats and meows at the top of its lungs so it is more well than not ... except .. it doesn't seem to have a Home.
All cats should have a Home. No matter how small, rich, poor or warm ... there should be at least one person who cares about a little helpless animal that really doesn't ask for much at all.
And will never send you a bill for services rendered and never gives up on you or shuns you or decides they like the Other cat better ...

So I got disposable plastic containers ( thank you local bakery) and one was filled with water, good clean water ... and one with the mistake kibble cat food I bought .. It was in the cupboard to donate to some shelter, but I had not gotten around to finding the shelter and doing it  ... now it is being put to use ... Everything is for a Reason.

So this poor (really beautiful) cat is dry and eating its breakfast at the moment.
The damage on its thigh is not quite as angry looking. The lady next door took photos so she can find out hopefully, where he belongs.

For now at least .. he is not starving and if worse comes to worse, there is shelter on my lanai or the lady's next door.

I have to make plans and figure out what to do with myself.
I have to do laundry and clean up the condo a little ... did you know cat hair reproduced ? yeah.
Start out with 2 and there are 10 just a few minutes later.

So this is my Monday List of Things To Do ...
         
                  Find a home for a cat.

Cats are like potato chips.
You can never have just one.





Sunday, November 12, 2017

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Make It Memorable



I would like  to go Home.
Yeah, New York.Especially at this time of year ..
This is the time of year that I arrived in NYCity for the first time ... meeting my husband within the first month that I was there ...

The weather is dreary today but I sort of like that, I never realized how sick you can get of the same blue skies and sunshine every day ...
As Sarah Miles said in the film White Mischief ... upon waking up and walking over to look out the window .... "Another F*ing Beautiful Day "

I now get excited when it is cloudy and cool.
I also have cats to cope with ... no, not the babies that live with me ... the babies that Want to live with me.
A new little cat has shown up at the back of my home, by the lanai door ... a little thing, grey tiger almost kitten .. meows and waits ... someone must have let it live inside and go outside .. stupid humans.
The miracle is ... a car has not run over it yet ... a creature out in that forest hasn't eaten it yet ...
I have not adopted it yet ...

I am feeding it though .. I can't help it . It is not in me to let a small half adult cat/kitten starve when I have bags and bags of cat food and 3 very well fed cats ... We all have our ... issues .. children and animals are mine. The helpless ones ... those who depend on others for food, shelter, life .. and if they are really lucky , love.
I can't do anything about this kitten but keep it fed and watered when possible.

In New York, on my little acre Upstate, I had a corn field as a back neighbor ... so there were plenty of deer in my garden and walking through the property to go to a lake across the street ... behind the neighbor's house.
We all knew what was happening and when and everyone was cool with it .
When the mother deer would cautiously walk across the street with little fawns following close to her, I fought the urge to run out and be sure no cars would race down the street and hit one of my deer.
Only once did I actually stop a car ... but he saw it and would have stopped anyway .. the mama deer with 2 babies walking close to her side ..

I don't want to hear about the negative side of having deer in the garden ... unless someone wants to hear the negative aspects of ... who lives next door, where your kids are at night, who votes and why and what will the saving of a deer matter in the grand scheme of things other than my heart won't be that little  bit heavier ?

I have all these books that my sister in law has given me over the years.
I donated bags of them to the ElderCare Home near where I lived .. in Chatham NY.
I'm telling you ... the choice is .. you look around and there are all these books and you won't read them again and they are taking up room and gathering dust ..
1- throw them away ( I never ever throw away a book)
2- donate them to a hospital, nursing home, free book exchange ....

 So it is 10 am on a Saturday morning in Florida on November 11th ..
Have a great weekend .. make it memorable. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What's in a Name ?

My daughter is digging through the vaults of time and places long forgotten and digging up our ancestors.
I am having such fun, I do nothing, each day she gives me a gift of information about people from so long ago and far away and yet, here I am and they were my family ... I am "from them " .. if you know what I mean.


My mothers two sisters, married brothers (Pringles) so there are a whole lotta Pringles in my family ..
Today's google search ( my version of research on the family tree) was pretty good ..
Old stone towers and keeps and rolling Scottish countryside .. 

And when I was in my 20s and at home with small children, I used to read Historic Romance novels so you can imagine what I am picturing ... right back there in my ancestors neighborhoods ... rolling hills, Castle Keeps and horsemen and a sword fight now and then ...

I have a friend in Scotland, I sent her the news ... we are long lost sisters ... well, stranger things can happen ..  Hicksville , Long Island NY was founded by one of my ancestors ... how bout dat ?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I Don't Care

I just realized that I am posting cat photos quite a lot ... I have to be careful with that. The old cat lady thing creeps up on you and there you are,  when you least expect it , a crazy cat lady.

Yes,  this is a dog .

The cats are soaking up warm Florida sunshine.
The cats are on the lookout for the sweet and beautiful cat that came to the door of the lanai last night, asking if he could come in.
We will not speak of how hard it was for me to say no.
So I gave him a lot of food and water.
There was some food and water left this morning but so far, no sign of the beautiful cat ..
I am torn about it .. I hope it is back home where it is safe and cared for.
I can't take it in, so let it be in its own home. I am glad I got to see it and feed it. Let that be enough.

Friends are taking trips and I want to go on one too !
I want to visit Buenos Aires the most ... but there is NY and a whole list of places I want to go ..
For now- I will appreciate the weather and the fact that it is not and probably will not snow here in the next few months.

Last Christmas was awful so I am also hoping that this year it will be better, it won't take much for it to be better ..
I have decided to just drift along while I read and ponder and figure and make decisions at another time. If I have to be bored and lonely  in the winter, at least let it be sunny and warm. Next winter we will plan for ...

My daughter has one of the cutest ... no, The Cutest puppy ever.
She has a little baby girl Shih Tzu ... I have never had a tiny dog except for puppies but an adult puppy sized dog is appealing... of course, my cats are bigger but that might be fun.

I have discovered that I have a couple of car scratches from parking lot a**holes ...  at the supermarket .
I have a black car. One scratch is all the way down to the white underneath ..
One door has a tiny dent ... w t f ?

So this is another reason why I am best off staying home today.
I have no ... what's that thing that keeps you from saying what you are thinking ?
or saying something threatening to a stranger ? Here in Florida, you never know who has a gun so I have to keep my temper from getting me in trouble ..
Not just temper ... since I am alone so much, I find I just say what I think without stopping and editing what will ruffle feathers etc ...

Yes, I am getting to be a Curmudgeon ... and right now ... I don't care.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Little Cat

Today would have been my  Anniversary ..
My 46th Anniversary.

We would have had plans made for a trip, most likely .. that was our usual Anniversary celebration ..
That and my Birthday in March.

We went to London on our Anniversary  ..then we went back on my birthday  ... then to Paris ... then to Argentina ... all those years , all those lovely celebrations .

And today ... so far ... I have spent the morning trying to feed a lost cat that sits in the forest behind my home and meows and runs away if I  open the door.
It is a beautiful cat .. sort of long haired   but colors of a grey tiger cat  with beautiful  big green eyes.
Still so young .. afraid .. breaks my heart.




Friday, November 3, 2017

Speaking of Hypnotic Stares

I don't know ... I just don't know ... but I like it.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Honey

Honey will be perfecting her Hypnotic Trance Stare today



































Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Autumn

November is a month that is full of all sorts of things for me ... memories, good, bad and sad.
I love November as far as weather and fall colors and good memories through the years ..
My moms birthday was November ..
My husband and I were married November 6th, I used to see it as the time fun started, cooler temps, weekends in Upstate NY with leaves falling and apple picking and baking and family dinners .
Quite a few family members have birthdays in November ... it has mostly been a good month for all of us .
Even in Florida, the weather has cooled down to a crisp chill at night and while there are no trees changing colors that I can see .. it feels good ... the air smells good .. it is Autumn .

I wish I was in New York right now, I would like seeing those trees in all their glory, reds and golds and piles of leaves on the ground, the smell of burning on weekends when the raking and cleaning up happens.

Here it is crisp and cool .. There are no fall colors in the trees though .. there are only pine trees.
But it feels good out there .. the cats nap out on the lanai then stagger into the house and nap on the sofa ..
I guess Autumn is Nap Time for some creatures ..

Maybe I will try that ...

Happy Autumn ~


Friday, October 27, 2017

Pleasantville

  On the walk to the  mailbox.
I might be bored to tears and lonely a lot of the time but I can't deny it is a pleasant place to be.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Trick or Treat ?

The Trick :  I got my license plates today. I am now officially a Florida Driver.
I had to drive to Hell and back and everyone there was as kind as could be and helpful and sympathetic and I was very lucky to have that nice experience when I was dreading the whole thing so much.
Then the second part I was dreading happened but I managed .. I got lost. But finally I saw a sign that said I-95 which mean that if I got on that, it would eventually lead me home ... and it did.

I was driving 70 mph in the slow lane with a truck tailgating me ... just in case I wanted to be stressed just a little more. I wanted to tap my brake but was afraid he would hit me so I changed lanes when I could and wanted to do a Happy Dance when I saw a familiar landmark and ended up getting off the highway much closer to my home than I thought I would.

The cats were so glad to see me and I was pretty glad to see them ... no one wants to drive or even move at my house tonight.
Dinner ?  whatever  ... as long as I do not have to get in that car .. or think.
Thinking is so overrated .. it just makes you tired. And you get nowhere doing it.

The Treat : I 'll call a  restaurant nearby and order  dinner and if they deliver, even better.
I hope your day was more treats than tricks ... wait until Halloween !!!






Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My Brain is Melting

After the nonsense I went through today with red tape paperwork , blah ,blah , blah and then trying to find my way home ... I got soooo lost ... it took forever and my panic attacks were having panic attacks.

I stopped at one place to ask for directions and a young man and his wife were sitting at a picnic table outside under a massive Banyan tree .. I wished I were sitting there relaxing and appreciating the beauty instead of being twisted inside with anxiety and worry ... the wife was holding their new baby .. a beautiful little girl ... I wanted one  ... sigh~ They aren't as easy to get as they used to be :)

Today just did me in ... prepare yourself for whining crying and if you have no patience, make a run for it now...
Honey the cat stood by me with me weeping and wailing, Minette bumped heads with me and Merlin woke up to kiss me then back to sleep.

I managed to find my way to the place to get my papers changed with the new address etc from NY to Fl for my car .. So that alone was a dreadful long drive ... then a long drive on pretty 2 lane roads where I prayed I would not break down .. who knew how long it would be before they found me .. shriveled up in the car .. clinging to the steering when with one hand and my phone in the other .. 

I sat and waited maybe half an hour then a very brusque lady called my number and I walked up and told her why I was there and what I did not have with me ... she said Can't help you, come back when you have it all. Then she went back to chatting with the girls and I walked out to the car dejectedly but started getting a little pissed that she spoke to me so rudely..

I started driving home, totally depressed that it didn't happen and I will have to do it again.
Then somehow ... I was lost ...in the wilds of North Florida. I drove along for a while, it was at least a pretty drive with massive trees dripping moss lining the 2 land road ... with very pretty and  very old homes along the way .. some behind high fences and gates.


I stopped at a little place where people were sitting at picnic tables and eating and I asked this couple for directions. They were so young. They were the very proud parents of a tiny baby girl. I have to say that this meeting with these 3 sweeties was the highlight of my day, followed by the relief and happiness when I pulled into my driveway and the cats were waiting at the door.
Of course it was dinner time but it was still good to see them when I needed it.
I can't find the Title to my car ... I thought my son had it .. he doesn't. I don't .. or maybe I do ..
I have to talk to people and see ..  this horrifies me .
They sure weren't very nice here   ... the Southern softness and politeness stops at the door of the Dept of Motor Vehicles..

I need to go back to that little cafe and sit under the Banyan tree and hold a tiny baby ..  yeah...that'll do it .

Saturday, October 21, 2017

This is Baby Charlotte


BABY CHARLOTTE

click on her name above

Cats and Hair ...

Happy Saturday !
I didn't exactly get to sleep late, but I got to lay there undisturbed for a while ... my babies are growing up .. they find something to eat and take a nap somewhere quiet ... I adore kittens but this is the Upside to having a cat.
I don't have to walk them and they munch on dry kibble left down for them ..

I wanted to do something today but I think , I will just spend today trying to be peaceful.

Worrying about red tape sort of things in Florida, thinking about life back in NY, thinking about life back in Buenos Aires ... being walked over and sat upon by large kitties who have no idea that they are not petite little kittens ..
I think Honey weighs about 20 lbs ... I tried to weigh her .. my back has still not recovered ..
She is huge , heavy and slippery ... can't figure it out but Minette is small and sleek and easy to hold, Merlin is a large (heavier than he looks) hairy old man who just goes limp. He knows ... you can't fight it, just surrender ... Mama is going to kiss you ... just be still and take it like a man / cat.

The sun is blazing in the window, the clouds are skimming by and the man on the radio is talking about storms ... please god, let them be somewhere else .. that needs rain ..

My friends from NY who were living in Fl ... have returned to NY.
Increasing my longing to be there .. my memories of all the good stuff ... my fear that it is true -
You can't go back. We won't even discuss missing Buenos Aires ..sigh ~

Have I mentioned that I got a haircut ... first one since being in Florida .. I needed a trim .. I got a lopsided haircut .. I hate it ..
My hair is a hairdressers dream , it is easy to handle, does what you tell it to do and being straight, it is easy to cut. IF you know what you are doing .. you don't have to comb that little handful of hair 30 times before snipping it ... you should know to check the bottom when you are done ... is it level ? straight across ? do the sides match ? one isn't longer than the other is it ?
This girl did none of those things ... I did .. She failed.
I will go back to NY for my next haircut.

Happy Saturday !!


Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Night and

Friday ... I remember when Fridays were looked forward to , plans made for Friday nights, weekend plans made ... and then, one day .. every night was Friday night and every day was the weekend.
But it was still fabulous ..

Here, now, Friday nights are only recognised because there might be something to watch on the television. Otherwise, Every night is Friday night and every day is Saturday ... except when I want an office to be open for something important and I have to wait until Monday !!

This whole car license plate deal has become ... well ... an ordeal.
They were closed today when I drove over to do it .. there is more to it than I thought and I don't have one thing that they need so I have to send away and wait for it ... the whole thing is annoying  and I feel like just saying to hell with it and go back to NY.
I mean really, I am driving a new car with license plates and registration etc and they want one more thing ..  there is no One More Thing ...

And of course, I get anxious and then the heart thing happens and to hell with it, I can take my car with NY license plates and go back to NY .

There, that felt good.

Dinner was ridiculously Southern and I loved it.
Fried chicken with grits. yep .. I have gone over to the dark side, dark meat chicken with buttery grits.

So it is Friday night and the weekend is ahead and I have nothing planned.

What are you doing ? What is The Plan ?
I remember making plans for weekends in the old days, dinners, Sunday drives Upstate, Feria in San Telmo on Sunday with Tango in the streets ... now ... nothing.
Oh wait, not "nothing" ... heavy rains are expected with flooding.
I can't find the words ......

So moving on,  to more fun things ...  my Genealogy ...
wow ... The Names I Could Drop !!!!

One of my 8th cousins ... had a son ... who became President of the United States ...  not that long ago.

Friday Night 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Her Name is Honey

My mom named that cute little kitten, Honey. When I was a child we had a little yellow kitten that mom named Honey Bee .. Honey Bee died in an accident and my mom was broken hearted.
Years later .. about a year ago .. my mom got this comical kitten ... and named her Honey.
Because that was Moms endearment .. her children and her pets .. we were all Honey.
And now she is mine ... Honey .. silly, comical, sweet, huge Honey.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Even Now

I don't know how I did it , but I just looked in the mirror, the full length mirror and a woman from the 1950's  was looking back at me.

She has long blonde hair   to the shoulders,  that is sort of doing this bouffant flip thing ...
I know she didn't mean to get that look, there are days that her  hair has a mind of its own.
Today was one of those days ... Mary Tyler Moore with blonde hair might sum it up.

The weight gain, to ease off the big weight loss ( that was not needed in the first place) has been coming along but I think I am going to stop where I am and not think about it anymore.
The more you think about how much/little you weigh , the more anxious you can get about eating .. too much, too little .. don't think about it.
Eat right, eat when it is mealtime and not too much   ... the end.

I have been told to go shopping, not to worry about anything.
I won't go shopping but I admit to having a tiny spree online with Sephora.com and Cuisinart.
Yeah, Makeup and Gold  Coffee Filters.....  I am going wild.

The cats are all at ease .. we all have settled on Who goes Where on the bed at night and during the day .We all have our spots that we like best.
I get the most spots and sometimes someone has to move over and let me in ... that is the way it is at my house ..
Minette is still my darling .. she is such a Good Girl and so sweet .
Merlin breaks my heart every day with his sweetness and age , he is so very dear to me.
Honey is the baby, even though she is the largest, she is the youngest and has attached herself to me.
I am in my chair at my desk.
She is on the antique toy chest under the window, next to my desk .. I put a blanket on the chest .. you never know when a kitty will drop in for a nap.

I am making plans for my future, this   feels  like I am in a lovely nest .. watching my days drift by .. my life is drifting ... I want to do more than drift .. I want to see more than the cats every day ..
I want to do something more .. so plans are cooking .. thoughts are swirling ..

I have hopes and dreams, even now ..


Thank you but I don't need advice on eating or shopping ...






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