Friday, May 22, 2015

Flashback Friday: May 22, 1963

Before "Star Trek" (1966) and "Star Wars" (1977) there were men who went in space and took our breath away. I don't think very much about the Mercury Astronauts, who are all wrapped up with junior high school and algebra and President Kennedy, but in 1963 I thought of them a lot. I never wanted to be an astronaut, but their courage left a deep impression on me.

On a spring night a few weeks ago I was walking on Lower Broadway and came upon this inscription set into the sidewalk. It commemorates the ticker tape parade that greeted Astronaut Gordon Cooper's visit to New York City. Cooper piloted the Faith 7 and orbited the earth 22 times. This doesn't sound like very much today, but then we cheered for the accomplishment it truly was.

The number of ticker tape parades was significantly cut back in 1966 -- there are a lot of sidewalk markers before then -- and they, like ticker tape, are rare. If the Mets or Yankees win the World Series, there will be a ticker tape parade. The one I remember most vividly was held to honor the American Embassy personnel after they were freed from being held hostage in the US Embassy in Teheran in 1981.

So we begin Memorial Day weekend 2015, remembering those who went out in courage for America. Whether they went around the earth, to the Normandy beaches, Iwo Jima or Afghanistan, we thank them and remember them.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.   

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Red Nose Day in Buttercupland

Pepe Le Monkee in the spirit of Red Nose Day
It's Red Nose Day in Buttercupland today. It's also Red Nose Day -- which raises money for children living in poverty -- throughout the world. Pepe was disappointed when I broke the news to him that Duane Reade -- the New York City branch of Walgreens -- was out of red noses. I've been seeing red noses at the checkout for weeks, but of course, just didn't get around to buying one for Pepe and one for me. Pepe was content with his homemade red nose and I will be making a donation to one of the causes that are part of this effort.
It's also giveaway day in Buttercupland today. I put together a few little goodies from my trip to Japan, including a small tote bag with a cherry blossom drawing from one of my favorite places, the Tokyo National Museum.
One of the pools in front of the museum
The giveaway closes Saturday, May 30 and I will announce the winner on Sunday, May 31. Not a lot to do to enter, just leave a comment and be a friend of Buttercupland on Google+, Google Friend or Bloglovin.

Cherry blossoms and finches decorate the tote
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Once Upon a Time...

...Not very long ago a traveler came to a beautiful Shinto shrine, somewhere between Osaka and Kyoto.  The traveler thought she had somehow traveled through not only space, but time, and was floating in a period long ago when the Shoguns governed Japan.

The traveler blinked quickly and as she turned a corner at the shrine there was a wedding couple from long, long ago -- at least for a few minutes. 

 Wedding Wednesday in Japan
The traveler blinked again and it was 2015 and she was holding a cell phone, which would have shocked the shoguns and everyone else in long ago Japan. But for a few minutes the traveler had floated through time.
I hope you've enjoyed our visit through time. Tomorrow we move quickly into the present century with a giveaway -- I want to take a few more pictures in better light -- and a fun visitor. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Called to Be Amish

Light years ago I went to graduate school in Religion. I enjoyed my undergraduate studies very much, but graduate school was very different. I entered directly from college and the great majority of my colleagues had already finished graduate degrees. Most of them had families and were ministers and priests with their own congregations, and above all they were much more focused and mature. I soon realized I was not a scholar. I did find classes I enjoyed, especially American Religious History and a course in spiritual autobiography. The latter class was still heady -- I remember one of our texts was St. Augustine's "Confessions" -- but I enjoyed the stories of spiritual searching. Though I very quickly veered away from the study of theology I've kept an interest in memoirs that have a spiritual focus.   

Thanks to my friends at the Litfuse Publicity Group I was happy to have the opportunity to read and write about Marlene Miller's spiritual journey in "Called to Be Amish." There are many novels that are set in Amish communities, where the characters are Amish, but this memoir tells a unique story of moving from a secular family to becoming an Old Order Amish wife and mother of ten children. There is a good mix of stories of happiness and hardship and discussions of faith. There are times I wish the editing was a little tighter, but the style kept the authenticity of the author's voice. I'm glad that I added it to my reading this spring and grateful for the opportunity.

Please stop by tomorrow for Wedding Wednesday. The pictures will be some of the best from Japan.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Please note, I was given the opportunity to read "Called to Be Amish" by the Litfuse Publicty group. The opinions are all mine. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monkey Monday Goes Intercontinental

National Folk Museum of Korea
Not unlike the cherry blossoms and lilacs the season of writing about my trip to Japan and Korea is nearing an end. Though it's difficult to fathom, I have been back in New York for almost a month and life has picked up the pace. Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching and BookExpo America is right behind. There's a graduation trip to Connecticut just a month away and book reviews and a movie review almost ready for posting. I've got a giveaway for later this week -- please stop by -- and that's all just in the next month. 
There were two sights in Japan and Korea that I photographed with specific blogging thoughts. One set of photos I will share on Wedding Wednesday and the other was taken with Monkey Monday in mind. Mondays have been slipping by and I present to you our first Intercontinental Monkey Monday.
 This handsome gentleman was part of a display of animals representing different years. and he, of course, represents the year of the monkey.  The sculptures were in the outdoor area of the National Folk Museum of Korea. 
While we're in Seoul I want to add a few pictures of the changing of the Royal Guard. This ceremony takes places in downtown Seoul three times a day. It goes back to the period when Korea had a royal family and the guards were responsible for guarding the capital city and the royal palace.

 There were many groups of Korean school children. After the ceremony they were permitted -- actually it looked that they were encouraged -- to meet those who had participated in the ceremony. 
Yes, there's a Dunkin Donuts in the background. There are many, many American chain restaurants in Seoul.
I hope you've enjoyed our quick trip to South Korea. Wednesday we return to Asia to attend a wedding in Japan. Of course, you are all invited.
As always, thanks for visiting and take good care.   

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pink Saturday (and Sunday) Summer Shopping

It's time to relax, have some lemonade and get together for some Pink Saturday fun. Until today. when it's a humid summer day, we've had beautiful spring weather. I've even been inspired to do some shopping. I haven't bought anything, but I've done lots of looking. Here are a few of the most fun things I've discovered.

 Fabulous flip-flops
I'm not a flip-flop wearer -- I need a lot more support for walking around New York City -- but if I was I would have a hard time choosing which pair I'd like best. The all pink pair in the top row caught my eye first, but they're all pretty cute. It's a tough decision.
More fabulous flip-flops
This is an easier decision for me. I'd pick the hot pink ones with the crystals. They would certainly jazz up my wardrobe.
I haven't been wearing hats in the summer -- though I think it's a good idea -- but this bright orange one has me reconsidering hat wearing. Would you pick the orange hat or the blue hat?
I love the colors. I'm usually much more covered up, but the colors here caught my attention.
I'm enjoying a somewhat lazy-daisy day. I did get my thirty minutes of exercise in for the day and met a friend visiting from out of town for brunch, so it wasn't a completely lazy-daisy day.  I'm happy to be blogging -- two days in a row -- and I've got my list for posts for the rest of the week.
As always, thanks for visiting. Take good care and have a great week!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

#BlogHer15 Is Coming to Town

I'm Going to #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us

I hope Santa will excuse me for using his song, but I'm as excited as a kid waiting for Santa's arrival. BlogHer15 is coming to New York City -- just a short bus ride away -- in July. Last year's trip to San Jose took a lot of flights and I'm happy that this should be a lot easier to get to and, I am sure, just as much fun. 

There's always one speaker in particular I am eager to hear. Last year it was Kerry Washington and this year it's Ava DuVernay, who directed "Selma," one of my favorite movies. The keynotes are just one part of the experience and I'm looking forward to meeting blog friends new and of long-standing, sharpening my blogging skills and having fun at the exhibitions. Is anyone else in Buttercupland planning to attend? There's still time to get a ticket.  

If  you need any encouragement here's a photograph of Columbus Circle, just five short blocks from the Hilton, where the conference will be taking place. I took this on Thursday, one of the most perfect spring days ever.

Kodachrome look, courtesy of Google.
I'll be back tomorrow with some Pink Saturday/Sunday fun. As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a great weekend.