Thursday, July 2, 2020

July 2, 2019

These may be the best looking tomatoes I've ever seen

I didn't plan to write a post about good looking tomatoes. I had several more involved topics in mind, but I just sat at the computer unable to muster the energy to cut, paste, copy links and put together any of the posts I had in mind. I was as a friend texted me tonight, "Blah." I wasn't especially sad or depressed, but totally unable to muster the energy I needed to put a post together. Anyone else getting the Blahs lately?

So I decided to see what I was doing exactly a year ago. I was visiting my friend, Lucy, in Pennsylvania and we'd stopped at a wonderful farmer's market. There were any number of fruits and vegetable photos and this was my favorite.
Doylestown, PA

We also spent the afternoon in Doylestown, the county seat of Bucks County, PA and a delightful place to wile away a summer afternoon. Book store browsing, window shopping and of course, a stop for iced coffee at the Zen Den. The coffee was great and the atmosphere was relaxed and quirky. It was just one afternoon out of 365, but it brings back sweet memories a year later.   

Great coffee shop memories from my visit to the Zen Den

Thanks for wandering down memory lane with me. I promise that I won't recreate every day in 2019 in every post, but we will do a little time travel now and then. 

Tomorrow is Flower Friday -- yes, I just created it -- and I'll be sharing my favorite flowers of the week. I hope you'll stop by and enjoy the blossoms. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take care. Much love and stay well!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

O Canada!

Happy Canada Day

Today we're taking an arm chair visit to Ottawa, Canada's capital, to celebrate the day Canada became self-governing in 1867. Ottawa is one of my favorite cities and I've had the  good fortune to visit there a number of times. I was hoping for a follow-up to this summer to a trip I made in August, 2019. K and I had a wonderful time and I'm hoping you enjoy our virtual follow up.   

Welcome to Ottawa!

We're starting our day at one of my favorite places in Ottawa, ByWard Market. The market encompasses four blocks in the center of Ottawa. It includes formal restaurants, cafes, stores and a terrific farmer's market. We especially enjoyed a French cafe and started our day with a wonderful cafe au lait. It was so good that I drank it before I could take a picture.

Beautiful vegetables! I wish I could have taken them home with me.

We're spending the afternoon at the National Gallery of Canada. We'll see the Gauguin Portraits exhibit and then go to a great photography show of work by the Canadian-American street photographer, Dave Heath. I was familiar with Gauguin's work, but Dave Heath's work was a complete surprise to me. There were very few people there and I had an extraordinary array of photographs almost all to myself. We'll finish our visit with a time in the gift shop. It's definitely a struggle not to choose one of everything,but I managed to contain myself. 

Ottawa by night
After a rest -- after all we've walked all over the center of Ottawa-- let's find a seafood restaurant in ByWard Market and then enjoy the view of the city from the hotel roof. The air is cool and the lights are sparkling. There's a rooftop bar if we'd like cocktail refreshment and linger in this perfect moment. 

I've enjoyed our perfect day in Ottawa celebrating Canada Day, and hope you have, too. I'm not going to focus on not being able to visit this summer, but I'm going to look forward to next summer. Ottawa, I hope to be back in 2021.  

Our next national day celebration will be later this month. We'll be visiting France to celebrate Bastille Day on July 14. 

Thanks for visiting and take good care! Much love and stay well. 

Silver Tone for Silver Tones

My celebration of Phase Two, a haircut

I'm delighted that New York has moved into Phase Two of emerging from staying at home, but materially it hasn't made many changes in my day to day life. I'm enjoying seeing the increased people walking in the neighborhood and reopened stores and restaurants, but I haven't gone any where different from my usual haunts of the last three months, with one exception. I got a haircut last week. 

Like just about everything else these days I planned this adventure meticulously. I've been in touch with my hairdresser of long standing and learned that she wasn't sure when the salon she worked at would open. I didn't want to be disloyal, but I also didn't want to wait indefinitely. On one of my neighborhood walks I discovered a brand new salon that was very spacious, perfect for social distancing. I zipped in and explained what I wanted to do. I would arrive with my hair already washed -- I'm only a couple of blocks away and it's the middle of summer -- have my hair cut and leave with no styling. My time estimate for this was ten minutes. Actually the entire appointment including payment was fifteen minutes. 

One thing I chose not to do during this visit was to color my hair. I was reluctant to spend the extra time inside the salon and I've used this time to see what I looked like without hair color. I have "touched up" the gray for over thirty years, which is a long time to put chemicals on my head. I've been thinking about letting my hair grow out for at least the last year or two, but didn't look forward to the interim phase of two tone hair. Then in March fate stepped in. My last hair appointment had been in February and I didn't get to the one scheduled in late March. There is now a lot of silver, but I've come through the worst part of growing it out, and I'm going to live with my silver tone look for at least the next month. I'm optimistic that salons will stay open and I can revisit my decision easily. 

New York City is on track -- fingers crossed -- for Phase Three on Monday. Among other features, I will be able to get a pedicure. I've watched my local nail salon making changes and I will make changes to my routine there, too. No drinking coffee during the pedicure, no reading magazines while my nails dry and I will be wearing a mask the entire time. I'm scheduled for appointments with my ophthalmologist and my dentist next week, so it's going to be a busy week. 

This card is on its way to Germany
I spent time today working on correspondence, including the Post Card Project. Happily I made some headway and please be on the lookout in Tennessee and Germany. 

Later today -- I planned to finish this post earlier in the evening -- we're taking a trip to Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day. I hope you'll be here to join the festivities. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Happy Canada Day! 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Pink Sky Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday Pink Sky

I had a completely different post planned for Pink Saturday. But last night around 8:30 I looked out of my kitchen window and this was my view. I put on my shoes, grabbed my keys and phone and ran out to the street. This was my reward, not a red sky at night, but the most beautiful pink sky. 

The saying goes that a red sky -- or pink sky -- brings a sailor's delight. Unfortunately that gorgeous sky brought the most humid day of the 2020, so far. We've had mostly very nice weather in May and June, and I'd completely forgotten what a hot and sticky summer day is like. Today refreshed my memory. 

I've been thinking about outdoor dining, but hadn't factored the weather into my plans. Most days in July are too humid for eating out of doors past 10:00 in the morning. I'm hoping to treat myself to an actual restaurant meal eaten at a restaurant very soon, and breakfast or just an iced coffee may be my first venture out. I've been scouting the neighborhood and will, of course, share photos. 

I've got a quiet week ahead, but plan to catch up on postcards, decluttering and reading. I've also got a few new "firsts" that I hope to enjoy, as well.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love and stay well. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Phase Two Random Five Friday

It's time for another Random Five Friday

1) I'm just squeaking this post into Friday (maybe) and I'm hoping you had a happy Friday. This is the chalk signage outside my favorite pizza shop. I was tempted to save this for Pink Saturday, but I've got another theme for tomorrow's fun. 

2) New York City is officially in Phase Two. The biggest changes are hair stylists and barbers are open and restaurant can serve out of doors. Generally there's a lot of planning for "sidewalk" service and city rules, but in an effort to get businesses open, the red tape has been eliminated. I'm not quite ready to take off my mask outside, but it was tempting. I'm going to give it at least another week and see how things progress. 

The watermelon margarita was very tempting...

3) Tables aren't just on the sidewalk, they're also in the street. 
Broadway, on the Upper West Side

Many more sidewalk restaurant choices on the same
 block as my library branch

4) My branch isn't on the list of branches that are opening
for pickup, but I was delighted to see that the New York Public Library was planning to reopen in early July.  

5) I was delighted to rediscover the meringues that I've been I've eyeing for at least the last six months. I'm thinking that this may be the treat I've been waiting for. The restaurant has just reopened and I'd be doing my part for business in the neighborhood. 

I'm glad I was out and about today because rain is predicted for tomorrow. I've got several projects to work on, including post cards that are waiting to be written. Dorothy, I'm not sure how to reach you and get your address. Help, me out!

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love and stay well.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday at (Almost) Sunset

Just before sunset at the Hudson River

The best laid plans of mice and bloggers oft to go astray. With apologies to Robert Burns that seems to be my fate this week. The travel photos that I wanted to post either Monday or yesterday seem to have gone astray, and that got me totally off track. I'm going to assume that they will turn up sometime, but I will need to pick an alternate destination for our armchair travels tomorrow.

I'm sharing my view as I walked to the park last night. I looked up and this spectacular sight met me. I may not be traveling the world, but I am seeing the world around me. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Much love and stay well.      

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Pink Saturday in the Park

It's time for Pink Saturday (on Sunday) fun

I wish all of Buttercupland could join Betsy and I for our walks in Riverside Park. Last night the park was crowded, but we managed to keep our distance and enjoy our visit. For the first time we found a band playing. We joined the audience, which included this pretty in pink scooter rider.

The high point of my park walks are the flowers. So grateful to everyone who makes the park an oasis in the neighborhood. 

 My find of the evening was buttercups, set among tea roses.
It's lily time and more pretty in pink flowers.

My favorite chalk drawing of the week

I hope everyone had a good Fathers Day. I always find it a tough day and the years going by haven't made it easier. But I enjoyed going through photographs and remembering happy times past. 

A quick preview of posts for the week. We're going to travel -- arm chair, of course, and I hope to catch up on books and a wedding planning update for Pep and Nessie. I hope you'll stop by and be part of the fun.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take care. Much love and stay well!