Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Trinity College Library, Dublin
It's a day for celebrating all things Irish and I'm remembering my visit to Ireland in 2014. One of my favorite places to visit was the Library at Trinity College. I'm not saying it's the most beautiful library anywhere, but it may be the most beautiful library I've ever seen. Do you have a favorite library?
Wishes for a very happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2018

The News is Sad Tonight

I was somewhat idly scanning my Facebook feed and came across a post from my friends at Litfuse Publicity Group informing their blogger network that they are closing. I am so sad to see this. I've so enjoyed working with the staff at Litfuse. They offered a wide-ranging array of books to review and were friendly, efficient and all around great to work with. I searched my posts and saw that I started working with them in 2014 and reviewed 29 books, including the beloved classic novel, Christy. I've still got one more title to review later this month -- I'll keep the title for a surprise -- and that will be a review and a giveaway.

Thanks, Litfuse for great books to read, fun genres to explore and hope and encouragement from inspirational titles. You introduced me to new authors --  Sarah Sundin -- comes to memory immediately and you gave us all happy hours of reading. Many, many thanks! I will miss you.

In addition to Litfuse, I received an email this week that Blogging for Books would be closing in April. I didn't work with them as much as I worked with Litfuse, but I had the good fortune to review books for them as well. Thanks, too, friends at Blogging for Books.

I know that the only thing that is constant in life is change, but seeing two book blogging groups closing doesn't portend well. I worry about the future of blogging, but as long as there's a format I plan to be right here in Buttercupland. I will be looking for new opportunities for book reviews and will continue to share titles that I believe my friends in Buttercupland will enjoy. One occurred by serendipity today, but that's a post for another day.

It's still winter, which seems to be lasting eternally. I know that in two weeks it will really feel like spring, but these last days of winter seem endless. I love living in New York, but I have a bit of envy for my friends in warmer climates at this time of year.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.       

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Blue Skies Smiling at Me Pink Saturday

I'm looking towards Central Park, which is only a block away. 

At the beginning of this month I put my hat away and figured I wouldn't see my scarf again until the fall. Ha! We've had snow, we've had rain and we've had some gloomy days. But not Friday. Friday was a totally blue sky day and I walked home from the Y and enjoyed the weather, the blue skies and the neighborhood. It was cold, but I was dressed for it and I took advantage of every sunny afternoon minute I could get. 
I turned down one of the side streets off of Columbus Avenue and stopped to enjoy the sky, the clouds and the architectural details. 

I love this display in front of one of the remaining bodegas/corner grocery stores in the neighborhood. When I first moved to the area, there was probably a small grocery on every other block, but with rents going up they are becoming scarce. They're not fancy, but they are generally open 24 hours a day/seven days a week. When I needed to leave for work very early or if I was coming home late at night, their lights were a welcome beacon.

The blue skies fade into the sunset over the Hudson River. New Jersey is in the distance and on the left is a memorial to the Union soldiers of the Civil War.
Thanks for all the comments and good wishes for the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. While I was walking on Friday I met two friends also out enjoying the weather. Our conversation sparked an idea and I've shifted my theme. I ran it by a member of my "editorial board" last night and it's good to go. It's going to take a lot more work, but I'm excited. I hope you will be, too. Thanks, B. for your input.
It's time for a visit to my sweet friends at Pink Saturday. If you want to meet some of the nicest bloggers anywhere, please drop by, too.
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great week. Wishing you -- and me -- blue skies!


Monday, March 5, 2018

A Rite of Spring: The Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Though New York City is under a second storm watch in less than a week, I'm beginning to look towards spring. Yes, my boots are ready for a foot of snow and I've got hat, gloves and scarf on standby, but March is moving right along. St. Patrick's Day is less than two weeks away and Passover and Easter are both a little over three weeks way.

It's not high up on most people's calendars, but it's one of the big events of the year in Buttercupland, the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Throughout the month of April I join with 1500+ bloggers and post 26 times, one post for every letter in the alphabet. I first joined the Challenge in 2013, and with the exception of 2017 when I completely ran out of steam I completed the posts. It's not mandatory, but it is highly recommended to select a theme. My favorite was the coffee theme of 2016. I'm saving my theme announcement for the official theme reveal day, March 19. It's not going to be coffee again, but for coffee fans in Buttercupland, there will be coffee.

There will also be fun. I've started to do a little exploring and take some preliminary pictures and Citizens of Buttercupland, we're going to have fun. One small hint: O is for Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. 
Today was errand day and I joined thousands of other New Yorkers stocking up before the storm, which is a winter ritual. I am very fortunate, in that I could refresh almost all of my grocery needs by walking literally one block -- not even thinking about delivery -- but like Mother Hubbard, my cupboard was (close to) bare.  I'm restocked for baking, for fruits and vegetables and I have a vat of yogurt.  
As ever, thanks for visiting. Keep cozy -- spring is almost here, for good.  

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Real-Life Romance

Just click on the photo to the right to find the link to the
Real-Life Romance fun!
I know Valentine's Day is long over, but it's always the season for romance. As someone looking and hoping for romance it's a tough world out there. Most love stories seem to focus on the young and the beautiful and often it seems like there's little hope for the still beautiful, but not so young.   
Rhonda Stoppe has put together a book for those looking for real-life love and romance. Thanks to my friends at Litfuse Publicity Group I received a copy of Real-Life Romance and found over a dozen stories of real people who met and fell in love. They weren't all young and they weren't models or actors, but they came through difficulties and misfortunes and with  providential timing found their true loves.

I was especially taken with the story of Byron and Tammy. They had known each other in high school, but married other people. By her late thirties Tammy was divorced twice and she and her children were living with mother. She and Byron crossed paths again and the third time was the charm. I have to admit I'm sometimes a little skeptical when I see movies about finding true love the second or third time around, but these aren't movies and I was charmed and touched by the people I met in Real-Life Romance. Thanks, Litfuse and Rhonda Stoppe for restoring my faith in love and romance.

Our torrents of rain and wind are over and today is a sunny late winter day. Enjoyed a great program at my synagogue this morning and having a good afternoon relaxing and blogging. What's on your agenda this afternoon?

As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a great week!

Please note: I received a copy of Real-Life Romance from Litfuse Publicity Group for review. The opinions are all mine.     

Friday, March 2, 2018

Happy Anniversary, Happy Birthday and Happy Memories!

Almost exactly seventy-one years ago tonight... parents were married. My parents weren't especially formal people and I have no memory of them attending other white tie events when I was growing up. But here the family (this is my maternal grandmother's family) gathers in white tie and gowns to celebrate my parents' marriage. My mother recounted the story every year of the blizzard that fell in the northeast on March 2, 1947 and almost put a damper on her wedding. Many of our relatives came from New York and tonight I marvel that they didn't let a blizzard get in the way of what then was a fairly arduous trip on the Merritt Parkway, the precursor to Interstate-95.
It was also my father's birthday. When I was younger I thought it odd that my parents chose one of their birthdays for their wedding. But for my father this may have been the best birthday present ever. After surviving four years in the army, including a year of European battles, starting a new life was a wonderful gift. My father would have been 101 today -- though he has been gone almost 40 years last month.  
There is no notation about the place or year on this picture,
but from memory I think it's Fort Sill in 1942.
My father is in the back, on the left.

When I wrote about my mother's birthday in October I had equal parts of gratitude and sadness, but looking at these two smiling pictures of my father it's all happy memories tonight. Happy anniversary to my parents and happy birthday wishes to my father. Thank you both for years of happy memories.
We don't have the blizzard of March 1947 today, but March 2, 2018 will be remembered for a Nor'easter of major proportions. Despite my resolve to get out and walk this was not the day to do it. The morning started with sleet, heavy (and cold) rain and high winds. I did make it to the gym for yoga and strength machine time, but will make up my miles another less turbulent day. I hope everyone else in the path of this storm emerged unscathed.  
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Cold Rain: An Update on My Journey of 1000 Miles

It's time to stop and see the flowers.  

When I looked at my Journey of 1,000 Miles last year it was primarily sleet and hot weather that slowed me down. This year it's cold rain. Luckily there hasn't been much sleet and the warm weather of Australia didn't stop me at all. I walked in the Outback one day at six in the morning to avoid the triple digits later in the day.

But since I've been home -- almost three weeks -- I've gotten L.A.Z.Y. I've let cold rain slow me down. There have been a couple of days that I've walked less than two miles, which is my basic goal for every day. Fortunately I walked a lot in Australia and made up for my less productive days. My total mileage for January and February is 178 miles, slightly less than 90 miles a month. I've set a goal of 90 miles for March and I'm not going to let a little, or a lot, of cold rain get the better of me.   
In the last few days I realized I'm really back from Australia. I'm back to yoga, strength training, grocery shopping and cooking. I'm over jet lag and have started to schedule more activities. Some are very routine, like a haircut next week and others are less so. I'm going to a basketball game this weekend and a meditation program at my synagogue, too.

One thing that has lagged is blog planning. I don't plan every post in a month, but usually I have some idea about the things I'm going to write about. But I've started to put the next week together.  Tomorrow we're celebrating what would have been my father's 101st birthday. Buttercupland will join me at the basketball game and we'll be doing some reading. I'm also starting to gear up for Blogging from A to Z 2018 and I've chosen my theme.

I was getting my miles in on Tuesday -- a beautiful spring day in February -- and walked by the local community garden to see if anything was budding. The flowers were more than budding. They were out and thriving. I hope you enjoy these glimpses of early spring. 


I hope you're enjoying your evening and as ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and sweet dreams!