Wednesday, January 13, 2021

It's National Rubber Ducky Day, Really!


Pep and Ducky went for a spin to celebrate National Rubber Ducky Day

We love celebrations in Buttercupland. We celebrate holidays and we celebrate days dedicated to a wide range of foods and events. We missed National Spaghetti Day on January 4 and National Bubble Bath Day on January 8. We almost missed National Rubber Ducky Day -- today! -- but a devoted friend of Buttercupland alerted me and we still had time to let our favorite ducky know how much we appreciate him.  

I'm sad I missed Clean Off Your Desk Day on Monday, but will use the inspiration to clean off my desk tomorrow. I started the year with a neat desk, but not quite two weeks later my desk needs straightening up big time. National Bagel Day is Saturday and I may make a stop at my favorite local bagel store in celebration. It may be just warm enough to sit outside and enjoy my bagel and coffee. There are any number of fun days later this month and we'll be doing a few more celebrations. 

It's actually been a busy few days. I've been out walking -- my goal is at least two miles every day -- and "been" to three great book events. I also enjoyed a fun baby shower via Zoom on Saturday. The organizers did a great job and found a game website we could all enjoy (just as though we were all together in person) and played music. What has been on your calendar?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Moonlight in Vermont


Icy finger waves...

I am an enormous fan of the music our parents grew up with, and "Moonlight in Vermont," is one of my favorites. The unofficial state song of Vermont was first recorded -- remember records? -- in 1944 and sung by Margaret Whiting. It's been covered by many of the great popular singers of our lives, including Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday, Brook Benton and Willie Nelson. Each verse evokes a different season in Vermont and today we're featuring winter, with a visit to one of the most beautiful towns in this beautiful state, Stowe.


Ski trails down a mountainside at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe

Snowlight in Vermont over the Stowe Town Hall

Just looking at these pictures makes me so homesick for Vermont and lonely for my Vermont friends. I don't usually head north in the winter, but donned my boots and ultra-heavy down coat and headed to Burlington to visit my dear K and goddaughter, J. I am so glad that I went north and had the opportunity to spend time with them in 2020. It was definitely one of the high points of the year. Here's to another visit to Stowe and friends in the year ahead. 

Is there any place you're longing to see in 2021? I've got a list, but the top places seem to be throughout New England. Fingers crossed for new pictures before this year is over. 

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and stay safe.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday


Central Park and the Manhattan skyline

We are postponing Wedding Wednesday indefinitely. Instead I'm sharing the calmest recent photograph I have. We all need a moment of quiet. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care, my friends. 

2021 in 2021


Bye Bye, peppercorns, and 2020 things I no longer need. 

This is the time of year I join millions of other people and think about goals for the year ahead. For a number of years I've posted about No-Spending January. My goal has been to stop unnecessary buying and refocus after holiday shopping and going out. Actually last March I entered into a no-spending mindset that outdid anything I ever thought of in No-Spending January. Not that I haven't bought anything for most of 2020, but I've significantly cut down my discretionary spending. My biggest splurge has been Netflix and virtual events, but they have been nowhere near the cost of theater tickets I've bought in the past. My spending on personal care -- haircuts and color -- is down by at least 80 per cent and I bought a new coat, two pairs of leggings and two shirts in 2020. 

I've been reading about 2021 in 2021, and this year I'm joining a year long decluttering challenge. I'm not sure where I first read about the 2021 Decluttering Challenge, but it really resonated with me. Initially the thought of discarding 2021 things was overwhelming, but as I thought about it -- and did a few calculations -- I realized the challenge was actually 44 items every week, and a lot more doable. 

My goal for each week is to clear out one area. I've done my bra drawer (part of a project for donations to a program that collects bras for women in homeless shelters) and four bras have been donated. Next stop is my spice section in the kitchen and the peppercorns shown above and any other long expired spices will be added to the list. I'm planning to donate to Goodwill twice a month and as soon as fabric recycling begins again, I'll be regularly donating there, too.  

What are your projects and goals for 2021? My other major project is an exercise challenge and I will be posting about it in the next few days. 

Later today, I'll be posting our first Wedding Wednesday post of 2021. I hope you'll stop by to meet the bride and groom. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Love, Joy, Harmony and Goodness


With love from Bergdorf Goodness, 2020

Tonight marks the official end of the holiday season in Buttercupland. Though the Snow People will stay out for winter fun, the holiday monkeys have retired for the year and Pep and friends are back in their winter clothing. I do have a few cards left to answer, but the remaining cards and wrapping paper will be back in storage tomorrow. What remains, as always, are the memories and the photographs. This is our last set of photographs for Christmas, 2020, in New York City.    

The theme of the beautiful jewel-tone windows of Bergdorf Goodman, one of the last of the great department stores, were our wishes for 2021: love, joy, harmony and goodness. 

Wishing you joy throughout the year ahead 

May your life be harmonious

May you dwell in goodness each day of 2021

On this third day of 2021 I'm grateful for spending time with a dear friend and enjoying an outdoor lunch and a long walk. I'm grateful for my Sunday morning "Zoom" each week and my friend who arranges it and keeps our little group in touch. I'm grateful for my stockpile of paper towels (thank you, Costco!) and for my cozy kitchen. What were you especially grateful for this weekend?

As ever, thanks  for visiting and have a blessed week!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

My Two Perfect Words for 2021: Gratitude Forever

I found my inspiration in Times Square

I took a quick trip to Times Square last weekend and, as usual, took a lot of pictures. I didn't look at them until yesterday, when I went through them and began editing and deleting. I was mostly deleting when I took a good look at this picture. Gratitude leapt out of the screen, and resonated in an enormously powerful way. I'd already posted on Facebook that hope was my word for 2021, but I realized that my word as I moved forward in the new year was gratitude, and not just gratitude for a year, but gratitude forever. For all the sorrow that 2020 held, what remains after the year is over, is gratitude. I have tremendous hope for the year ahead, but what I want to remember at the end of 2021 are all the things for which I have gratitude.   

Last night I was reading through email and came to a newsletter from the Kiplinger Report. There was an article on what items -- other than money -- give meaning to our retirement years. The discussion included good health, social connection and volunteering. But this paragraph especially resonated with me: 

" As with optimism, gratitude also can be mastered with practice. One of the most effective ways to cultivate gratitude is by writing in a journal. Take a few minutes each day to write down a few things that you are grateful for; they can be as big as a professional accomplishment or as small as your morning cup of coffee. Psychological research suggests that putting feelings of gratitude to paper can provide both mental and physical benefits, such as greater self-esteem, better sleep and improved heart health."

I don't need a reason to blog, but what a boost to learn that putting my feelings of gratitude to paper,  which is what I and my blog buddies in Buttercupland do regularly, helps me sleep better and keeps my heart healthier. 

It's the second day of 2021 and I'm grateful for my morning coffee, the breakfast casserole I made to accompany my coffee, the Saturday morning services I attended via Zoom this morning and the walk I took in fifty degree weather this afternoon. What are you grateful for on January 2, 2021?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

My (New) Perfect Word for 2020: Hope


I found my inspiration on Seventh Avenue

In 2019 my perfect word was fun and in 2018 I chose health. My perfect word for 2020 was vision. It seems so obvious (and ironic) thinking about it now, but I'd been to a vision workshop on New Year's Day, 2020 and was inspired. On January 1, 2020, I had a vision of the year ahead. I had trips planned, theater tickets purchased -- including seeing Hugh Jackman in The Music man in September -- and thoughts about how I'd like to celebrate my milestone 70th birthday.

I planned to choose hope as my word for 2021, but in retrospect it really was my word for 2020. Vision went by the wayside in mid-March 2020 when I quickly realized I had no vision of what the days, months, year would look like. The one thing I learned is that 2020 would in no way resemble the year I had envisioned. I've read a fair number of Dystopian novels, but none had sketched a time that would give me insight into my experiences this year past. 

What I did have in 2020, though there were times it ebbed and waned, was hope. I had hope that I would get through the long dark spring and hope that life would improve. I had hope that one day in 2020 I would once again be baking in my kitchen and hope that there would be a vaccine. And blessedly, my hope has been answered.

The great thing about picking a perfect word is that it's my perfect word, and I get to revise it. I've never done a perfect word revision before, but we've never had a year like 2020 before. On the first day of 2021, I'm revising my perfect word for 2020 and tomorrow, I will be posting my perfect word for 2021. It will be a day later than usual, but with insights that took almost a year to cultivate. 

I hope the first day of 2021 was a good one for you. My New Year's Eve was a quiet one, with phone calls and watching one of my favorite movies (for the zillionth time), "That's Entertainment." Today included Friday night services, a long walk and lots of cooking, all of which I am very appreciative.   

As ever, thanks for visiting and happy 2021.