Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Moment in the Snow in Manhattan

I had a very different post planned for today. But as I opened my photo folder I saw what Google had done with a picture I took this afternoon while I was waiting for the bus. The snow had just started falling and I wanted to capture the moment. The sepia tone is perfect for the Church, which is over one hundred years old. It's not what I planned, but it's just the right picture for a snowy winter evening.

I was up and out early, meeting a friend for a morning movie. We stopped with what seemed like all of the Upper West Side at Trader Joe's for some pre-storm food shopping hysteria and then had a late lunch. By the time I reached the library, my last errand of the day, the snow was falling. More snow is predicted for Thursday, but peeking at the weather for next week the numbers begin with 4. It may rain, but any day above 40 degrees sounds like a gift and I will be grateful for it. 

I'm joining my friends at The Enchanting Rose, one of my favorite places in BlogLand, for Roses of Inspiration. Please stop by, you'll meet some sweet bloggers.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take good care and keep cozy! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

To Dust or Not to Dust is Not the Question...

...Which Hand Vac is the Question
Over the years I've built up a collection of snow globes. The great majority are inexpensive plastic ones that I've bought to remember travel, but there are two -- were two -- that had more meaning. One is from Churchill Downs and represents the Kentucky Derby. The second was a gift from friends at least a decade ago and showed a man with a big frown looking up at the falling snow. It was adapted from a "New Yorker" cover and it was my favorite snow globe. Tragically, on the way to a photo shoot for this blog, the man in the snow globe met a tragic demise and a million little pieces of glass and water, as well as the soapy solution in the globe, ended up on my living room floor. 
After some very careful mopping up I was left with a lot of broken glass in very small pieces. I went to my hand vac -- a Dirt Devil -- and remembered why I didn't use it often. The suction was just too strong and it just about sucked up the rug along with the glass. When I bought it I believed I was thinking I need a really strong hand vac, but in actuality, less is more. It's just not right for picking up crumbs now and then. I had had a very functional Dust Buster previously, and I bought the Dirt Devil to replace it, but the replacement doesn't work for my needs.    
This model Dirt Devil will be going to a new home and I am looking for a new hand vac. I am leaning to my old friend, Dust Buster, but I am interested in any suggestions about brands and models, before I get it. I'm looking for a simple -- nothing more than one speed -- appliance that will pick up crumbs or maybe a little glass. I've found over the years that the more bells and whistles I get on appliances the less I find those bells and whistles useful. I guess I'm sort of old-fashioned, but I don't have an ice maker in the refrigerator door and I am quite content with that.  
And about my snow globe disaster...
I turned first to Amazon and found that I couldn't simply order a new snow globe. It was the first product I have looked for on Amazon in my years of shopping there that I didn't find. But there were two listed on eBay, and thanks to "Buy it Now," one is scheduled to arrive here in the next few days. 
I had a nice day between storms and got to the gym and the grocery. Tomorrow I hope to be out early and do my errands -- library and post office -- before freezing rain arrives. 
As ever, thanks so much for your visit. Take good care and keep cozy!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cupcake Pink Saturday

One of my favorite treats is a cupcake. I don't have them often, but on those rare occasions when I do I feel I've eaten something special. As we begin March with another snow storm I think it's time to take our minds off the weather and share a cupcake. Our Pink Saturday fun takes us to the Magnolia Bakery, made famous by "S*x and the City." I walk by often -- it's a block from the post office I frequent -- but rarely go in. It's expensive and usually crowded, but I like to take pictures there. When I saw yesterday was icing class, I thought it was time to revisit this sweet spot.


This last picture almost made me forget the line, the cost, the calories and date I had to meet my college roommate a few blocks away. The pastel cupcakes on the pretty green cake stand looked like the perfect treat for a cold, cold winter day. But good sense prevailed and I tucked the idea away for another day when I need a treat.
I spent this morning at the Metropolitan Museum, getting home just as the snow started falling and the last block I walked home became slippy and slidy. I know slippy and slidy aren't real words, but they describe my slipping and sliding home. 

The American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum. I ate lunch at a café that in this room. I sat by the window looking at the snow in Central Park and then at the art. I could have happily sat here all day.
I'm about to boil some water and make a cup of tea for tonight's finale of "Downton Abbey." I'm available for discussion on Facebook and twitter, or for recap tomorrow. 
As ever, thanks for visiting. Keep cozy and stay safe. It's slippy out there.  

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Jumping for Joy Random Five Friday

This week the winter and the cold got to me. I thought I could make it to spring without excessive grumbling, but alas, I was cranky. I decided I would stay inside until the temperature was above forty degrees and order Chinese food for sustenance. But in the midst of my delusionary state I opened my Facebook page and...

1) I saw the return of one of one of my favorite bloggers, Nancy and her wonderful blog, A Rural Journal. Nancy has been on hiatus from blogging, but I was delighted to see she was returning to blogging and to one of my favorite parts of the week, Random Five Friday. Nancy writes from rural Nebraska and I write from Manhattan, but I've found a kindred spirit in Nancy. Welcome back, Nancy!

2) Another happy note on Facebook was the post that my cousin, J, had been admitted to the University of Connecticut. He's got several choices and I look forward to seeing where he chooses to attend college. It seems that J and his sisters -- triplets! -- were just toddlers and now they are about to start college.

3) Thank you, New York Public Library, for a cozy corner on even the coldest days. I'm content to sit in the reading room with a pile of magazines. I don't need a subscription to "People," but it's fun to catch up from time to time when I'm at the library.

4) During my magazine reading I came across an article on the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. It has never crossed my mind to jump into the ocean in the middle of winter -- the water there is barely warm enough for me in August -- but it almost seemed like something I might try. Almost!

5) Leonard Nimoy's passing. Live long and prosper, Mr. Spock.

A final cheer for the return of Random Five Friday! It's still down coat weather, but it was sunny today and above twenty degrees. I noted in the weather forecast the number forty for later this week and I am excited. Here's to spring!

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

If You Can't Get to Rembrandt...

If You're Lucky Rembrandt Will Come to You

Neither a trip to London or Amsterdam is in my plans right now, so it's a great treat to be able to see this wonderful film about the life and work of Rembrandt by taking a quick subway trip to 42nd Street. I wasn't sure if a film about art work would be both interesting and take the place of seeing the paintings in person, but I am happy to report that it was wonderful.  
I took the subway to West 42nd Street...
Entered the Empire 25 screen multiplex...
and then was transported to Seventeenth Century Amsterdam and the world of Rembrandt.
I've always enjoyed Rembrandt's painting, but after seeing the film I realized how much more there is to know about his work, and how much that knowledge can add to my appreciation and enjoyment of his painting. There were discussions of specific paintings, Rembrandt's technique and how the show of his work was put together and it was fascinating. It was as though the best lecture I went to in college was put up on a big, big screen and I could just sit back and listen and learn. There are several more art programs to come -- Van Gogh in April and The Impressionists in July -- and if I will definitely try to see them.
We had a heat wave today and I enjoyed being outside and loved being in the sun. We've got a few cold days coming again, but every day brings us closer to spring. And I cannot wait for spring!
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and be safe and cozy.
Please note: I received a ticket for "Rembrandt" from Fathom Events in order to write about it, but the opinions are all mine.   

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Three Tips for Surviving -- Flourishing -- in Single Digits

The temperature in New York City this morning was seven -- yes, seven -- degrees. Generally New York City apartments are overheated, but not in my corner of New York City this morning. My apartment is now comfortable, but that wasn't the situation first thing this morning. I was beginning to feel that this long, long winter had gotten the best of me, and I was about to descend into single digit doldrums when I remembered a few tried and true ways to cheer up. I knew a cruise somewhere warm would be one answer, but for less than ten dollars I could cheer up right away.

Here are my quick and inexpensive tips.

1) Fun and cozy socks.

I'm not sure when and where I bought these fleecy slipper socks, but I'm glad I did. They are not only warm, but fun, and the pink and orange brightened my day right away.

2) Something green and growing, preferably with a pretty scent.

I bought this hyacinth at Trader Joe's last week for $2.99. It was an impulse at the end of my shopping trip. I have gotten infinite pleasure every time I walk into my kitchen and the aroma alone is a treat. There are still buds to come and I am enjoying it immensely. The Delft tile in the background was bought during a trip to the Netherlands in 1966 and was in my mother's kitchen for many years. This plant may be the best purchase of the winter.

3) Hot Beverages

I started the day with a pot of coffee and enjoyed it with vanilla creamer. I moved on to spearmint herbal tea and both made for a cozy day. I usually drink out of a mug, but for my tea I switched to this pretty cup.

I'm not posting a picture of myself in my single digit attire, but it includes my favorite winter fabric, fleece. I'm wearing a lilac fleece sweater and feeling very cozy.

There's nothing fancy, expensive or complicated in this post, but the combination of the three has lifted my spirits immeasurably. Until the next warm day -- which is looking like Sunday -- I'll be in fleece and fun socks, enjoying coffee and the aroma of hyacinths.

I'm joining The Enchanting Rose, one of my favorite places in BlogLand for Roses of Inspiration.

As always, thanks for visiting. Take good care and keep cozy.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pink Saturday Thank You

I got back to New York on Wednesday night, but it's been tough getting back to blogging. Actually it's been tough getting back to lots of things in my daily life, but finally I've gotten back to the gym, grocery shopped and happily, here, I am at the computer, just in time for some Pink Saturday fun.

Waiting for me when I arrived at home was a package from one of my favorite bloggers, Lavender Dreams, and it was decked out in pink. I was the winner of the "Sunshine and Sweetness" giveaway. Since I had just spent time in minus degrees weather the gift of sunshine and sweetness was a perfect welcome home.

 The wrapping was so pretty in pink...
...and I'm delighted with my pink floral makeup bag, sea shells and sweet card. 
Many, many thanks!
The phrase "life-changing" is used often, and I tend to be wary of it, but the prayer retreat was life-changing. I can see changes in my life already, but I am also aware that it may be many weeks or months before all of the changes begin to be part of my life. I am so grateful that forty people took four days of their lives to discuss faith and prayer and to pray. It was deep, it was intense and I am striving  to carry the experience forward. 
Blogger is being it's more petulant self and I can't enlarge the photos. I will try again in the next few days and hope it's being more cooperative. 
We had glorious warmer weather today and everyone who was able to do so, was out and enjoying the sunshine. Lots of slush, but what a treat.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take good care and keep cozy!