Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I'm Not Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving

We had plenty of white Thanksgivings in Connecticut when I was growing up and I remember really enjoying playing in the snow. But those days are more than fifty years past and the thrill vanished once I became old enough to help with snow shoveling. As we know the thrill has never returned. No matter, I wasn't going to let the prediction of a little snow keep me from being out and about today.

The actual weather in New York City was winter mix. There was lots of cold rain, some snow and then more cold rain. I wore my heavy coat and winter boots in case of any slipperiness and made my way up and down Broadway, getting all of my errands accomplished. Thankfully it never got slippery and the only casualty was my umbrella, which may not make it through the next windy, rainy day. Happily the rain has stopped and getting to Westchester tomorrow should be no more onerous than the most crowded day of the year at Grand Central Station usually is.

In the midst of my trudging along I found this scene...

The lights arrive on West 67th Street
My thanks tonight to all who work to make the world a brighter place every day, even and especially on those days of wintry mix -- literally and figuratively.  Whether you're putting up lights, driving a bus or taking a temperature in a hospital, my thanks and appreciation.
My thanks to all who visit here. I am thankful for my blog buddies every day and especially on Thanksgiving. Here's to a blessed celebration to all and a happy, happy day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What to My Wondering Eyes Should Appear...

No, my friends, it wasn't Santa, but it was one of my favorite parts of the season. 
On Saturday night this was the scene on Broadway...
...and I knew the Christmas trees were on the way. This is one of the things I most look forward to at this time of year. It's my own little urban forest, all up and down Broadway and throughout the city. It's the arrival of the Christmas trees from Northern New England and Canada. I especially enjoy the aroma of pine and spruce and Douglas fir. 
This is the scene this afternoon just down the street ...
The trees are here!
I think it's early to buy a tree, especially with the dry heat in most New York apartments, but happy wishes to anyone who does their decorating now. The trees are a wonderful treat. 
It's not summer in New York City anymore and it sounds like winter is on the way, but I've got everything I need to do some cooking tomorrow. I will be with friends in Westchester, just north of New York City, on Thanksgiving Day and I will be bringing fresh cranberry relish with pears and candied ginger. It's a favorite of mine and I will be making a double batch to keep some at home. It's delicious any time with yogurt. I hoped to post a link to the recipe taken years ago from Cooking Light. Though I found a lot of recipes for cranberries, pears and ginger, I didn't find the one I use. 

Despite the festivity and fun of Thanksgiving, my heart is in Missouri, along with my prayers for peace and calm. 

As ever, thanks for visiting. Wishes for safe travel and take good care!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hey Hey It's the Monkees Thanksgiving Giveaway

It's no secret that I like monkeys and that sock monkeys are special favorites. I've mentioned the cute sock monkeys that I saw during my walks about town and said that one of them might be coming home with me. I was walking by Pottery Barn last week and they called out to me. Not one, but two sock monkeys -- the Sock Twins -- came home with me. They were warmly greeted by the Monkee-in-Chief, Pepe, and his buddy, Socko.

Hey Hey It's the Monkees!
Pepe and Socko posing with the Sock Twins. I am on the right in a semi-selfie. 
The Sock Twins are quickly adjusting to life with Pepe, Socko and pals, but there is one little problem. They have no first or middle names. Right now they are simply the Sock Twins. In Facebook and Buttercupland giveaways -- yes, two giveaways -- you have the opportunity to name the Sock Twins. Each winner will receive a book that will be chosen specifically for the persons who are selected. You don't have to be a friend of Buttercupland, and you don't have to do anything more complicated than leave the two names that you think would be best for these two sweet, but cheeky little monkeys. The names will be announced next Sunday, November 30.
Though snow may be on its way for Thanksgiving, we had a glorious almost spring day today. I had a fun lunch with my friend Jacquie and enjoyed walking on Broadway in a light jacket. I savored every second. Tomorrow is supposed to be even sunnier and I have promised myself an iced coffee as a treat.
As ever thanks for visiting. Have a great week and take good care!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pinky Says Pink Saturday

I had a totally different post in mind for Pink Saturday this week. I'd taken the pictures earlier in the week and had the text in mind. But there in pink chalk right in front of me was the best advice I'd seen in a long time. In the ironies of life I was rushing to a memorial service, but Pinky -- a local manicure chain and the one I frequent -- stopped me right where I was walking. At that moment I did as advised and took a deep breath and relaxed. I'm going to try and remember this every time I start to run to do another errand or run to catch a bus. Relax, Buttercup, you'll live longer. Relax...

As ever, thanks for visiting and take Pinky's advice, Relax, you'll live longer and you will make the people who love you very, very happy.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

First Thanksgiving Foodie Friday

I'm delighted to have a guest post this Foodie Friday, my good friend, Carol G., who blogs at "Wheat-Free Dairy-Free Kitchen." Carol has many wonderful attributes. She is funny, intelligent and a kind and loving friend. She is also one of the all-time best cooks anywhere. I have had many years of wonderful every day meals and holiday celebrations with her. Though you may not have any specific interest in gluten free or dairy free recipes, her recipes are always delicious. I am grateful for many good meals cooked by Carol, as well as the gift of her friendship.  I can't think of a better way of thinking about the blessings at this time of year than by sharing Carol's thoughtful post. 
It's Wednesday night (oops, just turned Thursday morning) and I'm writing my guest post for Buttercup.  This is as far as I'd gotten:
My First Thanksgiving
I hope my title is not misleading; it’s not a memory of my first Thanksgiving. Honestly I don’t remember my first Thanksgiving because it was soooooo long ago. I  usually go to either my cousin or my sister-of-choice to spend the holiday with their families.  This year the "kids" (now in their 30's and 40's) were going to the in-laws and both of my hosts were not planning on cooking.  It seemed only fair that I pick up the slack - so this is the first Thanksgiving I am hosting…and I’m really excited. I love to cook and I love to entertain.  For me, opening the dining room table and using my best china and silver is always a thrill.
I happen to be one of those awful guests who has multiple food restrictions and every year I assure my hostess that I will not have a problem finding something to eat. But besides the turkey and whatever dish I bring, I really have few choices unless I want to eat outside my usual parameters. This year I can eat everything!  It hadn't occurred to me when I volunteered to host my usual hosts that I would have this extra bonus.
when my dog, Bella Blue Cheese insisted that she needed to go out.
Bella Bleu Cheese
Bella Blue Cheese
We went on our usual late at night walk around the corner where I was struck by this sight
CIMG1009  CIMG1005
outside of Hale and Hearty soup restaurant
There are so many ironies here.  I was about to complain in my post about how deprived I felt at the Thanksgiving table (and give you tips for accommodating guests with allergies) yet I had just come home from cooking butternut squash soup (the same as the one advertised in this window) for the soup kitchen my synagogue runs on Thursdays (and I've been cooking for for the last 20 years).
Later this morning I will be handing out these cards to the 30 or so, mostly male, hard core homeless that line up for free breakfast at the church next door to my apartment. So you see, I'm very familiar with the problem of hunger and homelessness here in the city...but to be reminded so graphically that there are people going through restaurant garbage to find a meal hits me in a different way completely.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner; knowing I will be eating a delicious gluten-free dairy-free meal with people I care deeply about; makes me all the more aware of how blessed I am.  I am blessed with a home I love, plenty of food to eat, work that I thoroughly enjoy (I write a food blog); a large circle of friends and family I love,  a huge community of caring people; and the gift of helping others less fortunate.
With all these blessings, along with the blessing of many years of friendship with our Buttercup, I want to give thanks and wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Carol Gelles Wheat-free Diary-Free Kitchen Blog
Carol Gelles
 BTW today's post on my blog is about accommodating guests with allergies, if you would like those tips I was thinking of publishing here.

I'll be doing at least one other Thanksgiving post in the next week, but tonight I am grateful for good health, good friends and a warm and cozy apartment. What are your thoughts tonight?

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One Hundred Days of Winter

As I was shivering while waiting for the bus this afternoon I did a quick calculation of how many days were left in the winter. I know purists will say it's not winter yet, there are leaves on the trees and winter officially doesn't start until next month.

This was the view from the bus stop. There was still a lot of leaves and a lot of bright color at Seventy-second street.
If I hadn't been wearing my winter coat, scarf and gloves and still feeling the chill I might have gone along with the calendar purists. The temperature on my phone was thirty-two degrees and the wind made it feel still colder.

 Just seventeen blocks uptown...
...the scene was vastly different. There were just a few leaves left on the trees and it looked and felt like winter. I resumed thinking about the calculation I made at the bus stop. There are approximately 100 days of winter to come. My plans now are to be in a warmer climate for ten of those days, but that still leaves many days of cold and yes, my most dreaded parts of winter, sleet and freezing rain.
As I have written about many times I am not a fan of winter. All the hot cocoa and mini-marshmallows in the world don't make up for short days and long cold nights. Cozy flannel doesn't come close to making me feel good about slippery sidewalks. But there are still 100 days of cold weather ahead and I don't want to spend the next three months moaning about the weather. I'm not sure how I am going to do this -- as I've spent many years disliking cold and snow -- but I am going to find ways to enjoy the season. It may be new winter gear... bright colors.
It might even be some outdoor activity I've never tried before, or will try again. I can't promise that this will be a terrific success, but since I can't change the weather, it's time to change me. 
Here's a toast to winter. Bring on the hot cider and bright mittens. Winter and I are going to be friends, or at least friendlier acquaintances.
Are there activities that you have found that  make the winter more fun? I'd love some suggestions.  
It really is winter today, but I got my round of errands done this morning. I got to the grocery --bought my cranberries for next week -- and to the Apple store. My iPad met a tile floor over the weekend and the tile won. I go back tomorrow for a replacement.
I appreciate the many prayers for Anthony. Thankfully, he came through the surgery well.
As always, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's (Sort of) Beginning to Look Like a Pink Christmas Pink Saturday

It's not quite Saturday, but there's still some time to join the fun at Pink Saturday. In addition to trying to capture pink themes, we're also looking at seasonal ideas. It's time for Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas photographs. I'm going to look for all things pink, and if I can find pink Thanksgiving or Christmas, all the better. Otherwise, there is so much that is lovely in New York to share at this time of year that I know I will have no shortage of pictures for Pink Saturday.

I didn't anticipate finding any pink Christmas d├ęcor, but I was picking up a prescription when I saw these two cuties.

And then I noticed...

...the world of candy canes includes the pink ones at the top of the picture. Any candy cane fans in Buttercupland?
Santa has a big hat wardrobe, and that includes pink.
No pink here, but I can't resist a sock monkey. This little guy may need to come home with me.  
Are you traditional in your decorating themes or would you include pink or purple or leopard print?
It struck me tonight that Thanksgiving is next week. I knew it was coming up and am in the midst of thinking about my contribution to dinner, but it really came as a shock that it's next week. I feel like I must have missed a chunk of 2014. My goal for tomorrow, besides my usual Monday gym commitment, is to make a serious list of everything I want to get done in the next six weeks.
My dear friend Anthony will be having cardiac bypass surgery and I know he would appreciate the prayers of Buttercupland. Thanks!
As always, thanks for visiting. Take good care and have a pretty in pink week.