Friday, March 27, 2015

Happy, Happy! It's Teacup and Mug Exchange Time

I've had a lot of fun over the years blogging. One of my most fun times has been being part of Teacup and Mug Exchange, put together by my delightful friend, Stephanie. The premise is simple. I make a choice to send a teacup or mug -- or both -- and a few goodies to another blogger assigned by Stephanie. A second sweet blogger is asked to send me a mug and a goody or two, and then the fun begins. I look for a mug, perhaps some tea to go with it and a few more fun things to send. I put my package together and sent it to Heather in Ohio -- mug, note, tea from my visit to Wilmington and a coaster from my visit to Ireland -- and waited for my mug.

The box arrived...

Everything was beautifully wrapped...

And what a thoughtful treasure trove awaited me, crafted and chosen by my sweet friend, Stephanie, Teacup and Mug Exchange organizer Extraordinaire. 

Stephanie went above and beyond. The mug was lovely, the coffee is delicious, and I am delighted to be the recipient of Stephanie's beautiful craftwork. There was even a box of toffee. Stephanie, I'm not sure I've ever mentioned how much I like toffee, but it's one of my favorite candies.

These fun exchanges take place twice a year -- thank you, Stephanie! -- and I'm already thinking about the next one. I'm going to keep an eye out while I'm in Japan for a little gift tuck away in the fall exchange. Though most of the women participating are bloggers, you don't need to have a blog to join the good times. Please stop by The Enchanting Rose to see the linkup and say hello.

As ever thanks for visiting. Please stop by over the weekend for Random 5 Friday fun, Pink Saturday and a book review. Lots of good times in Buttercupland and hope you have lots of good times, too!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Welcome to the Spring Spectacular

It feels as though we've been waiting for spring and warmer weather for several decades, rather than four months. Though technically the calendar says spring I was still wearing my winter jacket today. Yes, it was my lightest winter jacket, but it was not spring outside. Happily it was spring inside last Saturday when my friend Lonni and I went to Radio City Music Hall for the Spring Spectacular.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I remember going to Radio City with my parents -- anyone remember "Son of Flubber?" -- for a movie and the spring stage show when I was in elementary school, but I don't have any specific memories of what the stage show included. I know the Rockettes were a big part of it, but the rest of the show has slipped from my memory. We had such a good time at the Christmas show that we bought tickets in December and tucked them away. I had no idea how much I would need a big boost of spring.

The plot was sweet and sentimental and a very enjoyable way to show off the treasures of New York City. The stars were Laura Benanti and Derek Hough and of course, the Rockettes. I've watched about two episodes of "Dancing with the Stars," but seeing Derek Hough and the Rockettes dance one of my favorite songs, "Singing in the Rain," I just may become a loyal watcher of "Dancing with the Stars" yet. 

This is the finale scene, where the Statue of Liberty joins the show.
One much little known fact about my career aspirations was that I've always wanted to be a tap dancer. I definitely had lots of early exposure to the Rockettes and Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I briefly took lessons growing up and again very briefly as an adult. Alas, I couldn't shuffle off to Buffalo or anywhere else. I've given up my aspirations in this direction, but I had to laugh when Lonni commented that we could have been Rockettes if we were taller and met the height requirements. That's a friend! I was completely awed by the high kicks and couldn't imagine doing even one of them and not falling on my bottom.   
Sadly, Blogger is acting up again, and I can't make the bottom pictures larger. I had such high hopes after I put up the first picture. I will stop back tomorrow and see if Blogger is better behaved and I can enlarge the pictures. The staging was terrific. 
 I'm off to a little adventure in the West Village tomorrow. I plan to take lots of pictures for Random 5 Friday.
I hope you're seeing a lot more spring than we are. As ever thanks for visiting and take good care.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gift Shop Pink Saturday

One of the things I was concerned about when I retired eighteen months ago was shopping. I hadn't done much shopping in the last few years I was working, but I was worried that with all of my new free time I would be shopping all the time -- bad for this retiree's budget and bad for bringing more clutter into my one bedroom apartment. I made a conscious decision to think twice before buying anything and after the first year of retirement went by it became less of a temptation. I am feeling much more relieved about this issue. I'm a looker and a picture taker, but I'm not a big shopper and I do think twice -- or three times -- before I make a purchase.

I still have a lot of temptation in museum gift shops, a lot. But I've found that taking pictures of the things that catch my eye goes a long way to stop random purchases. Usually when I look through my pictures I reconsider my eagerness to buy. The only thing I've bought after picture taking is the Madeline doll I saw about the New York Historical Society. It made the perfect baby present. Last Sunday I took lots of pictures at the Brooklyn Museum gift shop and I'm happy to share them for our Pink Saturday fun.

These plastic shoe necklaces caught my eye. I wasn't tempted, but I thought they were perfect for Pink Saturday.

  I was slightly more tempted by these fun earrings, but held myself back. I'm glad I restrained myself. They are fun, but I would probably wear them once and they would end up in the back of my top drawer. I love to look at jewelry, but seem to wear the same two pairs of earrings 95% of the time. Do you change your earrings or do you stick with a few favorites?
Love these pillows! I think they would make great gifts.
So would these fabulous Brooklyn dish towels. I'm going to a shower in May and I think these would be a fun addition to my gift.
Chocolate -- always the perfect purchase. The wrappers on these chocolate bars are among the loveliest I've seen. 
I hope you've enjoyed our Pink Saturday shopping fun. I know I have. Please stop by Pink Saturday and enjoy the great posts.
Despite the still winter weather I had a great weekend. My friend Lonni came to visit and we had a fabulous time at the Radio City Spring Spectacular. Please visit tomorrow for pictures.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and wishes for a springtime Monday! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Very Random Five Friday

I'm all over the place today for Random 5 Friday.  I've got some weather thoughts, some for spring and some for the winter that seems to be hanging around. I've also got a few Metropolitan Museum pictures and a book idea. Very random today, but I hope you enjoy them.

1) Yes, it's officially spring, but really we're still in the midst of winter. I knew it was going to snow today and wore my boots, but my heart said spring and I forgot my hat. I was a soggy picture when I finally arrived home late this afternoon. It's stopped snowing now, but this was the view from the bus stop this afternoon just as the snow began falling. 

 2) I'm not going to talk gloom and snow all night. I walk by the Museum of American Folk Art on my gym days. This scene in the window said spring to me. I try to keep out of their wonderful gift shop due to budgetary and space concerns, but it's difficult. So many interesting things.

I love quilts, but the dog pillow really caught my attention.
3) I'm a fan of Anne Tyler's novels and I'm happily enjoying her newest book, "A Spool of Blue Thread." I haven't been as keen on the last few books, but this one is holding my attention and I read the first hundred pages today. I keep thinking I need to do other things -- blog, for example -- but I just want to finish one more chapter. 
4) I was back at the Metropolitan Museum yesterday for another lecture on Japanese Art, which was as sublime as the one last week. I passed through one of my favorite areas, The Temple of Dendur. This extraordinary building, which is over 2,000 years old, was given to the United States by the government of Egypt in 1965 and was installed at the Museum in 1978. The glass wall looks out onto Central Park. This area of the Museum is used for receptions and it looked as though they were taking apart sound equipment.  

5) I'm adding to my photographs of rippling water with this picture of the reflection in the pool at the Temple of Dendur.

Thanks so much visiting. Wishes for a great weekend to all!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meet the Meetles

Yes, you read the title correctly. It's The Meetles. 

I was walking through the Times Square subway station the other day and I heard a band playing "Here Comes the Sun," one of my favorite Beatles' songs.  It was part of the Music Under New York  program, sponsored by New York City Transit, which schedules musical performances in subway stations and commuter rail terminals. There is a wide range of types of music and the quality is very high. I always enjoy chancing on a singer or band during my travels around the city. The Meetles were terrific and I stayed though "Here Comes the Sun," despite knowing I might be late for the appointment I had. It was definitely well worth risking lateness.

There are many other performers in the subway system -- not sanctioned by New York City Transit. But that said, they almost always make traversing the subway system more enjoyable. When I got to my platform a musician was playing "My Favorite Things" on steel drums at one end of the platform. Further down the platform a woman was singing a Spanish ballad. I enjoyed the sign she had with her.

We were back to winter today and snow is predicted for tomorrow. Nonetheless I'm planning to be out and about knowing things should be spring-like again by Saturday.

Please stop by tomorrow for Random 5 Friday fun. We'll be back to the Metropolitan Museum and I've got other fun pictures to share.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Across the River to the Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum a la Google color  

There's a lot to do in Manhattan and I know I could keep busy every day of the year with all that's offered. But I still need to get off my island and visit the rest of New York City. On Sunday I paid a visit to the Brooklyn Museum and had a wonderful day of art and sightseeing.

The art was great and brunch was a terrific treat. The trip was inspired by a discount coupon for brunch at Saul, the new restaurant at the museum. We toasted my friend Mary's birthday and it was a very special occasion.

This is Georgia O'Keefe's depiction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which links Brooklyn to Manhattan. I've been to the museum before, but have no memory of ever seeing it. That's one of the things I like best about revisiting museums. I see things either in a new perspective or realize I may have walked past a painting a dozen times, but this time it's speaking to me. 
This is a statue of Robert Fulton. He linked Manhattan and Brooklyn long before the five boroughs became the city of New York. In the early part of the nineteenth century Brooklyn was still mostly rural, including the downtown area.
One of my favorite parts of visiting the museum are the wonderful tile sculpture in the subway station. This one caught my eye on this trip.
A trip to a museum isn't complete without a stop at the gift store and the one at the Brooklyn Museum is terrific. We'll be back on Pink Saturday to see some of the treasures I found. 
I hope everyone is having a great St. Patrick's Day. It's just about spring here, but tomorrow we're back to winter coats -- but not for long!
As ever thanks for visiting and take good care!  


Happy St. Patrick's Day...

...and a belated Monkey Monday.
Pepe and Opus wish you a very happy St.Patrick's Day!
I promised Pepe I would share his good wishes for St. Patrick's Day on Monkey Monday, but I was remiss and now I'm a day late for Monkey Monday. Happily I'm right on time for St. Patrick's Day. Pepe is wearing his Irish knit sweater, a perennial favorite for this day of the year. He's looking dapper and dressed up for the festivities. 
I have no excuse for my tardiness, other than a trip to the gym and time spent outside today enjoying the not-quite spring air, almost balmy temperature and copious amount of sunshine. All of which were greatly appreciated. 
From Pepe, Opus and from me, wishes for a very happy St. Patrick's Day!