Sunday, November 18, 2018

Charleston Sunday on Pink Saturday

Pink Charleston building for Pink Saturday 
 
Last Sunday I was enjoying the balmier climate in Charleston and this Sunday, it's winter jacket and gloves. I'm happy to go back just a week in time to the delicious brunch I had at Poogan's Porch. It wasn't fancy, but downhome and delicious and I'm craving a biscuit -- or two -- from Poogan's again.
 
I ate biscuits all over Charleston, and yes, I may have overdone it. But they were all so good and not a treat I get very often in New York. It's probably just as well for my waistline, but I don't regret one of them. This batch was especially light and fluffy.
 
 Poogan's Porch was literally next door to where I stayed in Charleston, Elliott House. We could have walked miles and I doubt if I would have found a better brunch.  
 
 
This is the menu I had to pick from. I initially thought of chicken and waffles or one of the omelets, but after a big piece of pecan pie the night before, I opted for the Down Home breakfast, which featured scrambled eggs. As long as I got biscuits I was happy and the eggs were delicious. I guess I'll have to return to Poogan's to try one of the omelets or the Banana Foster French Toast.
 
I'm starting to take holiday photographs, but no Christmas or Chanukah pictures until after Thanksgiving. The first batch of pictures will be posted on Friday and I promise there will be many more after that.
 
On a different topic, I've had trouble posting comments on many of my friends' blogs. When I attempt to post I get a note that the site isn't safe. I sent a note to the company that notified me and got clearance for one of the blogs. I hope to get clearance for more in the next few days. I don't want to be a stranger come the holidays. 
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.    
 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter...

...and I won't make believe that I'm happy about it.
 
 
On November 15 I should be wearing my lighter winter jacket and sneakers. I don't expect to need to be bundled up in winter coat, hat, boots and gloves. Luckily, I was prepared for the snow that is presently blanketing New York City. It looks like there is three inches -- or more -- outside and I can hear the snow plows making regular rounds. This snowy wonderland is our local community garden, one of my favorite places in the neighborhood.
 
 
Just two hours before I took the snowy picture, I captured the autumn leaves. I'm two hours, two blocks and a season away from the first picture. But I got my errands done -- grocery shopping, the post office and a Christmas gift bought. Once again, I'm resolving to get my holiday errands done in a timely fashion. I've bought about half of the things on my list and have wrapping paper and tape. I've ordered cards -- thank you, Shutterfly for your generous offers -- and bought stamps. Now I just have to settle down and start wrapping and addressing.


 On sunny Tuesday I captured the last rose of summer. It wasn't warm, but it was sunny and twenty degrees warmer. Until the spring, farewell, dear roses. Alas, winter has arrived.

I had a wonderful trip to Charleston last week. Great sights, great weather, great food and great friends. I took a lot of pictures -- even for me -- but I've got them pretty well sorted out. I'll be doing a Pink Saturday post with my favorite photographs of Charleston. It's going to be difficult to choose, but I've got a few in mind.

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cozy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Journey of 1000 Miles Continues

New York goes to the polls, 2018
 
Voting in New York City is no different that voting across the United States. I voted in an overheated school gym in my neighborhood. It was crowded, actually as crowded as I've ever seen the turnout for a mid-term election. Under a white canopy outside the school the PTA was running a bake sale. There was lots of staff to explain how to scan our ballots and to keep the literally hundreds of Upper West Siders in line. 
 
The biggest difference about voting in Manhattan and voting in most other places is that I walked to PS 163. There are closer polling places, but for some reason I cannot understand, my building was assigned to a site not quite a mile away. Despite wind and rain, I walked over. My round trip this morning was 1.7 miles, slightly more than half of my daily walking goal. 
 
Yes, I have a daily walking goal. I don't always make it, but usually I'm close to or above the three miles I try to walk daily. I began 2017 with a goal of walking 1,000 miles. I ended the year with a total of 1,040 miles. I started 2018 with the same goal and in the first week of November I've walked over 900 miles. My thousand miles for 2018 is right in sight. I'm hoping to make it to 1100 miles, but that will depend on the weather. Icy sidewalks are not conducive to long walks.
 
I've found I love to walk, and I especially love to walk outside. I don't enjoy the treadmill, so I've found that if I'm bundled up in winter or in the right combination of layers in other seasons I can do a lot of my errands via walking. I started slowly. In 2016 my goal was two miles a day, and in 2012 after my spinal surgery I was happy to do three or four blocks. I'm grateful for how far -- literally and figuratively -- I've been able to travel. 
 
 As much as I'd like to take the journey in 2019 it may not be possible. In the first week of January, I'm going to have a total hip replacement for my right hip. This will definitely sideline my walking journey for several months. I'm hoping by the spring I'll be walking all over New York City again and by April I'll be back on an airplane.

I'm a walker, but I also enjoy my seated yoga classes and strength training machines at the local Y. It has come as a complete surprise how much I like working out on the machines. Is anyone else a fan of weights? Yoga? Walking?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!
 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Pink Saturday Goes to the Autumn Farmer's Market

 
It's finally fall, and I am so excited.
 
Summer seemed as though it was going to last forever and last week we got a quick taste of early winter, but happily today was a true fall day.  I had planned a quiet relaxing weekend, but out of town visitors and last minute plans to spend time with close friends, made it less quiet. I found myself running around Manhattan -- and my running around included a trip to the Farmer's Market at Columbia University.
 
  There was a wonderful apple selection, including this assortment from Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, NY, in Columbia County. I was pleased to find my favorite variety, the tart and tasty Macoun.
 
After buying a few apples, I noticed the pie section, especially the big cherry pie in the right corner. I was tempted, very tempted. But I've had lots of indulgences during October, especially during my visit to Tennessee. It took a lot of will power to resist the call of the cherry pie, but somehow I did. I think it would be a great choice to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not sure, however, that I could buy it earlier in the week and that it would still be whole by Thursday, especially if there just happened to be vanilla ice cream in the freezer. 
 
 It wasn't just pies that caught my attention. Two Guys from Woodbridge had some of the nicest produce I've seen in a long time. The assorted lettuce and herbs are grown in Hamden, CT, a suburb of New Haven. I commented to the young woman who was working at the stand that it wasn't farm country. She explained that the produce is grown in green houses without soil, or hydroponically. In a relatively small space a lot can be grown. I spent some time tonight exploring the website and was fascinated by the hydroponic process. Everything grown there is organic, too. Connecticut friends, you can find produce from Two Guys from Woodbridge in Guilford, Fairfield, New Haven and Hamden. 
 
   I enjoyed seeing the one of the green houses in Hamden.
 
Three busy days ahead and then my last adventure out of town -- that's planned! -- for 2018. I've got the usual collection of errands, yoga and my Weight Watchers meeting. My schedule also includes voting on Tuesday. It's a right, a privilege and a responsibility and I have missed very few opportunities to vote in the last 46 years.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting. Happy to link up with some of my favorite blog friends at Pink Saturday. Wishes to all for happy autumn days. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Manhattan Halloween

The corn maze of East 72nd Street
 
I started taking autumn/Halloween photographs about a month ago. It felt as though it was still summer, even though the calendar said it wasn't. I had a nice collection of pictures from different parts of New York City and was all set to display a variety of them in a post today. But on Monday I was riding on the bus on Madison Avenue and saw this extraordinary brownstone on East 72nd St. I exited the bus and made a detour to photograph this house. I nominate the corn maze house of the Upper East Side as my 2018 Halloween favorite.
 
 There are some fantastic Halloween decorations in Manhattan, but the careful attention to detail and the added bonus that every inch of this house was decorated, gave it first place. My neighbors on the next block also decorate extensively, but there are entire yards of their house without any decoration. This house is an A+ for complete decoration.
 
This is the view of the d├ęcor looking west. There's a combination of cemetery, skulls, ghouls and the corn maze. I doubt if I could have put so many Halloween motifs together. I'll be returning to East 72nd Street to see what their Christmas decorations look like and promise to post them.
 
 It's not all goblins and things that go bump in the night on the sidewalks of New York.
 
 I like this simple and pretty autumn look in a doorway a few blocks away. I especially like the array of bright autumn gourds and chrysanthemums. 
 
  One of my favorite neighborhood shop windows is Treat House, which I pass on my trips to the library. It's featured sweet is rice cereal treats and the decorations are beautiful. I passed a lot of pumpkin cookies during my walks around New York, and they were all enticing. But the food that captured my eye were here.

Tomorrow the leftover bags of candy will be half-price and the stores will become red and green overnight. Buttercupland observes the rule of waiting until after Thanksgiving to begin posting about Chanukah and Christmas and this year is no exception. I may break from the rule to post about several very talented friends for the annual Buttercupland Fair. The focus of the Fair are items made by my friends that are gift ideas for the season. Please let me know if you are a citizen of Buttercupland and are interested in being featured.

As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a bright November.
 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Worth the Wait: My Fiftieth High School Reunion

At the end of the evening, pictures, memories and decorations
 
After a year and a half of planning and anticipation, my fiftieth high school reunion is now memories, and they are very sweet memories and extraordinary moments to cherish. I shared the evening with approximately 100 high school classmates. They included a friend from nursery school, another friend that was in my kindergarten class and more friends from elementary school and Brownies then I can count. This was in addition to "new" friends that I met in high school, over fifty years ago. To spend an evening with people who represent at least a zillion wonderful moments in my life is a gift few get, and I am profoundly grateful.
 
 
 
I was looking forward to seeing friends, but I hadn't thought about how much fun the evening would be. Besides the dancing and a delicious dinner, I enjoyed the scavenger hunt the committee had planned. I connected with many more people in the room than I would have otherwise.
 
This is what 68 looks like. 
 
There was a shadow cast on our celebration by the tragedy in Pittsburgh at Tree of Life Synagogue, but our amazing class president, Harvey Kelly, spoke movingly about the events earlier in the day. We shared a moment of silence in memory of those who were killed. The other sobering time in the evening was the reading of the Honor Roll of our classmates who have died in the last fifty years. They are remembered, loved and missed.  
 
After the anticipation, it's a let down to know that our celebration is over. But one thing I've learned in the last fifty years is that life take us places we never dreamed we would go. I've also learned that I am very fortunate to have shared the places in my life with this group of people. 
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 
   

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Thanks for Resilience, Prayers and the Bomb Squad

Three blocks south to Columbus Circle
 
I've written about Columbus Circle many times. Macy's Thanksgiving Parade goes past the Time Warner Center that is located there. There's a fabulous view of Central Park from one of my favorite restaurants. I shop in the Whole Foods in the lower level and I love the holiday decorations and music every December. 
 
 Time Warner building holiday decorations
 
I live a mile and a half north of this area and I am there frequently. My gym is four blocks north. During the 1990s I worked at the location -- our building was torn down to build the Time Warner Center -- and the neighborhood is very familiar to me.
 
My Wednesday activities are very structured. Weight Watchers meeting in the morning, lunch with friends, followed by chair yoga for active older adults and then strength training. If I need groceries, I often stop at Whole Foods at Columbus Circle. Not today. When I got to Weight Watchers I saw an alert on my phone, a bomb at Columbus Circle. Our meeting place is only a mile north.
 
It's hard for me to stay calm when there is a bomb -- even what may be a small bomb -- a mile away. My instinct was to gather up my things, skip yoga and get myself home. But I managed to comment on the discussion at Weight Watchers, enjoy lunch with my friends and our walk to the gym. When we arrived at the location in the first picture, the day was calm. Traffic was moving right along and it was a perfect autumn day. I went into the gym for Yoga and continued with the weight machines. Yoga was the right activity for the day and my extraordinary teacher added a few new positions for us to try, which took my mind off anything happening just a few blocks further south. 
 
I'm thankful for the resilience of New Yorkers, the prayers of friends around the country and the NYPD (Police Department) Bomb Squad, which disabled the bomb found at the CNN mail room. Many thanks for all who rose to the challenge of this day around the country.
 
I know Buttercupland has been quiet. I've been in Knoxville and Nashville visiting friends. It was a great week -- fabulous friends, fabulous weather and fabulous food. There will be a post about my visit and then we'll start to move into the fall and holiday season in New York. There will be lots of pictures and I hope, lots of posts.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting. My wishes for a quiet week ahead!