Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Birthday, July Babies!

A few days ago I noted that a post from 2011, Happy Birthday, July Babies, was on my list of the five most read posts this week. Today I observed that it's at the top of the list. I don't generally reuse content, but everyone loves a birthday, especially this July baby.

My thoughts are somewhat different than they were four years ago. I still love laughter, respect honor more each year and I can be demanding. In 2011 I didn't think I'd amassed great wealth, and as was pointed out to me, wealth comes in many varieties. I'm profoundly wealthy in family, friends and health and blessed to be able to take care of my material needs. I can take no credit for quiet bravery, but hope I have courage to handle difficult situations as they present themselves. I've got a few days until my new age comes around, and for the next week I can still hum "When I'm Sixty-Four." Who else in Buttercupland is a July baby?

Four years ago I was savoring the long weekend and now every weekend and every week is a long weekend. I still find it amazing that I am retired and that each day is mine to plan and enjoy. This morning I was on the subway at rush hour for a dental appointment and I remembered getting up and out every morning and heading into the crush of people. Now it's a rare event and one that I choose. These days of leisure are the best gift I can think of, and one that I am enjoying infinitely.  

I'm spending this weekend in New York and relatively quietly. I'm planning a visit with friends in Brooklyn tomorrow. They have a lovely backyard and I'm looking forward to lemonade and laughter on their deck. Sunday is movie day. I'm also hoping to catch up on a dozen errands that didn't get done this week in the next few days. Next week there's some birthday fun planned and the week after is BlogHer and I want to be relaxed to enjoy both. What holiday plans do you have?

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Heart's Betrayal

I had a very happy return to Fort Laramie, Wyoming for the fourth book of Colleen Coble's set of six books, A Journey of the Heart. I enjoyed "A Heart's Betrayal" as much -- if not more -- than the previous books. We again begin in Wabash, Indiana at the end of the Civil War, but now we meet the extremely engaging Emmie Croftner. Newly widowed Emmie discovers that her late husband was already married at the time of their marriage. With this news, her life in Wabash holds little promise and she makes the brave trip to join her friend, Sarah Montgomery, in Fort Laramie, Wyoming.

The plot took several interesting twists and I especially liked the details of life in Fort Laramie and the setting in the American West in the early years of settlement. I read it during my train ride from Providence to New York -- a less exotic journey than the one Emmie took -- but it was the perfect book for a train ride and very enjoyable light fiction, with thoughts on faith and some romance included.

On a different note, I'm somewhat amazed that beginning tomorrow, the year is half over. Yes, it does seem to go faster the older I get, but the last few months disappeared like a puff of smoke. I've got lots of summer plans -- BlogHer and a trip to Maine foremost -- but any moment I will step into Michael's and there will be pumpkins. Too soon, my friends, too soon. I want to savor every moment of the long days of summer and enjoy blueberries and warm breezes before they are only memory.

I had a great visit with my cousins who were visiting from California today -- what a treat -- and am looking to a quieter day tomorrow. Weight Watchers, the gym and some grocery shopping top my list. Grateful for the big days and for the quiet days, too.

As ever thanks for visiting and have a sweet, sweet Wednesday.

Please note: I was given "A Heart's Betrayal" by The Litfuse Group for review, but the opinions are all mine.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pink Sky Saturday

We've had some magnificent pink sky moments this week. I've tried to capture as many as I could, but even with my best efforts I've had some magnificent failures, which I won't share with you. But I like this one very much. I took it looking west -- a few blocks from the Hudson River -- on West 42nd St. It was just at the moment when the sky is turning pink on the way to night.

 I missed catching the pink in the sky in this picture, but I'm also looking west, this time from the West 80's.  I like the detail of the American flag in the park down the street. 

The view from one of my favorite bus stops, again looking west, and again at twilight.
 It's a cloudy Sunday in New York, but I'm hoping for some sunshine during the day. I don't think that's the forecast, but I like to hope for a sunny surprise. Please stop by at Pink Saturday for some sunny fun.

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Thank You, Awesome Annie

I've written about joining Weight Watchers last fall several times, but generally I don't post about it. Quite unexpectedly I've really enjoyed attending meetings. I liked the people I met, got a lot out of our discussions and was greatly encouraged by Annie, our Wednesday morning Weight Watcher leader. Annie is on hiatus for the summer starting this week and today was our last meeting for awhile with her.

This is the my favorite picture from today's meeting. I think Annie looks great, but generally Annie is smiling, with a big gorgeous smile.  

I tried several meetings before I landed at Wednesday mornings. I initially thought I wanted to attend a meeting with mostly retired people, but I soon realized I liked a "mix" at the meetings and this energetic young woman was a great leader, thoughtful, funny and supportive.

What I like best about my hour at Weight Watchers is that it is totally a no-judgment and no-competition zone. I can't remember anyone being critical of another member and we cheer on every success and console at every disappointment. It's one of the best environments I know and the support and good ideas have helped me lose twenty plus pounds in the last eight months.

It's not the amount I had hoped to lose and it's going a little slower than I like, but I'm healthier and feeling better than I thought I could be. I've stopped worrying about how long it will take me to get to my goal weight and realize another two, three or six months doesn't matter. The thing that matters is continuing on the journey to health.

I have a "goal" number in mind, but I'm still up in the air about it. I know it's not going to be my high school weight, as attractive as it seems. But I don't have a seventeen year old metabolism anymore and it would be torturous to try and maintain that number. My goal is to be healthy and to have everything in my closet fit. The latter would be a complete novelty and fabulous.

I would be remiss to not thank the awesome Annie for all of her support. Annie says we do the work and we deserve all the cheering, but I know that a great coach has a lot to do with victory. Annie, you've been a fabulous coach and I can't wait to welcome you back for the next season. Wishing you a great summer!

It's taking me a few days to get back to my routines after my New England weekend. But I was back to the gym, back to Weight Watchers and to grocery shopping and emails and a library visit is planned for Friday. None of it is exotic, but I enjoy my regular life along Broadway very much, too.

As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a happy summer day!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

To the Class of 2015

For my triplet cousins, their classmates and the millions of other young people -- and less young people -- graduating this spring...

You've worked hard and a infinite future is ahead of you, exciting and scary. Take every opportunity and create them when the opportunities you dream of are not in front of you. Be kind to others, be kind to yourself and find contentment in small pleasures. I hope you will be happy, and find happiness as the product of a meaningful life, filled with family, friends and activities that make the world a better, more hopeful place. 

I've spent the last three days in New England visiting with friends and family and celebrating my cousins' graduation in Connecticut, and what pleasures! A walk on the beach, conversation, laughter, pictures -- we've inundated Facebook -- new sneakers and so many memories. 

Alyssa, Jared and Shelby, here's to a wonderful future!

As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a very happy Fathers Day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Dear Friend Returns to New York..

...even if it's only virtually and even if it's only for one night, Tuesday, June 23, I'm still so excited.  "Girl With a Pearl Earring" will be in New York and maybe, at a theater near you. Thanks to our friends at Fathom Events, you are invited to experience world class museums and galleries on the big screen when Exhibition on Screen’s GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING is screened at select cinemas nationwide. This show is ONE-DAY ONLY. Enter now to win a pair of passes to the events!

I think I'm getting my blogging mojo back and so happy for it. Despite the hot and humid weather -- no complaining, it's not ice and snow -- I'm getting around town and enjoying summer in the city. I spent the morning with a work colleague -- we both retired two years ago -- at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We went on great tour of a summer exhibit on Indian Art and it was fabulous. There were jewels and tapestries and it was a trip to Fantasyland. The ninety -- yes, ninety -- carat diamond was off-limits for photography. 
 I was especially taken with this beautiful gown, fine cotton and hand painted.  I hope to make a return visit to the Museum to see the individual pieces of the exhibit again. Magnifying glasses were available to see the fine details of the beautiful items on display. 
As always, thanks for visiting. So glad to share summer in the city with you!
Please note: Tickets to the Vermeer film were given to me by Fathom events in exchange for my review. All opinions are mine and only mine.   


Sunday, June 14, 2015

To Think that I Saw it on Broadway!

I was walking on Broadway sometime in the last few weeks and this pretty truck caught my eye. I thought it was some very attractive new food truck, but as I got closer I could see it was not the usual at all. It was New York City's first flower truck, from Uprooted. Not in the market for flowers that evening I didn't chat about prices, but I definitely found it photo-worthy.

A closer look into the interior of the truck and bouquets.
I loved the artwork and the names for the bouquets
A little edit here: Blogger was acting up yesterday, so I'm back on Monday with a few edits and larger photos. 
As ever, thanks for stopping by and wishes for a merry Monday!