Sunday, September 16, 2018

Pink Saturday Goes to the Brooklyn Book Festival

Our Pink Saturday adventure this week was a visit to the Brooklyn Book Festival. It was a bright -- actually hot -- day, but I enjoyed being outdoors and strolling through the exhibits. Publishers, book stores and literary magazines, both national and local, made it a fun afternoon in downtown Brooklyn.

  So enjoyed meeting Karen Tuck and Alan Richardson, authors of Hello, Cupcake. They had the cutest cupcakes I've seen in a long, long time. There are great ideas on their website, especially for holidays that will be coming up.
   Three of my favorite authors on the same panel, and I had a front row seat!
The Sunday of Brooklyn Book Festival is packed with panels. There are sites throughout downtown Brooklyn running from morning to late in the afternoon. I chose to spend time at the exhibits and then select one panel whose focus was noir writing. It included Pete Hamill, whose writing I've enjoyed since high school, mystery writer Laura Lippman and novelist, Tayari Jones. Tayari is a new favorite writer for me. I'm finishing her most recent novel, An American Marriage. It's not an easy read, but one I'm sure will stay with me.
I hope you've enjoyed our weekend of books. I'm not quite sure what the week holds in Buttercupland, though I think it may be time for a giveaway to celebrate the start of autumn. 
A ever, thanks for visiting. Good wishes to our friends in North Carolina. Stay safe and dry!  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Women of the Blue and Gray

When I'm reading for complete escape, my choice 99% of the time will be a mystery, and I'm always scouting new mystery series. But my taste in reading is eclectic. I like mysteries, serious novels, a romance now and then and non-fiction. I actually love non-fiction and for several years when I've looked back on my favorite books non-fiction titles have been my choice.

Thanks to my friends at Shadow Mountain Publishing I had the good fortune to read Marianne Monson's Women of the Blue & Gray.  I know that the Civil War is a popular book topic, and there are times I think I may have seen just about every aspect of the war depicted in books. But the role of women on the side of both the Union and the Confederacy was new ground to me. I think we stand back from reading history because we think we will be picking up our high school textbooks, but this was not the case. While it wasn't light reading, it was fascinating reading, and very far from stale textbooks.

I enjoyed the entire book, but was especially interested in the chapter, First Nations in a Divided Nation. Before reading this I hadn't thought about the role of Native Americans in the Civil War. Now I have a broader perspective, which came to life with stories of the women who stayed behind the 28,000 Native American troops who served both sides during the war.  

If you're a history fan or interested in reading something that is different than your usual reading choice, I strongly recommend Women of the Blue & Gray.

Even though autumn is just about here, today was a perfect late summer day. I got in my walking and accomplished several errands. I resisted temptation in Michaels, using my coupons and only buying one thing that wasn't on my list. I couldn't resist some cute ribbon in the dollar bin.

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

Please note: I was given a copy of Women of the Blue & Gray by Shadow Mountain Publishing for review purposes. The opinions are all mine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Remembering: September 11, 2001

A moment at the 9/11 Memorial

This post is the tenth Buttercupland remembrance of September 11 that I have written. My first post was in 2009, in my first year of blogging. Not unlike other grieving experiences I have known, as the years have gone by my feelings are less raw, but the pain and the sadness remain, and I suspect they will as long as I live. There is too much grief and too much sorrow to just disappear, and I don't want those who died on this day seventeen years ago to be forgotten. My pain is their remembrance. I would have it no other way.

Below the photograph is a video I took at the 9/11 Memorial this afternoon. It's my first Buttercupland video, so please excuse any issues viewing it. I wanted to share the experience with  those who were not able to be there today. 

It was a tough day, my friends, but this year as in years past, I appreciate the support and love from friends around the world. I am, as always, very grateful.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take good care and give an extra hug to those you love. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Happy 5779 Pink Saturday

Honey for a sweet year ahead!
Every year I get a thought of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah -- head of the year -- in July. I think this is a good time to organize things I need to do. And every year I think to myself it's too early to write cards/make donations/list things I want to do before the holiday. And every year I look up from my daily life and realize the new year begins tomorrow. Tomorrow at this time, 5778 will be history and the celebration of 5779 will have begun. This year, as in past years, I will attend services, pray, spend time with people I love and reflect on the year past. 
One thing I especially want to do in the hours ahead is pray for my family and friends around the world. I started asking for prayer requests in Buttercupland several years ago and have now extended this to my friends on Facebook. I was touched and honored to be the recipient of dozens of requests last year. No request is too small. Our services are long and my mind does wander over the hours spent over the next two weeks. Praying for others gives me focus and connection.  
The year past held some wonderful moments -- trips to Iceland, England and Australia -- spent with dear friends. But the last six months included loss and illness among a number of people who are very dear to me. My first prayer, as it is every year, is peace in the world. My second prayer is good health for those near and dear.My third prayer is faith and strength to bear all that 5779 will hold.
I'm linking with my friends at Pink Saturday to share my holiday good wishes. If you have a minute please stop by and visit with this great group of bloggers.

Good wishes to all who celebrate Rosh Hashanah and healthy and happy wishes to all!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Pink Saturday Stop and See the Flowers

I love long weekends in New York City. Of course, since I've retired every weekend is a long weekend. But I especially love the official ones. Restaurants are less crowded. There's no need to buy tickets ahead for movies, and I've gotten a seat on the subway or bus every time I've gone anywhere. In addition, the weather has been idyllic this weekend. I've made a few plans, but nothing very taxing. I went to services, spent time with friends, cleaned out a couple of kitchen cabinets and enjoyed walking in my neighborhood.

I've been going at a slower pace and took time to enjoy the flowers around me. New York City isn't considered a garden spot. There's more concrete and steel than grass, but when I'm observant there are flowers all around. I'm happy to share a few of my favorites from my walk today as part of Pink Saturday.

The flowers in the top photograph caught my eye on West 84th Street this morning. As I took out my phone a woman walking down the street stopped to admire them, too. A big thank you to the anonymous gardener who made our morning.

 These beauties grace the building next to mine. I walk in this direction four or five times a week, but this morning is the first time I stopped and saw this planting. 
 A shout out and thank you to the many small grocery stores that display their flowers on the sidewalk. The displays change seasonally and at the sunflowers have arrived. 

Tomorrow's schedule is a movie and a trip to the gym. A big thank you to everyone who is working on the holiday I get to enjoy. A special thanks to our Transit workers who will keep buses and subways running tomorrow and every day. What are your plans for tomorrow?

As ever, thanks for visiting. Wishes for a great day and the opportunity to stop and see the flowers.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Low Spending September

Here's to Low Spending September

There's going to be a lot of window shopping and photo taking next month, and a lot less actual spending and shopping. At least that's my plan. I committed to Low Spending August and did a lot less shopping, but I didn't track my savings, i.e., how much I didn't spend. My plan for September is to track how much I saved.

I do a lot of walking in Manhattan and there are treasures on every corner. It's easy to spend ten dollars just walking from home to the library, less than a mile away. I might stop for an iced coffee, see some cute product on sale at the drugstore when I stop in to pick up a prescription and pick up a mango or two at the fruit stand on the corner. None of this is bad, but it's about ten dollars more than I needed to spend. This month's goal is to cut the random spending.

This rack of facial masks -- a number on sale -- called out to me when I stopped at the drugstore after a dental appointment. There were any number I wanted to try for the low, low price of $2.99, but it was $2.99 I didn't need to spend. Thankfully I snapped a picture and walked by. 

These products called out to me, too, but I just said hello and walked on. 

I'm guessing I can save fifty dollars in September by cutting back on my daily spending. In the interest of transparency I will be tracking and reporting weekly on how much I don't spend. I have no major purchases planned, though I may replace my ancient air conditioner if I see an especially good sale. I also want to replace t-shirts and my fall jacket. The t-shirts have seen better years and the jacket is way too big. I've been wearing the jacket for at least ten years, so I've definitely gotten my money's worth.

I'm doing the first giveaway on Coffee Light and Mysteries (Mostly) Noir, the companion blog to Buttercupland. I've returned to more regular reading and am reaching out to mystery readers in Buttercupland. Just click the link and it's a quick comment to enter the giveaway.

It was 95 in New York City today, so we know it's still summer. I won't mind the temperature dropping, but I love no jacket and no sock weather. How about you?

As ever, thanks for visiting and enjoy the last of August!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Pink Saturday Goes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Edgar Degas' Little Dancer of Fourteen Years,
a frequent stop on my visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
I ran into a friend last night who remarked that she was surprised to see me in the neighborhood. Most of my posts -- both in Buttercupland and on Facebook -- most frequently seem to be away from New York. I feel that I've been remiss in writing about life in New York City. Though I did the A to Z subway series in the spring (sadly still unfinished, I know) blog life then morphed into writing about my trip to England. But I've been home for over six weeks and have settled back into my "home routine" of yoga, Weight Watchers, grocery shopping, reading and long walks. 
One activity at the top of my to-do list was to add museum visiting to my home routine. There's such a treasure of museums within an hour radius of where I live and want to make sure I am at one of them often. My museum of this week was the Metropolitan Museum of Art, just a bus ride across Central Park.
I am not an "all-day" museum visitor. After about ninety minutes I lose the ability to absorb what I'm seeing. This visit focused on the paintings of Van Gogh that are owned by the Met. Some had been in storage and they were all displayed in several rooms in the European painting galleries. The rooms were crowded -- I was certainly not the only one who wanted to see this collection -- and not the best environment for taking pictures, but there were two paintings I especially enjoyed. 
 Roses, by Van Gogh, part of a series of four still lifes.
 Oleanders, by Van Gogh.
I've seen at least one of the paintings in the series of still lifes in which Roses is a part of, but Oleanders was totally unfamiliar.  My photograph does not do justice to the striking colors and vibrancy of the flowers. 
I enjoyed a glorious summer day for my visit. The roof garden was open and this is the view of the West Side across a very green and lush Central Park.
 It was a pleasure to be back at the Metropolitan and a pleasure to be joining Pink Saturday once again this week. There are some terrific posts and well worth a visit.

As ever, thanks for visiting and hope you're having a great weekend!