Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Baby, It's -- Really -- Cold Outside

Alaska 2008
It's not this cold outside, but to my very unacclimatized body, it feels this cold and I feel that I should be dressing the same way I dressed for Alaska, with scarf, socks and gloves. Every year, just about October 1 I feel the same way. I am shocked that it's time for wool and gloves. But it's time. Monday was about 70 degrees and if felt balmy. This morning it was in the 50s and it just felt cold. I know that refusing to dress properly won't keep the nice weather. In fact I will just feel worse, but the thought of bundling up in layers is especially difficult this year. I am fighting the waning of sunshine and the short days. I have been fighting desperately, but as of tomorrow I am officially giving up the fight and I will put on a turtleneck -- one of the dozen I have. My neck will be next be seen in May!
Midweek update -- Still no word from Rachael Ray. I feel my time with Martha last week was enough television for now. I may send another note to Rachael, but I am very content with my two television show visits for this year. I am delighted to note that I was able to decorate the blog for autumn. I think it looks properly festive. Next is something for my office.
Hope everyone is having a good week. Hugs and good wishes to all!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day of Atonement

Starting at sundown tonight is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This is the tenth day following the new year, Rosh Hashanah, and it is when the Book of Life is sealed for this year. It is a day of fasting (for those who are medically able), prayer and reflection. It is the most somber day of the year, and yet it has always been one of my favorite holidays, even when I was in high school. I find it a wonderful time to focus on all that is important and have an entire day of prayer and community. The liturgy and music are beautiful, made all the more special because we only recite them once a year. Tomorrow morning there is a memorial service, which will be especially poignant this year as we will remember our dear Barbara, and I will think of my aunt, who were with us last year at this time.

I will be keeping all of my blog sisters and their families in my prayers --both for petition and for thankfulness for all of your presence in my life.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

There is Nothing Like...

...a beautiful Saturday morning in September. Nothing! No office to go to and no subway to take. I've just finished a fabulous cantaloupe/strawberry smoothy, with organic flax seed for good measure. Saturday morning services coming up and a quick run to the post office before I see my friend Mary. We're thinking of a movie and we'll also get in a nice walk and time to catch up.
More on Martha...The chairs were actually quite comfortable. Our gift was a cookbook that Martha had written the forward to. Alas, no car! There were some gifts given out randomly in the audience, including mugs and videos. The audience didn't get to try the food that was cooked, and there were no crafts on our day. Would love to go for an all-craft day of the show. Martha was very interesting and warm to guests, not a bit snippy, but my sense of Martha is not sweet and huggy. Martha would be the friend I turn to when I need to learn how to make special pumpkin muffins, but not my first thought when I need a hug.
Thanks blog sisters for hugs and good wishes. I'm feeling calm and going to enjoy this beautiful Saturday. Special wishes for Kathy and Jess, who are leaving next week for a wonderful trip and to Mimi, who is off to Disneyworld. Bon Voyage!

Friday, September 25, 2009

When You Least Expect It...(2)

I wish the theme of this note was my Rachael Ray tickets, but alas, it's not even close. Despite my wonderful Wednesday with Martha -- and it was -- I ended the work week exhausted. Had three meetings today and two concerned computer issues, one of the topics I'm least knowledgeable about and have to really concentrate. My mind was like a rubber band snapping back and forth. Didn't even get outside for lunch or a little air during the day. Decided I'd have a nice evening and went to Bath and Body, sniffed the yummy fall candles and bought fabulous Shea Cashmere Hand Cream, which was on super sale and I had a coupon. I also did a little Christmas shopping, which always makes me feel good. I had a slice of pizza, bought the new issue of "Women's World" to read on the train ride home and by the time I arrived at my building I was feeling much peppier.

Until I got the mail...I found a letter from my doctor's office. It was hand written and personal and informed me to make an appointment for more blood work. I have had a long standing liver problem of unknown origin, but the last few years have been great and I haven't given it a moment's thought -- until an hour ago. On Tuesday I will call for an appointment and move ahead with whatever else, if anything, needs to be done. I'd appreciate it if when you are saying your prayers you will add Buttercup's liver to your list.

I'm going to put worry away and light one of my autumn candles, read a few blogs and be grateful for all the good things in my life, including my dear blog sisters. I will follow up over the weekend with some answers to some of the questions about my visit to Martha Stewart and for a starter, yes, the camera really adds a good ten pounds.

Hugs and good wishes!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Now September 25...

...and we're at Martha Stewart! And yes, it was as much fun as we anticipated. We learned to cook fancy eggs, saw a fashion show, cooked lamb chops (and saw how to turn rack of lamb into perfect little lamb chops), saw a video of Martha's fabulous gardens at her house in Bedford and learned how to repot a plant. I sort of know the latter, but don't do it quite as perfectly as Martha and her gardener.
Actually the date for airing is Friday, September 25, but no need to TIVO to see Buttercup and my friend, Bev. Our section, which sat behind the greenhouse area wasn't photographed. And we were so cute! I was in bright blue and Bev was in bright pink.
Kitchen and craft area

The set was -- as to be expected -- gorgeous. There was a big and fabulous kitchen, a craft room that I do believe would change my life and a wonderful greenhouse area.
The green house. The picture below shows the detail of the topiary wall.

This was the display of photos of Halloween crafts and goodies in the waiting area.

Despite the fact that we won't be television stars and it's back to my desk and the waiting phone and email messages tomorrow, we had a great time! I'm inspired to spruce up my apartment and even remake a section of my bedroom for a craft area. Definitely will be decorating for the fall. If anyone is thinking of visiting New York a visit to Martha Stewart might be a great way to spend a morning. So glad you could join Bev and me for our wonderful day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

What Should I Wear?

Dear Blog Sisters, What do I wear to Martha Stewart? The confirmation suggests " a chic dress, dressy jeans or trendy and fashionable outfits...and no black, gray, tan or muted colors." Most of my wardrobe is black or grey. I do have a bright blue shirt, which I thought might work with my dressy jeans. I don't really own anything trendy and fashionable that isn't black, and I'm not sure even my black clothes could be described as trendy and fashionable. The best description for my wardrobe is neat and practical. Eeks! Sounds pretty drab. This may just be the impetus I need to go through my closet and find something fashionable. I think trendy and I just don't mix. Any thoughts? What are the outfits you have that you like? Is anyone else stuck in a fashion rut? Please answer soon. I need to be at the studio -- I love writing that phrase -- by 10:00 am on Wednesday.

Now to share a few signs of the times...

This photo is for Amrita. The cafe is near my friend Elana's house. I was there last week and had to take a picture to share. It's a great place and they have the best iced coffee.

These signs were about a mile from my office. I stopped on the way home to do an errand and saw that they were filming the new television series, "The Good Wife" here on Wednesday. I will be at the taping of "Martha," so I can't run over at lunch time. As my mother would have said, "You can't dance at two weddings."

Off to look at my closet! Sweet dreams and happy wishes to all. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autumn in the Air

I've been resisting thinking about autumn. I don't want to rush time -- it goes so fast on its own -- and when autumn appears winter is close behind. And I am not a fan of winter. But it's undeniable autumn is here. I ran an errand after eight this morning and the crisp feeling was here. By early afternoon it was late summer again, bright sun and no humidity.
Thank you all for your new year wishes. Services seemed lovelier than ever this year, and though they were long -- three and a half hours this morning -- the time went by very quickly. Ate lots of the traditional crisp apples dipped in honey and loved spending time with friends. I did lots of entertaining and enjoyed it very much. The big hit was a sweet and sour poached salmon and the tzimmis. Have lots of sweet potatoes left, so I think another batch is in order.
The apartment is just about back in order. The kitchen is cleaned up -- though I am having a plastic crisis with many containers and very few lids. Where do the lids go? Does anyone else have this problem?
I think it will be tough to get back into the regular work week. But a dentist appointment tomorrow morning gets me going and of course on Wednesday I'm so excited about Martha Stewart.
Wishing all a beautiful autumn week and all the blessings of this season.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy 5770

Tonight begins the new year on the Jewish calendar, 5770. The traditional wish for at this time of year is for a sweet new year. So dear blog sisters, I wish you all a sweet year, one of good health for you and your families, happiness and peace for the world. One of the traditional foods -- and there are quite a number -- is apples, served with honey. Honey signifies the wish for a sweet year and the apple was in season in Eastern Europe. I served it tonight and expect to be eating apples and honey for the next two days.

Another traditional food is "tzimmes," a sweet vegetable stew. Sweet potatoes, carrots, white potatoes, an apple and prunes are my traditional one, with cinnamon, honey and orange juice for sweetness and seasoning. Sometimes I add dried apricots, but this year at the fruit market I saw the loveliest turnips and thinking of dear Penniwig, I added the loveliest little turnip. We considered the finished product quite delicious and asked the proverbial question, "Why don''t I make this more often?"

My perfect little turnip

And Now for a Word from Our Sponsor...

...Not actually our sponsor, but someone's sponsor. I was riding with a friend in Brooklyn the other night and saw filming was taking place. Just about jumped out of the car to take photos to share. The diner was decorated for Christmas -- you may be able to make out the white wreaths in the windows. Not being shy, I asked what movie was being filmed and was told it was a commercial. So, please be on the lookout for this mystery commercial. I had to chuckle, there were two other people taking pictures of the filming, too, but I didn't get their pictures.

Wishes to all for a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Buttercup Relies on the Kindness of Strangers

I don't write very much about work. For the most part I like my job, but there are days when it's really tough going and when I get to Buttercupland I am very happy to leave work at work. The concept has worked very well and my visits to Buttercupland are my times for relaxing and re-energizing.

One of my responsibilities at work is community outreach for our division. This includes an advisory group that meets every two months. I am always exhausted at the finish of meeting night. It's usually not over until 7:30 and it seems there are lots of little issues that pop up during the day before the meeting. Tonight was the meeting and it was no exception. It went well, but I was so tired at 8:00 when I left for home. It was a nice night and I decided to skip the subway and take the bus -- actually it's three buses -- to get home.

The first bus arrived pretty quickly and in seven minutes I was in Manhattan and at the stop for the next bus. No one else is waiting, but it's a beautiful night, I have a seat and a good book -- Anita Brookner's Visitors -- and I am content waiting for the bus. I am oblivious to the world when I hear a voice pointing out that the street is blocked. There are no buses. There is no traffic at all and the usually bustling East 57th Street looks like this...totally deserted. I realize without the kindness of this stranger I might have sat here for hours reading and not noticed that there was no traffic at all.

Even though I am always on the lookout for movie and television shoots I had missed this sign. So thankful for my angel who noticed me sitting and reading and took the time to think of me.

Thanks, all, for your sweet comments on blog sisters and Buttercupland. I've saved Amrita's description of my little country and it's now a part of my heading. Please come and visit often.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Come on Good times! There's a party going on tonight because it's a Buttercup holiday. In all parts of Buttercupland -- and anywhere else you'd like to celebrate -- it's Blog Sisters' Day! I don't know if this is a holiday anywhere else, but it should be.
I love presiding over my own country, even if it's only a virtual country. There are no taxes, ice cream is double rich and yet has no calories, and all the lighting is very flattering. I can declare a holiday any time I choose and there's peace and love all the time. Please come and visit often, dear blog sisters. You will have a warm welcome in Buttercupland from the Buttercup-in-Chief.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things --Healthy Laughs

I spent this afternoon at my friend, Carol's for a "Healthy Laughs" House Party. It's always a treat to be invited to Carol's. The company is interesting and the conversation is good and Carol is a food stylist and the best cook I know. She is gracious and hospitable and fun, and I am so blessed that she is my friend.
Carol found this idea on the web and invited a group of friends to lunch and to discuss cancers that affect women. Sounds dire, but it was upbeat, informative and there were lots of healthy laughs, and of course yummy and healthy food, including a great crustless quiche and lots of veggies.
You may ask why this entry is part of "A Few of my Favorite Things." Spending time with my friends is just about at the top of my list of favorite things to do, tied with spending time with family. But as a single woman, my close friends have become my family. I get especially nostalgic at holiday time, and the Jewish New Year starts on Friday night. I've begun to reflect on the year past. It's been a year of challenges, but also of good times and deep and rich friendship. I don't think I would have been able to traverse this year without my friends, as support and company and for lots of healthy laughter. Thank you friends from around the world -- friends from childhood, college, work, bible study, bloggy friends and all the strange and wonderful ways we meet the people who make our life good and meaningful. Blessings to you all!

Friday, September 11, 2009


It almost shocks me that today has become -- almost -- a normal day. I wouldn't have dreamed it possible eight years ago that I could go calmly about my business today. I wouldn't have dreamt that I would take the subway in the morning and evening without any fear, make phone calls, handle work issues and actually focus on the subject matter at a long and complex meeting I attended this morning. I even expect to be able to sleep as well as usually tonight. For all of these gifts, I am awed and profoundly grateful that this is possible.

For the first few months following September 11, 2001 I wept every day. I worked just a few blocks from the World Trade Center and the sights and the awful smell of ash were with me every day. For months and years that followed I thought of September 11 daily. There was always something that triggered a memory. But now eight years have passed. I now work miles away from Lower Manhattan and a month can go by between my visits there. September 11 is no longer my first thought in the morning. I'm surprised and grateful, but I have a responsibility to remember this day.
And yet it is not a normal day. I must remember this day and all that happened, and all that I saw and experienced. I feel a powerful need to remember, to bear witness to the lives of the 2700 people who went to work one beautiful September morning and did not come home that night to their families and friends.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's not actually cold. That is still to come and happily a few months off. But it's definitely sweater weather tonight and I was glad for the jacket I had with me as I walked home from the subway. It's a beautiful crisp, clear night with a beginning feel of autumn. I'm not ready to say good bye to summer and hello to pantyhose, gloves and turtleneck sweaters. But I am ready to embrace all that I love in the autumn. Here's to pumpkins and mums, apples and Halloween and the beauty of the leaves.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When You Least Expect It...

I'm invited!!! It's my lucky day...

I'm smiling beause...



arrived in my inbox this afternoon.

I was idly going through my inbox this afternoon and caught the subject "last minute tickets." I'd almost forgotten about Martha Stewart tickets and had stopped obsessively looking for an email.

And here it is! I'm going with my friend and colleague, Bev, and we are both so excited. Cameras are permitted before and after the show and I will be taking lots of pictures to share with all of you. Can't thank you all enough for your encouragement. I wish I could take all of my bloggy friends with me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Television Mania

We've had lots of movie mania, but no television mania to share. I was delighted to find this poster on poles in the neighborhood over the weekend. I was even more delighted to realize I might be able to see part of the filming.

This morning "Law and Order" filmed three blocks from my house -- and only a block out of my way to the subway -- on the steps of the Methodist Church.

These two pictures are the side street on the side of the church. It shows all the equipment needed to film the television show. I especially liked the signs giving directions inside the church. I didn't see anyone famous, though I was tempted to wait to see if any of my "Law and Order" favorites were part of the filming. Alas, work called.

Weekend Update...Still no word from Martha or Rachael. I'm a little disappointed, but can't blame Rachael, I've been spelling her name incorrectly. I haven't given up, but have stopped obsessively checking my email for tickets, which is healthy.

I have gained a pound. However, I am totally back on track and am optimistic that this errant pound will be history by the weekend. I had my first apples of the season -- outstanding! -- and am substituting an apple in the evening for any less nutritious snack. It's worked for two days. Just need to keep it up for the entire fall.

Hope you are enjoying all the treats that this wonderful season offers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Eight Years Later

I was going to wait until later in the week to write about September 11, 2001. But a note from Chatty Crone and the fact that it's been in my thoughts so much the last few days pushed up my schedule.

This is the email I sent to family and friends a week later. It shares my feelings better than anything I could write now to describe that awful time.

9/17/01 3:07 PM

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so appreciative of all the messages that I've received over the last
week. I know that many people have tried to call and were unable to get
through or unable to leave messages. Telephone and e-mail have been erratic.
I was unable to get outgoing phone service outside of Manhattan until Friday
and this is the first time that the computer has been at all cooperative for
more than fifteen minutes.This is the message I hoped to send on Wednesday

Tuesday began as the most beautiful late summer day and ended in the most
devastating tragedy. My daily subway ride takes me under the Trade Center. At
what I now know was 8:48 the train conductor announced that the train was
being delayed at 14th Street (five minute from the Trade Center) because of
"a delay." There are always delays. I had a seat, a good book, and for one
morning I wasn't even late. After a few minutes (impatient New Yorker that I
am) I switched to the express train, which goes along a somewhat different
route and emerging at Wall Street (by the Stock Exchange) I found that the
most beautiful late summer day had turned into hell. Papers and ashes flew
everywhere. The Stock Exchange is three blocks from my office and the Trade
Center is eight blocks. I ran to the office and after watching the sky turn
black twice, my colleagues and I were evacuated into a thick swirl of choking
smoke and ash. I was so fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful co-workers
during the long morning and the trek away from downtown. Somehow I made the
walk uptown and home, with not even a blister. I pray that everyone's story
would have ended as well as mine. Heartbreakingly, we know that is not the

Thank you. Thank you for your calls, your e-mail, your prayers, your thoughts
and well wishes. Please know that we are persevering. Please, know, too, how
profoundly grateful I am for your encouragement and affection.

With love and prayers for peace
From the perspective of 2009 I continue to thank all of you around the country who prayed for us,
and sent assistance to New York. You will always have my gratitude for all it meant to us in the days 
and weeks following September 11.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things...Snow Globes

I'm introducing a new theme, sharing some of my favorite things with my bloggy friends. I have a few collections, some like postcards go back many years. Others, like snow globes are relatively recent. I started collecting right after September 11th with a snow globe of the Twin Towers and it just grew from there. Most of my collection is in the office and I've bought some, but a number have been gifts from colleagues. I have had two mishaps getting them back to New York. The snow globe from the Cayman Islands broke in the suitcase and the snow globe from the Clinton Library in Little Rock was confiscated by airport security for having more than three ounces of liquid.

A close-up of three of my favorites, Park City, Utah -- where I took a hot air balloon ride -- Memphis and Sitka, Alaska.

I keep a few at home, too. Here is one from the Edison home in Fort Myers, one brought as a gift from Barbados and my favorite, a snow globe based on a cartoon in "The New Yorker." The poor soul in the globe is standing with a snow shovel contemplating the endless amount of snow he has to shovel. He stands right by my computer and I never tire of watching him.

Anyone else a snow globe collector? What are your favorite things?

Take good care and hope everyone is having a relaxing and happy weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Weekend Wishes!

Wishing all of my dear and gentle readers a happy, healthy and wonderful weekend.
I'm going to watch "What Not to Wear," do a little decluttering and get a good night's rest. Will be back to blog lots this weekend.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Greetings from Gananoque

Welcome to Gananoque, Ontario

One of the beautiful bed and breakfasts of Gananoque

The Victoria Rose Inn
Our big expedition for my trip to the St. Lawrence was a wonderful day spent in Gananoque, just across the river. If Anne of Green Gable didn't live in Prince Edward Island, I think she would have been very happy in this beautiful town.
The weather was idyllic and we had a great day. We had lunch at a beautiful inn on the river, spent time seeing the turn of the century homes, visited the town museum, ate ice cream and even started my Christmas shopping -- all in the company of two of my favorite people. I couldn't ask for more.
Wishing you idyllic weather, ice cream and the company of your favorite people for this holiday weekend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meet Stinkweed, Buttercup's Gloomy Twin

There are days I'd like to be Stinkweed, Buttercup's gloomy twin. But I fight that impulse, sometimes minute by minute. And despite the fact that I still haven't heard from either Martha or Rachel -- who are both missing out on a great audience guest -- I am not giving in to gloom. I will not, as one dear and gentle blog friend suggested, put a potato in the exhaust pipe of either Martha or Rachel. Stinkweed is sorely tempted, but not your Buttercup.

No gloom tonight. I am celebrating September, the glorious weather we are having and the fact that I found summer yogurt flavors of cantaloupe and watermelon at the grocery tonight.
Here's to sweet September, to the last lingering moments of summer and the joy of welcoming the beauty of the fall. Here's to autumn leaves and pumpkins, chrysanthemums and cranberries.
Wishing you all the richest bounty of the harvest.