Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Wishing Lots of Treats and a Very Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Autumn in New York

Autumn in New York

Saturday was autumn excursion day. With my friend Bev -- my Martha Stewart buddy -- and her friends Betty and Eleanore we travelled up the Hudson to Hyde Park, N.Y. Our first stop was lunch at the Culinary Institute of America. I'd been here years before, but it's a great treat to be able to return. We had lunch in the American Bounty Restaurant and it was delicious. I had a wonderful pear and parsnip soup -- which I'm going to try and duplicate at home -- duck and a pumpkin flan and shared key lime pie and bread pudding. The bread pudding was good, but my heart still longs for the bread pudding at Commander's Palace in New Orleans.

Our second stop was two miles north at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library and home, Hyde Park. We didn't do the complete tour but did sight see on the beautiful grounds. It was a rainy and overcast day, but the leaves were still beautiful.

This week -- finished all of my necessary dental work this morning. Hurray! May start work on a new crown, but still thinking about it. Big work project due Friday that will consume my time during the day, theater tickets with my friend Marilyn tomorrow night and Wednesday is the first game of the World Series. I'll be in front of my television set!

The big excitement of the weekend is dear Liz's engagement to Matt. Liz is my friend Kate's niece and Jess' first cousin. She is a doll and Matt is one lucky guy.

Wishes for happy excitement and autumn vistas!

Under the weather

Sorry to be absent, blog friends. Have photos to post from our adventure yesterday and blogs to read, not to mention laundry, grocery shopping and the opening of Michael's in Manhattan. But I felt awful and only revived a little late in the evening to catch the last two innings of the Yankees-Angels game, which definitely revived my spirits.

I've been so hoping for the Yankees this season -- well before opening day and now we have World Series play! Two great teams and it should be a great series, but you know who Buttercup is rooting for!

Hope to be back tomorrow feeling better and with autumn photos.

Wishes for a great autumn week!

Friday, October 23, 2009

And the Winner Is...

If the contestants are pumpkin spice versus gingerbread, which is your favorite? My two favorite flavors are now everywhere and I am having a hard time choosing which flavor to treat myself with. The coffee cart is now stocking pumpkin spice and gingerbread is soon to come and then there's peppermint stick waiting in the wings. Help!

I'm off to an autumn adventure tomorrow, with a very exciting luncheon stop. I'll be back later in the weekend to share my day with all of you.

Wishing you all lots of fun and autumn adventures!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Pepe Le Monkee

He is my office mate and colleague. Pepe was a gift to me a number of years ago, but it was only the last few years where I began to clothe him for the seasons. It started with a simple reindeer head piece at Christmas and then it just grew. He now has attire for just about every event and holiday and I especially like the Halloween sweater he is wearing. He is my best colleague, always smiling and never complaining. He'll be stopping by Buttercupland from time to time to show off his holiday and seasonal attire.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Recipe for a Great Weekend!


Autumn Leaves

Delicious food, including this sand castle cake

My wonderful triplet cousins, J, A and S

Stir in sunny weather, a beautiful service, family and dear friends. Enjoy completely and this recipe makes memories to last a lifetime.

The occasion was my cousins' B'nai Mitzvah. The triplets are the children of one of my first cousins and the grandchildren of my aunt who passed away this summer. J is named in memory of my mother. A B'nai Mitzvah -- Children of the Commandment -- is the observance when a Jewish child becomes thirteen and begins participating in the adult responsibilities of the religion. I hadn't heard this term before and am much more familiar with Bar Mitzvah, son of the commandment and Bat Mitzvah, daughter of the Commandment, but this is a unique situation.

The kids led a good part of the service in Hebrew and English and each gave short speeches about the portion that had been read at the service. Family participated too and it was lovely and so touching. We celebrated at a fun luncheon following the service. The picture above shows the candle lighting at the luncheon. Not a part of religious ritual it is a recent and quite sweet addition to celebrating. Family and friends are called up to light a candle and honored with a verse or few lines written about them. Music plays as the honoree walks up to light their candle. Great Uncle Harry's theme was one of the songs from "Fiddler on the Roof" and mine was "New York State of Mind."

I am still smiling when I think of this joyous celebration and know I will be smiling for quite some time. Wishing you all days of joy to share with those you love best!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I'll Blog Tomorrow...

...because today is just about gone. I had such high hopes for today. Got a good night's sleep and was set to tackle a Mount Everest of home things. I'd clean, straighten, sort through my books, do my sweepstakes and read blogs and blog. And that was just for starters. In the middle of my second cup of coffee I got a call that there was a computer emergency at work. I left for the office in the early afternoon and got home about an hour ago. The house is still a mess, my cousin's "Sweet Sixteen" card is yet to be made and I am tired, but the computer crisis is resolved. Just the pieces are left to pick up tomorrow morning.

In a quick take on our family event in Connecticut, it didn't snow or even rain. Thanks all for your prayers and good wishes. All the transportation worked and the party was fabulous. When family gets along there is nothing sweeter and this was one of the sweetest events for me ever. Details tomorrow.

Sweet dreams and wishes for a great week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Autumn in New England

I'll be away for a few days visiting family in Connecticut. This is a major family celebration and I am very excited. The only catch is the weather. In addition to our family event I was so looking forward to fall in New England. Right now it's SNOW and cold rain. I've been looking at the weather forecast all day with hopes I'd be pleasantly surprised. When I saw the word snow at 5:00 PM I just stopped looking and began debating whether to bring my down coat with me. I've already adjusted the rest of my wardrobe for the weekend, and socks and wool are prominent parts. I'm hoping for just a few rays of sun so I can enjoy the foliage for a little while. But I'll be warm with family and celebrating and back on Sunday with details, photos and lots of memories to treasure.

Wishes to all for a weekend of warmth and happy memories!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cinderella After the Ball...

...that's who I feel like. As much fun as last night was -- and it was at least a ten on a scale where ten is the top -- I am tired, worn out and today felt that I was back to scrubbing pots in the scullery. Maybe, not quite that bad, but it was a long day at work and I have a feeling of back to real life.

Just stopping in to wish everyone sweet dreams and to say thank you for the nice comments and thank you to a few new friends who are new visitors to Buttercupland. Please say hello and don't be shy about leaving a comment.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tim McGraw Live...

...Fourth row and center! Mary and I were thrilled. Mary had the very good sense to get there early and we had #43 and #44 out of 500 seats. This put us in the fourth row and right smack in the center. I think these may have been the best concert seats I've ever had and I pinched myself just about once a minute to make sure this was real.

Tim was terrific and so was his band. I could have listened to both for hours. It started right at 8:00 and this was no taping. It was live and perfect. There was no ban on cameras and I snapped away. It was hard to get some of the shots as the lights were bright, but I got some good pictures to share and to treasure. You were all with me in thought and spirit, but I wish you all could have been with us in person!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Today We Are in Pumpkinland

We're taking a short visit away from Buttercupland to an equally friendly place, Pumpkinland. Had a wonderful weekend visiting with friends on the north shore of Long Island, about two hours out of New York City. It's not the fancy resort part of Long Island -- that's the south shore. Here it is quieter and there are still farms, lots of them, and it seems they are all growing pumpkins. I saw literally thousands of pumpkins. I chose one, which will make a blog appearance shortly, but I happily could have taken them all back with me. One of the offers was a wheelbarrow of pumpkins for $55.00, and there were a number of people wheeling dozens of pumpkins out of the fields. I also made my first visit to a corn maze and had a lot of fun. Our leader out of the maze was my friends' ten year old, who was a great guide.
Thanks all for your advice about my costume for "Let's Make a Deal." Still debating whether to pursue this, but appreciate all the good advice.
Tomorrow night is the Tim McGraw webcast. Live on your computers at 8:00 P.M. ET. Don't know about photos, but will try and post about the evening tomorrow night.
Sweet dreams and wishes for a great week!

Friday, October 9, 2009

What Should I Wear?

Once again, I am turning to my blog sisters and brother for advice on what to wear. This time is somewhat unique. I am going to be in Las Vegas in early November and found that "Let's Make a Deal Las Vegas" will be taping during that time. Couldn't stay away from the website and now I have tickets for myself and friends for the taping. Instead of bright colors, Let's Make a Deal strongly suggests that if you'd like to be on the show -- and wouldn't that be fun! -- you wear a costume. I'm not sure I'll do it, but need to think about a costume if I do. My friend Bev, who accompanied to Martha Stewart, suggested a fortune teller. I like the idea and it would be pretty easy to put together, but I am open to other suggestions. The one thing that is specified is no trademarks or logos, so that means no cartoon characters or folks from commercials. I was thinking of dressing all in purple and being a California Raisin, but that's out. My friends are losing interest rapidly, but I am still thinking about it. I have other days to sight see and this may well be my only chance to guess about the contents behind Door 2. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Spending the next few days in farm stand land. Visiting friends that have a house a few hours out of New York City. There will be a lot of leaf raking, but also good conversation, a trip to at least one farm stand and maybe a vineyard. Photos to follow!

Have a great autumn weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things...Fruit Labels

I think I bought my first fruit label during college. It's from an orange crate and it is a sweet dog named Fido. It wasn't the typical dorm decoration, but I had a liking for American decorative arts even then. I didn't think about fruit labels for another 10 years and then I couldn't get enough. I have fruit labels in the kitchen, where I have my tartan collection and Fido. They are in the bedroom -- big city and New York labels -- and a mixed group on one wall of the bathroom. I like the bright colors and even brighter imagination displayed in them. Is anyone else a fruit label fan?

Update on Tim McGraw...Mary and I are going to see Tim McGraw on Monday night. It's a live webcast at 8:00 P.M. We'll be at the Ed Sullivan Theater, where the Letterman Show is taped. I got no instructions about what to wear and you can be assured that I will have my camera for whatever time I can take photos. I wish I could bring all of my blog friends!
Wishes for a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breaking News...

...Stay tuned! The post previously scheduled for this evening has been postponed for a special announcement. As I've wrote about in one of my earliest posts I am a sweeper and I regularly enter contests. I've had good luck this year, but hit a dry patch in the last 5 weeks. Zilch, nada, nothing. I've had dry patches before, but not for this long in my six years of sweeping. Generally there's one little thing every few weeks even in the leanest times. I had a turnipy day and on the way home was thinking I really would like to win something. It didn't have to be big, just some little thing to perk up my day. There was no email tonight, nor anything in the mail. I got busy reading the mail and forgot about my thoughts about winning. While tidying up I noticed the flashing light on the phone and there was one message. I figured it was a telemarketer trying to sell me something I didn't need.

Instead a nice voice informed me that I had won two tickets to a Live Performance on Monday night of Tim McGraw, sponsored by the David Letterman Show. Live! There's information about the concert on this evening's Letterman Show. I'm not quite sure about the format, but I will call first thing to claim my tickets. Actually it will be second thing, because at 7:15 a.m. I will be at my doctor's office getting my blood work done for my liver recheck.

My turnip-time is over tonight and I'll be back tomorrow with all the details.

Sweet dreams, dear blog friends!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things...Coffee

I love coffee! I love it with lots of milk, no sugar and I'm happy with it hot or iced, but iced -- and sitting at a cafe in Paris -- is my favorite. My best coffee memories are actually in Italy. One is the best iced coffee service I've ever had at a hotel in Rome in 1982. The ice was served in a silver bowl. The coffee was great and the setting was so elegant. Another memory is any cappuccino service in Rome. From classics hotels to the corner cafe, the coffee was great. Always served in a china cup, with a big swirl of steamed milk. I tear up just thinking about it.

My favorite mug
I bought it just seven years ago on a wonderful October trip to Italy. The mug came from a ceramic factory in Ravello, a lovely town on the Amalfi coast. This was the trip of the fabulous cappuccino and endless gelato. It was a beautiful and delicious trip.
And what prompted this string of memories of coffee? Tonight I was a winner in the Starbucks Via Challenge. I successfully guessed which cup was Starbucks brewed and which cup was Starbucks new Via instant. I pass a Starbucks about four times in various places on my way home and at the last one succumbed to pop in and try their new instant. It was good, but a little pricey for everyday consumption. That's my thought on Starbucks generally. Also one of the resolutions I made on that 2002 trip to Italy was to drink cappuccino only in china cups, and with a few exceptions your coffee-loving Buttercup has kept that resolution.
Wishes for for many happy memories to come!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Put on Your Sunday Clothes...


...for a beautiful Sunday in Yonkers. Yonkers is the town where "Hello, Dolly" takes place and it is set right along the Hudson River. The area on the river has been redone in the last few years and there is a park along the riverside, restaurants and apartment buildings. My friend Pene has been talking about a restaurant there, X2O, and we chose it for a birthday/farewell celebration. The chef is Peter X. Kelly from Iron Chef. The restaurant has one of the most beautiful settings I can imagine, jutting out into the river with a view of the river and the Palisade mountain ridges in New Jersey. Though the morning was overcast the afternoon was seventy and bright sunlight. The only thing missing were autumn leaves.

The Palisades of New Jersey

We celebrated our friend Tamar's 90th birthday and said farewell -- not goodbye -- to our friend Hella who is moving to Brazil. Tamar is in our bible study with Pene and me and Hella was one of my first friends when I joined our synagogue eighteen years ago.

Our dear friends

The food was a feast. I started with pumpkin bread -- a favorite of mine -- and then had fresh fig salad, salmon and dessert was warm chocolate cake and homemade pistachio ice cream. I don't think I'll eat again until tomorrow. Everything was delicious.

Wishing you all sunny days, autumn leaves, celebrations and a great week ahead!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Harvest Thanks and Blessings

Last night began Sukkot, the holiday of thanksgiving for the harvest and commemorating the forty years of wandering in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt. Traditionally people eat their meals in the sukkah, which is built open to the sky, and is a symbol of the huts that were lived in during the wandering in the desert. Happily today it was quite warm and no coats and gloves were needed at the sukkah our congregation builds.

When I was growing up my parents were responsible for decorating our congregation's sukkah. Like most activities in the 1950s we were there as a family, stringing cranberries and popcorn and making paper chains. This holiday, like every other, takes on a special poignancy as I grow older and memories of childhood come back from a long ago time. Is this similar for all of you, dear blog friends? What are some of your favorite memories from holidays gone by?

As always, thanks for stopping by and visiting Buttercupland. Please come and visit often!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Embracing the Inner Autumn Princess

I've been feeling a little turnipish these last few days and having a lot of difficulty getting back to the routine -- work, commuting, errands -- after the holidays. I decided to a) get a really good night's sleep last night and b) embrace the Inner Autumn Princess in me. I've put on turtlenecks and taken out my heavier jacket. I still needed more, so I brought in the heavy artillery -- a trip to Michael's. Armed with two coupons I told myself I could buy anything that caught my fancy. Anything was pretty modest, but I feel much less turnipish. I've got one of the toffee scented candles burning now in a pretty harvest themed holder, which is doing a lot for my frame of mind.
Nice weekend ahead. Services tomorrow morning, and there's another holiday to celebrate. This is a celebration of the harvest and I'll write about it in a later post. On Sunday there's a celebration for my friend Tamar's 90th birthday. We're going to a restaurant on the Hudson River and I am praying for good weather and lots of fall foliage.
Dear friends, Wishes that you, too, will embrace the inner autumn prince or princess within!