Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Want a Skirt Just Like the Skirt I Wore in High School

This is a complete digression from my holiday album. I spent two hours at Macy's today, one of the biggest department stores anywhere, with floors of clothes for women. I had three goals. One was a wool sweater, which I accomplished. One was finding two cotton turtlenecks, which I didn't accomplish and the third was to find a wool skirt, preferably A-line. I have a black wool skirt and a green wool skirt and wanted either gray, brown or navy.

There were about 20 skirts in the store, most were not wool and only about three weren't black. I'm not counting on-sale cotton skirts in various bright colors, which will do me no good when it gets below freezing. When it's raining or snowing the leg of my pants is sopping by the time I get to work. It's not that way with a skirt.

I realize I want a skirt -- or two -- just like I had in high school. Have sensible wool skirts gone the way of the transistor radio or the hula hoop? Wait, the hula hoop has returned. Where are skirts? I know I can find them on line, but I like to try things on before I buy them.  Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? Does everyone else wear pants all the time? Whatever happend to skirts?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Big Cheer for the Long, Long Weekend!

A friend of mine wrote on our Weight Watcher thread that today feels like Sunday. It does, but better than the relaxed feeling of a Sunday is that it's Saturday and I still have a whole day to relax, rest and do errands.

The weekend has been lovely. Thanksgiving Day was beautiful, both in celebration and the weather. Sunny, clear and not too cold and the celebration was sunny and yummy. I kept Chatty Crone's thoughts in mind and happily we didn't have pecan pie, so there was no temptation to resist. The turkey was moist and delicious and there were lots of great veggie sides and my favorite butternut squash soup to start. With the food there was lots of laughter to go around.

Spent yesterday with a friend from high school, her husband and some of her husband's family. This has become a tradition, as my friend comes north each Thanksgiving to celebrate in New Jersey. We had a lovely dinner in the East Village at a Greek restaurant and then had fun walking around and looking at the store windows. On my way to meet my friends I stopped at Build-A-Bear and got a little holiday treat for Pepe Le Monkee. Photos to follow.

The Build-A-Bear store on Fifth Avenue

Today was especially nice. Services in the morning and then lunch with friends. Had a wonderful leisurely afternoon with no set time to be anywhere, except at the post office before 4:00. Stopped at Barnes and Noble for presents for Baby Max in Washington and Baby Ethan in North Carolina, hopped the bus to the new Michaels in Manhattan -- I know I'll be here often -- and the TJ Maxx next to it and then did my grocery shopping at the Whole Foods on the next block.

Wreath sales on the Upper West Side. The reflected picture is from ABC-TV headquarters, which is across the street.

I'm feeling so relaxed that I am even planning to brave a trip to Macy's tomorrow. I have a great coupon and lots of energy, which is the only way I can go to Macy's. Not sure how long I will stay, but you can be assured it will be long enough to get some photos to share.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Wishes!

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm about to start cooking my cranberries and then I am off to Westchester to celebrate Thanksgiving with dear friends. We met in high school and stayed close through college and then as we were separated by a thousand miles we lost touch. One day in 1982 I was reading a letter that had come into my office. I noted on the letterhead that one of the organization's staff had the same name as one of my friends -- not a very ordinary name. I decided to call my friend and say hello. The worst that would be happen would be a quick and cold phone call.

The result was anything but quick and cold. We had dinner the next week and we talked for five hours. It was as though the years between hadn't happened. We were friends again.  

So this Thanksgiving morning I am grateful for friends of long standing and more recent, all appreciated. I am grateful for family and the wonderful times spent with them this autumn. I am grateful for good times, good health, for new babies, a cozy apartment and all the joys and unexpected pleasures yet to come. 

Wishes to all for a yummy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Beginning to Look and Smell a Lot Like Christmas...

The look of Christmas is all around...

I was able to take this picture on my way to the dentist this morning. The picture doesn't do justice to the beauty of the lights. It was a very nice moment on the way to an 8:15 dentist appointment.

But the best surprise was on the way home from the subway tonight. Every year in front of the drugstore on the next block to my building -- and all around the city -- folks come down from Canada and the Northern Kingdom of Vermont and set up Christmas tree stands. Yesterday the frames were going up and tonight the trees had begun to arrive. It is the best aroma!

One of my best holiday memories is buying a tree from a stand like this one with my friend Mary. We were coming from a party and were just a bit tipsy. We picked out a beautiful tree for her living room. It didn't look that big at the stand, but it was enormous once we started walking blocks with it and my memory is that she had to cut off a little of the bottom so it would fit in her living room.

I feel as though I am in a Christmas song. I am getting a new tooth this year  -- my crown should be ready next week -- and my two front teeth should be all set, the chip fixed and polished.  

Wishing you days of bright surprise!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...Dylan's Candy

This wonderful candy store is just kitty corner from Bloomingdale's and has great candy and beautiful displays. Just had to share a few with you. I am especially fond of the snowman display and have my eye on the snowman cupcakes, which are actually little boxes. I don't need them, but can't think of a day that wouldn't be made happier with the sight of a snowman cupcake.

Wishes for happy days and snowman cupcakes!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...Bloomingdale's

I had an itinerary all set for yesterday and my stop to photograph was the Time Warner Building. I left with plenty of time to include a stop inside at Sephora -- a great cosmetics chain -- and redeem a coupon. But the subway was skipping that stop due to construction and the best laid plan of mice and bloggers was thrown off. I realized that my final destination was a block from Bloomingdale's and that would be a great place to continue Buttercup's Holiday Album. I wasn't at all disappointed and I don't think my blog friends will be either.

The front of  the store is decked in white lights. The Chrysler Building is lit in the distance.

The theme here is Dynamic Duos and we see Batman and Robin and Cleopatra and Marc Anthony...

...the Obamas and Santa and Mrs. Claus

 This window is entitled "Secret Santa" and the gentleman in the jacket looks into the mirror and sees the reflection of Santa.

This window had Penniwig in mind. The tree is decorated in shoes and there are glittery shoes decorating the rest of the window, too.

I met Mary for a movie and dinner and there wasn't all that much decoration up either in my neighborhood or on our walk after the movie. But Mary, my scout on Fifth Avenue, said there were lots of decorations to see there. A trip to Fifth Avenue is in store soon. Not sure if I can get there before next weekend, but I've got a definite trip planned soon.

Wishes for a great week!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dogs by the (Almost) Dozen

Our favorite dog walker was out at the same time I was walking to the subway this morning. At first it looked like the same group of pooches, but when I got closer I saw a tiny dachshund nestled between two larger dogs. They're all cute, but the little doxy stole my heart. Sorry there are no corgis in the group. I will keep watch for any corgis along my route.

Glad you all enjoyed the Radio City picture. Lots more holiday decorations to follow.

Teacherfish, hope you can make the book sale. It's worth a trip into Manhattan.

Wishes to all for a great weekend!    

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'd Do Anything...

..for you dears, anything! And that includes going out in the snow to take pictures of wintry white in New York City. My blog sisters have spoken and I will be happy to capture the first snow fall to share. For any one who knows me at all knows what a sacrifice that is. Buttercup doesn't do snow, unless it's just about mandatory, as in commuting to work. I haven't been a big fan of snow since I became adult enough -- about the age of ten -- to join in family snow shoveling and we had lots of snow! I lived in New Hampshire for a year in college and there was one week in December where we had five feet of snow. Though it's not quite snow the third strike for wintry weather happened almost 14 years ago, where I slipped on a broken and icy curb and broke my elbow. Two surgeries, months of physical therapy and now it's just a scar and a bad memory, but I do keep a fear of falling on icy sidewalk. But for you my dears, I will be out with camera in hand for the first snow fall with pleasure! Though on reflection I may do my picture taking from the lobby of my building looking out.

I also was just a little late for work this morning trying to capture my first holiday photo of the season, a display of a Christmas tree at Radio City. I saw very few decorations in midtown this morning, so I was delighted to espy between the crowds and trucks my first decoration in this area. I promise lots more to come.

Holiday shopping tip for any New York blog readers...which may just be Teacherfish. This Saturday and Sunday Goddard Riverside Houses at Columbus and 88th Street has a wonderful half-price book sale to benefit their activities. Publishers donate lots of books in every category and it's great. I plan to spend Sunday afternoon there, both for gifts and for new books to read. It's one of my favorite afternoons and I always come away loaded down, but so happy with my new treasures.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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

...and it's taken me completely by surprise. I've seen a few lights and some stores have decorated, but I didn't expect to see complete Christmas decorations at both Lincoln Center and the Time Warner Center tonight. A colleague gave me a ride home from a late meeting at work tonight (what a treat!) and we drove west up 59th Street. The Time Warner Building was complete in bright lights and so was Lincoln Center down the street. I'd already decided to put out my snowman collection in the office on Monday, but didn't expect the rest of the city to be all decorated for the holiday.

I enjoy the decorations of the season a lot and look forward to taking lots of pictures that I can share with all of you. I may start with Lincoln Center, which is just down the street from where I live and will be sure to make a stop at Macy's and Rockefeller Center. Let me know if anyone has any favorite places that you would like featured in the Buttercup Holiday Album. If I can I will try and photograph any requests that I receive and post them here.

I'm not forgetting Thanksgiving, one of my absolutely favorite times! I'm spending the day with my friends in Westchester -- a great tradition -- and will be bringing cranberry relish. Fresh and dried cranberries, fresh pears, candied ginger, cinammon and some orange juice to stew it all in and it is delicious and looks beautiful. My next little errand is to find bags of cranberries. 

 ...and a blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

From Connecticut to All Around the World

I'm back from my fun weekend with family in Connecticut. The bar mitzvah on Saturday was great and my cousin did a terrific job during the service. Loved spending time with family and friends and thanks to facebook, even had a mini high school reunion with two guys who are members of my cousin's congregation.

There was a fun party at night and the treat for the kids was an inflatable wonderland. Here are three cuties having a great time climbing up in preparation for the slide down.

Thank you, visitors from all around the world! I was looking over the visitors to Buttercupland and was awed by the many countries and states from where folks have stopped by. In the last few weeks there have been visitors from India -- our dear Amrita -- Indonesia, Australia, Sweden, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Folks have stopped by from Cambridge and Glasgow and Alberta, Canada, and lots of friends from the USA. Please leave a comment and don't be shy!

There's a warm welcome for all in Buttercupland!  

Friday, November 13, 2009

Back to Whatever Passes for Normal

I am always amazed by the adaptability of the human spirit and the ability to return to routine. Whether it's returning from the fun of vacation or re-entry after a time of mourning or illness, I feel very grateful for the ability to enter "real life." If yesterday was an easy slipping back, this morning I slammed right into reality. Cold rain, a crowded and delayed subway ride and a long and not so interesting meeting made up my morning. Despite all of that I like routine and I am grateful for those things that make my daily routine -- my coffee with pumpkin creamer in the morning, lunch with colleagues and the crossword puzzle on the subway ride home.

I am grateful for the unexpected pleasures, as well. I took this picture last week on the way to work. This dog walker was resting on his rounds. I don't remember seeing anyone walking so many dogs at one time and I was so taken with his cute pooches that I had to take a photo to share with  all of you.  

I'm off to Hartford tomorrow night for another family celebration. I am sure I will have photos to share and memories to treasure.

Wishes to all for a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Viva Las Vegas! Viva Amigas!

The Conservatory at the Bellagio Hotel, where we stayed

Back from Las Vegas and a great time was had by all! We talked, walked lots, laughed, shopped and even gambled a little. Great meals, ate lots of gelato and spent some time lounging by the pool. Special high points were seeing Jay Leno on Saturday night -- who was terrific -- and "Jersey Boys" (the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons) on Monday night. I loved "Jersey Boys" and am thinking of when I can see it again in NYC. I'm not much of a cocktail person, but my oreo martini (not really much of a martini) was yummy!

My traveling buddies...In the winter of 2003 I joined Weight Watchers for the tenth time. I started posting to two threads and "met" some nice women. After a year one of the threads sputtered out and I kept posting to the other. One of the women came to New York and we met and had a very nice time. Gradually over the years many of us got to meet. Some new folks came along and a lot of people dropped out, but there are about fifteen of us who have kept posting on a (semi) regular basis. Last year we met as a group for the first time in Dallas. This year it was Viva Las Vegas. There were nine women, plus our friend, Jeannie's husband John, who braved the group and was a great addition and a very good sport. Next year we're thinking of Memphis. I never thought I'd meet friends via the internet, but friendship is where you find it, and I am so blessed to have met my Weight Watcher circle of friends.

The Piazza San Marco at the Venetian Hotel. We had dinner in one of the restaurants here Monday night.

The Bellagio fountains at night

Now I'm back in New York. The apartment feels too quiet, but I am easing myself back into reality. Went to the office for a half day and caught up on email and odds and ends. Stopped at the bank and the Dollar Store and even began to pick up a few little things for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are only around the corner. Lots of blogs to catch up on and then another quick trip to Connecticut on Friday. How can almost half of November have flown by?

As ever, thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

What a week! Hugh Jackman, a mayoral election, the World Series and at work, our agency has had a change in leadership. Any one of these issues would have been enough excitement for one week, let alone all of them together.

In a few hours I am off to Las Vegas for a few days of friendship and relaxation. A group of friends are getting together for a long weekend of fun. I know the adage is "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas," but I doubt if there will be very much that I can't share. Our plans include tickets for "Jersey Boys" and a spa afternoon on Sunday. Lots of fun, talk, photos and memories to come!
Have a wonderful fall weekend!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What is the AARP Position on Orthodontia?

It's been a hectic few days. Our local election, the World Series, working and my chipped tooth! The chipped tooth has been rebonded and thankfully seems to be holding its own. But I had a surreal moment at the dentist's office on Monday afternoon. It seems my bite may be causing my problem and somehow orthodontia might be an answer. Buttercup is reeling! I had thought my days of wearing braces -- 1960 to 1965 -- were well behind me. This is a last resort, but if it's orthodontia ($$) vs. another implant ($$$$$) for my front tooth, I'll certainly think about it. Senior citizens and braces -- is this usual or is Buttercup a trendsetter? Does anyone have an orthodontist's number in their speed dial?

Enjoy a beautiful autumn day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Game Five

Not much blogging tonight or catching up on blogs I like to visit. Pepe Le Monkee aka Slugger and I will be glued to the television set watching game five of the World Series. Game four was amazing with runs in the last of the ninth inning. If the Yankees win tonight we've got a parade coming up. I've already reserved my spot in a friend's office overlooking the parade route. And now it's time to play ball!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Have No Pictures to Share...

...but the play, "A Steady Rain" was good and I got to shake Hugh Jackman's hand. This happened five hours ago and I am still walking on air.
Some time in September I was thinking about all the treats -- plays, concerts etc., that come to New York in the fall. Everything sounded so good, but I knew I' had to choose. I thought what would I like to see more than anything else? "A Steady Rain" was my answer. None of my friends seemed especially interested and I was pretty sure the tickets would sell out, so I went ahead and got myself a ticket. I've been waiting for this day since Labor Day weekend.
After the show I waited by the stage door figuring I could get a photo to share with all of you. It was dark and too crowded to get a good shot, but I was in the second row and I stuck out my hand and Hugh Jackman smiled right at me and shook my hand. I didn't worry about hand sanitizer and didn't think about swine flu, my hand was out there!
Thanks all for your concerns about my tooth. I have a 3:30 appointment tomorrow to see the dentist. I spent every scrap of disposable income last year tending to a fractured tooth and I am taking good care of this one. I'm joining in counting a blessings for each day of November and my blessing for today -- besides my new friend, Hugh Jackman -- is my wonderful dentist, Dr Z. and her terrific staff.
Wishes to all for a week of wonderful surprises and sweet pleasures

Happy November

October finished with pumpkin muffins and a delicious pumpkin cake at work on Friday and of course, Halloween.
Welcome November! The Yankees are still going strong and unfortunately my chipped tooth is still a problem. But today's the NYC Marathon and beautiful weather for all the runners. I've got a little trip at the end of this week, a trip back to Hartford for more family celebration next week, my favorite book sale and Thanksgiving! All the signs of a fabulous month.

Pumpkin cake and pumpkin muffins were treats on Friday!

Theater tickets for this afternoon. Details to follow. I'll give a little hint...If you like James Bond, you'll be as excited as I am!