Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Know I'm Feeling Better...

...when I sign up for a party that starts at 9:00 PM on a "school night." Some of my all time favorite reading is the Hungry Girl blog. I look forward to getting it every day and I am happily a "friend" of Hungry Girl on facebook. Hungry Girl/Lisa is doing a book signing/reading tomorrow night at a book store just about a mile from my house. I've got it on the calendar and have been looking forward to going for the last few weeks.

While idly scrolling through my facebook newsfeed tonight I saw that there is a party after the book signing at a hotel in midtown Manhattan. It's the "Hungry Girl Tweetup brought to you by Laughing Cow and Mini Babybel." It's a launch party for new flavors of Laughing Cow cheese and as a loyal Hungry Girl reader, it's a must.  Ususally I lose steam once I get home, but this sounds like tremendous fun and barring some relapse I'm going. If I can take pictures, you know there will be pictures!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I know It's Just a Cold...

...But my little petals are drooping!

Sorry not to have been around much -- both with posting or visiting. I started to lose my voice on Friday and am now in the midst of a cold and cough. The cough is receding, but I'm not my usual perky self. I know it's nothing especially serious, but I am drooping. I'm hoping to do some blog visiting later today, but if I don't make it, know it's not for a lack of affection. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

For lo, the winter is past...

the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come, 
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land. 

Song of Solomon 2:10-12

Actually the cold weather has returned, and the gloves I carefully tucked into their summer resting place may have to reemerge tomorrow morning. It was definitely wool weather today.  But trees and flowers are blooming and quickly -- a few days of cold weather excepted -- spring is rushing towards us in full force and voice of the turtledove is soon to be heard everywhere, especially in my heart. 

Blessings and good wishes for a beautiful Saturday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Month Ago...

I stood on the steps of City Hall and took this picture. At the end of this storm there would twenty inches of snow and it seemed that the winter might never end.

Yesterday I stood in just about the same place and took this picture. No snow, the grass is green and my hat has been put away until next year. There may still be snow, but I know that spring is really here and the winter has ended.

There are moments when I feel that my work life appears to be the same winter that seemed to stretch before me a month ago, difficult and endless. And yet, not quite a month later the world is green with promise. In the toughest moments at work I'm going to focus on the gift of hope and the spring that follows every long and difficult winter.

Wishes to all for the gift of hope and the joy of spring.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sweet Saturday!

Yesterday may have been one of the most beautiful days we will have all year. Seventy degrees, sunny and the fact it was March made it all the more special. It turned out that yesterday was also free Italian ice day at Rita's and you can see the line that went out the door. 

I grew up eating Italian ices. Many of the little variety and grocery stores in Hartford had coolers with five or six flavors of ices. Some of the colors were extremely lurid and a small cup of cherry could leave my mouth red for hours. The cups were small and cost five or ten cents. New York still has some Italian ice stores, and frequently there are coolers in pizza parlors with ices. My favorite Italian ice store -- I can't remember what else they sell -- is in Queens and is called Lemon Ice King of Corona. The ices are delicious and well worth a trip to Corona. Yes, this is the same neighborhood Simon and Garfunkel crowned Rosie the Queen. 

The ices were good at Rita's. I tried the Peep's flavor and it was a little too sweet for me, and decided to be a purist and go with lemon. My friend Lynda had mango and chocolate and I especially liked the mango. They do have a sugar free cherry and some fun flavors, which I will work my way through this summer. Is it as good as Lemon Ice King? Not as good, but still very good, and three blocks from my building. I think, however, that there may be a trip to Corona in the not so distant future, and yes, there will be pictures.

Wishes for a very sweet Sunday!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Pink Saturday

I'm jumping on the Pink Saturday bandwagon. Still having problems with linking, but wanted to wish everyone a bright and sunny Saturday filled with good times. I realize this pretty bouquet was a new year's wish, but there is still lots of 2010 and I hope for all of us, lots of blessings!

It's a bright and beautiful Saturday in New York. I'm leaving for services in a little while and then will stroll over to Rita's Ices for the first sweet treat of the season. I wasn't familiar with Rita's, which just opened about a month ago, but my cousins in Connecticut tell me they have the best Italian ices. I'll have to see for myself, and of course, there will be pictures! And inquiring minds want to know, what's your favorite ice cream or Italian ice flavor?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Back to M -- and Two Winners!

I hadn't intended to begin a Guess-the-Destination contest, but when I saw that Betty Rubble had guessed Maryland and then in the very next comment Jemi Fraser had guessed that my Canadian trip would be to the Maritimes -- New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to be precise, I knew we had a contest. A souvenir of my trip to Maryland next month will go to Jemi. Please send me an email and I can get your address. The souvenir from Canada will go to Betty Rubble. That trip won't be until next fall, but I promise I will remember.

The trip to Maryland is for my first meeting with blog friends. I will be going to Maryland for a blogger tea, organized by Blushing Rose, our sweet Marydon, and to meet one of the dearest blogger friends, Sherry at Country Wings in Phoenix. I am terrifically excited and am just about counting the days until mid-April.

It's just about a month until Maryland and during that month there will be lots of Meetings for work, Matzoh for Passover  and aManda's wedding -- I'm keeping with the M theme. Except for the work meetings, there will be pictures!

P.S. Asking for prayers for Sherry's brother, Teddy, who has in the hospital with cardiac problems. Adding my prayers for a quick and complete recovery!

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Wishes for a wonderful St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 15, 2010

And While We're on M...

We're at Central Park, across the street from a landmark M...

One of my favorite museums, The American Museum of Natural History

I took these a couple of weeks ago when there was still snow on the ground. This is one of my favorite museums. I had the terrific good fortune of working here when I first moved to New York and it was a wonderful experience. Many evenings I would leave work after the museum had closed and it had the same air as "Night at the Museum." I would pass the giant whale in the Hall of Oceans or the enormous earthworm and not quite believe that I was living this great experience.  

There were some great M guesses. I'd love to visit Manitoba and Holly, I've got Midland on my list, too. I like Massachusetts and lived there for three years, but it's not one of the states. I'll give a clue for the first M state. I was there last winter and posted some pictures of a near by area. I've been to a few parts of the state, though mostly to the capitol, which has a terrific art museum and a great baseball stadium. This is a new part of the state for me, and I am delighted with reading about its history. I'll be there in a month and a day and I am so excited!     

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm Thinking of an M...

Our dear Holly (the blogger formerly known as Penniwig) left a comment asking where I was traveling to next. Like a juggler I had several balls in the air and not sure if I would catch any of them. But three of them -- one long in thought -- have come to some fruition and oddly or fortuitously all of the place names begin with the letter "M." Besides these three places I am planning another trip in November to another place that also begins with an M.

I'm very excited about all three. I will be with different groups of friends in different corners of the United States and Canada, and I will be adding two new states to my list and two new provinces. The states begin with M (though there is an "I", too) and the provinces are part of an M group.  

The first trip is next month, just about a month away. No clues yet -- and if you know, please don't tell -- but it is to a very historic part of our country, with a history stretching back well into colonial times. I am starting to read about the area and am learning a great deal.

No pictures yet, but no need to worry,there will be pictures!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

...Or High Water

For some events, I'd go through hell and high water to get there. Today was one of them. My friend Kathy's son celebrated his bar mitzvah in New Jersey this morning and our book club friends went through winds and high water -- my umbrella was sacrificed in the two block walk to meet the group -- to get to New Jersey and join the celebration.

I first met Kathy in 1985 when we worked together. We've stayed in touch ever since, through her bridal shower, wedding, the birth of her two children and the last fourteen years we've seen each other every month in our book club. I wouldn't be a member of my book club without Kathy, who asked me to join. When she extended the invitation me I was going through an especially busy time and I initially said I didn't have time.  I remember her looking at me and asking if I couldn't find one night a month to talk about books. She was right and I found one night a month to not only talk about books, but to make some dear friends, without whom my life would be infinitely poorer.

Lemon meringue cupcakes -- my favorite 

The bar mitzvah was wonderful. Ethan, K's son, did a great job chanting prayers and giving his thoughts on the portion he read. Great company, a terrific meal and a fun band. K and her husband made the desserts and what treats!  I took a few photos to share how pretty the desserts looked -- and they tasted just as yummy.
It was a day definitely worth the trek through high water. So glad I could be there and so glad to share the day with all of you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I've Got Vacation on My Mind

Sanibel Island Sunset, 2008

I've really got vacation on my mind. I've just spent the last three days primarily in meetings, with twenty people in a windowless conference room discussing a new phone and computer system. Tomorrow holds the same. Is it any wonder my mind wanders? I've been really wandering in my mind to a getaway with no phones, no computers -- maybe just for a quick blog post -- and friends, laughter, some sightseeing and an ocean. Just writing this relaxes me and looking at this photo should help carry me through tomorrow.

Sweet dreams and good wishes! 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Across the River...

...to Brooklyn 

There are times I think it would be fun to live on an island and then I remember that I do, and have since 1975. We are linked to the rest of the city and New Jersey by bridges and tunnels and sometimes I get an island mentality and hate to leave Manhattan. Of course I do every day and take the subway to my job in Queens, but otherwise it seems "far" and there are times on weekends I don't get more than a mile from my building.  In that mile I can get to Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum, three movie theaters and Lincoln Center, so I am a very fortunate person. But there are so many other treasures in New York City and occasionally I need a gentle nudge to go exploring.

Last week we had a work event at the Brooklyn Museum.  I hadn't been here in several years and what a treat, even if there was lots of work to do. There is a wonderful collection of Egyptian artifacts and great European paintings. I spent a lot of time in the rotunda and was drawn to a group of sculpture. I kept thinking that they looked like works by Rodin and when I got a few minutes to explore and found that they were by Rodin. That discovery made my evening.

A model of the Statue of Liberty in the garden of the Brooklyn Museum

I hope you enjoyed our visit to Brooklyn. We'll definitely be back soon!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial

On the beautiful almost spring day last Saturday I spent some time in Riverside Park. It's literally a block from my building, but I usually go towards Central Park, which is four blocks away. Riverside Park is the "local" park, not famous, but well populated with walkers, runners, folks walking dogs and lots and lots of children playing.
The view across the river to New Jersey

I enter the park at 89th St and each time I see the memorial to the Union fallen of the Civil War, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial. Until I took pictures to share I had no idea of its history. But thanks to Google, I discovered that it was built in 1902 and the owner of the mansion across the street sued the City of New York, under the premise that the memorial would block her view. 

This shows the names of the battles on one of the sculptures adjoining the main monument  

Hope you enjoyed sharing spring in New York City, especially in my corner of Manhattan, the Upper West Side. So happy you could join me!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It Might As Well Be Spring

Riverside Park on an almost spring afternoon 

I'm happily listening to Audra McDonald singing "It Might As Well Be Spring" on You Tube. It is so close to spring that I can practically touch it. It's not quite there yet, but there are just a few patches of snow left, I don't need boots and my hat has been tucked into a drawer until next year. And did I mention that the sun is brightly shining?

I feel just about recovered from work siege of the week. This round of evening meetings are done, and I am only slightly worse for wear. I got home at 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and 12:30 a.m. on Thursday. I'd scheduled a morning meeting on Friday -- I don't know what could I have been thinking -- and just about fell into bed with my clothes on last night.

But this is a new day. I've been to services, had lunch with a friend and gone to the post office. Now I'm listening to music and catching up with my blog friends. How sweet! I've missed reading blogs and posting and glad that I can I have some catch up time. Tonight I'm having dinner with my college roommate. We're going to see if we can sneak in a manicure, too. My cuticles are about to be declared a national emergency.

The picture is Riverside Park, which runs a good part of the length of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, along the Hudson River. I've got a few more pictures of my afternoon to share tomorrow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sweepstakes Friday

We've finished our public meetings, but getting home late every night has cut into my computer time. I've got some new New York Photos and I promise to download them over the weekend. In the interim, I'm sharing a great contest link. The winner has a wonderful assortment of trips from which to choose, including one of my favorite trips to dream about, seeing the polar bears in Manitoba. Which trip would you choose?

Good luck, friends. And if anyone here wins the trip, of course, you don't have to ask me to accompany you, but I am a very good travel buddy.     

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 2, 10:22 AM

The Triborough Bridge, as viewed from Queens

Astoria, NY 
In the far distance, the Empire State Building

This is the week I've been dreading. There have been some tough work moments -- and there will be many more -- and more prolonged dental work, but Buttercup survives.  Our agency is having meetings throughout the city this week and one of my responsibilities is to coordinate our group's participation. We have a cooperative group, but there are still a lot of issues that we can't control, and generally I have a pounding headache, sore feet and an aching back by the time one of the meetings is completed. Tonight was an exception. Things went well and I got to eat some dinner, unlike the nights dinner is from a vending machine, and our part was completed by 10:00 PM. Hurray! Still there are two more to go and they could be the stuff of legends, but right now I am rejoicing.    

My subway this morning skipped my stop because of track work and I found myself at a different station than usual, looking at the Manhattan vista. The top photo is the Triborough Bridge, which connects Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. It was renamed in 2008 and is now the RFK Bridge, but as Citifield where the Mets play will always be Shea Stadium, the RFK will always be the Triborough.  The second photo is a building scene, but way in the distance there is a tiny spire, which is the top of the Empire State Building. 

I hope your day held moments in which to rejoice, for pleasures and prayers great and small.