Monday, May 31, 2010

Thanks, Again, Mr. Eastman

It was a beautiful day in New York City today, sunny and not too hot. My wait for the bus was long and the book I was reading -- Pat Conroy's "South of Broad" was too heavy to hold while I waited. To pass the time I took out my camera and here are photos of Fifth Avenue, Manhattan to share with you.

Central Park
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

It's a big week in Buttercupland. Tomorrow is the post for the biggest giveaway ever -- or at least thus far. By the end of the week I hope to post my thoughts on "South of Broad." Review sounds a little pretentious for this amateur reviewer, but as a hint, I think this book may rival "Prince of Tides," and that is a high compliment for me. And later on in the week, is a style question...Something for everyone in Buttercupland. Please come and visit and have a great week!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In Gratitude and Remembrance

The Most Decorated Soldier of World War II

The Memorial to the USS Maine

 The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

When I had the great privilege of visiting Marydon and Harold last month we spent part of the time visiting Arlington National Cemetery. I've been there before -- several times -- but I never fail to come away moved from this resting place for so many who gave so much. I continue to be grateful to all who gave so much and continue to do so each day to insure freedom.

I dedicate this post to the memory of my father, who served for four years in World War II, including time spent in battle in Europe. I add my thanks to my colleague Jonathan, who was called up from the reserves and is now in Afghanistan for the next eleven months. Prayers for safety for Jonathan and his colleagues and for all who are in harm's way each day for the cause of liberty.    

Buttercup and Jonathan, April 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Coming Attraction...

Biggest Blog Giveaway!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Can't wait to post it. So big there needs to be some time to get ready for the post. 

I'll be back again this weekend. So enjoying the leisure of the long weekend. Hope you are too!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

About ice cream...

I've been thinking about yesterday's yummy dessert and I keep coming back to the extremely delicious pistachio ice cream. It doesn't really surprise me that during the day my mind would drift to thoughts and memories of ice cream. Ice cream is probably my favorite food and I like it just about any way. I'm happy with the elegant homemade ice cream that I had yesterday. But I am also very happy with an ice cream sandwich, a Carvel cone -- especially with the cherry bonnet -- or a scoop of Friendly's mint chocolate chip in a sugar cone. 

What's your favorite ice cream treat? 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Very Yummy Monday

Apricots, pistachio ice cream and crepes

I love eating lunch out. Dinner is great and breakfast may be my all time favorite, but I do love a long leisurely lunch. A lot of my lunches are eaten at my desk, with the phone ringing and colleagues stopping by to ask me questions. So a leisurely lunch is a great treasure. We stopped at wonderful restaurant today that I've long looked at. I had a wonderful broccoli soup, delicious bread and a great iced coffee. But the treat was our desserts. Sue had the chocolate souffle -- sorry the pictures didn't come out well -- and I had this lovely crepe dessert. I especially liked the pistachio ice cream. 

It's been so much fun to be a tourist in New York City! Please come and visit New York, dear blog friends. I promise you a wonderful time!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dropping by...

Dropping by to say hello. My high school friend, Sue, is visiting from Florida for this weekend and we are enjoying New York City. We saw a great cabaret show last night, theater tickets for tonight and a museum visit this afternoon. It's been leisurely and enjoyable and I almost feel that I'm on vacation, too.

Spring street scene on the Upper West Side of Manhattan

Wishes for a wonderful weekend to all!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This May Be the Last Time...

...I can use the excuse that I was late for work because I stopped to watch "Law and Order" being filmed on my way to the subway.

I won't be able to see the filming any more, but the re-runs should go on forever. As a "Law and Order" fan this gives me great comfort. I'm just going to pray that we get a new series that films in the neighborhood. I've really enjoyed seeing the filming and what a great excuse for being late for work.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thank Heaven for George Eastman...

Without him what would little blogs do?

With many apologies to Lerner and Lowe and the wonderful score of Gigi, I am deeply thankful for George Eastman -- of Rochester and Eastman Kodak -- who made it possible for the world, and this blogger, to easily take photographs. Before Mr. Eastman came along in the second half of the nineteenth century taking photos outside a studio meant bringing a vast array of equipment. I'm counting many blessings for all the rolls of film I've taken over the years and the Kodak moments they represent.

During our visit to Rochester I enjoyed touring Eastman House, Mr. Eastman's house and gardens and a wonderful museum devoted to photography. There was a great exhibit on portraits that I especially enjoyed. I also loved the gardens, which were rich and lush with wisteria, one of my favorite flowers. 

Of course what would graduation day be without a graduation picture? It was a beautiful, sunny day and perfect for a graduation. No clouds for our happy party!

Wishes for bright, clear, cloudless days and many Kodak moments! 

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Just Got Back from Lilac Land...

...Literally! I spent the weekend in Rochester, which was celebrating its Lilac Festival. 

The lilacs -- and wisteria -- were beautiful, but even lovelier was the reason for my visit. David, the son of my dear friends, Nancy and Mark, graduated from the University of Rochester. Nancy, Mark and extended family had a wonderful time celebrating. We toured the George Eastman house -- thank you Mr. Eastman for the every day wonder of pictures -- ate a wonderful celebratory dinner and attended the university commencement and the Biology Department commencement.

There was much laughter, joy and happiness in the accomplishment of this wonderful young man. David starts graduate school this morning and I know we will have much more to celebrate in the years to come.

I will be back tonight with more photos of Rochester. I am remiss in being gone for a week and so overdue in blog visiting. The days have really run away from me. Wishes to all for a great day!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hooray! It's Huckleberry Day!

I'm still feeling more Stinkweed than Buttercup tonight. After I finish this note I am going to take a hot shower, light my lavender candle -- thanks, Becky! -- and finish the terrific mystery that I am reading. But the best thing I could think of for tonight's blog was to declare a Buttercup Holiday. It's long overdue for a holiday here in Buttercupland and for the next 24 hours we are celebrating...

Huckleberry Day 

We discovered huckleberries in Montana and loved them. I had huckleberry jam every morning on toast and huckleberry sauce for our bison and I bought a jar of jam, which I have been enjoying with peanut butter since my return. I know the jam jar shows a strawberry, but in Buttercupland, as in life, it's often the thought that counts. 

How to celebrate Huckleberry Day? It's the thought that counts. If you don't have huckleberries, have some strawberry jam, or grape jelly or just think sweet thoughts and know that your blog sisters around the world are pausing for sweet thoughts with you.

P.S. Thank you all for your thoughtful and dear notes on turning sixty. I will both seize and savor the time and treasure all of your kindness. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

60 on My Mind

In (almost) literally two months I will be sixty. It's been on my mind for the last few months and whenever I look at my profile and see the words "fifty something" the thought in mind has been "not for long." I've been drifting into the harbor of sixty slowly, but it seems the boat is now moving faster, a little too fast for my liking, to the pier. Last week in Montana K was sweet and generous for my birthday -- and what a lovely time celebrating together -- and I just spoke to my high school friend, Sue, who will be coming to visit in two weeks for my birthday.

Sixty -- or the thought of sixty -- makes me nervous. I feel age and its potential limitations looming before me and all of my free floating worry springs up. Of course nothing changes immediately at sixty, as nothing changed immediately at thirty or forty or fifty. But somehow it seems more monumental than the previous major birthdays. The upbeat Buttercup part of me pushes the anxiety away to focus on the time of fun and celebration with those who are dear to me. But the Stinkweed part is intruding, pushing anxious thoughts into my mind too often.

I could use any advice, dear friends, that you can offer. How was it to turn 60? Any tips for transitioning to a new decade? I'd like your thoughts as well on retirement, career, looking for a new job. As the song said "I get by with a little help from my friends," and it's as true now as when we were young.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Goddaughter of my Heart

I am beginning this note with a disclaimer, Mother's Day is not my favorite holiday. My mother died twenty years ago and I still miss her every day. The other, perhaps more overwhelming issue is that I am not a mother and there are times it makes me sad. All that aside, for the greatest part I have made peace with these issues. This blog is about counting blessings, my blessings, and there is one terrific blessing I specifically associate with Mother's Day, my goddaughter, Jess. 

Jessica is not actually my goddaughter. Her Aunt Maureen is her given godmother, but Jess is the goddaughter of my heart. Jessica went to college an hour from New York and I visited frequently. We tried to find the right description of our relationship and friend and friend's daughter just didn't describe it, and so I became a godmother. What a joy! No one could have a sweeter and lovelier goddaughter or daughter. Jess is beautiful, accomplished, intelligent and funny, but more important she is one of the kindest and most caring people I will ever meet.

The last paragraph is part of my post from last year at this time. The words still ring true, and I am delighted and blessed to dedicate this post to Jess and to her mother K, with lots of love.

Wishes to all who are mothers, hope to be mothers, all of us who are daughters for a days of blessing and happiness.

Yummy Saturday

From time to time I will be posting pictures of some of the yummies I encounter and would like to share. These super yummy looking apples were found in a candy store in the United Airlines gate area on the way to Montana last week. I am pleased to report that I restrained my self from buying and sampling one. It's not that I have tremendous will power, but the difficulty of choosing which apple and the thought of how messy it would be to eat said apple stopped me. They do look yummy, don't they?

The promised pictures of Idaho will be appearing next week. I'm off to services and then our study group, where we are working through 2Samuel.

Wishes for a yummy Saturday!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A River Runs Through It

A favorite movie is "A River Runs Through It" which takes place in long ago Montana. One of the beauties of Missoula is the Clark Fork River, which runs through the city. K found a terrific bed and breakfast and the river ran right in front of it. I loved sitting in the dining room -- especially the day we had French toast with blueberry sauce -- having breakfast, chatting with K and watching the river.

We loved staying at Goldsmith's and watching the river

I don't think I could grow tired of this vista just two blocks from Goldsmith's

 Our view from the dining room...Across the bridge to the University of Montana

Downtown Missoula. This is a beautiful historic block, and the home of one of the best bookstores I've ever visited, Fact and Fiction. I wanted to read just about every book in their inventory. 

An extraordinary sky in big sky country

I love sharing my trip and hope you've enjoyed this visit to Missoula. Idaho photos are still to come. 

I won't be around to post tomorrow. This is theater season and my discount theater website is full of excitement. I got a ticket to see Linda Lavin tomorrow night in "Collected Stories," for which she just received a Tony nomination. Can't believe my good luck! I just about jumped out of my chair when I saw the ticket was available. It may be in the tip-top of the theater, but I am so looking forward to it. 

I'll be back on Friday with theater notes, Idaho and then there's Yummy Saturday to come. See you on Friday and have a great Thursday. 

On a different note, prayers and thoughts are in Nashville. I lived there for three years and am heartsick to see the damage from the flooding.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Signs of the (Montana and Idaho) Times

I'm not having an easy landing back into real life. I had a wonderful time in Montana and Idaho and barely thought of all the things I do in my day to day work life. But as I was sitting at my desk eating lunch -- and there was no glorious view -- I realize I'd returned to real life with a thud. This isn't a complaint. It's simply that I had enjoyed my visit with Tom and Julia so much and loved spending time with my dear friend, K, and now it was all over. But what glorious memories!

 We visited the Farmers Market

On the trail in Idaho
I was thrilled to be on the same trail as Lewis and Clark

At the Lumberjack Saloon

Homemade huckleberry ice cream -- which was as good as it sounds. 

A River Runs Through It...
A preview for tomorrow