Sunday, June 27, 2010

Come to Brooklyn!

One of the prettiest places in New York City is the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. It's just a short -- 45 minute -- subway ride from where I live, but it's a world away.

It's right around the corner from the Brooklyn Museum, which has a terrific art collection.

I was at the Botanical Gardens on Thursday for a program for work. The program went well, but I wished I could stay here for the rest of the day and enjoy the gardens, especially the lily pools, and the Museum. Definitely need a return trip soon!

It's been a whirlwind few days...Retirement party and dinner for my new volunteer program -- details to follow -- on Friday night, training for the program yesterday and a movie this afternoon with my friend Lynda. All good, but hectic. Bog visits tonight!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sixty Years Ago Today...

I love history. I love learning about history, reading about things that have happened in the past and visiting historic sites. I took two years of American History in high school and more history than I could describe in college -- Art History, English History, Church History and lots of assorted European History. To keep up with my interest in remembering history I am beginning a new and sporadic blog feature, "Years Ago Today." From time to time I will focus on an event that happened exactly a given number of years from the day I post. My first "Years Ago Today" took place sixty years ago today, the start of the Korean War.

These two sidewalk plaques commemorate two parades that took place on Broadway -- the "Canyon of Heroes" at different times after the Korean War. I was walking up Broadway tonight on the way to dinner and came upon these markers. I couldn't capture the year -- my memory is 1953 -- but they seemed ideal to mark this moment in history. 

My hope is in six days, six years, sixty years there will be no more mention of wars. But tonight this is the moment in history that we capture exactly sixty years ago today. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Date with Al Pacino...

...and about a thousand other people. Not even a double or triple date, but it's still closer than I've ever been to one of my great acting idols and most likely closer than I'll be again. 

I had a fun, but early, evening planned for tonight. I was going to leave the office relatively early and spend the evening with Hungry Girl and several hundred close friends at Borders. I had such fun at the book signing in the spring and was looking forward to more Hungry Girl fun. I got a call early in the afternoon from my thoughtful and wonderful goddaughter who is visiting New York this week. She and her terrific group of friends had an extra ticket for "The Merchant of Venice" at Shakespeare in the (Central) Park and was I free to join them? I made myself free. One, I would get to see Jess again, one of my favorite activities. Two, I love Hungry Girl, but I love Al Pacino more. I can't count the number of times I've watched "Godfather."

I wish I had more pictures to share, but they took very seriously the instruction about not photographing inside the theater. I assumed it meant only during the play, but in a nanosecond after I snapped a picture of the stage before the play started a polite, but serious usher asked me to delete my picture and waited while I did so. 

I am not a theater critic, but I will share some of my thoughts. I liked very much the young woman who played Portia, Lily Rabe. I've not seen her -- as far as I remember -- in other shows, but she was terrific. The staging was interesting. but somewhat odd, as the play was set around the turn of this century. I'm going to try and do some reading to attempt to understand the director's concept for setting the play so close to the present. 

And my hero, Mr. Pacino. It was a thrill to see him. No question. But I had trouble finding him credible in the first act. In the second act, he was my hero and the picture of him as the broken, defeated Shylock is one that I will remember.  

So this early evening became a late evening. I didn't get to visit blog friends and it's going to be tough getting up in the morning to get to Brooklyn for an 8:30 a.m. meeting. But I had a date with Al Pacino and I am very happy.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Midsummer Night's Day

We move into the sweet, warm days of summer. There will come a day -- or many days -- when I am standing in the subway sweating and feeling stifled by the heat, but tonight I am so grateful for this season. As much as I enjoy the autumn I can see winter at the next turn of the year, casting its shadow. But that's not the case in summer. There are no shadows in summer, only light. At this moment I feel that it will be an endless summer of long days and sunlight and lemonade. Intellectually I know summer doesn't go on forever, but on the longest day of the year I believe it does and I love that belief.  

Wishing you a summer of lemonade and sunshine and time spent with those you hold most dear. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

If the Funky Monkey Truck Isn't Coming to Your Town...

We'll bring Funky Monkey to you!

Thanks to my very good friends at Funky Monkey I am giving away a package of all seven Funky Monkey flavors. Applemon (apple and cinnamon), Jivealime (pineapple with lime), Carnaval Mix (banana, pineapple, apple and papaya), Purple Funk (banana with acai), Pink Pineapple, MangOJ (mango and orange juice),  Bananamon (banana and cinnamon). I've tried Applemon and Bananamon and they are yummy and so healthy. There is no added fat or sugar. 

I discovered Funky Monkey while walking in Lower Manhattan two weeks ago. The Funky Monkey truck, which is going all over the country, was stopped there and samples of Bananamon were being given out. I loved the taste -- and it was the perfect snack to carry in my tote bag -- and wrote to the Funky Monkey folks to tell them how much I liked it. I mentioned I had a blog and they were very gracious and supplied me with this terrific giveaway. Today I found the Funky Monkey truck near Lincoln Center and got to try Applemon. I also got to take a photo of the gentleman handing out the samples, who couldn't be nicer. 

I can't promise you that the delivery person will be this cute, but one visitor to Buttercupland will receive the box of yummy Funky Monkey flavors. Just tell me which flavor sounds the best to you. This giveaway closes June 30th and the winner will be announced July 1.

I've been running around for the last few days. Work was hectic on Thursday and Friday and I was away all day yesterday. Up at 5:00 am to catch the 7:07 train to New Haven. Well worth the early start. It was my cousin Tyler's Bar Mitzvah and I got to see all of my first cousin's on my father's side. It was a wonderful day and a joy to spend it with family for a very happy occasion.  This included my California cousins -- and the sweetest seven year old in North America, my cousin Sasha. I know I am biased, but she is a honey bunch. 

The week ahead looks busy with lots of work stuff, but I get to have dinner on Tuesday with my goddaughter. That's a high point in any week. 

Hugs, wishes for Father's Day and for a great week ahead!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gone to 1970 in My Mind

The longer I live -- and thankfully I have this opportunity -- the more I try to live in the present and spend less time visiting the past. Visiting the past feels like going to a house without furniture and no inhabitants. I might have lived there once but I am no longer there and it's time to find the house I live in now.

But every once in awhile I pay a visit to a happy time in the past and tonight I went to 1970 in my mind. In 1970 I was a college sophomore. Not every minute was blissful, but there were great times with friendship, laughter and interesting study. Some of the friends I write about here are a part of the memories of the time. Tonight I was transported back to those times. I had the great good fortune to attend the Carole King/James Taylor concert at Madison Square Garden. James Taylor opened the evening with "Gone to Carolina in My Mind" and the evening wound on with "Fire and Rain," "Natural Woman," and "I Feel the Earth Move." By the time they did a duet for ""You've Got a Friend" happy tears were in my eyes. I was happy with the memories of times past and happy and blessed to be sharing the evening with friends present.

Thanks to my friend, Pat, who found a most perfect birthday gift for Jane, my college roommate and I, and to Pat, Jane and our dear friend, Jo for sharing the evening. Thanks, too, for the collective total of ninety years of friendship that I've shared with the three of you and here's hoping for at least ninety more.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fall Fashion Preview

Though I have still not finished my summer shopping -- definitely need a few more T-shirts for work -- the fashionable world is already shopping for fall. I'm so far from this world of fashion that it never crossed my mind to be looking at winter clothes in June.

Last night was a lovely summer evening. I was strolling up Madison Avenue and realized fall clothes are everywhere -- everywhere on Madison Avenue. In Buttercupland fall clothes are happily in moth balls and I am loving being in open toed shoes and silky skirts. But I love to window shop and it's great to do it at 7:30 at night when most of the stores are closed and there can be no temptation to purchase. I simply had the fun of strolling, looking and photographing.

Hope you had fun window shopping with me. The rest of the week has been pretty quiet. Work, errands and an evening meeting on Monday night in Brooklyn. But tonight is one of the big evenings of the year -- and I am so excited...Concert at Madison Square Garden. If it's not too late I will post pictures when I get home  from seeing James Taylor and Carole King! Can't wait and wish you could all join me. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Guilty Pleasures on a Rainy Sunday...

...Today I lost all ability to do much on my "to-do" list. I did collect bottles for recycling and I did shred a bag of old papers -- medical receipts from the 1990s and other assorted papers that should have been discarded at least a decade ago. I read the NY Times and caught up with blog friends. But the trip to the drugstore, the bank, a manicure -- all were put off.

And while I sorted and shredded...I indulged in a very guilty pleasure. I watched/listened to the "E" Network "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" Marathon. I almost never watch "E" and have only watched the Kardashians on a long plane ride, but it was the perfect background to shredding and sorting.  My life seems so tame in comparison and tomorrow I can return to my infinite to-do list. What are your guilty pleasures?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

They Had Me at Seaside Suite...

...but I was completely taken with "overlooking the Indian Ocean." I enter a lot of sweepstakes and have had some fun wins, but so far no trips. A lot of them sound like fun -- Florida or Las Vegas -- and some sound great. London and Capri fall into that category. But this latest one to Bali really excites me. Bali has long been on my "to see" list and just the thought of it is thrilling.  Can't help but hope that this will be my lucky trip win!

Kate Spade Bali Bound Sweepstakes: "Kate Spade Bali Bound Sweepstakes"

P.S. Tomorrow...brand new fun giveaway!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thirty One Years Ago...

The sun was shining as brightly as it could shine
and the stars twinkled with a wondrous glow...

To my dear goddaughter, Jess!

Wishes to you for a year of happiness, good health,
 hugs and blessings.  

When I count my blessings you are a very special blessing!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Musicals...The Sound of Music

With total inspiration from one of my favorite blogs, Insight Into Entertainment, I had to listen to "The Sound of Music." Had to. Nothing in the world could stop me and I had to share it. Had to!

I love musicals. This will come as a shock for folks who know me in real life and with whom I attend the theater. I very rarely want to get tickets to a musical and if I do, they are rarely less than forty years old. But give me Rodgers and Hammerstein and Cole Porter and I am in love. And if you add the classics of the movies, this may be all the music I may need for quite awhile. I can watch "Gigi" or "Meet Me in St. Louis" almost endlessly and cry every time I see them.

This is my love letter to my favorite musicals and let me include in this post a love note to Julie Andrews and every thanks for the infinite hours of happiness I've had watching and listening to her, both in "The Sound of Music" and the Broadway version of "Camelot."

Please let me know your favorite musicals. Can't imagine that visitors to Buttercupland don't like musicals!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Drum Roll Please....

Every entry made me sparkle, but there can only be one winner in "The Biggest Giveaway Ever." The winner was chosen by a very old-fashioned method. Names were placed in a bowl and one was chosen. 

And the winner is...

This wonderful blog friend is from Minnesota and has a terrific blog and a most adorable baby granddaughter. Strongly recommend that you stop by and visit. You will receive a very warm welcome. 

That's all the excitement I can take for one evening. I feel terrible that I can't send a prize to everyone who left a comment, but unfortunately that's not possible. Thanks, all,  for the fun comments and again thanks to our friends at Yoplait through Blogspark for the great prizes. 

And...I'm definitely in the giveaway mode and yes, there's another one coming next week! 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Just a few steps from Carnegie Hall...

And a few less steps from a new favorite fun restaurant...

is my little oasis. 

I took a slightly different route home last night and found myself walking up West 57th Street towards the bus. I've walked this block many times, but hadn't noticed this little oasis right in the center of Manhattan. It was the perfect place to stop, rest, read some pages of "South of Broad" and smell the flowers. I had a lovely time reading and just enjoying being outside at the start of the weekend. 

Today continued the theme -- stop, rest and read. I did a few errands, too, but it has been a totally relaxing day. I'm still reading "South of Broad" so my thoughts will have to wait for next week -- or the week after. I'm enjoying it more as I keep reading and I'm not in a big rush to finish it. I've got more scheduled for tomorrow, including a very fun event. And yes, there will be pictures. 

There's just about 24 hours left to enter the Yoplait giveaway. Comments may be left on the June 1 post through tomorrow night. Don't be shy -- the prize is great.

Wishes for a great Sunday!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Biggest Giveaway Ever!

Please see my last post for the biggest giveaway ever in Buttercupland. Thanks to our friends at Yoplait and Blogspark there is a great terry robe and fun bath accessories to one lucky visitor to Buttercupland. A quick note on the Tuesday June 1 post puts you into this giveaway -- and gives you a discount coupon for yummy Yoplait Greek yogurt. There are some fun answers to the question of what makes visitors to Buttercupland sparkle and I'd love to see your answer.

Things that are making me sparkle in these first beautiful days of June? I'm really enjoying "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy, a piece of dark chocolate each evening and seeing lots of friends at our synagogue annual meeting tonight. I'm also sparkly thinking of a weekend visit to one of my favorite places to see some of my favorite people late in August. Just have to work out the ticket. I'm absolutely shining at the thought.

 Summer Days on the St. Lawrence...It doesn't get better!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's Time to Nourish Your Inner Goddess Spark

Thanks to our friends at Yoplait via Blogspark I am delighted to host a giveaway for the perfect combo to Nourish Your Inner Goddess Spark. The women who visit Buttercupland are already sparkling, but there's always a day we could use a little extra sparkle. Just leave a comment that shares what makes you sparkle and you may be the recipient of a lovely terry bathrobe, bath accessories and coupons for the very yummy Yoplait Greek yogurt. If that combination doesn't give you some sparkle, I'm not sure what will.

Before I came upon this giveaway I've long been a fan of Greek yogurt. Yoplait's Greek yogurt is super creamy and like all Greek yogurt is packed with protein. Thanks Yoplait friends for the opportunity to nourish our inner Goddess Sparks, and try this yummy yogurt.

This giveaway will close on Sunday night, June 6 and the winner will be posted next Monday, June 7. Look forward to lots of sparkling comments!

Again, many thanks to our friends at Yoplait, through Blogspark for providing the product, prize pack, information and giveaway. They're all as yummy as the yogurt. If you haven't visited Blogspark it's a fun place and well worth a visit.

P.S. The chair in the background was my grandmother's and the needlepoint seat was done by my mother.