Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Farmer's Market

Our one adventure was a visit to the Farmer's Market. It was a perfect summer day and it seemed the world was in a good mood. Maybe it was just that my mood was so good that things that might have bothered me today -- a less perfect summer day at work -- just didn't upset me at all. Or maybe we just had a perfect summer day.

There were flowers...

Dancing children...

The bounty of the earth...

Some of the most beautiful yarn I've ever seen. 

It was eighty degrees, there was sunlight and I was in the company of one of my dearest friends. A day to enjoy, to treasure and to share!

Wishing you days to enjoy, to treasure and to share!

P.S. I became so taken with the yarn and the lovely women spinning it (!) that it will be the subject of another post later this week. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blue Sky, Smiling at Me...

...Nothing but blue sky do I see.

I feel that I take the same pictures every year and will post the same pictures two years in a row...but the majesty and beauty of this magnificent river and the awesome sky above thrill me more each year.

The great gift of this visit to Jess and K. was time. I never felt rushed. Our activities were simple and lovely -- reading books, chatting, watching a movie, a trip to the Farmer's Market, several visits with K's sister, brother-in-law and niece. I finished "Unaccustomed Earth" by Jhumpa Lahiri, a wonderful collection of short stories, by the author of a favorite novel, "The Namesake." Most of our time was spent with the river as our backdrop, the river and the most beautiful blue skies. I feel very fortunate for the friendship that enables this trip every year and for all that we share.

My only disappointment is my technological ineptitude. I did great with the Flip Video camera during my visit, thanks to Jess' patient instruction. I didn't do so well when I got home and tried to load the little videos. I spent at least an hour last night -- with no success -- and kept freezing my computer. I'm going to give it another try over the weekend and I hope to share a video with you next week. If my next try isn't successful, I will have to wait until my friend's eleven year-old has some free time.

How my dear blog friends had a great weekend and have a great week!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

North Country, Here I Come...

...and I can't wait.

Tomorrow afternoon these are the scenes that I will be enjoying!

I am making my annual visit to the St. Lawrence River, North Country, New York to visit two of the dearest people in the world, K. and Jess. Looking forward to long lazy days watching the river, sitting on the swing on the deck, reading, laughing, talking, eating, talking, laughing. I can feel myself relaxing just writing about my visit. We'll take a fun visit to somewhere new or old and loved -- and there will be pictures. I'm bringing the Flip Video Camera for its try-out, so there may be videos, too. 

Wishing you long, lazy days with those you love! See you next week. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

You Know You're Really Grown Up...

...when a big splurge is getting extra noise protection for your new -- drum roll, please --


I moved into my apartment 19 years ago. I had the apartment painted, built bookcases and did work in the bathroom. Replacing the appliances was on my "list." Other things jumped ahead on the list. Sometimes it was for fun -- a trip to Borneo -- and sometimes it was for necessity -- a new tooth. The last few years have been more teeth and less trips and replacing "perfectly good," but aging appliances was far down on the list. The phrase "perfectly good" was my mother's. We used appliances until they were no longer "perfectly good," and  this habit has stuck with me. 

A couple of months ago the dishwasher stopped being perfectly good. Actually, it stopped being at all. Tonight I had the great pleasure of going to the appliance store down the street and buying a brand-new gleaming Whirlpool dishwasher. It's energy efficient and for a treat, I got the extra quiet model. There are purchases I've been excited about, but this one is high on the list. It's scheduled to be delivered in early September and I'm just about counting the days. Can't wait to welcome to my new, quiet friend!                           

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not Called on Account of Rain

What's a little rain -- or a lot of rain -- to an avid fan? I had my pink Yankees cap and my very thoughtful friend, Lynda, had a bright yellow poncho and we stayed for just about the entire game. I got to see a grand slam, which was a terrific thrill. I've been to other ball parks and I'd done a lot of work with traffic issues before this stadium opened, but this was my first time at this beautiful new stadium as a fan. Seats were comfortable (even in the less pricey section where we sat), food was yummy and there were more restrooms than I've ever seen before in a public facility. No lines, ladies!

It was a great day for this Yankee fan! Wishing you great days in the week ahead.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

On This Lovely August Afternoon...

...I have officially begun my Christmas shopping. I had a less than positive experience in Macy's last night, which reminded me for the hundredth time that shopping in NYC is often not fun. At least, it's often not fun after work, and it's never fun around Christmas. On one of the online auction sites I bought my first Christmas gift and a wedding present for one of my favorite adorable young couples who are getting married in February. I feel so organized.

It's been a nice day. Lunch with a friend -- no line at our favorite brunch place -- some errands and off to the Metropolitan Museum later today. I'm so excited about tomorrow. I have tickets to see the Yankees play the Mariners. Hoping for good weather. If I can figure out how to get my Flip Video Camera to work there may even be videos!

On another pretty summer afternoon I took this picture, which I'd like to share.

Wishes for summer breezes, pretty flowers and loved ones to share these last days of August!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Youtube, Here I Come!

I've mentioned my hobby/part-time job of entering sweepstakes. Tonight I calculated that I enter approximately 5,000 contests a year. When I look at it in that perspective it is overwhelming and doesn't seem especially  worthwhile. But I can do my "sweeping" in fifteen minute increments, at most an hour a day. It can be 11:00 P.M. or a quick half hour on Sunday mornings and I'm usually wearing a t-shirt and shorts or my bathrobe. It's always dress-down Friday for sweeping. I've had some nice wins -- my cousins love the PS2 and the Garmin I won -- but the last few months have been much less stellar. I've continued sweeping, but haven't had a lot of motivation.

Last night, a medium sized package arrived, stamped fragile. I couldn't remember ordering anything and there was no discernible return address. Inside I found....

Flip Video...

I've started to read up, but I'm not even sure exactly what I can do with it. One of my colleagues has offered the assistance of his 11 year-old son to tutor me, and I know I will have a good instructor. I noted in the description that I can make my own videos for youtube and create still photos out of the videos that I take. I can use all the advice that I can get for my new treasure, and as ever, asking for my blog friends' experience. Does anyone have one of these? Any tips that you can recommend? Do you like it? Do you love it? I know I will get some great thoughts on using my new cute-as-a-button video camera. 

Thanks, blog friends, and wishes for a terrific Thursday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hot Time Summer in the City...

...Literary Monday!

I love catching up with some of adventures of the summer. It was the hottest summer in a decade and I have the electric bill to confirm it! But despite the heat there were some very fun times this summer. I didn't get to blog a few of them, but definitely want to share them in the next few weeks. Amazingly, summer is nearing an end, and like every summer it flew by.

One of the joys of living in New York is the access to authors. As a reader it's an especial treat to hear, and sometimes meet, favorite authors. This summer marked the 75th anniversary of Penguin Books and to celebrate the occasion one of my favorite authors read at our local Barnes and Noble.

Happy birthday to Penguin!

Janice Lee reads from "The Piano Teacher"

Mary is all-smiles as she gets her copy of "The Piano Teacher" signed

I attended with two of my favorite book-loving friends, Mary and Terry, and it was a great evening. "The Piano Teacher" is a wonderful novel, compelling and thoughtful. It takes place in Hong Kong, during and after World War II, and for those of us who enjoy historical fiction, it is a terrific read. Thanks, Penguin and Barnes and Noble and thanks too, Mary and Terry for wonderful company.  

What were the literary highlights of your summer, favorite books, new authors discovered? Please share, it's Literary Monday. Hugs and happy reading!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's Always Breakfast Time Somewhere...

...and two weeks ago it was breakfast time in the Bronx! I had a meeting with a community group at 9:00 am and found I was finished by 10:00. I was with a dear colleague and we treated ourselves to an early lunch, aka breakfast, my favorite meal.

 The look is very unassuming, but the food was great!

By the time we finished breakfast the fans were arriving for the Yankees day later that day. We were only three blocks from Yankee Stadium and the area had gone from a regular morning to baseball fans everywhere. 

I'm standing in front of the diner viewing Yankee Stadium 

I'm off a little later for a local adventure to visit a place in New York City I've never been before. You know there will be pictures. In the next week I'm going to share pictures of some fun times I've had this summer in the city..."Hot time, Summer in the City" is on the way. 

I want to thank everyone for the great thoughts about hearing aids. My bloggy friends come through every time. I appreciate your openness, thoughtful reflections and support. I can't feel alone when there are great friends all over the world. Take good care and have a wonderful Saturday!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You Know You're Really Grown Up...

...when you ask your blog friends for thoughts about hearing aids...and it's all in a day's experience.

A little background...This has been the summer of health. Maybe it's turning sixty, but something clicked in me and I've spent this summer focused on good health. The two challenges I've participated in have been part of it. I've also been eating super healthy, with lots of fruits and veggies daily and rarely a French fry. With two of my work buddies, I've been going to Weight Watchers and we've really enjoyed it. The results have been good -- maybe even great -- and I'm wearing clothes I haven't worn in over three years.

The other part of healthy summer has been catching up on medical appointments. I've had my annual checkup with lots of blood work and my quarterly dental appointment. But I've also done some major testing with a cardiac stress test and a carotid artery check last week. Thankfully these two major tests were completely uneventful. This morning I went for two tests that I'd been putting off. One was a follow-up at the vocal chord clinic. It's a test I dread and I worry here about the outcome. My prayers were answered here and my vocal chords have actually improved. I do have a prescription for speech therapy, which my wonderful doctor feels will keep them in better working condition. Since talking is just about my favorite activity, I plan to look into this in the fall.

The last test I wanted to do this summer was a hearing test. I've been having trouble hearing in restaurants and in places with a lot of peripheral noise. I knew it wasn't my imagination, and the test confirmed the moderate hearing loss I know that I have. I liked the audiologist a lot and we had a very good discussion about hearing aids. It's not a critical issue at this time, but it might improve the quality of my life a lot and I am thinking very seriously about it. The words, hearing aids, sound very drastic, but I am looking at it as I look at using glasses,  which is not very drastic at all. I'd love thoughts, experiences concerning using hearing aids. Can anyone comment on their own experience or close relatives or friends -- good and not so good. I want to collect as much data as possible before I move ahead on this. I know I can count on my blog buddies once again.

Had a big evening event for work tonight and I need to head off to the land of sweet dreams. My treat for tomorrow night is blog visiting and I am so looking forward to catching up. Sweet dreams to my dear blog buddies.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Weather Fates Were Kind Today

For what seemed like the first time all summer it was a perfect summer day -- clear blue sky, balmy weather and lots of sun. I had been invited to an outdoor luncheon in Bridgehampton, not quite all the way out to the end of Long Island. It's a perfect summer afternoon when the weather is clear, sunny and balmy and the weather fates were in perfect alignment today.

Most of the now very fashionable Hamptons beach area was once farm land. Not much farming remains, but here is a great farm house down the road from my friends' house. 

My friends' gardens 

Grateful for sunshine -- and not too much -- friends, good food and laughter. I'm grateful, too, for all of your good wishes, support and great stories about my last post. Knew I could count on my blog buddies and of course, you were all terrific.   

I'm grateful, too, to Nancy at Southern Blessings. I'm the winner of her blog giveaway for a Total Pillow. It sounds great and I am so excited. Nancy has a great blog, with lots to think about and enjoy. Definitely suggest that you stop by and say hello. She is a sweetie!  

Wishes to all for friends, good food and laughter and a blessed Sunday!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Looking for Love

I know it's not Valentine's Day and I'm not dreaming of cool weather, either. But I am thinking of romance. Romance hasn't been a topic in my life for quite awhile. In years past it was a prime topic and hope sprang eternal through good romances and not so good romances. Hope poked its head up through dozens of singles events and then, after a string of awful evenings, it just went into hibernation. I have a nice life, for which I am deeply grateful, but no romance and no hint of romance and that's the way the future stretched ahead.  

Walking home this evening hope -- out of nowhere after a very long sleep -- poked its head up. Maybe somewhere, somehow there is a nice man out there. I'm not looking to rekindle any old fires, despite every other movie on cable. Somehow, in quite the same miraculous way I found my blog friends there is a romance waiting for a still-cute sixty year-old. I'm asking for inspiration and a pat on the back for my good friend, hope. Please tell me any miraculous romance stories you have lived or know of. I'll take distant ones of your sister-in-law's cousin and the great guy she met at the post office.

Dear blog sisters, you've given me hope and inspiration and laughter more times than I can count and I know hope and I can count on you again!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

These few words tell an infinite story. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Great Fortune

I love Chinese food -- actually just about any Asian cuisine -- and could pretty happily eat it every day. Generally in New York that is a very easy request. There is often a Chinese restaurant every few blocks. And for a long time that was true for me. When I worked downtown there were several Chinese restaurants just a few blocks away. I was a frequent visitor. For many years there was a Chinese take-out place just a few blocks away and a Malaysian restaurant -- with fabulous Mango Chicken -- two blocks away.

But our office moved. The Malaysian restaurant lost its lease. The Chinese restaurant became a very fancy fish restaurant and from many options, no options! It wasn't a major disappointment, but there were nights that I wanted hot and sour soup or cold sesame noodles for dinner and there was nowhere on the way home to get them. Of course I had the option of having them delivered, but the minimum delivery was ten dollars and it seemed too pricey to order out on a regular basis, when all I really needed was soup or noodles.

I know someone is mourning the sushi restaurant that went out of business, but its replacement is this, a Chinese takeout right around the corner from my building, and on the way home from the subway. The hot and sour soup, a generous pint, is a bargain by almost any standards and certainly by Manhattan standards at $1.91, with noodles and fortune cookie and it's delicious. What great good fortune!

Wishing you good fortune and your heart's desire tomorrow and every day! 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

And the Winner Is...

It's August 1 and there is a winner in Buttercupland for the great giveaway from our friends at Good Earth and Blogspark. I love starting out a new month with great news.

The winner is...Deb! I wish I had a giveaway for everyone who entered. The Good Earth product is yummy and I'd love to be able to share it with all the visitors to Buttercupland. I've enjoyed being part of the Challenge that Deb sponsored in July and her blog is a nice place to stop by and visit.

I've enjoyed all the suggestions on holidays and see that we definitely have a trend. I took today very easy. I did get in my walk, some grocery shopping and did some cooking for the week. Otherwise, it was the New York Times and iced coffee, and it was definitely a good way to spend a day.

Wishes to all for great days in the week ahead!