Monday, September 27, 2010

Greetings from Halifax

I love writing "Greetings from Halifax." I'm having a little trouble with loading my pictures, but still want to say hello. Only four emails from the office and I am definitely starting to relax. Did some sightseeing in Halifax and then took a bus tour to Peggy's Cove, a beautiful tiny fishing village with an extraordinary lighhouse. We had the most perfect clear and sunny fall day I could ever ask for. Not much in the way of autumn colors, but still enjoyed the day very much. Even got in a little Christmas shopping and could have spent the rest of the day at the store I found. The gifts are so cute they will be a separate post and I think Jess and K are going to be very happy. 

The ship is fun. Nice table at dinner and have met lots of very friendly people to chat with. I took a Yoga class yesterday and enjoyed the champagne art auction and the Comedy Club last night. This evening's activity is a trivia contest, another evening at the Comedy Club and then dinner. 

Tomorrow is St. John, New Brunswick. I'm hoping for another perfect fall day. Wish you all could be here and share the crisp autumn air, sea breeze and fun!

P.S. Dear Canadian friends, I found my favorite candies today...Smarties! They were as good as I remembered and am hoping to find a COWS ice cream store tomorrow. COWS is just the best ice cream. If I get to COWS that will definitely get its own post.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's Been a Wild Ride...

...Work, that is. Every day has tossed me a new big problem and they just keep coming. In the midst of all of this there were two night meetings. Not a lot of time for blogging, talking to friends -- I got two emails asking where I was -- grocery shopping or reading mail. The mail's piled up and I have so missed my blog friends.

But that's the week that passed. Starting last night at 8:00 PM I am on vacation! I am on a cruise from New York up the East coast to Canada. Our stops include Halifax and St. John, Portland, ME and Boston.  I am still wound up, but I am sure once the trip gets underway -- three hours from now -- work will begin to fade. I will have my laptop with me and I hope to blog during the trip and read blogs. If all goes as I hope I will be adding pictures from each of the ports that we will be visiting.

I did manage to photograph a new television show when they were filming in my neighborhood. Didn't get to see Tom Selleck, who stars in it, but I am always hopeful for a celebrity sighting.

The wardrobe trailer

I'm off to finish packing. I am looking forward to beautiful autumn leaves, which I will be sharing! Hugs and good wishes for a great weekend.  

P.S. Betty Rubble, you have a gift coming from the Maritimes!

Monday, September 20, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Musicals...South Pacific

I love, love, love "South Pacific." It was hard to pick just one clip for this musical, but one of my all-time favorite songs is "Younger Than Springtime." This version by Mandy Patinkin is one of my favorites and there is a very slight Buttercup connection to Mandy Patinkin. Several years ago I was in my local grocery -- a block from my building -- and there in the beverage aisle was Mandy Patinkin. I almost fell over and was totally unable to speak. Somehow I managed to finish shopping and check-out with falling on the floor of the grocery.

Last week I shared my ineptitude for tap dancing and with this song I share that I am a total hopeless romantic, and this is one of my favorite romantic songs. Enjoy! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quick Trip to Oz...

...and thankfully, back in one piece!

Thursday night I was working at one of my organization's events in Staten Island. From my seat at the registration table I could see the street and a view of everyone entering. It was just about 5:15 when I saw that it was raining and it was "coming down in sheets." Then I noticed about two feet of water rushing down the street, as one of my colleagues described it, "like a river." In the next minute I saw a ferocious wind and thought, "It looks like we're in 'Wizard of Oz'." I never really thought we were in "Wizard of Oz," or even could be anywhere close to a tornado in Staten Island. Fifteen minutes later someone came in and said that there had been a tornado in the Tottenville section of Staten Island.  I didn't have any fear because I didn't believe that there could be a tornado anywhere in New York City. Perhaps naive, but exactly how I felt.

It turns out that there were two tornadoes, the one I saw in Staten Island and another one in Brooklyn and Queens and there was lots of damage. Trees came down and homes and businesses were damaged, too. The sign post at the Little League field, where my colleague is very active, was bent in half.  My neighborhood and the neighborhoods near the Staten Island Ferry -- both in Manhattan and Staten Island -- were blessedly unscathed.

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) ended last night. It is a holiday that begins at sundown and goes an hour past sundown the next day. It is a fast day, with lots of time for prayer and reflection. I had my prayer list with me and those who had asked for specific prayers were well remembered, as well as all of my blog friends and families collectively.

I hope to do a lot of blog visiting this evening and catch up and say hello. Wishes to all for a great week!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Musicals...42nd Street

"Come and meet these dancing feet...
It's the Avenue I'm taking you to, 
42nd Street."

I happened to be at the actual West 42nd Street last night and snapped a picture to share. Then the words to one of my favorite musicals came to mind and stayed in my mind all day. Definitely a sign that it was time to feature another great favorite. I love "42nd Street" for the immensely singable music and for the terrific tap dancing. 

I am a complete sucker for tap dancing and one of my great regrets in life is my inability to tap dance. I am totally inept. I took tap dancing as a little girl and one memorable moment is sitting down on the stage at my first recital and refusing to dance. I was three years old and most likely completely overwhelmed by the entire experience, but this incident set the tone for my dance career. I took tap again as an adult, hoping that I'd acquired more poise and coordination, but I was still always at least one buffalo behind the others who had long shuffled off to Buffalo by the time I arrived. 

Please settle back and enjoy this clip of some of the music of "42nd Street." I was delighted to discover that the wonderful Jerry Orbach had starred in a revival. Enjoy, enjoy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Walking in the Rain

Even a little rain didn't dampen our spirits for the Susan G. Komen Walk. The day was first overcast, and then just rainy, but it was a great feeling to be part of thousands of people walking to help find a cure for breast cancer. Our team is "Lights of Nodome." Ndome was a dear friend of one of my colleagues -- who organizes the team in her friend's memory. Tragically, Ndome died several years ago in her late thirties. We walked today with her parents and her ten-year old daughter.

Our team -- minus Buttercup. I am the photographer. 

Thousand of walkers on Central Park West, the street where the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade begins.

The walk continued through Central Park.

This cute sweetie-pie, with her dad, is the youngest member of our team!

Thanks, dear friends, for your support for this terrific cause. I so appreciate the contributions from friends all over the country. In the interest of full disclosure, I only did two miles of the three-mile walk. I was delighted that I could do two miles and still be ambulatory this evening. I have an ankle problem and missed last year's walk because I was in the midst of physical therapy. Thankfully, I was able to do more than I anticipated and am hoping that next year I may be able to do the whole walk. Of course I pray for a time when this walk won't be needed any longer. 

Take good care, dear blog friends, and have a blessed week!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine Years Later...

My first thought this morning is sadness. My heart remembers the thousands who died just a few blocks down the street from where I worked that on that most beautiful late summer morning, and their friends, family and city that will always grieve for them. I think, too, of those at the Pentagon and on the planes that day and their families and friends.

My second thought is gratitude. I am profoundly grateful for the tens of thousands of people who reached out to New York City in the awful days following September 11, 2001. My appreciation for all your efforts meant to us goes very deep. As ever, thank you.

And lastly, thank you all, across the world, for continuing to remember.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed

The sweetest sound is coming from my closet-sized kitchen. The dishwasher is purring away and there is not a drop of water on the floor. I realize this is a somewhat silly anxiety, but it's one I've had for the last few days. With a small hitch (an extra $57.50 for labor and a part) I am the very happy owner of a new dishwasher. The aroma of Fantastik with bleach drifts out from the kitchen and I am at peace.

As I had to clear off the counter I discarded spices that had long lost their scent and several bottle of vitamins that had expired. I am on a clearing, cleaning extravaganza and so delighted to start the new year -- in three hours -- with a cleaner, somewhat neater house.

My wishes, dear friends, is for a much more peaceful year and health and happiness for all of you and your families. My goal for myself is to be grateful, profoundly grateful, for all the blessings I have been given, including the friendship I find in Blogland. May we all be inscribed for a good year!

Monday, September 6, 2010

September Song

It is very hard to conceive that in just about a month I will be back to wearing long pants, wool and closed toe shoes and yes, the dreaded panty hose. I know those days are coming, but today I went out in capris, t-shirt and open toe shoes. I know there will be a few more weeks of clinging to the end of summer, but today it is summer in New York. It is perfect summer, with clear skies, a breeze and bright sunlight. On a day like today winter is only a thought. Just like with so many things...on those rare and special perfect summer days it's hard to conceive that winter is coming and the bright and balmy days will recede. But blessedly bright and balmy days do return.

I spent a lot of today doing catch-up chores. Furniture polishing -- goes hand in hand with silver polishing -- and sorting, cleaning and check writing. I did get out for a long walk and a visit to the bank and grocery. In just two days the Jewish New Year begins. Days of prayer and afternoons with friends. Lots of cooking, eating and enjoying each other's company.

I also did a lot of blog visiting today and hope to do some more later. One of my regrets for this year is not being able to visit as much as I would like. I am hoping to be a more frequent visitor in the months ahead, but am not sure that will be a reality. Please know that you are all often in my thoughts and my prayers. Our services last approximately four hours on both Thursday and Friday. I will be happy to offer any special intention in my prayers for any of my blog friends. Please let me know if you have specific requests.

The harbor at the World Financial Center, Lower Manhattan 

Park, Lower Manhattan 

The promenade along the Hudson River

The photos are from a long, lazy afternoon in Lower Manhattan last month. Had lunch overlooking this lovely harbor scene -- the tall buildings in the photo are New Jersey -- and then strolled through the park. 

Wishes for a sweet September!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

On a Labor Day Theme...

...Does anyone still polish silver?

As a child one of my chores was polishing silver. I can't begin to estimate how many thousand pieces of silver I have polished over the decades. I am very fortunate to have family pieces and use them every day. But when company comes they always need a little polish to look as nice as they can. Friends joined me for dinner last night and as always, I spent part of yesterday afternoon polishing. When I mentioned it in the conversation during dinner, one of the guests remarked, "No one does that any more." My only response was "That's a blog topic," and one so appropriate for Labor Day.

On another Labor Day theme, a good time was had at dinner and I can't wait until my dishwasher arrives on Wednesday morning!

Wishes for a wonderful and relaxing Sunday!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Moonlight, Laughter and Coffee

Moonlight and Laughter Yarn

There are three things that I am not. The first is musical. I was one of the children sitting in the front of the class in elementary school during music class who was told to just "mouth" the words. Nonetheless, I love listening to music and appreciate the many friends through the decades who never said a word when I joined in all my tone-deaf glory in group singing. There are lots of you and I am grateful. I've had such a good time throughout the years. 

I am not technologically inclined. It's taken me quite awhile to get the rudiments of blogging and adding graphics and here, too, I am grateful for all the affectionate and generous advice I've received.

But most of all, I am truly inept with knitting and sewing. It is a gift from my dear Home Economics teacher, Miss Naylor, that she didn't fail me for the worst dress ever made in Junior High School, the olive green polished cotton model, that I painfully worked on for five long months in 1963. I have never learned to knit or even cast on, for that matter, despite the best instruction in the world from my mother, an extraordinary knitter. The needles never went any way they were supposed to go. But I've picked out a lot of lovely yarn over the years for the suits and sweaters my mother made for me. During our visit to the Farmer's Market I saw some of the most beautiful yarn I've ever seen. It was being spun by a lovely woman and I knew I had to share the gorgeous colors. 

If I could knit I know I would have come away with at least half dozen of these wonderful mitten kits. 
The source of this beauty is Moonlight and Laughter.

One thing I do very well is drink coffee and we had delicious coffee to drink with names as great as Moonlight and Laughter. I took a picture of the coffee stand, but it wasn't blog-worthy -- though the coffee is. I am going to share a link to the coffee's blog St. Lawrence Valley Roasters . We especially liked the Chocolate Fudge. With just a little cream and a little Splenda it was a great treat. 

So looking forward to the weekend. Not a lot of plans and that feels just fine. It turned out to be a long week.  We had a two-hour meeting this afternoon to review plans for two big projects for the next year. I've been doing the research for the presentation for the last month and happily, the meeting went well. So glad there are three days ahead to relax and not think about work. Hurricane Earl seems to have passed over us completely which makes me very happy, too. I'm going to go off to one of my favorite guilty pleasures, "Say Yes to the Dress" and then a good night's sleep. 

Wishing you lots of pleasures, rest and moonlight and laughter!