Sunday, January 31, 2010

French White

At yesterday's shower I got into conversation with a woman sitting next to me, Vicki. She was a friend of the mother of the bride and a lot of fun to chat with. One of the gifts that Amanda received was a set of Corning Ware French White. I remarked to Vicki that I'd always wanted a set of French White and maybe I'd put it on my wish list for my sixtieth birthday this summer. 

She responded that she'd always wanted a set, too, and why didn't we just go out and buy some pieces for ourselves? I had no good response. I have one piece of the traditional Corning Ware, with the blue cornflower, given to me by my mother at least thirty years ago. I use it at least once a week and it's my favorite cookware. She added let's promise each other that by the time we meet again at the wedding -- April 10 -- we will have our French White. 

How right she is! I just  looked at Amazon and will keep my lookout for a quick sale in the next month. If nothing looks better, I will hit the one-stop button at Amazon and my long desired cookware will be on its way to me.   

Are there things you've been wanting for years that you've put off buying? I'm not thinking of a bucket list of things like a cottage at the sea or diamond earrings, but small useful things that you don't really need, but would make your life so much easier or more fun? What's the "French White" in your life?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Two Wakes, Five Funerals and a Shower


A movie I liked very much was "Four Weddings and a Funeral." I don't think that the span of time in which it took place was a week, but in my slightly elongated week -- last Friday night to tomorrow afternoon -- I will attend two wakes for relatives of colleagues and I spent this afternoon at a bridal shower. There were also funerals for five other people I know, from just about every part of my life and throughout the country.

I am so glad that the shower has been on my schedule for the last two months. The bride is the daughter of a dear work colleague. I've known her since she was ten and it is a delight to see the lovely young woman she has become. The food was great, the company was warm and I even genuinely enjoyed the shower games. I won an adorable basket that was the table centerpiece for my participation in an "Iron Chef" game, and just like at birthday parties in elementary school, it's fun to have prizes at parties. It's also fun to laugh, to hug and to remember that even in the saddest week, there is definitely something to smile about.

I'm tired now. It may be working too many hours and the emotional overload of all that happened this week. It may be the two mimosas I had at the shower and the red velvet cupcake I ate just a little while ago, which was one of the shower favors. And it may be the combination of all of the above. But I am so grateful that in the midst of all that happened there was joy to embrace!

And to one of my dearest friends and dearest blog readers, Happy birthday to Kate! Wishing you the best of years, with health, much happiness and a wonderful new horizons -- including a trip to Montana. One more great time to look forward to. Love and hugs to you!

And love and hugs to all of you who come and visit, leave thoughtful and sweet comments and have made my life that much richer.  

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pop Culture is Calling Me

I've got a bunch of posts I want to do...thoughtful, deep, reflective. But in 5 minutes the 250th episode of "What Not to Wear" comes on, and "What Not..." is just about my only must-see on television. This episode sounds great and my erudite reflections on love, death, life and literature will just have to wait. Popular culture is calling.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's Spring...



Memories of last spring

...for a day. It was a blessed 55 degrees today. I just about skipped as I walked home from the subway tonight.No hat, no scarf, not even gloves. I wish I could bottle this evening and send it out to all of you. Tomorrow is supposed to be much colder, but I was in paradise tonight. Can't ask for more. 

Wishing you all moments of paradise. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I love Persuasion...





I also love "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma," and am always interested to see that a new version of one of my favorites is being filmed. I read with great pleasure in "The New York Times" this week that a new version of "Emma" is about to be released. I started thinking about which one is my favorite, which is definitely a more erudite thought than I generally have.

My top favorite is probably "Persuasion," in a version filmed in 2000 with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, who I also adored in "Calendar Girls." I noted there was also a 2008 version, which I now desperately need to see.

Of course a close follower is "P and P," where Colin Firth -- one of my all time favorites -- plays Mr. Darcy.


And then, for just lots of fun...


I think I need to see this version of "Emma" again!

Please share your Jane Austen favorites. I think I know what I'll be watching on the next snowy afternoon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti on My Mind and in My Prayers

This is a totally different post than my usual. But I'd be remiss not to post about Haiti. The people of Haiti have so been on my mind and in my prayers. I work with a number of people from Haiti and their immediate family members have been spared. One of my colleague's children -- a small boy and girl -- were with his family in Haiti and blessedly they are fine. Like just about everyone else I can't get the images of the photos -- and the people in the photos -- out of my mind, and I wanted to do something.

There are many organizations doing great work, but I came upon Partners in Health, via one of my colleges. I had the privilege of spending a year at Dartmouth and the President of the college has been greatly involved in this organization. I was very impressed with the work that has been done to provide health care in Haiti since 1985. Partners In Health: Haiti / Zanmi Lasante, and wanted to share it with you.

Blessings and prayers to all who are working so hard to bring aid in this tragic time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's January 19th...



...and the winner of the 2500 visitor give-away is Betty Rubble of one of my favorite blogs, /mrsbarneyrubble.blogspot.com/. I wish I had lots more copies to give away, but I am happy to share my Martha Stewart audience gift with a blog friend. Enjoy and happy cooking! Thanks all for your comments and all the fun, laughter, great advice and friendship of the last 2500 visitors, and here's to the next 2500! Welcome and thanks to all who stop by. Your visits are so appreciated.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not a Lot of Pictures...





But lots of tropical foliage and...

Lots of fun!


I got home a little while ago. I've got unpacking, mail to read and need to get myself organized for a busy week. But I wanted to make sure and say hello before getting chores done and extend the long weekend just a little longer.

I had a great time. The weather predictions were totally wrong. There was rain yesterday morning, but otherwise it was sunny and in the low 70s. It was perfect weather for open toed shoes, and I enjoyed wearing them. We had some great meals out, including a fabulous Sunday brunch. We had a fun shopping expedition and Saturday afternoon was spa afternoon. Blissful!

Besides the "special" events I enjoyed chatting, laughing, watching television together, times that were very ordinary but equally special.

Tomorrow I go back to work, commuting and days that can be less fun, but the memory of this weekend should carry me for quite awhile. I'm going to catch up on all the blogs I've missed in the next few days and tomorrow night I'll announce the winner of the cookbook.

Wishes for a great week!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Off to Florida


In just five hours I'm off to Florida. The weather, though it's supposed to be rainy, is predicted to be in the 70s. I can happily live with rain and 70+ degrees. Capri pants and t-shirts are in my future. And with full disclosure in blogging, this is actually Puerto Rico. I've run out of Florida photos, and it  is a lovely tropical look.

Steps...Had a good week. This week's total was 40,728 steps. I had 28,000+ last week, so I'm pleased with my progress. I'm also doing better in not losing steps. My goal for next week is to maintain the number.

Thank you all for the blogaversary good wishes. It wouldn't have been much fun without friends to celebrate with, but then again, aren't most things like that?

Wishes for lots of celebrations! 

Monday, January 11, 2010

There's a Party Going on Right Now...


...because tomorrow is my Blogaversary. 


Please join in the celebration. When I started the blog I had no expectations. My goal was to "see myself and the world in a happier and more upbeat way." And unlike any number of things I've tried I've succeeded in this, at least in my perception of myself. I'm not too upbeat about the world in general, but there are a lot of people across the globe who help me see the world in a little more upbeat way. Thank you all so much. 


And my blogging goal for 2010...to keep blogging, even when I come home at night and I'm tired and not very inspired. To be a good friend to my blog friends around the world and to keep my focus on all that is good and positive and joyful. Here's to 2010 and all the friendship and wonder and surprises that are yet to be discovered.  And now let's party!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Until Spring



As I stand in the cold and wait for the bus or set out for work in the last dark moments before light, I question the need for winter. The cold is seeping through my boots and one glove has mysteriously disappeared into my tote bag. I love the spring and am eagerly thinking of the first warm breeze or the tip of a crocus sticking up through the dirt.

But we're not there yet, and the last thing I want to do is count the days away. I'm not sure I can learn to love the winter as I do spring, summer and fall, but I want to find the good, even joy in these cold winter days.

  Wishes to you for warmth and joy this week!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2500 Views =

A Contest!


As I signed on to post tonight I noticed that I'd reached the 2500 views mark on blogger. What a nice round number. I've been thinking for a little while that it was time to give a gift to one of my dear blog readers. Since many of my blog friends enjoy Martha Stewart and many of us like to cook and all of us like to eat....The prize is "American Fashion Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes of Favorite Designers."  The foreward is by none other than our favorite Martha Stewart and it was the gift the day I was in the audience for the Martha Stewart Show.  I've been saving it for something, but there's no better purpose than a blog contest.




Key West...because we can't have too much sunshine

Just leave a comment anytime in the next week, and on Tuesday, January 19 the winner will be announced. If you become a follower, you get an extra entry and if you link to this post, you get a third entry.


Warm wishes for a great Sunday!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Everyone Needs More Sunshine on a Cold Winter Day...


So why don't we take a trip to Key West?








My  blog friend Robyn at Putting Pen to Paper suggested a trip to the Florida Keys, where she grew up. I love Key West and have had the good fortune to be there four times. Twice, including last winter, were single days spent as part of cruises. In fact, the motto of this blog, "Sometimes you get the frozen key lime pie..." was inspired by my visit last winter.

It's been relatively mild in New York City -- compared to much of the rest of the country -- but I always enjoy a visit to Key West, even if it's virtual. And I know my friends in the midwest and south definitely need some warmth and sunshine. We'll have a piece of key lime pie, see the Hemingway house and enjoy the sunset sitting on the dock. Sounds like a great day to me!

Hectic work days, and I am so glad it's the weekend. Wore my pedometer all week. There are times when I would look at the number and realize somehow the pedometer had reset itself and thousands of steps had been lost, which was disappointing. But lost steps or not, I am so pleased to have worn it for a week. My total for this week was 28,312 steps.

Warm wishes for a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Everyone Needs Some Sunshine on a Cold Winter Day




The beach at Sanibel Island, Florida



I know I do! It wasn't as windy as it could be, but my mind was still gravitating to warmer climates. I assume I'm not alone in this and since I can't hop on a plane tonight I'm taking a virtual warm vacation. Please join me.  It's a lot more fun to travel with friends.


Palm trees in Sarasota


Sunset in Sanibel

I'll be visiting my high school buddy Sue next week (can't wait!) and it's fun to look at photos from the last visit I made to see her two winters ago. We took a road trip to the West Coast of Florida and had a great time. We stayed outside of Ft. Myers, took a trip up to Sarasota and visited the Art Museum and enjoyed a Gilbert and Sullivan concert, toured the Thomas Edison/Henry Ford Estate in Ft. Myers and drove down to beautiful Sanibel Island, one of my very favorite places. We managed a stop in Naples and found some time for shopping.

Hope you enjoyed our vacation. What are some of your favorite vacation places?

Warm wishes to you!

Steps: 9359

Monday, January 4, 2010

Buttercup Counts her...

Steps, and the first full day is done and the total for today is....

Drum roll, please...8,717. I am delighted and amazed. The pedometer worked and I did a little extra walking outside and around the office. I've now got a baseline of an average day and I would like to do 10,000 steps on weekdays. Thanks, pedometer buddies, for your support!

The transition back to work was okay. Wrapped up my snowmen for the year, sat in on a long conference call this afternoon and even got a project done. Besides the snowmen I know both the project and the conference call have lots more to do, but it felt great getting at least one part accomplished.

I stopped at the Hallmark store tonight and bought my first Christmas present of 2010. Hurray! It''s the cutest cookie plate and I will so appreciate this sometime next December. I bought a bridal shower card for a shower I will be going to at the end of the month. Gift bought and wrapped yesterday and card bought today. I feel so organized.

I always feel a let down after New Years. No more parties, no fun mail, no decorations and long dark days. But I'm going to look at fun things for the month each time I start to feel a little glum. We have the Carrie Fisher program this Sunday, Amanda's shower at the end of the month (and that will be followed by a trip to the Christmas Tree Shoppe with Bev) and in between...Girl's Weekend in Florida, with two high school friends. We're celebrating my friend Sue's birthday and I hope, I hope basking in warmth. Just writing all this out I feel sunnier.

Along the path, Spain 2006

Warm thoughts and sunny wishes!

Buttercup Counts her...



Along the path in Spain, 2006

Steps!


One of the people I spent New Year's Eve with is my friend Elana. She is bright, funny, a great host and a loyal member of our bible study group. I admire her for all of this, but I have come to admire her for one more accomplishment. In the last year she has lost over eighty pounds. She has eaten wisely and exercised much.

One of the things that we spoke about on New Year's Eve was the fact that she has walked over 4,000,000 steps this year, which is the equivalent of 1,800 miles. I was awed, impressed and motivated by that number. So motivated that I wore a pedometer on January 1. It was one I happened to have. I've used pedometers before so I am accustomed to how many steps should be registered. I did some walking and was expecting to see around 2000 steps. I only saw 867. Yesterday I didn't do too much, but my pedometer only registered another 770 steps.

Today I bought a new pedometer. My number for the first three days is 2000+ steps. Not great -- and not accurate -- but it's a start. I don't have a number in mind, just the desire to exercise more. Anyone want to join me in counting our steps and seeing how far we can go?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Less

There are three areas where I'd like less this year. I'd like less of me. I know I'd feel better weighing 20 pounds less. With that in mind I will focus on how I can eat less.

I'd like less clutter around me. When I look around my apartment I see too much paper. I feel as though I haven't thrown a piece of paper out in the eighteen years that I've lived here. I have. I seem to throw out bags of paper weekly, but it still piles up. And I am a saver. I save magazines to be read at a later time, newspaper  articles that may come in handy one day and crossword puzzles that I may want to do one some night that I can't sleep. It's all just too much.The dining room table has about three weeks of unsorted mail staring at me. The cards are on display and the bills are in their file, but everything else is unsorted and at the cusp of taking over the table. My goal for this weekend is to reclaim the table and sort out some of the pile in a drawer that is waiting to be filed. With this victory I will begin the attempt to wring some order to my paper morass.

I hope to worry less, especially about my job. My job is (seemingly) secure, but we are facing real funding issues that may impact our pay and other benefits. This is a frequent topic of conversation in the office. Some of the discussion is based in fact and some is just conjecture. I need to spend less time with colleagues discussing what might happen. I have no control over these actions and as with so many issues, my worry will not change anything.

I am hoping to get a handle on these three issues. And when -- not if -- I do less will be so much more!

Blessings in 2010


Wishes to all for a blessed year of hope, health and happiness in a world at peace.