Sunday, February 28, 2010

(Almost) Farewell to the Olympics

I braved going outside today, including crossing at the "slush" corner, and I have survived to report back. The sidewalks were clear, the corners tolerable and I wore a pair of non-leaking boots. My hair is freshly cut and colored and I did a little grocery shopping. I am now about to try and find the US-Canada hockey match somewhere in the maze of 115 channels that I receive. What will I do when the Olympics are over? What did I do before the Olympics?

Now it's 6:30 and I have just watched great hockey! Congratulations, Canada and congratulations to the US team, too. Extraordinary playing. I even googled Sidney Crosby, who scored the final goal for Team Canada. Very cute and a great player, and young enough to be my grandson. That is a sobering thought. 

Corgidogmama answered my question about what I will do now that the Olympics are over. I've got a bunch of magazines that arrived in the last two weeks and am also in the midst of reading two books. Still working on "The Help" and "Wolf Hall," which were interrupted by Olympics watching. 


Just two years to the 2012 London Olympics... 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bunny (and me) Want Spring!



I remembered that last year I posted this great bunny picture, and sure enough I did on February 28, 2009. Once again, Bunny and I are desperate for spring. Desperate! This year it's not the 20 inches of snow we got in the last few days that drives my desperation, but the six inches of slush at every intersection. On the way home from the subway last night I was patiently waiting to cross Broadway and a taxi zoomed by drenching me head to toe in dirty, cold slush. It went through my hat, into my eyes and in my mouth. I dripped my way home -- only a block -- and have not gone out since.

This incident and the second blow to my ability to cope with winter -- my boots are now leaking -- has taken away what remnants of coping skills I had. I am done with winter! Please bring on spring. Bunny and I are desperate.

Friday, February 26, 2010

One Woman's Winter Wonderland...


...is another woman's commuter nightmare.


City Hall in the snow

Park Row and City Hall Park 
St. Paul's Chapel is in the distance

I had to be at City Hall for a meeting yesterday -- sound more glamorous than it was -- and was able to take some pictures to share. When I was sitting in Starbucks across the street from City Hall, the scene was very pretty, but going outside was entirely different. 

The snow has continued to fall and is predicted to fall all night and into tomorrow. Luckily, my 8:15 a.m. dentist appointment was cancelled, as well as an 11:00 meeting. I am hoping that many people won't be at work and I can catch up in a relatively quiet office.

The idea of Barbados sounds really nice right now.

Wishes for a quiet and cozy Friday

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Want to go to Barbados?

JOHNSON'S® Baby Oil – Soak in the Secret Sweepstakes

One of my hobbies is entering contests. I've won books, jewelry, the wonderful Tim McGraw concert last fall and a restaurant gift certificate. It's all fun and I've learned that some months are great and others are lean -- kind of like the rest of life.

But the one win that has completely escaped me is a vacation. I've probably entered hundreds of sweepstakes where one of the prizes is a vacation. Some have been as exotic as Botswana or India and others to much less exotic locations around New York state. Johnson & Johnson has a fun contest where the first prize is a trip to Barbados. They very thoughtfully provided a blog link and I'd like to share it. Just the thought of luxuriating on a beach in Barbados raised my tired of winter spirits. This may just be one more contest I don't win, but it would be great to get a postcard from one of my dear blog friends from their wonderful trip to Barbados.

Good luck and good wishes!

Monday, February 22, 2010

We're Going Ape for the Olympics


Le Monkee shows his support for the Olympic city

It's all about the Olympics these days in Buttercupland, including Le Monkee's Olympic themed attire. Le Monkee will watch just about anything, but Buttercup is more inclined to the skiing and speed skating. 

Contrary to a rumor floating around Blogville, Buttercupland will not be preparing a team for the 2014 Olympics. Le Monkee can dress the part, but we are not winter athletes. My own winter sports experiences are extremely limited. I have gone downhill skiing once in 1965. That's right, once. On this one day, I stood at the top of a miniature hill, in perhaps the only ski slope in CT, and looked down thinking, "I don't like speed and I don't like heights, and I don't like cold." With that thought I somehow made it down the hill, took off my skis and then and there abandoned my Olympics career. I had spent the morning falling in snow and having a miserable time.  It is not a decision about which I have any regret.  

The only exception I made to this resolution was in 1999. I accompanied my friends Pat and Judy to the Canadian Rockies for a week of cross country skiing. Pat, with whom I've also traveled to Spain, Israel and Jordan, is a great friend to travel with. She convinced me that cross country is easier than downhill and that I would love it. Love overstates my reaction, but I did have a great time during the week. We were just a few miles from the site where the cross country competitions took place at the Calgary Olympics, and the area was beautiful. I skied four times, with my greatest success skiing halfway around Lake Louise. I even took a dog sled ride -- never have been so cold in my life -- and had a great afternoon in the spa at the Banff Springs Hotel. It was a terrific vacation, but I once again realized I am not Olympics material.

What are your favorite Olympics events? Do you go ape for the Olympics, too?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

That Was the Week that Was

Last week was anxiety week and I am resolved that this week will be a lot less anxious. I spent this weekend getting a handle on my anxieties and realized they won't change, but I will. I got lots of exercise, cut out sugar, went way down on caffeine and very importantly, got to services. Spent time with friends and a few hours today in the office getting lots of little things out of the way. I also did a major food shopping and have breakfast, lunch and dinner foods for the week. That increase the chance that I will eat a lot more healthily. I'm about to spend some time visiting my blog friends, which always makes me feel good.



I took some photos while I was on the Staten Island Ferry on my way to Amanda's shower last month. The top photo is of course, Lady Liberty, and the bottom one is all the folks standing on the deck snapping  pictures of the Statue of Liberty and New York harbor. Note the layers of clothes on the photographers. It was a bitterly cold day, but I wasn't going to miss my photo opportunity. 

Wishes to all for a peaceful week!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Never Thought...

...that the following sentence could ever emerge from my mouth, or from the mouth of anyone I know.

The sentence is "I can't believe that my friend's niece goes to school with Lady GaGa." Until sometime last month I had no idea who Lady GaGa was. The name was vaguely familiar. I knew she was a singer and I thought she was popular, but I wasn't sure what she sang, though I was pretty sure I wouldn't recognize any of her songs when they came on the radio.

One day last month I was talking with my friend, Mary, and asked how her niece, K. was liking high school. K is in her freshman year at a girls' school in Manhattan. We were chatting about K's new school, and Mary remarked that K. shared classes with Lady GaGa's sister. Lady GaGa appeared at Radio City last month and a couple of my friends mentioned how hard it was for their children to get tickets. I mentioned my peripheral connection to Lady GaGa and there was awe. Of course, I am very aware that I have done nothing to earn any awe, nor actually has K, who is a lovely young woman, nor Mary, who is a dear friend. But in this world of celebritydom, I think I've earned my fifteen seconds of celebrity and have to laugh at my tenuous claim to fame. Now you are three degrees of separation from Lady GaGa.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's a Buttercup Holiday

to Spring
We can hardly wait until you are here!



Had a dreary day at work, which included a melt down on the phone. Luckily I was speaking with a favorite colleague who talked me off the proverbial ledge. The day got a little better, but big clouds hung over me. We've got a very big project going on -- finished on March 5 -- that I am dreading. The last time we did something of this magnitude I broke out in hives, which I do very rarely, and only under great stress.

What's a girl to do when faced with a hive producing situation? When you've got your own country as I do the best solution is to declare a holiday! I hereby declare the last hour of February 17 and the first 23 hours of February 18 as "Welcome to Spring Day." This day shall be celebrated throughout all parts of Buttercupland and in blogs with reciprocal diplomatic privileges. Get going, my dear ambassadors. We've got a season to get ready for!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Now and...



Now!

In honor of Mardi Gras I had a post all ready written. I was going to open with the pictures above, which is the view from the bus stop where I was standing tonight. Then I was going to show pictures taken at Mardi Gras in 1973. The title was going to be "Now and Then." Then was thirty eight years ago and I've just spent an hour looking for the photographs. I assume they'll turn up tomorrow or next week, but all I have to offer for tonight is slush. 

My first trip to New Orleans was in February 1973. I was a graduate student in Nashville and friends suggested we drive down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. On a tank of gas and $25.00 we were gone. No fancy meals or hotels -- I have a memory of sleeping at an Episcopal Church that let folks sleep in their social hall -- but we had the best time and it's still one of my fondest memories. I've been back a few times since that trip, with fancier acomodations and much more elegant meals, but no other visit surpassed that first trip.

Are there trips that stand out for you?  Inquiring minds want to know.  

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Flavored or non-flavored coffee? Not the question of the century, however, this inquiring mind is wondering what's your pleasure when it comes to coffee. If you're a tea drinker, what's your pleasure?

And for the record, Buttercup is a non-flavored coffee drinker, no sugar and lots of milk...and usually decaf. On that note, sweet dreams, dear friends!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thanks for the Memories

When I first started blogging I had no idea how this "blogging thing" would go. Would I lose steam in a month? Would I quickly have a thousand followers? Would I have any idea how to do posts anyone else would want to read? The answers are no, no and yes. I started leaving messages on blogs of a few friends and then I branched out. I looked at folks who had graphics to share, wrote about writing and were over 50, not necessarily on any one blog. It was quite a collage of bloggers, but early on I found Penniwig, who was funny, tough and had great fabulous graphics. There were a lot of nice bloggers leaving comments and I made a number of my blogger friends from visiting Penniwig's.

As of  last week, Penniwig is no longer blogging as Penniwig. She's gone on to bannerhaus.blogspot.com, with more great graphics, but no comments. The graphic above is a gift from Banner Haus, and with her suggestion I have experimented with adding text on Picnik. I've been thinking of trying Picnik for awhile, so this was the good incentive I needed.

Besides trying Picnik, my goals for today are simple. Renew a prescription, take a trip to WholeFoods where among other things, I'm going to look over their whole wheat pasta selection, pay some bills, spend some time blog visiting, do today's NY Times crossword and spend a little time reading "Wolf Hall" a novel about Tudor England, which I am enjoying thoroughly. Hope you all have an equally peaceful day!

P.S. Penniwig, has moved on, but I'm staying right here. Can't thank you enough for your nice notes! I'm very content in this little corner of the blog world. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sweets...


...for my sweet blog friends

Happy Valentine's Day,
with love and good wishes!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Salute to...






Beautiful Vancouver

I've had the good fortune to visit Vancouver, one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been in, twice. The first time was in 2001 and the second time was in the summer of 2008. In 2008 I took a cruise to Alaska and got to spend three days in Vancouver. Among the many treats of Vancouver, I enjoyed Stanley Park, where the top picture was taken, Gastown, a wonderful lunch at the Pan Pacific Hotel overlooking the harbor and a sumptuous stay on the return from the cruise at the Fairmont Hotel. I was so awed by the Fairmont I tried to figure out how I could move to Vancouver and live at the Fairmont. The numbers didn't quite add up, but it was a great fantasy.  

I had hoped to get back to Vancouver for the Olympics, but wasn't able to make it. I do feel I have a direct line to Olympics events with our own dear blogger correspondent Jamie of http://queenmimicorner.blogspot.com/, who will be visiting Vancouver. I am so excited for her and very much looking forward to her reports and pictures. Have a wonderful time, dear Jamie!

Despite the fact that there is not one winter sport I enjoy doing, I will be glued to the television set for the next two weeks. Today's luge tragedy casts a shadow on the excitement of the games, and won't be forgotten by this fan in all that happens in the next few weeks. I'm especially a fan of the skating -- speed and figure -- and skiing. Dartmouth always has students and alums participating, and I do get excited that a member of the Dartmouth family may be a medal winner. 

Off to television time...and the Olympics!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How Many Days Until Opening Day?





There may not have been a drop of snow last night, but today has made up for it. Lots of snow, though in Manhattan it's not quite the blizzard that other parts of the area are having. Of course there are hours more of snow to come. These two pictures were taken right outside the front door of my building. The big white bump in the bottom picture is a buried car.

I console myself with the realization that spring officially begins in 39 days and that the first home game for the Yankees (against Los Angeles) is on April 11, just about two months away. Somewhere in the next month a crocus will pop its head up and then a tulip or two and then the irises in full profusion. Then this storm, like all the rest, will just be memory. Can't wait!

The Special Gardening issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived this afternoon -- a big thank you to my postman and to Kate for the subscription. I'm about to make macaroni and cheese with whole wheat pasta and low fat cheese and savor a cozy dinner and pictures of gardens and sunshine and swimming pools. Not a bad evening at all.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Not a Drop in Sight...

...but the schools are already closed for tomorrow and I've got my food supplies in stock for the promised blizzard. Actually there is a prediction for 8-13" of snow, which didn't count as a blizzard when I was growing up. But I'm prepared...

Spent yesterday at the oral surgeon and at the dentist. Luckily they're right around the corner from each other, so I could run over to the dentist's office after the oral surgeon was done with me. Not a terrible experience, especially as dental procedures go, but I took today off and may even take tomorrow off if I'm not quite 100% recovered. 

Had a very nice weekend in Providence. Lots of family and friends and my eight year old cousin was thrilled that the whole family had come for her Hebrew School dedication. There was a lovely luncheon after services and it was great to catch up with the family. All six of my teenage cousins were there and I had a great time chatting with all of them. 

Dental work or not, I love having a quiet evening ahead. I'm going to catch up with all of my blog friends, enter some contests, read -- I'm at the beginning of "The Help" and liking it a lot --  and maybe catch "The Biggest Loser." What are your evening plans?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's Never Too Soon...

To ask my blog friends to be my Valentine!



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Somehow the Week Ran Away



I had the best intentions to post all this week, but somehow the week ran away. The week at work wasn't too bad, but two issues seemed to soak up extra time. My dishwasher has washed its last dish and that precipitated some visits by my super. I can't complain at all about this. For the last few years I've been saying "When the dishwasher finally goes..." knowing that the day was coming and it arrived on February 2, 2010. I'll start thinking about a replacement when I have a better sense how much Issue #2 will cost. In the meantime, I'm going to be washing my dishes by hand.

Issue #2 is my on-going dental issue. I had to chuckle when I left the office today. One of my friends at work called after me "We'll start praying." My teeth have been the focus of much prayer over the years, for which I am very appreciative. After an emergency visit this afternoon I learned one of the implants I have is coming out. Not an emergency, but it needs to fixed very soon. I have an appointment on Monday afternoon with the oral surgeon. My dentist, who is so nice, assures me it's relatively minor and that this oral surgeon works only on implants and is very accustomed to these issues.

Happily, I won't have much time to ponder either of these issues this weekend. I'm spending the weekend in Providence with my cousins. It's supposed to be snowy, but we're New Englanders and I couldn't let a little -- I hope it's only a little -- snow stop a long planned visit to favorite family in a favorite city. Hope to be back with pictures next week.

Thanks, all, for the comments on "French White." I enjoyed seeing everyone's answers. The slippers I wrote about in December were on my "French White" list. I also bought what I call "The Cadillac of Bath Mats" in January. I replaced my very well worn bath mat with the fluffiest one imaginable and I love it. The price was quite modest, but it seemed more than one should spend on a bath mat. There is no logic here and I know it and I am so glad I "splurged" on this cozy gift to me.

 Wishes for a wonderful weekend!