Friday, September 30, 2011

On the Subject of Apples

It's been three full days of apples and honey and what a lovely holiday it's been. Thank you all for your good wishes. On my Pinterest recipe board I've been collecting lots of yummy fall recipes, most of which are at least 500 calories just to look at them. In an effort to wear the same clothes for all of October I'm sharing a much healthier, but still fun, recipe. It's also easy, though I haven't attempted hollowing out an apple. I'm generally challenged in the area of garnishment and I may be eating lots of apple pieces while I attempt to get the carved out apple carved. The entire recipe -- direction is more apt -- is to hollow out an apple and serve spiced cider in the apple. A few small slices of orange and a cinnamon stick and it's a great fall beverage.

Tomorrow we have the winner of the "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Giveaway." There's still time to enter. and I'm putting together a few little extras for the giveaway package.

Happy, healthy and sweet!  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy, Healthy and Sweet

Tomorrow night the new year -- 5772 -- begins in the Jewish calendar. The traditional wish is "Shanah Tovah," wishing a sweet and happy year, and we dip apples in honey to symbolize that wish. This is my wish for all of my friends in Blogland, a sweet, happy and healthy year. I will be at services on both Thursday and Friday. Our services are approximately four hours each day and one of the things I like to do is bring a list of special intentions to pray for. If there is special intention that you would like me to add, please post a comment. I won't be blogging until Friday night or Saturday, but I will be checking this post for your comments. Theresa, you know I will be praying for Justin and his colleagues.

Happy, healthy and sweet...Tomorrow and all through the year!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Time to Give Up My Open-Toed Shoes

It was probably time to give up my summer shoes a week ago, but I am clinging to the remnants of summer desperately. Tonight I walked past one of my favorite stores on West 57th Street and saw this window.

And then I saw this window...

Shoes, it's time to say goodbye. The fall is here. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Giveaway

I have been desperately trying to hold on to summer. I am still wearing open toed shoes, but honestly my feet are starting to get cold. Every year I am amazed that it is t-shirt weather on September 1, but by October 1 I can start to wear wool. This year does not appear to be an exception.

I've started to think about all the holidays and fun that will happen in the next few months. The Jewish New Year begins on Wednesday night. Generally I do a lot of cooking and entertaining, but this year I am blessed to be a guest. I will be doing some cooking -- a blog post will follow -- with my friend Nancy tomorrow, but that is the extent of my extra preparations.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas are all down the road. I am pinning crafts on Pinterest and starting to look at pumpkin recipes -- Love anything pumpkin! -- and thought a little giveaway to help get the holiday mood going would be fun.  

For all the fans of Jan Karon -- is anyone not a fan of Jan Karon and Mitford? -- this is a giveaway for the CD audiobook of "Shepherd's Abiding." It's the eighth novel in the Mitford series and perfect for listening to while you are doing crafts at home or errands in the car. There will be a few other holiday surprises in the package, too. To enter, please leave a comment about any holiday activities you're already doing. An extra entry if you link to this giveaway on your blog and please, be a follower of Buttercup's. The winner will be announced next Saturday, October 1.

Finished my first week back at work and did okay. I'm tired -- really tired -- but glad to be able to be back at work. I'm getting a haircut this afternoon and services tonight. Also dashing over to the post office to mail a certain sock animal. Thankful for lots of happy going on and the sweet regular activities of the weekend. Hope you, too, have lots of sweet activities, too! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Museum Mile

One of my favorite areas of New York City is Fifth Avenue in the ten blocks below East 96th Street. It's called Museum Mile because there seems to be a museum on just about every block.

Looking north on Fifth Avenue from the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum is big and takes up the blocks from East 79th Street to East 85th Street.

The Guggenheim Museum at East 89th Street, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Not as well known is the National Academy Museum, at East 90th Street. It was founded in 1825, and  members have included Winslow Homer, Jasper Johns and Andrew Wyeth. 

One of my favorites is the Cooper-Hewitt, the National Design Museum. It is currently under renovation and I liked the sign a lot. 

Just a block uptown is the Jewish Museum. I've gone to some wonderful exhibits here, ranging from one of the works of Camille Pisarro to an exhibit on "Curious George."

I don't get over here as often as I would like, but on the next block is my surgeon's office. The walk here for my follow-up checkup was lovely and much nicer than the original visit last month. What a difference a month makes in life!

I've now been back at work for three days and I am tired. I'd developed a slight case of amnesia about the fatigue that sets in after a full day of work and commuting.  I'm not complaining, because I am glad to be able to work, but I do miss the time and energy to blog, catch up on email and read the entire New York Times each day. No more leisurely week days with a cup of coffee and the paper.

Wishes for a good and healthy week! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Know I'm Feeling Better...

...when my mind turns to travel. 

Somewhere early in my recuperation I got an email about the Travel + Leisure Global Bazaar. At the time just walking a couple of blocks was beyond me, but it seemed that in two weeks I'd be able to attend and blessedly, I was. I know I've been getting better when my favorite board on Pinterest (yes, thanks to help from blog friends I've figured it out) is "Places I want to Travel." I've let my imagination go wild and have started pinning places that are dreams. Bali and Laos are my two latest dream destinations. 

The Bazaar was lots of fun. There were exhibits from all over the world. From North America...

Wouldn't St. Croix be nice this winter?

A wonderful sand sculpture

Fun things from all over the world

The sweetest exhibit in the hall

But my favorite stop was the chocolate tasting bar. Luckily my desire not to appear piggy kicked in after the fourth taste or I could easily have gained several pounds. All the flavors I tried were delicious, but I especially liked the Maya Gold, a combination of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. My favorite was a little less complicated, but combined two favorite flavors, coffee and chocolate. Loved the Espresso! Thanks, Green & Black's, for a taste treat.  

This made a sweet start to my week. Tomorrow I go back to work. After three weeks it's quite a transition to return, but I am grateful I am well enough. Again, many thanks for all of your support, prayers and good wishes. So appreciate my sweet bloggy friends!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Last Snack of Summer

On Wednesday it was still a glorious summer day. I wore a short sleeve shirt and a summer skirt and my favorite open-toe shoes. Today I knew fall was on the way and coming soon. I wore jeans, a long sleeve shirt and socks and sneakers and I carried a light jacket.

But Wednesday was still summer and I loved walking on Fifth Avenue. I enjoyed all of the sights -- museums, the fashion shoot and Central Park. The only things missing were my blog friends. What a good time we would have had. We would have visited one of the museums -- that's a post to come -- maybe done a little shopping...

 Outside the Guggenheim Museum

...and we definitely would have stopped for a snack.  Maybe at this cute cafe.

The Heavenly Rest Stop is at the Church of the Heavenly Rest at Fifth Avenue and East 90th Street

We might have had our choice of ice cream..

or frozen yogurt. I love the color of the truck. 

But whatever we would have done, I know we would have had a wonderful time. The company is always good in Buttercupland. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Buttercup Goes to Fashion Week

Actually Fashion Week comes to Buttercup.

True confession...Although I live in one of the great fashion cities I will never be considered high fashion, or even fashion. I am happy in jeans and a polo shirt and the polo shirt does not need a polo label. My work clothes have grown steadily more casual as the climate grew more casual. When my office moved across the street from a security facility with razor wire, jackets were out and turtle necks were in for most days. It's just not a high fashion area. 

However, this is Fashion Week in New York and even my local chain of drugstores has been having specials to mark the events taking place. There are newspaper articles and lots of internet coverage of the designer fashion shows. None of which was especially interesting, until this afternoon. 

I was walking on Fifth Avenue and literally walked in to a photo shoot. 

  The hair stylist adjusts the beautiful young model's hair... get it just right... 

...and this group can then arrange the photo.

Okay, I'm not tall or thin or young and beautiful. But if I had my own hair stylist and a troupe of people to help me look pulled-together I could be high fashion, too.  On second thought, not high fashion, but at least "fashion." This brush with Fashion Week so inspired me that I walked over to Sephora bought my first new eye shadow in two years. Buttercup is going fashion!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action...

Do you remember this quiet corner?

When I saw this posted over the weekend I knew excitement was coming. But there was no filming yesterday. I didn't think much about it until I came out this morning and saw movie folks clustered across the street from my building.

The traffic cones in the street are a tip-off something interesting is about to go on. Still no filming.

I went out to run an errand later in the afternoon and came home to this. 

Quiet corner no longer!

I walked through the movie set on the corner and spent some time looking for movie stars. I spent so long I was concerned they would ask me to move on and tell me I was loitering. Alas, no Matt Dillon, no Darren Criss, no Kristin Wiig and no Annette Bening. Honestly not seeing Annette Bening was the most disappointing for me. I am an enormous fan of "The American President."  We'll just have to wait until 2013 to see "Imogene."

I expect that the corner will be quiet again tomorrow. But I never know in New York when the red traffic cones will emerge and something exciting will be happening!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Buttercupland Needs a Makeover

My enforced leisure of the last few weeks has given me time to be a more active citizen of Blogland -- and it's been great. I've enjoyed blogging when I'm not bleary-eyed at midnight. I've enjoyed commenting and reading blogs often in the same day that they're written. My reader is very manageable now and that is a great feeling.

I've also enjoyed seeing what I call "spiffy" blogs. Headers and footers that match and great type. There are some beautiful blogs out there and I salute them all. I think of my blog as a "loving hands at home" blog. It's made with lots of love, but it's not very polished. I went to a very interesting session at BlogHer and one of the topics was having a well-designed header. It's been on my mind for the last month and now I'm asking for your help. No, it's not a "Design Buttercup a New Header," though it's a fun idea. Do any of you do blog design or have you worked with anyone to spiff (not sure if this is a word!) your blog? I know graphics and website work are not my talents. I'm still having trouble with Pinterest... But I am grateful for suggestions of reasonably inexpensive designers who I could work with. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog for a Public Service Announcement

Every few months I get an email or letter from my friends at the World Trade Center Health Registry. The last email came just a few days ago and the topic is "WTC HR Survey Reminder." As some of you know I am officially a World Trade Center survivor. I'm not a first responder, but I am one of the tens of thousands who worked or lived in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001 and spent time there in the months that followed. Each year I fill out a survey form discussing my health and from time to time have gone to the WTC Environmental Health Center at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for treatment. I have been treated with consideration and professionalism and am very appreciative for the care that I have received.

I remember exactly where I was on September 11, 2001. I can remember each moment as clearly as if it all took place last week. It is almost as though the memories have become part of my DNA and are present in each cell of my body.

As you know this is not a political blog and I have no intention of discussing politics often, if again this year.   However, in the shadow of all of the memories is the certitude that first responders deserve medical coverage for cancer. The petition is bipartisan, sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans. Congress Member Carolyn Maloney originally sponsored the Zagroda Act and represents part of Upper Manhattan.

 As always, I thank everyone who remembered those of us in New York, at the Pentagon and those on flights 93 and 77. I was moved by the outpouring of caring and concern and strengthened by the sight of the National Guard members who arrived in the earliest days after September 11. Thank you all for continuing to care and remember. On this weekend of remembering let us remember and honor some of the bravest people anywhere, the first responders of September 11. G'd bless them and keep them well.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Socks Need a Good Home

Of all the things in the world, it seems somewhat odd to blog about socks, but they are on my mind and have been for the last few days. As I've started to feel better this week I've done some light decluttering. This is a task sadly overdue. I'm not yet a candidate for "Hoarders," but I did come across a stack of magazines from -- gasp! -- 2008, and I am afraid 2007 could make an appearance sometime soon, too.

As we know I have any number of faults. One, previously discussed, is my propensity to "save" gift cards. I'm making progress here, but need to do a review of what I have on hand now. The second major fault is to begin to read a magazine and then put it aside to finish "more carefully" later. Later, of course, never arrives, and in 2011 I'm looking at a stack of "Money" from 2008. Nothing I would now read there would be very useful.

The third fault, which may actually be a virtue, is my need to save things that are "still good," especially socks. While doing a little decluttering in one of the closets I discovered a large bag of perfectly good socks. Their only flaw is that I don't want to wear them. I'm not sure when I cleared out my sock drawer and I think I made an effort to find a group that needed used, but clean, women's socks, but didn't find one. My recollection is that groups here only wanted new socks. My socks were put away -- because it went against my nature to throw away socks -- until I could find a group that could use them.

My sock deadline is here. I recycle clothes and household things to a charitable organization, and yes, I could include the socks with my contribution. But I cling, somewhat stubbornly, to the belief that somewhere someone can specifically use socks. I will mail them -- 40 or so pairs -- to anyone who has a need. Happily! They are clean, not especially worn and in a variety of styles and colors. And yes, I will be glad to send them out of the country. I will feel really good knowing my socks have gone to a good home. Please don't be shy, these socks need a new home.     

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Love the Haircut!

Little Buttercup -- circa 1952

Thanks for the help and friendship on Pinterest. I'm having trouble saving the "pin," but will spend some time with it this afternoon. I think I really could have some fun with it.

Wishes for a great day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Please help! I'm signed on and totally confused about the next step. Are any other blog friends signed on? If so, how are you using it? One idea I've had is thinking about some changes in my kitchen and it seems -- if I understand correctly -- that I can "clip" pictures from the universe and "pin" them to a design board. Can someone give me the next step?

Thanks, sweet friends and have a cozy evening!   

Monday, September 5, 2011

Come on Over for S'mores

On this long weekend, I can't think of anything more fun than a Buttercupland barbecue. I'm having hamburgers and veggie burgers, macaroni salad and slaw and a big bowl of baked beans. Let's add some home made relish and watermelon pickle and a pitcher of lemonade. For dessert, we're having s'mores.

We'll be serving in the cozy and adorable s'mores lounge.
At BlogHer this was one of my favorite places. 

For folks who are unfamiliar with s'mores, they are a graham cracker sandwich, with the filling of a piece of Hershey's milk chocolate -- the beloved Hershey bar of my childhood -- and a toasted marshmallow, all oozy on the inside and golden on the outside. They were the mainstay of every backyard cook-out and every Girl Scout campfire. I don't think I've had one in forty years, and I am not embarrassed to say I may have made up for the lost forty years.

 Settle in a cozy chair...

...or around the tiki lights. It's all yummy!

The folks from Hershey couldn't have been nicer. One person suggested using "Mr. Goodbar," the Hershey chocolate bar with peanuts for a variation. What a happy discovery!

So glad we could share a barbecue and s'mores. My fondest wish is that we could meet up and toast our marshmallows together. Maybe next year at BlogHer! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What a Difference (Not Quite) A Week Makes...

144 little hours...

Last week at this time Hurricane Irene had just come through and I was preparing for surgery. 

Today the sun is shining... 
Same corner, different day!

And the roughest part of the surgery and worry is behind me. I really am feeling better and went out for what has become my walk of the day -- at least for the last few days. I walk one block to Broadway and do a tiny errand or two. I promise that I am not carrying anything heavier than the newspaper and a cup of coffee. I thought you might want to join me on my morning jaunt today. I've been going out for a few days, but this is the first day I felt so-much my "regular" self that I took my camera. 

I had two stops. One was the Dunkin' Donuts a block away and across Broadway. Beloved animal friend waited patiently for a coffee customer to emerge. 

The fall flavors are here, including my all-time favorite, pumpkin. I couldn't resist.   

What does watching endless amounts of television have to do with a news stand?

One of my main activities this week has been watching television. My concentration is still flighty and I'm just beginning to get through most of the daily newspaper or a magazine. A book is still a few days away. But I've watched a lot of television, to mixed reviews. I don't watch much generally, so this has been a real change for me. "Say Yes to the Dress" and "What Not to Wear" have been perfect, fun and upbeat. Three episodes of "Law and Order" in a row have made me question the base nature of my fellow New Yorkers and two episodes of a true crime show -- I don't remember the name and surely won't watch it again -- made me believe that all California teenagers are potential murderers. 

To answer my question... I watched several episodes of "Extreme Couponing" and went in search of coupons. None on this holiday, to my disappointment. I can't imagine becoming an extreme couponer. My entire apartment is smaller than most coupon users' storage space, but I am intrigued with the thought that I could save $5.00/week with better use of coupons. I know I'm feeling better when I start to think "If I saved $250.00 a year by using coupons that could be an airline ticket to...

My wishes for a fun and sunny rest of the weekend! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Short, but (Oh-so Very) Sweet

I spoke with my doctor this afternoon and the final pathology report is in and it is negative. Thank you all for your prayers, good wishes, support, and email. I don't have words to describe how much they mean to me.   Besides my prayers of gratitude -- and they are never-ending -- my prayers are with those whose news this afternoon wasn't as happy as mine.