Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hot Time in the City...

...refers completely to the temperature and not my very quiet life these days. It was a balmy 93 degrees in New York City today, and balmy only in comparison to the heat in the rest of the country. I did get out for my walk this afternoon and an iced coffee. I continued decluttering and read almost all of the Saturday New York Times, which with home delivery includes most of what is generally in the newspaper on Sunday. 

There is still over twenty-six hours to join the Karen Kingsbury Giveaway. You know you want to leave a comment and have a chance to win an advance reader copy of Karen's latest book. The link makes it so easy.

Coming July Fourth week...Big Summer Giveaway! The Karen Kingsbury giveaway was the big June giveaway. The big summer giveaway is totally different, but lots of fun.

Keep Cool and Drink Lemonade! 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pinterest Strawberryfest

I wasn't sure what strawberry goodie I would find for today, but I typed in "strawberry treat" and found this Fourth of July strawberry treat and knew I had found something just right. I've had July on my mind and now that I'm almost back to real life I realized that next week is Fourth of July. It's always been a favorite holiday and though I'm a little early I am happy to begin my celebration here. What are everyone's plans for the Fourth?

I know I am feeling better because I did a little decluttering today and have just finished shredding checks from 2003. Of course I have no idea why I kept them, but it feels great to have one new empty space. I'm not pushing myself, but it's as easy now to watch television and sort as it is just to watch television. My television watching is mostly reruns of "Say Yes to the Dress" and "What Not to Wear" and I can definitely give some concentration to sorting.

Wishes for a Sweet and Fun Weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

On Broadway

I had my first outing today that went beyond my block. I've always joked that I could do almost everything  on my block, but didn't think I would spend almost two weeks proving it. Today I decided that I could venture a little further. I would walk one block to Broadway and catch the bus to Lincoln Center, which is about a mile from where I live.

  My destination, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

I then crossed the street to arrive at my actual destination, one of the Green Markets, run by the Parks Department. 

Beautiful fruit and beautiful fresh vegetables!

I think this display of berries looks like a quilt.

After picking tiny yellow plums and cherries I crossed the street and bought the socks I desperately needed. I treated myself to iced coffee and then caught the bus home. What a different rhythm the city has in the middle of a hot summer day than the rush hour intensity I am used to. 

I know this is a long, long walk and not a sprint. I am so glad to have taken a few more steps along the path, but I am a tired Buttercup tonight. 

Wishes for a sweet Friday and a great weekend! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thanks, Nora

I always felt I should actually know Nora Ephron. I liked the thought we could get together for coffee and talk. I'm not sure what put this thought in my head. She was a wildly successful writer -- journalist, essays and movies -- and for the most part I was a middle-aged civil servant, whose greatest literary output was memos and letters. Through a true fluke of fate my previous job brought me in contact with her second husband, so we had something marginally in common. But more likely it was because she wrote the things I was thinking.

I started to read Nora Ephron's writing in the mid-1970's when she was writing for "Esquire" and followed her through books and movies for almost forty years. I laughed and smiled and shook my head in agreement many, many times. I loved this essay in "The New York Times" and wanted to share it.

Nora, I will miss you. The words were all yours, but the thanks is completely mine. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do You Have a Favorite Psalm?

Source: via Jenni on Pinterest

I love to read Psalms and Psalm 126 -- one of the songs of ascent -- is perhaps my favorite. I'm not sure if it's my absolute favorite, but it is the first Psalm I turn to when I open my bible. And this verse is my favorite verse of the Psalm. Initially I didn't think there would be much on pinterest and sort of idly typed in psalms and then got pages of beautiful quotes, including this one. I'm going to spend more time looking at quotes and know a board of Psalms would be a wonderful project to put together.

Do you have a psalm that is especially meaningful to your or your family? For one of my colleagues, it is Psalm 30. He and his wife are so devoted to it that they named their daughter, Tehillah, which is Hebrew for Psalm. So look forward to your sharing!

Monday, June 25, 2012

(What I Pray Will Be) My Last Post About Surgery...

...for a long, long time!

Today was my post-surgical follow-up. Somewhere between last week and today I got a gust of energy and did everything that I needed to do -- the doctor, the bank and the drugstore -- without exhaustion. I'm still not very peppy, but for someone who could barely get out of bed a week ago, to be up and dressed, in a taxi and walking through New York City was nothing short of a miracle. I even got to add lunch with a friend who met me at the bank.

My doctor's visit went very well. My stitches are gone and the incision is healing very well. I can now lift twenty pounds, -- which means I can do light grocery shopping alone -- and will start physical therapy in the middle of July. The pain has definitely lessened and I can really foresee being off all medication in the near future. The only thing I can't do is lift a suitcase and he would prefer I not to do any flying trips for the next four to five months. I do have a trip planned for November -- no tickets ordered yet -- and barring anything unforeseen, he thinks that should be fine. Best of all, the biopsy results are back and they are benign. 

I'm not planning to go back to work until after Fourth of July weekend and will take the next two weeks to rest, build up strength and endurance and relax. I'm hoping to visit with friends I didn't get to see in the last week and spend some time outside just enjoying New York City. It's time for some new, fun pictures!

For all of you who prayed, sent me your loving thoughts and good wishes, for the my kind and talented surgeon and for the gift of Infinite Grace, I am so thankful.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pinterest Strawberryfest

Source: via Terry on Pinterest

There are few foods that are sweeter or more delicious that announce summer than the simple, perfect strawberry shortcake. I put local corn and blueberries right up there, but right now it's all about the strawberry shortcake and don't skimp on the whipped cream! Are there any other strawberry shortcake fans in Buttercupland?

Wishes for a sweet, strawberry shortcake kind of weekend!

And the Winner Is...

A little later than expected, but right on time for summer fun....The winner of the "Iron Man: Armored Adventures" giveaway is Grammy's News. Congratulations to sweet Lura and wishes for lots of summer fun to her grandsons! And again, many thanks to our friends at Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment for this fun summer giveaway. 

And yes, for anyone calculating the time on the East Coast, I am absolutely wide awake. But it's fun to be back in swing blogging -- more than fun! -- and I promise a pinterest treat later in the day.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Terrific Thursday

I think I've got a whole new definition of terrific. I am sitting up at the computer. It's uncomfortable, but not painful and I am typing away. This morning is a good morning. I am fully awake, had a good night's sleep, finished my smoothy and took my medications. The air conditioner is purring -- it's close to 100 degrees in New York City -- and I am savoring the cool and quiet of my apartment.

I cannot begin to thank my friends, family, colleagues, blog buddies and the many people I have met in my journey of the last few months. Just know that you are in prayers and thoughts each day. I am still waiting on the biopsy report, but I am assuming that all is well. I see my surgeon on Monday to have my stitches out and hope then to get the go-ahead to begin physical therapy. I also hope to have the go-ahead to take a long, long shower and can't wait.

I am going to use Random Generator to pick a winner of the "Iron Man" contest. I will post this either tonight or tomorrow.

Keep calm, keep cool and drink lots of lemonade! Lots of hugs from New York City!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Home. The Sweetest Word I Know

I got home just about 24 hours ago and it feels so good. The things that worried me -- e.g., could I get out of a bed that wasn't adjustable -- are no longer worries and though I move very stiffly and slowly, I can move and glory be, even type! My friend, Mary, stayed with me last night and what an angel she was. She sorted out my prescriptions at the drug store and made sure I had everything I needed. Others have come by today to look in on me and brought delicious meals and fruit. My friend, Lonni -- my buddy from the fifth grade -- is due momentarily and she will spend the night with me.

During my walk around the hospital floor yesterday I asked who my neighbors were. I was on the neurology floor and learned most patients were there for treatment of seizure disorders, strokes and brain tumors. I quickly realized that whatever pain and soreness I had I was probably one of the luckiest people there. My physical and occupational therapy would be short and limited and I was going home two days after my surgery. My prayers tonight are for my neighbors who are still on the Sixth floor of New York Hospital. Thank G'd I am home. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grateful for Lists

I love lists. I don't think there has been a day in my adult life -- and probably even before that -- when I didn't have a list of things to do. I don't see them as a burden, but rather as a structure. At times like this evening, when I am restless and waiting for the day ahead, I am grateful to have a list of things to do.

I've paid several bills, cleaned out the refrigerator, discarded lots of newspapers that I realize I will never read and sorted my laundry. All are useful and don't need much concentration. The last item on my list is "blog." This last is not a burden in any way, but an opportunity to say thanks and sweet dreams to some of my favorite people. I saved the best and sweetest "to-do" for last and I wish you a sweet Wednesday. I'll be back in touch as soon as I can and I'm carrying all of your prayers and good wishes with me!  

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Iron Man: Armored Adventures" Giveaway

I've wrestled back control of the Buttercupland from Stinkweed and that wacky, wild monkey, Pepe.  I certainly could have used a superhero to help me. Stinkweed and a martini-drinking monkey are a challenge for Buttercup.

Next best to having a resident superhero in Buttercupland is this fun, summer giveaway from our friends at Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment. Buttercupland has been provided with the DVD of the first six episodes of the  all new adventure series "Iron Man: Armored Adventures." It's family entertainment and perfect for rainy days and amusement for long car trips. Enjoy Tony Stark and his friends, Rhody and Pepper Potts as they fight against evil. It's fun, action entertainment. This giveaway goes thorough Sunday, June 17 and I will announce the winner on Monday, June 18. Just leave a comment and let me know what entertainment you are looking forward to this summer. You must be a follower of Buttercup and this giveaway is limited to the United States and Canada. I'm delighted to be able to offer this giveaway and again, thanks to our friends at Gaiam Vivendi.

*I received no compensation for this giveaway and the opinions are based on my experiences with this product.  

Wishes for a sweet Tuesday!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stinkweed Hijacks the Blog

Hi, it's me Stinkweed, Buttercup's cranky and misbehaving other half. Buttercup is either napping or eating prunes, while fervently wishing that her surgery is over. She is not paying any attention to her blog and so I am jumping in to create a little mischief. Buttercup is usually hyper-observant of my actions and keeps me far from the blog, but she's tired, and weeds are blooming.  My next act will be sharing a martini with Pepe and soon we will have a monkey running wild in the lobby of Buttercup's building. Won't that be fun and won't Buttercup be surprised when she wakes up from her nap! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday in New York Update

While Monday is officially the first day of my medical leave from the office and technically I am still on the weekend duty roster, I am counting today as the my first day off. Unlike last summer when I worked right up until the minute I had to start prepping for my surgery -- and that was evacuation day for Hurricane Irene -- I have gotten wiser and am taking four days to rest, relax and build up my strength before my surgery on Wednesday.

I have a long list of things I would like to do in the next three days -- catch up on emails, read, grocery shop, chat with friends, clean out my freezer, sort laundry -- I only accomplished a little of the first today. I did read the first of nine sections of today's NY Times and scheduled breakfast with my neighbor and friend, Jane K., for tomorrow morning. I will go grocery shopping with my friend, Mary, on Tuesday night and whatever doesn't get done will just have to wait.

What I did do...
It's not fancy, but this is my favorite bagel store. Great bagels and the best iced coffee. I spent a wonderful hour here reading that first section of the NY Times and savoring my iced coffee.  

Paid a visit to my local fruit stand and my snack for the afternoon were some of the season's first cherries, which were sweet and juicy. Cherries are one of my favorite -- maybe all-time favorite! -- fruits and the first of the season are a huge treat for me. 

I think tomorrow's treat will be peaches. This store is next to the diner where we be having breakfast, and I will stop by and choose a fruit treat.  

What is your sweet treat for the weekend? Wishing you rest, relaxation and all that makes you smile!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pinterest Strawberryfest

I love strawberry shortcake. Love! I was all set to do a post on strawberry shortcake -- with real whipped cream and no thought to the calories -- when I saw this treat on pinterest. They look easy, delicious and healthy and I knew that they have to be this week's choice for Strawberryfest. I have found myself craving muffins lately and I may just have to make a batch to cheer me as I recover next week.

Wishes for a sweet and yummy weekend!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Didn't Meet Karen Kingsbury Giveaway

...but I got an advance copy of her book, "The Bridge," that will be published in October and it's AUTOGRAPHED. I was at the Simon and Schuster booth and saw a small pile of books on the floor next to one of the booths where authors sign books. I noted the title and the staff person said they were giveaways. Karen had signed yesterday. I was disappointed to have missed meeting her, but happy to have the book. When I got home and opened it I saw the signature, "Love, Karen Kingsbury." The Karen Kingsbury is not very clear, but love is very clear.

Nothing will make me happier than to do a giveaway for this special copy. I've had the most fun three days and I want to share this terrific time and fun reading with the good citizens of Buttercupland. This is the first in what will be at least three book giveaways over the summer. Please leave a comment about a favorite book and please be a citizen of Buttercupland, too. There is also a small surprise runner-up giveaway. This giveaway closes Sunday, July 1 and I will announce the winners on Monday, July 2.

Today was an equally fun day. I met a number of authors -- all of whose work was unfamiliar to me -- but I am so glad for the discoveries. I think I've got some great reading ahead.

This charming author is Susan Elia MacNeal. I am a fan of mysteries and I think with Susan's book I've got a find. Her books take place in Wartime England and I've got some catching up to do. Due out in October is "Princess Elizabeth's Spy," and her character, Maggie Hope, is dispatched to Windsor Castle to tutor then Princess Elizabeth. What a great read for Jubilee time!

I had a great chat with Victor LaValle, whose creepy terrific novel, "The Devil in Silver" is due out in August.   I don't usually read scary books, but the first few pages -- I've been flipping through all my new books -- caught me and that it takes place in Queens, where I've worked for the last seven years, is added fun. This is a great gift book for your friends who like a good scare in their literary life.

Another great gift idea is James Dashner's "The Kill Order." Teens can be so tough to choose books for, but his series look great for fans of "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent."

My last moment of being a star-struck fan was seeing E.B. Lewis, Caldecott Honor awardee and fabulous illustrator. Yes, I am in awe of illustrators, whose talent gives life to some of my favorite books. 
A big, big thanks to the many publishing folks who made this a very special time. People were unfailingly patient, fun and friendly. This reader and blogger is very grateful!

It's tough to come back to real life after my wonderful week. I go back to work tomorrow for a day and then I am officially on medical leave, with my surgery scheduled for next Wednesday. I am going to rest, blog and read.  

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Didn't Meet Lee Child...

But I got his picture! Myra, this one's for you. There was a line around the corner for an autographed copy of his new book, but no line needed for pictures and I jumped right in. 

I enjoyed "Divergent"" by Veronica Roth very much. It's a  dystopian "YA" novel set in Chicago. The characters were terrific and the story carried me right along. The second book in the trilogy, "Insurgent" has just been released and Veronica was there to sign books. I got there too late for a signed copy, but we got to chat and she very graciously signed a publicity card for me. 

I got this photo of Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black at their book signing. I generally don't do posts that can be construed as political, but I thought this was a really good photograph, and the book could be a lot of fun. They're from the opposite ends of the political spectrum. 

My favorite moment of the day is shown in this blurry, grainy photograph. Not the best picture, but the best moment. I was standing in line for an autograph -- illustrator Ricardo Cortes -- and chatting with two very nice booksellers from Mobile. I saw a man in a white ice cream suit coming up the escalator. Faster than I could say to my new friends, "Isn't that Tom Wolfe?" Mr. Wolfe was walking past us. I sprinted -- or at least what passes for sprinting for me these days -- and this grainy shot is my homage to one of my favorite authors and one of the great living legends of American letters. Thanks for "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," "The Right Stuff" and "Bonfire of the Vanities," as well as making my day. 

Yes, I had a great day and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I Didn't Meet Debbie Macomber...

...but I did get to meet Clifford! And he is a honey. Debbie is speaking at a ticketed luncheon tomorrow, and I didn't think ahead to buy a ticket. She may be doing a book signing, too, but the lines for famous authors are long and require more standing than I can do right now. 

And Bobby Deen. He is a honey and a cutie. I attended a session moderated by Sam Sifton, of the New York Times, with David Venable of QVC and Bobby. What complete fun! On behalf of all of us in Buttercupland, I told him how much we like his mom. I was pretty sure I could take that liberty. 

And Peter Brown, illustrator, par excellence, who signed a copy of his new book "Creepy Carrots," for me.  

Yes, it's wild, hectic and crowded and the food is so over-priced, even for a New Yorker. A cup of coffee was $3.50, but when you're desperate for a cup of coffee...But I am having such a good time. The book show is primarily for book stores, publishers, book reviewers and folks who make their livings in the book business. I am thrilled that my registration for BlogWorld included admission to BookExpo. 

In the past I've had a number of jobs in the book business and I have some regrets about not pursuing that path professionally. Throughout the day I was asked what I did and the first thing that popped into my head was "book blogger."  Long-time readers know I don't blog about books very much, and I've felt insecure about writing about books because I wasn't a book professional. But books and discussing them is something I love. I don't intend to turn Buttercupland into a book blog, but there are more books to come in the future of Buttercupland.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bookexpo America

I've got an adventure coming up! I will be attending Bookexpo America this week. I am so excited. It's at the Javits Center, which is almost just down the block. Actually, it's closer to three miles away, but in New York City that's practically walking distance. I haven't studied the agenda, but I know there will be opportunities to hear some of my favorite authors and to see the new titles for the fall. I'm going to be looking for book blogging opportunities and hope to find a fun giveaway (or two) to share with the book lovers in Buttercupland.  

Just to get me thinking...what author would you like to meet? Debbie Macomber is high on my list!

Wishes for a sweet and literary week!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happy and Glorious!

G'd Save the Queen

This collection of tapestries was created for Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee, which is taking place this weekend. I saw them at the Architectural Digest Show in March and filed them away for the Buttercupland Salute to the Jubilee. One of goals for the next few years, is to visit England and a special celebration like this one would be a terrific treat. Since I can't be in the U.K. to celebrate in person I send my best wishes for a sunny and happy weekend and years of good health for the Queen and peace for her country and the rest of the world. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pinterest Strawberryfest

I was just about to do a lemon post and realized -- with great surprise -- that May, lemon month, is over and it's June. May slipped away in a daze of medical appointments, but despite everything that is scheduled to happen this month, I am going to savor June.

One of the great treats of June is big, red juicy strawberries, and that's the feature for Pinterest Fridays. I'm starting off very simply with a tribute to the perfect strawberry that is delicious without any adornment. There will be some fancy desserts to come -- I love strawberry shortcake! -- but this is a toast to the strawberry, perfect just the way it's grown.

Wishes for a sweet, sweet weekend. I get to see my beautiful Goddaughter and that's a very sweet weekend for me.