Monday, April 30, 2012

A Very Early May Meeting of the Buttercupland Book Club


When the Buttercupland Book Club first met in April I casually mentioned that I'd love to write about books written by my blog buddies. Immediately I received a response from Terra, of Terra Garden. I've happily been a blog buddy of Terra's for quite awhile and remembered she and a group of blog friends had written a book about Christmas, "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts." But I didn't realize Terra is also one of the authors of "A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate & Wisdom to Bless Moms," newly published and absolutely terrific.

Terra very graciously shared a copy of the book with me, and I am a lucky reader. It is lovely, with the prettiest design and color and lovely, too, with stories and thoughts about the joys of motherhood. I think it would make a great Mother's Day present for beloved mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins and Godmothers. Gift wrap a copy, bring a plate of cookies and a jug of lemonade and give the gift of time and talk and memory. The talented authors -- all blog buddies -- share their memories and it's a wonderful springboard to reflecting on memories you share with some of the dearest in your life.  In a very past life I sold books at one of the Cokesbury book stores and this would have been my go-to book for Mother's Day gifts.

Terra is doing a giveaway -- just a few hours left -- but click the link above and do stop by and visit.  Terra, thanks so much for giving me happy hours of reading!

I know there must be other Buttercupland authors. We're a talented group!

Again, thanks for all the good wishes and prayers. I'm walking a little better and not in quite so much pain.

I know I started May blogging a little early, but I'm excited about lots of fun events coming up. I think May is going to be a terrific blog month -- great giveaway for later this week.

Have a terrific Tuesday and a sweet week!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stage Door Buttercup Strikes Again

Yes, it was fun. No, we're just friends. 

Stage Door Buttercup strikes again. Yesterday I went to the theater with a dear friend and her mother-in-law, who just happened to have an extra ticket for "Nice Work If You Can Get It."

It also just happens that I have a ticket for "Nice Work..." for next week, but as Kelli O'Hara is one of my all time favorites, I love Gershwin music and I  (almost) never turn down a ladies matinee day with two delightful people, I happily and gratefully accepted the ticket. And what a good decision it was!

We had lunch at this cute French bistro. They had me with the greeting of "Bonjour." Then we went on to two delightful hours of singing, dancing and fun. We all enjoyed it tremendously and I am still humming "Someone to Watch Over Me."

After the show I decided to walk over to the stage door. My only goal was to get a picture (or two or three). But the cast could not have been friendlier and I got lots of pictures, including my favorite with Matthew Broderick. I also got my Playbill signed by all of the actors you see in the photos and I got to chat (however briefly) with Kelli O'Hara.

Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick at the Stage Door. I love this picture!

Judy Kaye

Michael McGrath and Chris Sullivan

I am one very happy blogger/theater goer/middle aged civil servant! My next task is to get a shadow box to frame my signed Playbill. Sigh of Bliss!

Hope your weekend was as sweet. Have a great Sunday and please stop by tomorrow for the next meeting of the Buttercupland Book Club. The feature is a wonderful book about motherhood. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flowers for Leontien


My sweet blog buddy Nancy, who blogs at A Rural Journal is hosting a blog event for her blogger buddy Leontien, who is battling cancer. I'm happy to send these beautiful lilacs to Leontien. My thoughts and prayers are with you! If you'd like to join the blog event, please stop by Nancy's blog.

Thank you all for your prayers for me. I was moved to misty eyes to know that in just a few hours there where dear friends all through the country praying for my health. I am a lucky woman!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pinterest Travelfest!

Our virtual trip around the United States is completed. Thanks for joining me in visiting the eight states I have yet to see in person. I had a great time and I hope you did, too.



A new Pinterest theme starts next Friday. I'm not quite sure what will be our topic. I have a few ideas, but I'm open and grateful for suggestions.

It's been a long week. In the last ten days I've developed a lot of pain in my leg. Friends diagnosed it as sciatica, and recommended I see a chiropractor. Just to be sure about what was wrong I visited my internist this morning. He asked if my friends were orthopedic surgeons -- no, but they're sweet and concerned -- and I went through a number of contortions. He doesn't think it's sciatica and I will have an MRI next week. Besides making it tough to go up the subway stairs, it's gotten painful to sit at my computer. I've had to cut down on my computer time at home considerably, but I'm hoping to do some blog visiting over the weekend. Please say a prayer for my right leg. It can really use it!

As always, wishes for a very sweet weekend. Enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Thirtieth No Smoking Anniversary




In April of 1982 I quit smoking. I didn't intend to quit forever. I only intended to stop smoking my two or three cigarettes a day until I got over a nasty case of bronchitis. I was 31 years old and it hurt to breathe, let alone smoke. I recovered from the bronchitis, but one April day thirty years ago I didn't light up. On another April day I didn't light up and before I realized it I had quit smoking. Forever.

Those were the days when you could smoke at your desk. I worked in a room with five other people and three of them smoked. Two smoked cigarettes and one smoked cigars. Now that seems like it could have been several centuries ago, but it's only thirty years.

I don't think about quitting smoking very much anymore, but I thought of it today because I heard that a friend of mine's daughter smokes. She is nineteen, a beautiful college sophomore, and it broke my heart to hear she was smoking.

In honor of my No Smoking anniversary I am officially declaring Buttercupland a No Smoking blog. Of course you can visit if you smoke, but I hope if you do smoke you will think about quitting. I love all of the citizens of Buttercupland and wish all of you long, happy and healthy lives and that's easier to achieve if you don't smoke.  Please make this the one April day you don't light up. Buttercup -- and your lungs -- thank you!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Good Deed for the Earth

Thanks to our good friends at Dawn I'd like to share a way we can do a good deed for the earth.





Dawn has launched the second installment of its Junior Wildlife Champions Education program. With the help of zoologist and "Animal Exploration" host Jarod Miller, this program is designed to help parents and teachers educate elementary school children about the issues affecting wildlife. Dawn has joined with its partners, The Marine Mammal Center and International Bird Rescue, to design free downloadable lesson plans for parents and teachers to guide children as they discuss the importance of helping to save wildlife. If you download these activities before May 5, 2012, you can also enter for a chance to win a special wildlife school assembly with Jarod Miller and a few of his wildlife buddies! You can download the lesson plans and enter the contest on the Everyday Wildlife Champions facebook page.

We had a wonderful birthday celebration last night and I've spent today relaxing and decluttering. I've been ruthless with shoes and clothes and there are two big bags for recycling to charity. Please remind me that I need never buy one more pair of black suede shoes. I must have had at least six pairs, of which I only wear one of them. I hope that someone will be happy with purple satin shoes -- dyed for a wedding in 1994 -- that I've kept thinking I could wear them one more time.

Thanks, again, to Dawn and its partners and wishes for a sweet week! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pinterest Travelfest -- Welcome to Kansas!


Source: bit.ly via Tyler on Pinterest


This week's virtual trip is to Kansas. I was thinking about this post during the day and the phrase, "I'm as corny as Kansas in August..." from "South Pacific" kept running through my mind. But when I got to pinterest, I saw lots of sunflowers -- Kansas is the Sunflower state -- and then I saw these fabulous ruby slippers. I know that Dorothy and Toto and the rest of the beloved characters in "Wizard of Oz" don't actually live in Kansas, but I am tossing all thoughts of reality away. This week's travelfest is to the Kansas of Dorothy and Toto and I am loving it!

On a different note...I kept seeing the note that blogger was changing and I just ignored it. But tonight as I came to post I am found myself in very unfamiliar blogging territory. I feel like Dorothy swept away in a big whoosh of wind and I hope I land right side up in Blogland. I've spent some time exploring and I am hopeful I will like the new format and get used to it easily. I'll know I've got the very basics if this post resembles all the others.

So grateful for the weekend. Our Bible study group will be getting together tomorrow night to celebrate our dear friend Vivian's 90th birthday. So looking forward to the evening.

Wishes for animal cracker and cupcake sweet dreams and a sweet weekend!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Monkeys and Rabbits Loop the Loop



There are animal crackers...

Source: google.com via Carol on Pinterest

...and "Animal Crackers."

In case you missed it, and I did, yesterday was National Animal Crackers Day. I always enjoy a sweet treat, especially one that has such happy memories of childhood. I can't remember the last time I had an animal cracker -- or watched "Animal Crackers," but they both hold wonderful fun memories. While poking around pinterest I found many recipes for home made animal crackers. Have any of the terrific bakers in Buttercupland made them? I think it would be a fun project with children and grandchildren. 



Sweet wishes for animal cracker and cupcake dreams!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do You Still...


Write Checks?

I opened my first checking account in September 1968, when I went to college. Not unlike wearing a watch, having my own checkbook felt so grown up. I've written thousands of checks since then. Some, many years ago, were for as little as three or five dollars, for extra cash on weekends in Nashville. Others were for thousands of dollars for major purchases. As the years have gone by I've written less checks, using credit cards and on-line bill paying. But until one day last winter it never crossed my mind that I might stop using checks entirely. 

The daughter of one of my work colleagues was getting married and I had ordered the gift on behalf of a group of us. I was telling one of my much younger colleagues how much his share was and I mentioned that he could give me a check, if that was more convenient for him. He told me he didn't "do" checks. It wasn't that he didn't have a checking account, but that he didn't use checks. That made me think of my own check usage and realized that I had gone from writing at least a dozen checks a month to three or four.  Do you do checks, or have you switched totally to debit cards and online bill paying?

And while we're on the subject of checks, checks are one of my favorite design looks and Pinterest gave me a few cute check ideas. Even if you don't do checks, do you like checks, too?

Cupcakes would be delighted to be wrapped in these cute checks!

Source: google.com via Carol on Pinterest

I love this bedroom!

Wishes for a sweet Wednesday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

An RV Convention Outside My Door?

That was my first thought as I walked out the door of my building this morning. This was the scene directly in front of the building. 

This was the scene on the next block.

But it was just a film shoot for "White Collar."  

I'm not familiar with the show, but it was still a fun, surprise way to start the week. Any "White Collar" fans in Buttercupland?

The other fun part of the day, though not quite as much of a surprise, was the summer weather in New York City , with a high temperature of 86 degrees. I'm in summer clothes and enjoying it. I hope the hot and humid weather holds off at least until it's officially summer. 

I hope you had a fun way to start your week, too!  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Welcome to the Buttercupland Book Club


I love to read and I love to share books I've enjoyed, especially when the books are written by my blog buddies. I'm delighted to launch the Buttercupland Book Club, which will feature books by my blog friends.

I enjoy inspirational books very much. Two of my favorite writers are Catherine Marshall and Eugenia Price. I've read their books a number of times and I always find something new that speaks to me when I read their work. I'm not sure how I found Jeanette Levellie's blog On Wings of Mirth and Worth, but feel so fortunate that I did. I was delighted when her book, "Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top," was published this week and more delighted when I began to read it. It is amusing -- laughed out loud on the bus coming home the other night -- and sweet and like my other favorites there is so much that speaks to me. I can't think of a better book to begin the Buttercupland Book Club, inspiring, sweet and funny!  Please stop by and visit Jeanette, a lovely blogger to get to know and if you're looking for a book for yourself or a gift, this is a sweet choice.

If there are other authors in Buttercupland, please let me know. I'm glad to do a post about your book. I know my blog buddies have a lot of talent.

And I'll borrow from "Two Scoops..." Wishing you a week with Chuckles on Top!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What Do You Call...



Chocolate...

covered onion rings?

No, I'm not launching a food career. Besides studying we do a lot of chatting at our monthly Bible study sessions, and we always have snacks. As we put out our snacks one of the group mentioned that he liked to eat raw onions. Someone heard that as fried onions and somehow the thought drifted to chocolate covered onion rings. I asked if these sweet and savory onion rings existed, what would they be called? We came up with some names and I thought this was a topic I'd take to my blog buddies. Just for fun, what would you call chocolate covered onion rings? I'm voting for Chocorings. If they can manufacture Funyans, there's a future for Chocorings. 

Besides discussing snacks we had a great study. We're studying 2 Kings and enjoying it so much. I know I read it in Hebrew School in 1962, but the years of living and studying give this study an extraordinary richness. We studied Job before coming to Samuel and then Kings, and I thought the study of Job would be the best I would find, but each cycle of learning is such a rich and extraordinary opportunity. 

I hope your day was one of laughter and richness, too. Wishing you a sweet, sweet Sunday! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pinterest Travelfest -- Welcome to Nebraska!



Omaha

One of the things that I've found most fun in doing the Pinterest Travelfest is learning more about the states I haven't visited. I had some good ideas about Santa Fe, and I knew I wanted to see Mount Rushmore, but I didn't have a lot of ideas about some of the other states. This week we're saluting Nebraska and I did some research about Omaha. I was especially taken with the Joslyn Art Museum. Besides what looks like a fabulous collection of art from ancient Egypt, the newly reopened American wing looks terrific. I know this would be a stop on my itinerary during a visit to Omaha. Any other suggestions for places to visit there? Any Nebraska bloggers visiting Buttercupland? I'd love your suggestions. 

It wasn't a rough week at work, but I am tired. The weekend ahead looks great with sunny and warm weather and a nice mix of activity and relaxation. I'm going to Bible Study tomorrow afternoon and I have theater tickets for Sunday. There's time for laundry and cooking -- I'm trying out quinoa pasta. Here in Buttercupland I'll be launching the Buttercupland Book Club. Please stop by and visit and meet our author. And have a very sweet and fun weekend! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

National Licorice Day

Yes, my friends, it's National Licorice Day. It's not a national holiday, nor even a local one, but it's a sweet one. I am happy to have a reason to eat licorice. Would anyone like to join me?


Is rainbow your favorite?

Source: bing.com via Carol on Pinterest

Or do you choose these little beauties?

Or are you more traditional and choose either the classic black or red licorice...

I'm a red licorice fan and never need a holiday to eat it. What's your favorite? I've discovered a great list of fun "holidays" and there will be lots of celebrations to come!

Every Wish for a Sweet Licorice Day! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Do You Still...

Wear a wristwatch?
 

I remember my first wristwatch. It was a Timex with a black leather band. I got it in seventh or eighth grade and wore it all through college. It was plain and very functional and I felt so grown up when my parents gave it to me. I saw a watch as the symbol that you had things to do and places to go and you wanted to be there on time. 

Not surprisingly as a woman who made my living keeping other people's schedules I always wear a watch. For a long time one of my dreams was to own a gold watch and I would window shop along Madison Avenue looking at the beautiful and ultra-expensive watches. As the years have gone by I've become less interested in expensive watches and am very happy with a simple tank watch with a brown leather band. The face is good sized and happily I can see the time without having to put on my glasses. Like my first watch it was a gift and I was very happy to receive it. I knew I would use it.  

I read an article last week that said that the wristwatch was on the list of things that were becoming extinct and that people were relying on their phones for the time. I don't think I will be one of those people. On the rare occasions when I forget my watch I look at my wrist at least fifty times during the day, even though both my computer and phone at work show the time. Do you still wear a watch or have you come to rely on your phone? Do you remember your first watch?

Though I am reasonably sure that I will keep wearing my watch, there is a part of tradition that I don't think I will participate in. The gold watch was always the traditional retirement present, but when I was asked what I might  like for a retirement gift an iPad came to mind immediately. I love my watch, but I also love my electronic toys.
Wishes for a sweet Thursday!   

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The First Rule of Scheduling Is...


I spent the second night of Passover at my friend, Nancy's house, a guest at a seder for her family, who have become a second family to me. Nancy and I met in high school and we have remained very close. At the end of the evening I was saying good-bye to her sister-in-law, Marcia, and remarked that we would see each other again in Rochester next month, when Nancy's son graduates from college. Marcia replied, "Yes, I'm looking forward to May 19th." My jaw dropped a foot and I said, "But my airline tickets are for May 12th."

Yes, my friends, I had booked tickets for the wrong date. The graduation ceremonies for the last two years, which I also had attended, were the second weekend in May and I just assumed this one would be, too. I was an eager beaver and booked my tickets in January. I was so pleased with my efficiency and the low cost of my ticket. I sent the email record of my ticket to Nancy so that the rest of our group could book the same flights. They looked at the flights, but not the date.

As a little background to this story, I spent over five years of my professional life being responsible for the schedules for two well-known and very busy people. The first thing I learned on the first day of my scheduling career was to know the date. The second rule of scheduling is to confirm the date. I did confirm the date, but unfortunately it was three months after I bought my ticket.

Happily, the same flights were available for May 19th and the price...almost exactly what I had gotten as my windfall. Thank you windfall. Rochester, here I come, after all!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pinterest Travelfest -- Welcome to New Mexico!




When I think of my fantasy travel list New Mexico is just about at the top of places to see in the United States and Santa Fe and Taos are at the top of my list of New Mexico sights. I was so keen on this that we thought about driving to Santa Fe from Sedona last month, but the distance in real life is much greater than the little inch on the road map. I realized that Santa Fe would have to wait for another trip all of its own. This is a trip I hope to make this fall with the group I traveled to Chicago with last November. In the interim I am feasting on the great pictures on Pinterest, including this one of  the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe. Fantasy travel doesn't beat real life travel, but it has its own set of charm, and I am enjoying this desk chair view of the USA. Any other desk chair travelers in Buttercupland?

It was tough getting my concentration back at work this morning after the pre-holiday excitement last week. I did have two meetings this morning which helped bring me back to reality. The chocolate eggs brought in by a generous colleague sweetened my day. Hope you had something to sweeten up your day, too!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter Wishes!




Wishing you all things bright, beautiful and festive!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Time to Smell the Flowers




On this bright and beautiful Saturday, let's take time to smell the flowers, to treasure the sunlight and to give thanks for all the joy of spring!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wishes for a Sweet Passover


Source: pjlibrary.org via PJ on Pinterest


Each year at Passover I once again rediscover the depth and sweetness of this holiday. I will be spending it with dear, dear friends in Westchester. Tonight I will be with my friend Nancy's immediate family and tomorrow will be a seder with lots of extended family. There will be singing, prayers, discussion, laughter and lots of eating.  And once again, we will give thanks for delivery from bondage, just as our ancestors have done for thousands of years. To all who are celebrating, I extend the traditional greeting at Passover, for a sweet holiday.

Pinterest Travelfest Friday feature will be postponed until Monday.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

And the Windfall Goes to....


Source: flickr.com via Carol on Pinterest


Right after I finished last night's post I went to check if I had any phone messages on my home land line phone. And the land line screen had fuzzy lines, instead of clear writing. My phone/phone machine was gone.

Yes, I still use a land line, despite having a personal cell phone and a work cell phone with two-way radio capacity, and a land line at the office. One woman, four phones, does seem excessive when I see it written out, but it doesn't feel excessive. Until last night's discovery it seemed inconceivable to give up my land line and I was set to spend part of my windfall on a replacement phone/answering machine. But I didn't stop tonight and buy a new phone and the more I think about it, the more I think I may not need a land line. Is this the time to move to cell phone only? Have any of you made this jump and if you have, has it worked out well?

I've had the issue of changes in technology on my mind for the last week and have been thinking of starting a series discussing various items in our lives. The telephone was at the top of my list to blog about and I've been compiling others that I'll be writing about in the weeks to come. The series is called, "Do You Still..." Inquiring minds want to know, do you still have a land line?

Appreciate all the good ideas I received for spending my windfall. I especially like the idea of underwriting a pitcher or two of sangria at the Spanish restaurant in Howard Beach. I've got red wine on my mind.

Sweet dreams and wishes for a great Thursday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Windfall

How Would You Spend a Windfall? 

These were some of my thoughts as I walked home...

All of the lilacs at the market?

 Some bright and pretty new spring clothes?


Half of an iPad2?

No, I am not one of the major Mega Millions winners. I did win two dollars, but since I contributed four dollars, I actually lost money on the Mega hysteria. I also lost several hours of my life discussing what I would do with tens of millions of dollars.  By Sunday night I had put all thoughts of monetary windfalls out of my mind and once again my focus was on reality. And somewhat amazingly, Monday brought a windfall. 

Sometime at the end of 2010 I filled out paperwork for a class action suit concerning insurance. I sent the paper work off and thought I would get a check very soon after that. I figured -- very mistakenly -- that I would receive hundreds of dollars and would use that for spending money for my trip last winter to Spain. I'm not sure what my logic was, but clearly I was wrong. After I got back from the trip I gave the suit very little thought. Last night I found a check for my part of the settlement, $187.27. 

I'm not quite as giddy as I might be if I was a major winner of the Mega Millions, but I am giddy. I've had a lot of fun thinking about how I will spend my windfall. It won't be a bigger apartment or an endowed scholarship at Dartmouth. Those things will have to wait for my Mega Millions, but I am thinking of an experience that I might not have done, possibly an exercise class that looks interesting and will put me closer to my goal of being more fit. I also will tithe this windfall, just as I had planned to tithe my Mega winnings. I've got a cause in mind and will share it in another post.  

How would you spend $187.27 that arrived as a windfall? Would you be practical and use if for bills or whimsical and buy something that's a treat? Inquiring minds want to know!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Mix!

First part of our mix is to announce the winner of the "No Fooling" giveaway and it's Nancy at "A Rural Journal". The prize is the tote bag from the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. It's white, with navy letters and handle and it's fun and useful. Congratulations, Nancy, and thanks to all who joined the April Fool's fun. I encourage everyone to stop by Nancy's beautiful blog. She has some of the loveliest photos anywhere!

The next part of our mix is to welcome my friend, Lynda, to blogging.

I'd like to introduce you to a fun new blog, Two Ears and a Tail on a Dog. It's written by a friend from my bible study, and it will chronicle life in New York City through the eyes of a dog owner and a cute, cute pup.

The third part of the mix is to tell you about the answer to a declutterer's prayer. I was in the elevator with my neighbor, Natalie, this morning. We were chatting about the day ahead and she mentioned she was collecting books for the library book sale and added that I could bring any books I wanted to give away to her apartment. Over the weekend I decided I needed to get going on donating books, but was wary about carrying them to the library and here was my answer just thirty feet down the hall.

Hope your Monday was a mix of all sweet things and that you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

No Fooling! It's a 24 Hour Giveaway

No Fooling! I'm doing a giveaway only for the next 24 hours. The winner will be announced tomorrow evening. The prize is a surprise, but remember last week's Architectural Digest Home Show? It's a useful and fun souvenir  and I will be happy to send it to one of my friends in Buttercupland. Just be a follower and leave a comment. 


No fooling and have a great April Fool's Day!