Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Can Spring Be Far Behind...

It's only in the 40s today, but I am so eager for spring that I'm sharing a picture I took several years ago at our local community garden. The garden is only a few blocks from my building, and it's a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city. I'll walk over there in a few weeks and takes photos of this year's flowers. I'm not a gardener, but I am so grateful for all that my neighbors do to transform our neighborhood.

Our big project launches Monday morning. I'm taking today to catch up on errands -- desperate for a haircut -- and I'm back at the office tomorrow. By Monday afternoon I hope the biggest part of our work will be over and I can really start to relax. I definitely need a trip to Pink Saturday! Please join me and visit some of the sweetest places in BlogLand.

Wishes to all for a pink Saturday and a bright and blessed weekend!

P.S. April 1 starts the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I hear the Cottonwoods Whisperin' Above...

If I ever get to go on "Jeopardy" I'd hope one of the categories is movie music from the 1950's. Even as a little girl I was fascinated with movies. My mother had no qualms about letting me read movie magazines and I spent my allowance on "Photoplay." Debbie Reynolds was my favorite actress and I still know all the words to "Tammy."

I jumped out of my chair when I saw a live interview with Debbie Reynolds was taking place next week in New York City, and yes, I'll be there. I'll be humming "Tammy" and snippets from "Singing in the Rain," and dancing my way back to the bus stop afterwards. Any other Debbie Reynolds fans in Buttercupland?

Our big work project launches Monday, April 1. I know there will be a few hitches, but we're almost there. Taxes still need to get done and a few other necessities of life and then I get to relax. The days are getting longer and warmer and I'm officially in my "light" winter jacket. No hat or scarf, and for the last few days I haven't needed gloves. Hooray!

Wishes for bright spring days!

Monday, March 25, 2013

We Will Retell the Story...

...Of Slavery to Freedom and Redemption

I went to Pinterest to find an illustration for this post and was so moved by this picture. An American Rabbi is leading a Seder -- the traditional Passover Meal -- at an American Air Force base in Germany following World War II. 

Wishes to all for Peace at Passover and all through the year.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sort of Spring

Yes, the little yellow dots in the corner of the picture are the first actual flowers I've seen outside of the grocery.  The setting isn't beautiful, but it's real, and it absolutely warms my heart. We've got snow predicted again for tomorrow, so it's one more day for boots and gloves. I just hope these little treasures make it through what, I hope, will be our last snowfall of the season.

And where have I been? Work! The project that was scheduled to launch yesterday is now postponed until next Monday. We found this out on Wednesday and it feels like we're moving a very large ship at sea, with no power. Now we're ahead of schedule on most things, but I -- and my colleagues -- were so eager to move everything ahead and we were so close.

As the week was so intense I decided the weekend would be calm. It was a no-plan Saturday, and I really needed it.  I grocery shopped, stopped at the bank and drugstore and got a new watchband. I have a fun plan for this afternoon -- pictures later! -- laundry and a quick trip to pick up wine for Passover, which starts tomorrow night.

I left my camera on the train last week coming home from Providence. A very good Samaritan found me and let me know he had my camera. We haven't caught up yet, but it's put a hold on most of my pictures. I've gotten out my older, quirky camera, but I miss my little blue camera so much.

Wishes for a sweet Sunday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's Official!

Though the forecast for tomorrow is snow and we had snow on Monday -- real fluffy snow -- it is officially spring and folks, I'm celebrating.

I'm trudging off in my wool skirt and winter coat, but I know they're only temporary. It's spring!

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Inquiring Minds Want to Know... you flip to the back of a book first?

Actually, the inquiring mind is my cousin, Rachel. I visited Rachel in Rhode Island this weekend to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. During my stay I borrowed a book by Debbie Macomber -- it turns out Rachel and I are both fans of Debbie's writing -- and I flipped to the end of the book to see how the story turned out. Rachel looked at me in surprise. She knew I'd just taken the book off the shelf and she knew I couldn't have read it that fast. I was a little embarrassed to admit that I often go to the last few chapters of a book first. So does Rachel and she was surprised to see that I had the same reading habit. We did a quick survey of family and only our sweet college cousin, Hillary, starts her reading the same way. I'm taking a very informal blog survey to see if anyone else starts at the back first. Reading habits, please!

The State Capitol, Providence

It was a great weekend in Providence. Rachel's party had a very fun fifties theme and it was wonderful to spend the evening with family and friends. Carrot cake made by Kimmie, Rachel's high school friend, was a high point of the treats and I am pining for another piece. We had breakfast at a favorite place in Warren, RI and the afternoon was spent relaxing and movie watching. I'd planned to come back to New York in the afternoon, but there was a freight train derailment near New Haven, and no trains were moving south. After a few minutes of "I've got to get back for work..." I rebooked for the first train this morning. It was a very early start to the day, but it gave me a very enjoyable afternoon and dinner with family. 

Now I enter a very hectic work week. I have a night meeting tomorrow and then we are launching a project I've been working on for over two years. Not sure how much I'll be around, but I will try to blog as often as I am able to. 

What I hope is the last snow of the season is falling outside my window. I'm warm and cozy and I send you warm and cozy wishes, too!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Couldn't say it better myself. Luck, song and love to you on St. Patrick's Day and all through the year. Thanks for visiting and thanks for all the happiness my blog friends bring to my life. 

Luck, song and love! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Time for Spring Dress-Up...

...and we're going pink this year!

I strolled through Bloomingdale's last week and found some fun pink goodies for the spring. Though the warm weather seems to have slipped away, I know it really is just about here and I definitely need a few little treats. They'll fit right in our budget, because we're window shopping. Won't you join me?

I think these bracelets are really fun, and yes, I'm partial to the pink ones.

I spent some time looking at makeup and I still can't decide which pink lip gloss I've got to have. Let's get all of them.  

I think the men in our lives can use some new clothes. How about...

a shirt...

and tie? Perfect for Easter or Passover

Thanks for joining me. I had a great time and I hope you did, too. We're going to join Pink Saturday. I hope you'll stop over and join the fun, too.  

I'm off for a family adventure tomorrow. I'll be in Providence for a fiftieth birthday celebration for my cousin. Looking forward to some sweet family time. 

Wishes for a pretty-in-pink Saturday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

They Paved Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot

When I started blogging a little over four years I'd never heard of Google Reader. Google Reader is the feature of Google where I can see a list of all the Blogger blogs that I follow. I look at it on my desktop computer and on my phone. I follow a lot of blogs. Some I visit often and some I stop by once a week or once a month. During the weekends I try and see all the new posts and catch up with my bloggy friends, via Google Reader.

I haven't thought much about this marvel that has let me easily follow blogs I enjoy, until this morning when I read that Google Reader will be history as of July 1, 2013. Bye bye with tears, Google Reader! I am hoping that the recommended replacement, Google Takeout, will work well, but right now I'm concerned that nothing can take the place of my beloved Reader.

Of course, if you had asked me a week ago or a day ago what my thoughts were about Google Reader I would have told you it was fine, nothing special and not given it a second thought. But in the words of the Joni Mitchell song that is the title for this post, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." Isn't that the way for so many things!

I'm going to do some research about replacements for Reader. Is anyone using Google Takeout or found a different way to keep track of the blogs they follow? I can do email subscriptions, but I find I don't keep up with blogs as much via email and rarely comment. I'm open and grateful for any and all thoughts.

On other fronts, work is busier and busier. Our big project launches in nine days. I've worked on this for over two years and we're down to nine days. The few days of spring we've had has returned to winter and I can't find my gloves or hat. Luckily I've kept track of my wool socks and turtlenecks.

Wishes for a warm and cozy Friday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Signs of Spring, a la New York City

You know spring is just about to arrive when you see...

...the first little green shoots. It's not a glamorous setting, but still exciting. 

...and the first sidewalk tables emerge.

I missed taking a picture of the Mr. Softy truck last week, but that sure sign of spring was also in the neighborhood. 

It's back to turtlenecks today, but I know their days are numbered. Wishing you a bright and sunny Wednesday.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What Will We Do Without Number 42?

I've written a number of posts about my love of baseball, most recently this post about Jackie Robinson, #42. Yesterday the last player still wearing the number 42 announced he would retire at the end of this season. It's Mariano Rivera who has been the reliever for the Yankees for almost twenty years and one of my -- and Pepe's -- favorite players. Number 42 was retired in 1997, except for those players who were actively playing. "Mo's" retirement permanently retires this great number.

Mariano Rivera is the player for the Yankees that pitches the last few innings, and has pitched extraordinarily. He has been a twelve time all-star, with outstanding pitching statistics. What's even more impressive, especially in this era where so many of our heroes are often day tainted with misconduct, there hasn't been a whiff of scandal. He's not in the gossip pages off the field. Though there were three different Yankee uniforms to pick from, when I chose a baseball uniform for Pepe there was was no choice but to dress Pepe in #42.

  Pepe soberly considers next season's chances for the Yankees. 

Homage to Mariano Rivera, #42

The weather was glorious in New York this weekend and I did a fair amount of running around. I was out and about so much yesterday that I missed Pink Saturday. I went to Bible Study in the afternoon and had a ticket in the evening for a concert. It was a big-band program of music by Julie Styne, and featured songs from "Funny Girl," "Gypsy" and "Bells are Ringing." The talent was terrific and the music, of course, was wonderful. With the cold weather we've had I haven't been doing that much in the evenings and it was a lot of fun to be out on a Saturday night.  

The week ahead looks full of work, work, work. But I've taken some pictures I hope to share and I'm snapping away for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I've got a theme in mind and I've had a good time getting prepared for next month's blogging. Anyone else joining me?

Wishes for a sweet week!

Friday, March 8, 2013

There May Be Snow on the Ground...

...But my memories are warm and sunny!

Today I realized it has been just a year since I took a vacation, and blog buddies, it's getting to me. I couldn't travel for six months because of my spinal surgery and then my planned to trip to New Orleans in November got washed away by Hurricane Sandy. I've got a couple of trips planned for July -- Orlando and Chicago -- but it seems a long time to July and sun. 

I decided to reach back to my memories and went back to one of my best travel memories. In August 1983 -- yes, the absolutely hottest time imaginable -- my college roommate and I went to Greece and Egypt. We posed the question, "Where would we go if we could go anywhere? " Anywhere was Athens, Luxor and Cairo and a quick cruise in the Greek Isles. 

It was a splurge, but also a fabulous time and the memories have stayed with us for thirty years. High points were seeing the Parthenon, shopping in Luxor and wonderful days in Rhodes and Santorini. But perhaps my favorite moment was seeing the Pyramids on camelback. Our camel was called Yankee Doodle and it was just about the bumpiest ride of my life, but what a memory! Yankee Doodle looks a lot more cheerful in this picture than he was in actuality. 

  Buttercup and Jane atop Yankee Doodle. Pyramid in the background.  

I hope you've enjoyed this little break from winter weather. I have and am very happy to link with Flashback Friday for our visit to Egypt. 

So glad it's Friday. I think it's going to be a fun weekend and I am delighted that the weather prediction is fifty degree.

Wishing you a delightful Saturday!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I'm Pleased to Announce...

I have two announcements, but before we get all excited I want to caution you that these are not major breaking news. I have not won the lottery, gotten a book contract or met Prince Charming. But in these waning days of winter I am pleased to find happiness in the small joys of life. Today, even with rain and snow, added two joys to my life.

The first! I have added a new place to my "must-visit" list. Cornwall, here I come! I have no idea when, but I am so eager to see Cornwall. Are any of you from/living in Cornwall?

I love the vintage rail posters

The second! I have actually completed reading my first book of 2013. Yes, It's eleven weeks into the year, but last night I finished Steve Robinson's "In the Blood,"  which takes place primarily in Cornwall, England. I really enjoy mysteries and this had a twist with a focus on genealogy. The book is described as a Genealogical Crime Mystery, and it's got all three facets and a very interesting hero, Jefferson Tayte, who searches a mystery in present day Cornwall. The book also travels back to the eighteenth century and I also enjoyed the historical glimpses and descriptions. Tayte is the antithesis of the always groomed James Bond and is a rumpled genealogist who lives in his car. I found him very endearing and I was happy to find that there are two more books in the series -- so enjoy a series! -- so that I can follow his adventures. My one quibble with the book is that he makes genealogical research seem so easy. 

That's what I read the first week of March. What are you reading?

Wishing you sweet dreams and happy reading 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I Believe in Spring

Though when I walked out this morning the dogs were wearing fleece coats and I was in my winter coat, I could begin to feel that spring was on its way. Though a snowstorm is predicted for tomorrow and little snowflakes are also featured on the forecasts for Thursday and Friday, I feel spring is almost here. Though not one little shoot is springing up anywhere and the flowers are still promises, I believe in spring.

For the first time this season one of my favorite verses from the Bible came to mind, and I was delighted to find this beautiful illustration.

There may be snow on the ground, but spring is in my heart.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Night in the City...

...Looks Pretty to Me

I was waiting to cross the street last week and looked up and there was Columbus looking down on me. It's one of the first pictures from my new phone and I'm still getting used to all of the features. Love seeing all of the bright city lights. Hope you do, too!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Buttercup, A.K.A. #885

Here, you know me as Buttercup. When visiting Google+ I'm Carol Z. But if you are part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April, just call me #885. Blogging from A to Z is a very big -- I'm number 885 and the sign-up goes on until the end of March -- blog hop. Each day, excluding weekends, I'll blog about a different letter of the alphabet. Any one else joining in? I think it's a fun idea and a stretch for my sometimes rusty creativity.

I had a fun and relaxing Sunday. The usual laundry and grocery shopping figured in my day, but I also spent some time with my college roommate enjoying coffee and conversation. It was a great way to start the day. This evening I went to a program at the Jewish Community Center on volunteer opportunities for people 60+. The speakers were very interesting and they represented some wonderful organizations. I will probably sign up to volunteer at a local theater. They have a range of great arts activities and it's only a short walk from home. I'm starting to focus on what happens after the big "R" later this spring. More blogging definitely, but I also want to make sure I am involved in community activities. The last few years have focused around work and health issues, but that will change very shortly. Are there new activities that you took up post-retirement?

Eeks! Monday is just around the corner. I am hoping, hoping for a less intense week and a few minutes to stop and smell the proverbial roses. Wishing you those same few minutes and many more!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

In Search of Spices...

...Over the River to Queens!

The City of New York has five boroughs and many, many neighborhoods. It's easy to think of New York as Manhattan and the theater district or Fifth Avenue and glamorous shopping, but that's a small part of the life of the city for the over eight million people who live here. It's very easy for me to get caught up in my own neighborhood in Manhattan, especially on weekends. Today I only stirred seven blocks from home and ran a few quick errands. Tomorrow won't get me more than a mile from home. But last Sunday I had an adventure, all of a few miles from home. 

I took the subway to Queens, to the neighborhood of Jackson Heights. I was in search of spices. Living in Manhattan is great, but it is expensive. I've been on a quest to replace the contents of my spice rack and found that a bottle of ginger in my local grocery was over six dollars and the same for curry powder. I realized that I could buy spices -- especially curry powder -- much less expensive and just as tasty, if not more so, in Jackson Heights, home to many people from South Asia. It is also home to many people from just about every part of the world and has wonderful grocery shopping. 

I wavered about going. The weather forecast was snow and rain. But happily the weather folks were wrong and my friend Mary and I hopped on the train. After lunch at my favorite Indian restaurant, Taj, Mary and I went in search of spices.

 We found interesting vegetables. Not sure what "Dudhi" is, but the kirby cukes and eggplant looked good. 

 There were many stores with clothing and jewelry. We got delayed on our spice expedition looking  at shawls and bracelets. 

I like all the pink at this stand. 

 I found my spices at this grocery, which had foods from all over the world. These cookies are from Brazil.

I've really taken to Pink Saturday. I find myself looking for all things pink to take pictures of. Please stop by How Sweet the Sound and see the very fun pink posts. 

I hope you had a sweet pink Saturday! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

March 2, 1947

Exactly sixty six years ago tomorrow my parents were married on my father's thirtieth birthday. They were introduced in October, 1946 -- not a long courtship -- by a couple who were friends with both sets of grandparents. My father was living in New York City and my mother in Hartford. My father, somewhat unconventionally, moved to Hartford after they were married and three years later I was born at Hartford Hospital.

My father died in 1982, much, much too soon. I doubt if he ever wore white tie again. I know he was much happier in a flannel shirt and the best times we had as a family were casual times. Whether it was raking leaves, being at the beach or long Sunday drives to historic places there were many good times and lots of fun. I am very grateful that my parents took that leap on March 2, 1947 and they are both remembered with love and gratitude. Happy birthday, Daddy!

I am linking to Flashback Friday, where I hope to be a frequent visitor.

Wishes for a weekend of sweet memories and happy times!

Thank You, Rodgers and Hammerstein...

for the glorious "Carousel."

This isn't the most glorious photograph -- taken through glass at night after the show -- but it was a glorious production of "Carousel." I bought a ticket on the spur of the moment to see one of my favorite musicals and it was wonderful. The review does a much better job of discussing the production than I could, but the singing was as good as I have ever heard and I was moved and delighted at the finish of the show. It's only a five day production, but if it ran longer I would definitely try to see it again. Wish you all could have been with me.  

I'm off and running for a very full day -- retirement party at night for a favorite colleague -- but I wanted to wish everyone a happy March. We're getting close to springtime!