Sunday, June 30, 2013

Do You Dream of the Taj Mahal...


or Burma, Sri Lanka or Thailand? I've written before about my travel dreams, and I thought I'd placed them on a shelf to be pulled out sometime later. I've been thinking about England or seeing the eight states in America that I haven't yet seen. But in the back of these thoughts more exotic ideas linger. I'm not a fan of the New York winter and I have been thinking about spending January somewhere warmer, perhaps the coast of Georgia. Then my imagination started to wander...

What about a return trip to India? I saw some of the fabulous sights in the north of India -- including the Taj Mahal -- eight years ago. I'd love to see the sights in the south, e.g., Cochin or perhaps a trip to Sri Lanka. I've had Laos on my mind for a few years and I'm not adverse for a return to Thailand. I'm not shy about going alone as part of a tour, but if any one of my blog buddies might be interested, please let me know. I know these are not trips for everyone, but sometimes we just need someone else to start our thoughts going. Of course if anyone is game for Antarctica -- Celebrity Cruises has a great trip out of Buenos Aires that I'd love to go on -- please let me know.

Yes, I took that photograph, and the Taj was even more extraordinary than I imagined.

The heat is back to New York City, but I still got my exercise for the day and the chance to catch up with my college roommate. We had lunch, walked, chatted, did some grocery shopping and chatted some more. What a sweet time to catch up. Hope you had a sweet Sunday, too, and send wishes for a sweet, sweet week.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's Pink (Bus) Saturday


It's quite a lurid pink, but I am open to all shades of pink and I like the message. If we've ever left happy, let's get back to happy. I found this bus on West 57th Street and am happy to add it to the Pink Saturday fun. There are some very cute blog posts this week and I enjoy participating in Pink Saturday.

It's been a very pleasant Saturday. I've found I like to have one activity scheduled every day and today I used my birthday gift from Origin's. They are doing summer mini-facials and makeovers and I had a fun time. As part of my bathroom decluttering I've thrown out old makeup and found I didn't have much left. I am very prudent with what I buy now -- I've wasted too much over the years -- but I am delighted with my new lipstick, Sparkling Punch. Even the name is cheery.  

It's cooled down a lot here, but I know that's not so for our friends in the west. So I am sending cool wishes for a very pretty in pink Saturday.   

Friday, June 28, 2013

It's (Extremely) Random 5 Friday

Thanks to my bloggy buddy, Nancy, at the great blog, A Rural Journal, it's Random 5 Friday.

My random five thoughts for this last Friday in June...

1) I looked at my home page this morning and saw a big blank spot where Google Reader used to be. Empty! Happily, I've got my favorite blogs in Bloglovin and have used it today to keep up with posts. I knew the day was coming -- and prepared for it -- but I didn't like seeing the big, empty space. Google Reader, thanks for the memories.

2) I had a very good day at the Library yesterday. My project is coming along and I think I can even find my way around, though I keep being shown "shortcuts" with every visit.

Broadway, from the steps of Jewish Theological Seminary. Union Theological Seminary is across the street. 

3) I realized it's time to find a place for exercise. I spent some time looking at the options and made an appointment for an orientation at a Y with a senior day program. It's not the closest place, but it's reasonably priced and they have aqua aerobics, which I'd love to do regularly. There are also a number of craft programs I can try and I think ceramics would be fun. Has anyone else joined a structured fitness program? 

4) I just finished my plans for my trip to the Spinal Cord Tumor Conference in Orlando in July. Flight, hotel and registration are all set and this afternoon I booked two evenings at Disney Parks. I'm thinking of visiting the Magic Kingdom with my friend, Sue, who lives in Florida and will be with me for a few of the days, and an evening at Epcot. Any tips from more experienced Orlando visitors? 

5) Most amazingly, I'm very close to 1,000 posts. I think this is 986. I'm delighted and awed by reaching this arbitrary, yet magic number. Definitely will be doing giveaways in July to celebrate. 

Please stop by A Rural Journal and join the Random 5 fun!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Matinee

My Wednesday Matinee, two weeks ago 

I love living in New York City, but the temptations are everywhere. There's a Starbuck's on every other corner and a cupcake store on the blocks in-between. There are taxicabs when I get tired of waiting for the bus, and the New York Times is reviewing enticing new restaurants every week. I can easily walk by clothing or jewelry stores, but I am drawn in by experiences, especially theater experiences. That's my major weakness. 

At least three or four times a year I read about a Broadway play I just "can't" miss. This season was a bonanza with "Kinky Boots," "The Trip to Bountiful." with Cicely Tyson and Tom Hanks in ""Lucky Guy." I hated the thought of missing Tom Hanks. There wasn't a discount ticket to be had, so, as a retirement treat, I bought a full-price ticket.  

Though it wasn't a great play -- more a series of vignettes -- it was a great theater experience. The play, by Nora Ephron, tells the story of Mike McAlary, who wrote for the "Daily News" and the "Post" in the 1980s and 1990s. It is a very moving story and Tom Hanks, was well supported by Courtney B. Vance and Maura Tierney, the latter of whom I absolutely loved as Abby Lockhart in "E.R." The afternoon was so evocative of a time in New York City that will not return and I very much enjoyed a visit back to those days. 

As an aside, this is the one year anniversary of Nora Ephron's death and she is so missed.

Today was not a matinee day. Today I had lunch with a friend, had a haircut and spent two hours creating a photo album on Shutterfly, that will be a gift for another friend's fiftieth birthday. Though not as hot as the last few days, it was still humid and as a treat I had a Diet Coke. I've worked very hard to avoid diet soda, but it seemed the only thing that could quench my thirst today was Coke. Is anyone else trying to keep away from diet sodas?

Time to do a little reading and finish the New York Times crossword. Sweet dreams and wishes for a terrific Thursday!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

These Are the Days I Dreamed of...

...why am I having trouble getting it into my head?

The Upper West Side at High Noon

This is not a complaint -- at all -- about retiring. I just don't believe I'm really retired. Somewhere at my core, I just think this is a long, long weekend, and in a few days I'll be back at work. Last week was spent being sick, recovering and watching television. Yesterday I got up, got dressed and took a somewhat similar trip to my work commutes -- though I went to Brooklyn, not Queens -- for sweet Marissa's funeral. There were a number of work friends there, but they got back in the car and went back to work. As I walked to the subway I realized that I am not going back to work. I am bound in friendship to many people, but I am no longer bound by hours in the office. It was a tremendous awakening. 

It's time...to do the projects I have been saving for "when I retire." It's time to set up a better home working space and it's time to find an exercise program. I bought containers to organize the cabinet under my bathroom sink and I am just about done with it. I now know I have three containers of Q-tips, just about enough for a lifetime and a lot of  washcloths, that don't belong under the sink. It feels great to organize one area and the next on my list is travel toiletries. I think here, too, I've saved much too much and it will be great to discard all the expired samples and be ready to pack for my trip to DisneyWorld next month. There will be no last minute scrambling to make sure I have toothpaste and hand cream ready to go.     

These are a few of my summer projects. Do you have anything set aside a summer project?

Tonight I have our buildings annual meeting and I grocery shopped -- so like going at noon! -- this afternoon. I'm off for a manicure now and then I'll be back to finish my organizing project. 

Wishes for a cool, cool Tuesday!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ball Game


This sign says it all. Mary and I exited the Staten Island Ferry, walked two blocks along New York Harbor and found ourselves at one of the prettiest sites for a baseball stadium anywhere....

...Looking out at New York Harbor


The day was perfect for a baseball game. It was sunny and there was a nice breeze. I was glad I tossed a sweater into my tote bag as I was going out the door. I ate a hot dog, did the wave -- several times -- and tried to catch a T-shirt. I also cheered for the Staten Island Yankees, but unfortunately the Hudson Renegades won the game, four runs to the Yankees' two runs. 



One of the best parts of the evening was watching the big, bright beautiful moon over the stadium. I don't think we could have chosen a better night for an evening game. 

I love baseball, but the ticket prices don't encourage attending Yankees or Mets games. This evening's cost was reasonable. Admission, all you can eat -- we didn't do justice to that part of the evening -- and a cute Yankees hat was $26.00. We used public transportation, so there were no extra charges for parking or train tickets. I'll definitely be looking at a return visit during the summer.  

I got home at midnight last night -- a very late night for me -- and spent a quieter day today.  Stops at the drugstore and bank and a trip to buy a ream of paper and envelopes. I also spent time looking at office chairs. It's time to find a comfortable chair to work in at home.  

Oops! Another late night again. Time to get myself back to a more normal schedule. Sweet dreams and wishes for a great week!



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stop and See the Flowers Pink Saturday

It's Pink Saturday and it's time to stop and see the flowers. I seem to be taking more flower pictures these days and it's a function of having much more time to stop and see the flowers. Even in the concrete of New York City there are lots of folks who take time to plant and cultivate and to them this post is dedicated. Here are two of the blooms I noted this week.



These photos are on a side street in Brooklyn and I like this one for the sense of the neighborhood that comes with the flowers.

I am feeling much better and so grateful to be just about back to healthy so quickly. I've got a long-scheduled adventure to Staten Island later today and I would have hated to miss it. Hope your Saturday is as sunny and fun as ours in New York City.

Happy Pink Saturday Wishes!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Random 5 Friday

I thought it would be fun to link up with one of my favorite blog buddies, Nancy, for Random 5 Friday. We post five random facts about us, our day, our pets...just about anything at random.


1) I'm a fan of cake pops. This beautiful tray was made by my very talented friend, Donna, for my official retirement dinner on June 6. They tasted as good as they looked.

2) My drink of choice most days, but especially in the summer, is iced coffee, and we've had perfect iced coffee weather for the last few days.

3) I especially like to read mysteries and I enjoy those set in England. I've found a new series set in the Napoleonic era and the lead character is Sebastian St. Cyr. There's a lot of murder, and some quite bloody, but I really liked it and I'm now completely hooked. Besides my dear friend, Terra, any other mystery fans in Buttercupland?

4) I wear sunscreen every day, winter or summer.

5) I've had my first few fleeting thoughts of Christmas already and have started working on a "Christmas Club" account at my savings bank.

Thanks, Nancy, for a fun random Friday!

Wishes for a fun Friday!
  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stepping Back on the Road Less Traveled

Over the years, I had two (major) fantasies when I thought of retiring. The first was to finish my graduate degree in American Religious History and the second was to do a degree in Art History. I went to graduate school in Religion right out of college. Though I enjoyed the material (for the most part) I found I was not the scholar that my graduate school colleagues were and ended my studies after one year. As for Art History, I took one class in college and was totally intimidated by the lectures. I've taken a number of adult classes since then, but missed the formal structure of college classes. My fantasy became that I would return to one of my great interests "some day." And then amazingly, some day was here.

I haven't spoken about either of these plans for a few years, but a colleague remembered my idea about returning to studying Religion and introduced me to the art librarian at Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). This was one of the volunteer opportunities that I've been writing about. Happily, I began my volunteer work today. The library at JTS is outstanding, with fabulous rare book holdings. I've had the privilege of taking classes there over the last two decades, as well as doing research as part of my archivist work at my synagogue.  I had training today for a project working with putting a group of their holdings on line. These are new skills for me and I am delighted and somewhat overwhelmed. I fully believe that there are many times that G'd knows what you need when you can't even envision it, and once again that seems to apply here. My supervisor is an art historian.

I am going to take this as the great opportunity it is. I am in an academic environment, less than two miles from my house. There is a cozy library in which to spend time writing and reading. The people I've met have been both nice and interesting and I am genuinely interested in my project. The hours are flexible and will permit time off for travel.  

I am still not 100% healthy, but I felt more than good enough to get out today. I don't have any pictures to share,  but will take pictures of all the interesting sights in my new neighborhood. I even walked part of the way home and really enjoyed the beautiful summer day.  

Wishes for a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Theater District Manhattan, Looking West on a Perfect June Day

Thanks for the good wishes. I am feeling better and coughing much less. I'm not recovered yet, but it's amazing what two days of antibiotics will do.  Today is equally as perfect as last Wednesday when this picture was taken and it was great to be outside and enjoy the sun and warm air. Bless these beautiful long days!  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Fought My Cold...

...and my cold won.

Just a cold has turned into a bronchial infection and I'm on prescription nose spray and antibiotics. Yesterday I saw I was getting worse and went over to the walk-in clinic two blocks from my house. They couldn't have been quicker, pleasanter or more professional. I took the rest of yesterday very easy and devoted hours to watching a number of episodes of "Cake Boss." 

I also contemplated the big issues of our time...What really happened at the Miss USA pageant, what will   Kim and Kanye name their baby girl, and does anyone really need a $2500. birthday cake? 

Matinee Monday will appear next Monday and I'm posting an adventure I hoped to post last month, when I had the good fortune of meeting my blog buddy, Sharon, of Gains and Losses, and her charming husband, Bill.

 I think we're pretty cute!

I've probably met a dozen blog friends in the last four years I've been blogging and each time I come away delighted and a little surprised at how we manage to have such a good time and talk away the evening. Meeting Sharon and Bill was exactly that. In actuality we've never met in person, but we have spent years in touch via our blogs. We could have chatted for hours (days!) more and I left missing my buddies already. It was pouring that evening and we ditched the reservation I'd made and had a fun dinner in a Spanish restaurant next to their hotel. Sharon and Bill, thanks so much for arranging your schedule so that we could get together. 

Take good care, blog buddies. I'm going back to contemplating the big issues of our day, after my afternoon nap!  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

In My Heart on Father's Day...



...and every day!


My father died thirty two years ago. He was much too young, at sixty-three. Though he's been gone all of that time, he's been in my heart every minute.

Happy, happy Father's Day to all who are fathers and all who have fathers.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

(Mostly) Pink Peony Saturday


It's time for a little Pink Saturday fun. I saw these pretty bouquets at the green grocer down the street and knew they were perfect for Pink Saturday. Actually they're perfect for any day and I've been enjoying the flowers as I often walk by.

The cold that I've been fighting has won and though I did some running around this afternoon -- a graduation party I hated to miss -- I'm otherwise taking it very easy.  I have no plans at all for tomorrow, except to lead the official Father's Day celebration here in Buttercupland. I hope you'll stop by and celebrate with me.

Hope You Had a Very Happy Pretty in Pink Saturday!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Give Your Kids the Biggest Hug in the World...

...or your Mom, best friend, husband or cousin, or all of them!

I am feeling emotional. There's retirement and looking back over many years, my goddaughter's birthday yesterday and the middle school graduation I am attending tonight. But, sadly, there's another reason for my feelings. 

I got a phone message yesterday from a colleague who retired five or six years ago. I hadn't heard from her in all of those years. Her tone was serious, and I was anxious as I returned the call. The news she had for me was worse than any I could have predicted. Marissa, the daughter of a mutual friend had died suddenly the night before. My friend's daughter was twenty-six and had an eight month old little boy. All of the world was yet to happen for her. 

My friend had left our office several years ago and moved to North Carolina. She was one of my first friends in the office and I missed her a lot after she left. We had kept in touch and she was one of the first people I told that I was retiring. We talked about getting together this fall and I looked forward to seeing her daughters, who I had known since they were in elementary school, and meeting her grandchildren. 

I can't imagine the pain of a mother's breaking heart, and all of my heart and prayers are with my friend and her family. 

When you next see your daughter or son, father or mother, friend or relative, give them an even bigger hug than you might usually. If they give you a funny look, you can just say "It's from my blog buddy, Buttercup," and hug them again. There can't be too many hugs in this world. 

Hugs and love from New York City

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

This was the scene that greeted me when I came out of the subway last night. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Where Do Lonely Socks Go?


Last summer I bought -- or so I remembered -- ten pairs of sneaker socks. This summer I can only find three pairs. Where did they go? It's not that I have individual socks. I have seven less pairs of socks. I'm going to go through my sock drawer again, just to see if I overlooked them, but they really seem to have disappeared. Socks are gone! Am I alone in the world of disappearing socks, or do other people have the same problem? Help! Inquiring minds want to know. Yesterday I bought a package of six pairs trimmed in pretty bright colors, so I am re-equipped for this summer. But I am still lonely for the socks of 2012.

My orientation went well yesterday and I have my other interview in a few hours. I know they are both volunteer opportunities, but I was nervous yesterday and I am nervous again today. It gives me an appreciation of how difficult it is for folks who are 50+ to go back out into the workplace, when so much depends on an interview.

We're still in thunder shower mode, though we have some sunshine this morning. I will still be carrying my umbrella and rain coat this afternoon. Wishing you a...

Sunny Tuesday! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Matinee Monday

Thanks to Theatermania I was back to the theater on Saturday night. I saw a very off-Broadway production of Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard."


"The Cherry Orchard," Chekhov's last play, was first produced in 1904. It looks at social change in Russia; and looking backwards foreshadows the immense change that would come with the Russian Revolution. It sounds too serious to be enjoyable, and though it's serious, it was tremendously engaging, with a fascinating cast of characters.

It took place in a church basement less than a mile from my building and was a very interesting evening. Though I like comedies, I generally prefer more serious plays and movies, and find myself more caught up in dramas. Are you a fan of comedy, drama or both?

This is the church which houses the theater where I saw "The Cherry Orchard." It's tucked away on a side street, just a block off Broadway, but I'd never noticed it before.

Despite heavy rain -- flash flood warnings -- it's been a pleasant day. For the last few days I've gone walking in the mornings. I don't do a long walk, maybe just half a mile, but it gets me up and going. I did a couple of  errands while I was out and then came home and wrote a few of the thank you notes I owe. I made some good headway and hope to have them finished by Friday. I've got my first orientation later this afternoon for one of the volunteer activities I'm interested in, and I'll be leaving in a little while.

Wishes for a Sweet Monday!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

I'm Lovin' Bloglovin

As I've learned through the years, worry is futile. Fifty per cent of the things I worry about aren't worth worrying about and the other fifty per cent need action and prayer, not worry. The demise of Google Reader  on July 1 falls into both categories. I was like Chicken Little and was sure that my blog sky was falling. How would I ever keep up with all the blogs I'd carefully followed over the last four years? I decided I'd be Scarlett O'Hara and, fiddle-dee-dee, I'd just worry abut it in June, when I had more time to figure it out, aka worry.

A few days ago I got an email asking me to follow one of my blog buddies on bloglovin. I was happy to and I joined bloglovin to follow our sweet Marydon. After I did that I was asked if I wanted to import the blogs I followed into bloglovin. I said yes and in just a few minutes three hundred and sixty blogs were neatly arranged in bloglovin. I added the button to my blog -- on the right hand side -- and every evening I get an email with the new posts of the blogs I am following. No muss, no fuss and easy, peasy to read.  

Thanks to Marydon and to bloglovin. I'm lovin' you both! You've kept this Buttercup blogging!

Wishes for a magical Monday!
  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sidewalk Pink Saturday


There aren't a lot of children drawing with chalk on the sidewalk in my neighborhood, so I'm delighted for those times when I find chalk drawings, especially in pink. I spent a lot of time during summer days drawing pictures on our sidewalk, as well as drawing hopscotch diagrams. I was a great hopscotch fan. I wasn't especially good, but I really enjoyed playing. Do children still play hopscotch? We also jumped a lot of rope and played kickball. I know I had my share of elbow and knee scrapes, but I also had a lot of fun. Not to be overly philosophical, but it's kind of like the rest of life. I've had my share of scrapes, but I've had a lot of fun, and definitely more fun than scrapes. Please stop by and visit Pink Saturday for some more Pink Saturday fun.

It's turned out to be a busier day than I anticipated. I had the fun of starting the day with breakfast with my goddaughter, who is in New York for the weekend. She got to "shop" my Bookexpo treasures and get my printer going again. Can't thank her enough for giving me back my ability to print. I got the apartment neatened up and hosted my Bible study group this afternoon. In a little while I am joining my friend, Mary, for an evening of theater. We're seeing an off-Broadway production of "The Cherry Orchard."

My plan for tomorrow is much quieter. I am going to drink coffee and read the entire "New York Times." I'm also wending my way through a mystery novel set in England in the Napoleonic era and I'm eager to see if I can quickly finish it. This is one time I'm not indulging in my bad habit of skipping to the end. Review will be forthcoming. I've also got thank you notes to write to the people who made my retirement so special. I guess there's lots to do!

Wishes for a Pretty in Pink Saturday!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Molto Bene, Grazie!

Very well, thanks!

I spent my third day of retirement -- middle of the afternoon -- at Macy's exploring. Usually I am very focused and look exactly where I need to look and quickly exit the store. But I wasn't tired and I had plenty of time. On the sixth floor I noticed a fabulous gelati counter and stopped for an afternoon snack.

I chose almond crunch and pistachio. Both were very good, but I am an almond fan and would have loved another serving. I guess I'll have to come back another day. 

They also serve other desserts -- I had my eye on a cannoli -- and sandwiches and salads. There is also a full restaurant that looks so enticing. I felt for just a little while that I was in Italy. It was a great feeling for just a quick subway trip. 

Everything looked delicious. The restaurant is in the background. 

I could definitely get used to retirement. It's going very well, thanks.

Wishing you a Friday that goes very well, too. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's Better Than Being A Kid in A Candy Store?

 Being a Power Reader at Bookexpo America.

Power Reader Day did take place the day after my last official day of work and it did mean that I needed to be at the Javits Center before 8:00 a.m. for the author breakfast I had signed up for sometime in the winter. It was definitely worth the tiredness I'm feeling today.

I'm not sure there are many more fun times than a day devoted to books and more books and people who like to read and talk about books. Power Reader Day was instituted last year at Bookexpo. The rest of the event is devoted to Publishers and Book Sellers, but on Power Reader Day the focus is on readers. 

I enjoyed the breakfast a lot. Chris Matthews, who I got to chat with while waiting for an autograph, moderated the program and Cong. John Lewis, Helen Fields -- yes, there's a new Bridget Jones book coming out -- and Diana Gabaldon (I'm an Outlander fan) were speakers. 

It's fuzzy, but I delighted that Chris Matthews spent time after the breakfast chatting and signing books.

I enjoyed walking through the exhibitions and found the sessions very interesting. I got to hear -- and chat with -- Cong. John Lewis again and Jason Mott. Jason's first book, "The Returned" will be published at the end of August. It will also be a television series on ABC next year called "Resurrection." I was very lucky to receive an advanced reader copy and I'm enjoying it a lot.  

Jason Mott and Cong. John Lewis

I've already noted Bookexpo America for my schedule for 2014 and I'm excited already!

My whirlwind of activity has taken a toll, and I'm tired and have a sore throat. I'm taking it easy today and pushing all the errands and things I hoped to get done to the next week. It's a relaxing day for Buttercup. I appreciate all of the nice comments I received on yesterday's post and will happily take the good advice offered.

Wishes for a Relaxing Tuesday!

Monday, June 3, 2013

It's 8:31 a.m. on Monday Morning...

...and despite what I thought yesterday it doesn't feel like being on vacation. Last month, last week, as late as yesterday I thought that it would feel like I was on vacation, but I realize that it's not vacation. Another job or a volunteer commitment aside, I'm not going back to the job I held for nineteen years. There's still a party for work friends on Thursday, but I'm not joining the folks with umbrellas who are heading to the subway, and I'm not worrying about meetings, phone calls and brochures that need to be printed.

Instead, I'm blogging, I've brewed a pot of coffee and I'm enjoying the beautiful flowers that K and Jess sent to me on Friday.

My official last day was Friday and it was a wonderful day. My staff gave me a beautiful breakfast, with an array of delicacies. Donna made her fabulous whoopie pies -- with my favorite lemon cake. I thought there might be bagels and coffee, but it was so much more than that.

  Whoopie pies are front and center and they share the table with a red velvet cake and a cake with fresh fruit and whipped cream. All delicious!

 This is my motto. It's a gift from Brandon, who was our unit administrator and my dear friend. The cake, from a bakery in Brooklyn known for red velvet cakes, was fabulous. 

The day was lovely, touching and one to long remember. I don't think I could have felt more loved or appreciated. Many people stopped by to visit and I received cards, email, gifts and phone calls from colleagues past and present. I had a few work things yet to do and my office needed a final packing up, but I left the packing until Sunday and just enjoyed spending time with friends. I finished packing (and discarding) yesterday in about an hour, but the visiting couldn't have waited.

And today? I've got a list of things I'd like to do and this is one of them. I'm going to Michael's -- thank you note supplies! -- and going to Whole Foods in the middle of the day, which has been a goal of mine.  There's chicken to cook and a friend to meet for a drink this evening. I'm hoping to walk a mile, which I am making a goal for every day. High on my list is to unpack three shopping bags of things I brought home from the office. I think a lot of things will be discarded, but that's very high on my goals. 

I'm also planning to read one of the books I brought home from BookExpoAmerica -- an extraordinary day on Saturday -- but that's a post for another day.