Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday...It's Pumpkin Time in the City


Wishing you happy and healthy Wednesday! Thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Remembering Hurricane Sandy

I know exactly where I was last October 29 at 11:03 p.m. I was with my work friends and colleagues watching a very fuzzy television set. We were spending the night in a Howard Johnson motel near our office. We watched the destruction of the New Jersey Shore and parts of our own beloved city. I felt I was watching a disaster movie, but the disaster wasn't fiction.

One of the areas of New York City that experienced a great deal of destruction was Breezy Point, where there was flooding and wind damage, as well as the destruction of one hundred and thirty homes by fire. My friends were restoring a beach cottage there and I had visited on a beautiful Sunday just a week before. But a week later Jamaica Bay met the Atlantic Ocean and flooded everything in between.

This pretty scene became history. 

My friend shared the story of what happened to his house and has spent the last year rebuilding. The house once again has walls, a bathroom, a kitchen and a much more solid foundation. I visited last weekend and the scene of destruction shown in the link was replaced by this scene. 

New walls and new floors


 The lines above and to the left of the lock show the level of the flooding.   


To the memory of those who died and in tribute to those who have worked and continue to work to restore the areas and services that were destroyed. My deepest gratitude. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Critical Question...What's Your Candy Choice for Halloween?


Amazingly, this is the first year that I have chosen candy to give out for trick-or-treaters. When I first moved to New York in 1975 I moved to a small building with no elevator, "a walkup." There were no children in our building and we didn't get any trick-or-treaters. I moved to the building where I live now in 1991, but worked during the trick-or-treat hours. We have lots of kids in our building and our system is to sign up if we are interested in giving out candy on Halloween. Probably tomorrow the sign-up sheet will appear in the elevator and we can indicate what hours we will be home. I'm looking forward to being part of the Halloween fun and I realized I needed to pick out candy.

It was an overwhelming choice and I came up with some loose criteria. I wanted several kinds of candy. I needed something for kids who didn't eat chocolate, something that didn't have peanuts and something I could keep if it was left over. I also wanted to pick candy that was on sale. I also wanted to defer my candy purchase until as close to Halloween as I could, which would give me less time to dip into my treasures.

I probably could have waited until tomorrow, but I was out tonight and decided I could be mature and keep candy in the house. Based on my candy criteria I am the proud owner of a bag of Reese's, one of my all time favorite candies, a bag of Kit Kats, and a bag of gummy Life Savers. I am hoping that the Life Savers will be left over, because I am much less tempted to eat them as quickly as the other two kinds. In the interest of truth in blogging I have already eaten a peanut butter cup, and yes, it was delicious.

How do you pick the candy you give out at Halloween and what are your choices for this year?

As ever thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sweet Sunday Night at the Buttercupland Fair...New Jerusalem Workshop

Blogging has been a tremendous gift. I've met wonderful people from all over the world. Some of them have given me a look into issues and experiences I never would have encountered and others have deepened my interest in topics in which I had an interest. My sweet friend, Paula, at Home in Douglas, has done both. I enjoy reading about her life in Alaska, which is so different from mine. I also have enjoyed seeing the beautiful art that her husband Charles creates at New Jerusalem Workshop. 


My college major was Religion, with an emphasis in European Religious History. My parents were aghast. They were so concerned that I would never get a job. But with the ignorance/confidence of youth I was sure I would one day teach Religion on the college level. I didn't teach, but I did study some wonderful and fascinating topics. I spent one semester studying medieval Russian History and Religion and enjoyed it immensely. In this class I learned about icons and the important place they had in Russian Religion.

The icons of New Jerusalem Workshop are beautiful. You can commission one of a favorite saint, which would be a lovely and meaningful gift. There is also a Nativity Set, a perfect Christmas gift. I also think this would be a thoughtful and unusual wedding gift that would be treasured and enjoyed for many years.


Thank you, Paula, for your friendship and for introducing me to these beautiful works of art and devotion.

Today was a day for cooking. I made my first batch of kale chips. After some searching I decided to use the oven and it was really easy. I did leave the kale in longer than the recipes I read suggested, but otherwise they didn't seem crispy enough. I will never mistake them for potato chips, but with a little salt and some grated cheese they were crispy and tasty. I was also pleased by the cost. A package of prepare kale chips is at minimum over five dollars. My entire bunch of kale was $2.79, and a little kale goes a long way. I've got kale for chips for the next week. I also made a batch of curried butternut squash soup. I bought a frozen bag of cut-up butternut squash and saved myself the work of hacking the squash. It came out very well and was the perfect Sunday night autumn supper.

I hope you had a good Sunday and send wishes for a great week. As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm Dreaming of New England Pink Saturday

While it's still Saturday I'm happy to join the fun blogging group at Pink Saturday. Every week I look for pink things in my travels around the city and generally I am successful. But this week I found nothing. There's very little pink around and nothing I wanted to write a post about. I decided to go with the theme for this week, which is "Celebrating the Season." I hoped to do a post that included pictures of bright fall foliage, but my search yielded very little.

 
The best that I could find were leaves beginning to turn yellow. No bright red or orange for our city trees. Of course we've had very few really cold nights and that's a prerequisite for good foliage. I am celebrating the clear, brilliant sky we did have today. We still may have some nice foliage, but my dreams tonight will be of New England. I may have had to rake millions of leaves -- literally -- but I loved the beautiful foliage of my childhood and college years.

I hope you had a bright and beautiful autumn day. My day was lovely. I did errands, took a walk -- I'm up to ten blocks -- and had dinner with friends.  Tomorrow I hope to launch my kale adventure.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

All Over the Map Random 5 Friday

Sweet Friday afternoon and time for Random 5 Friday, one of my favorite times of the week. This week we're really random and I hope you will find it really fun, too.

1) I was walking up the street to the library yesterday and came across these signs...

  The Michael J. Fox Show will be filming here and throughout the neighborhood on Sunday night. The filming starts at 10:00 P.M., and as enthusiastic as I am about filming, I think it's past my bedtime. 

2) After telling myself at least five times that I need to start carrying gloves with me I looked for my gloves. I have four pairs of ski mittens -- I wear ski mittens when it's snowing or really cold -- and six gloves. I don't have three pairs of gloves, but six gloves from assorted pairs. They are all black leather and in various states of wear. I think it may be time for a new pair of gloves. 

3) Since it's glove season I think it's also now dehydrator season. I've waited until it got cooler to use my dehydrator and I think I may inaugurate it next week with kale chips. I've never used one before and would appreciate any hints from experienced dehydrator users. 

4) I've had great apples this week. My favorite is the Macoun, crisp and just a little tart. It's also grown in New York State and that's a big plus for me. 

5) I've done a lot of reading this week. One book I finished I'm saving for a full review as part of a Blog Hop, but I loved it and it's deserving of its own post. Now I'm reading "Mission to Paris," by Alan Furst. His work comes highly recommended, but this is the first novel of his that I'm reading. I'm a fan of all things Paris and very interested in World War II history, so I anticipate I will enjoy this a lot. 

I'm definitely all over the map today, but I've so enjoyed spending the last little while with the fun folks at Random 5 Friday. Thanks for stopping by and take good care of yourself.   

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's a Great Day for a Visit to the Buttercupland Fair...Blossom Time Creations

Today I am happy to feature a talented artist and a sweet blog friend, Marie, who blogs at the delightful, The English Kitchen. Marie's talents are wide-ranging and she is also a gifted artist. Her Etsy shop, Blossom Time Creations, was a major part of my Christmas shopping last year. My friend K, was a recipient of one of Marie's prints and I so enjoyed seeing it in K's kitchen when I visited this summer.

I think at times we can be put off at the thought of buying art, especially as a gift. But Marie's work is affordable and delightful. There are a number of pieces with inspirational and Biblical quotes that would make lovely gifts at the Christmas season and throughout the year.

This is one of my favorite quotes from Psalms. Wouldn't it make a lovely addition to a bedroom or hallway?

Loving all things Paris, I was very taken with Marie's Parisian buildings. This pretty bakery was a gift to my friend, Mary, and it hangs in her kitchen now. 

  

I am thinking about this lovely print for a very sweet friend who is decorating her apartment. I can see it on one wall of her kitchen. It's such a pretty and cheerful print. 

This would also make a sweet shower or birthday present. 

It's difficult to choose from among Marie's treasures. One evening in the not so distant future, I'm going to make myself a cup of tea and settle down to choose my gifts for 2013 from Blossom Time Creations. No crowds, no pushing and shoving, just art created by a friend. That's my idea of fun shopping. 

I've just been trying to remember how I found Marie's blog. I can't remember at all, but I am so grateful. 

I'm loving my relaxed pace. I spent the afternoon at the library working on one of my projects and reading "New York" magazine. That's one of my new treats. I save on the cost of the magazine and there's less clutter in my apartment. I, then, am happy to report, walked home from the library. It's only nine blocks, but it's the furthest I've walked in awhile. My goal is to build up my endurance before it starts to get really cold, or heaven forbid, snow. 

Please stop back tomorrow for Random 5 Friday fun. As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself. 

I'm Dreaming of Two Matching Shoes

The good news is that my foot is healing well. The less good news is that I'm still dreaming of two matching shoes. This is my status quo...


One sneaker and one surgical shoe eagerly eye winter boots...

...and a vast assortment of shoes. 

Right now two matching shoes are fourteen days away and that stretches like eternity. But when I think about fourteen days as the mature, rational being that I am, fourteen days is a blink, especially when I remember the lesson of my braces. 

It's Hartford, 1965. I'd gone from having the worst buck teeth in New England to perfect teeth. This miracle occurred by the wonder of modern orthodontia. I wore braces for four years and a retainer for one year at night. My parents had gone without to make this happen and I knew I was lucky, but I wasn't especially grateful. I couldn't wait for the day when I no longer had to wear my retainer, and I'm sure I complained bitterly about it.  

Dr. Freeman, my orthodontist strongly recommended that I wear the retainer through high school, three endless years. I'm sure I was hysterical at the thought and I'm sure my mother was tired of listening to my histrionics. I stopped wearing my retainer and was thrilled about it. Fast forward four decades and my perfect teeth are no longer perfect. There has been a small, but obvious shift. I'll never know if there's a connection to my retainer or if teeth just shift, but if I had listened to Dr. Freeman. I might have avoided it.  

Remembering the lesson of my braces and so many other issues when I didn't take expert or simply sensible advice, I am wearing my surgical shoe and being grateful for my thoughtful, conservative orthopedist. I really do trust his judgement and at 63 I am worried about possible long-term issues. But I still would love to get back to exercise class with two matching sneakers. One day...  

Is there advice that you wish you had taken?

As always, thanks for visiting. Please stop by later today for another trip to the Buttercupland Fair. We've got a big treat there. I hope you're enjoying the autumn and take good care of yourself. Sweet dreams! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Melt to Earth

I feel as though I've missed many things that were going on this fall, but fortunately there were events right in my neighborhood that I was able to get to. One is this fabulous exhibition, Aaron Curry: Melt to Earth, at Lincoln Center. Yesterday was a perfect afternoon to visit an outdoor sculpture exhibit, bright and sunny, and after errands I stopped by. Lincoln Center is only a mile from home and sitting in the Plaza or in the park across the street is one of my favorite pastimes.

The sculptures were commissioned specifically for the Plaza and I very much enjoyed the bright colors and wild and lively shapes, set amid the white stone.




This purple sculpture particularly engaged me. The Metropolitan Opera House is in the background.

Thanks for all the great ideas about skin products. Today I did an inventory of my supplies and found I own Aveeno Eczema Care and Cetaphil lotion, which both worked great in the summer, but don't seem to be rich enough for this time of year. I also own Eucerin cream and I will be trying it for the next week. I have found it too heavy in the past, but the time to use it is definitely here. I also will be diligent with Vaseline for my lips and feet. The heat in my building is centrally controlled and October 15th is the start of "heat" season. We have very dry steam heat -- I still have radiators in my apartment -- and it is especially drying. 

Tomorrow morning I return to my doctor for an x-ray and evaluation for my foot. I am very hopeful that I will walk out with two sneakers, but if that's not the case, I have to be patient. My foot feels good, but the outcome depends on what the x-ray shows. 

It's turned autumn here and I enjoyed a quiet day of reading, grocery shopping and catching up with home chores. I hope you all had nice autumn days, too. Thanks so much  for visiting and take very good care of yourself. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

One Thing About Autumn I Do Not Love


I love the autumn. I love the bright, crisp sunny days and the cool evenings. I love reading, while I'm all curled up in an afghan and a cup of tea is on the table next to me, or maybe some cider I've heated up. I love seeing apples and pumpkins at the fruit stand. These are among my many autumn loves...But I don't love my dry and scratchy skin. Autumn is just a month old and I feel that I could win an award for dry skin already.

There are a million products just a few blocks away and I've got all kinds of lotions and creams already, but I'm still searching. I have uber-sensitive skin and as the years have gone by I've given up almost all products with pretty scents. I seem to have developed new allergies and this last step has kept things from getting much worse. My mother also developed later in life skin allergies, so I think there could be a hereditary component. Yes, I've just about given up perfume, too. This is very economical, but I do miss scented products. I was a Chanel #5 wearer for years.

Dear blog buddies, you are my go-to pals for any and all issues. I've asked about hearing aids, dress styles, coffee makers and wearing braces. I think there's no better group to chat with about this issue. I did ask the the nurse practitioners at my skin care check up last week, and they had good ideas, but I am sure there's great advice in Buttercupland, too. This inquiring mind wants to know, what are your tips for fighting dry skin?

It was truly autumn in New York today. The afternoon was lovely, but when the sun went down it was cold. I have to start keeping a pair of gloves in my pocket. I walked over to the drugstore a couple of hours ago and there was a definite chill. Gloves and a scarf are about to make their annual reappearance. Hat will have to wait a little while longer, I hope.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take good care of yourself.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tea Rose Pink Saturday

The tea roses are part of the beautiful card I was sent as part of the Teacup and Mug Exchange, organized by one of the sweetest bloggers ever, Stephanie. The mug I received is more of a celadon green, but the roses on the card definitely qualify for Pink Saturday.

 My pink rose card and lovely tea towel. Thanks, Vicky!

Stephanie selected Vicky, who blogs at Life on Willie Mae Lane, as the blogger to send me a mug. I received not only a mug, but the pretty, pretty tea towel, tea bags and one of my favorite candies, gummy peach rings. I was one happy blogger when my package arrived. I selected an "I Love New York" mug and autumn pumpkin tea for Dee, who lives in Colorado. It's fun to think that good feelings and friendship were being sent across the country and back as part of this exchange. Vicky, thanks so much, I'm really enjoying my tea and new mug. I know I will especially savor them as the days get colder. Thanks, too, my sweet Stephanie, for putting as all together. 

   Had to include the yummy peach rings...

Mug and tea bags, you will warm up many a fall afternoon.  

It was another glorious fall day in New York City and I enjoyed visiting in Brooklyn and catching up with friends. It was a sweet weekend...Movie, pizza, crossword puzzle and lots of conversation. I hope your weekend was spent doing all the things you enjoy.

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

(Sort of) Random 5 Friday

I'm calling this Random 5 Friday (on Saturday) despite the fact that I can't get a link to A Rural Journal. I'm going to do my usual weekend fun thing, and hope I can figure out how to link it later. And on that note...

1) Does your computer act up, too? I guess I take my technological marvels for granted, but when something isn't as it should I am frustrated.

2) I am so excited. Vermeer's "The Girl with a Pearl Earring" is coming to the Frick Museum, which is just across Central Park. The exhibition starts this week and yes, I will be there soon. So excited!

 The Frick in the spring

3) It's a long time until the spring, but the weather has been beautiful, and yes, almost springlike. I've been outside a lot and so enjoying the sunny days. 

4) Meet Abby, the star of the Coffee-Mate Girl Scout Flavors commercial. Abby, a Girl Scout from Wisconsin, was chosen after a national search.  

  
 5) I'm still reading away. I haven't finished anything for a book review this week, but I should have two for next week. I'm between Tudor England and the Netherlands during World War II and both books are really good. 

I hope you had a great week and your weekend is looking sunny. Thanks for visiting and take very good care of yourself.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

This Old Dog Learned a New Trick


Last week I posted my thoughts about my retirement honeymoon being over. I realized that I was ambivalent and anxious about actually wading out into the deep water of making my dreams come true. I also realized after I finished the post that I had probably been ambivalent and anxious about every major adventure in my life. This would include going to college. I hated to leave my parents and high school friends. Of course, I had been thinking about college for years, but I didn't skip off without several hundred looks back. It would include moving to New York and getting a job in publishing. I had dreamed about moving to New York since I was twelve, fourteen, sixteen, but when the time actually arrived, I was scared. 

I have long believed that maturity isn't the lack of making mistakes, but it's the ability not to make the same mistakes. I thought my inborn anxiety was simply a mistake I made and one I could just ignore. I am certainly less anxious than I have been in the past, but new situations bring anxiety out full-force. I don't think that will change no matter how "mature" I become. At sixty-three I came to this realization. I am happy to report that this old dog learned a new trick about herself. 

No fear, I'm sticking to blogging, to writing and to the pursuit of the dream of publishing for the next eight months, just as I planned when I retired. I once again learned that everything worth doing takes more time and a lot more work than one would suppose. I also learned -- for the hundredth time at least -- that it very rarely goes as quickly as I would like. But if history has taught me anything I have learned that keeping at one's dream is the best course to pursue, and that makes for one happy old pup. 

Please come by tomorrow for our Random 5 Friday fun. As always, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Early Halloween (Almost) Wordless Wednesday


I was sitting at the bus stop at York Avenue and East 86th St., no doubt fiddling with my phone and oblivious to the world. I looked up and...early Halloween. Someone's really gotten into the Halloween spirit.

Have a sweet evening and thanks for visiting. Take good care of yourself, and in light of my six-month checkup today -- thankfully, all's well -- please wear sunscreen.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I Turned Left Instead of Right...

...and discovered the all crisp rice cereal treats store, Treat House.. Really, there really is a store that specializes in treats and it's in my neighborhood.


If anyone was expecting a political discussion based on today's title, you won't find it here. In almost five years I've stayed away from politics and even the current mess won't change Buttercup's. There are many, many places you can read about Washington doings or lack of doings, but not here. That is the extent of my political commentary and now we'll turn to a more usual topic, crisp rice cereal treats.

I went to return my library books yesterday -- to keep my perfect no-fine record --  and instead of walking to the right, down the ramp, I took the steps and turned to the left. Only two stores from the library was this little jewel. The store has been open two months and it stocks homemade marshmallows, breakfast bars and treats, but to me it's all about the treats. Gooey, yummy looking treats.

They all look delicious, and the store ships throughout the United States.

In an effort to fit into my fall clothes -- there are several nice pairs of slacks that don't zip without tremendous effort -- I skipped the treat and had a cup of one of my favorite coffee brands, Stumptown. I did study the window carefully and chose the flavor I will have when those nice pants fit again, though by that time there may be some fabulous Christmas treats that catch my eye.


I've had a great time sharing my newest neighborhood discovery. As always, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day for the Buttercup Fair...Good Neighbors Candle Co

It's a perfect autumn day in New York City and a perfect day to return to the Buttercupland Fair. Today I have a real treat, an opportunity to see some of the yummiest candles anywhere, made by our delightful blog buddy, Becky, at Hospitality Lane.  I had the great fortune to meet Becky at a wonderful blogger get-together three years ago and am so happy that we have stayed in touch. Her candle creations, Good Neighbors Candle Co. have become a regular part of my annual shopping and each year she has wonderful new additions to her Etsy shop.


My new favorite candle -- at least for now -- is the most fabulously scented hot chocolate candle. I received a sample last week and the folks in my building lobby were as taken with the scent as I was. The presentation was adorable, complete with a gingham ribbon.



Another great gift choice are the devotional candles, which are made to order. You can select either a cotton or hemp wick and from a fabulous array of scents. Pearberry and orange clove are two that caught my attention, but I have a blueberry candle on the book case near my desk and I've enjoyed that a lot, too. These would make lovely and thoughtful hostess gifts at Christmas and Chanukah.

My heart is with these beautiful "Tommy" candles. They were my choice for gifts last year and their sale helps to fund adoptions and raise awareness of orphans throughout the world. They are also made to order. I chose Christmas Cabin last year, but I'm thinking of Hot Chocolate this year.


I couldn't resist the autumn candles -- when you just can't wait for Chanukah -- only six weeks! -- or Christmas, and fell in love with Fresh Baked Apple Pie. I'm a fan of all things apple and I know that this candle has to have a scent that will remind me of all the best of apple season. That will be a tonic for me when it's snowing out.  


I could easily write about every candle in Becky's Etsy shop, there are so many that I've enjoyed. But I leave you the pleasure of visiting her shop and trying to pick the candle and scent you like best.

I hope you've enjoyed our shopping fun. I know I have. I found a fun, fun place on my semi-walk today. Please stop by tomorrow to see the latest addition to my corner of New York. As always, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself.

Disclosure: I received a sample candle for review, but have not been compensated for my opinions. They are all mine!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It Wouldn't Be Halloween Without a Costume #DRLegCandy #shop #cbias


I'm a Halloween fan. I loved Halloween growing up and would start thinking about my costume months before the holiday. In the last few years I've been less involved, but I made sure I had candy in the office and Pepe had his Halloween costume, a purple Halloween sweater. Since I won't be working late this year, as in almost every year past, I decided to plan a costume. I wanted something I could put together out of most things I already owned and came up with the idea of dressing as a Dance Hall Diva, with a frilly skirt and shawl. The one thing I needed to really make my costume was fun hosiery, maybe even Fishnets. As with so many things I turned to Duane Reade (DR), my favorite drugstore and often my first shopping stop for many items.

Besides lots of Halloween supplies...

#DRLegCandy #Shop #CBias

I hit the jackpot with DR hosiery. I wanted something fun, lively and not wildly expensive. I also wanted hosiery that was comfortable. I am planning to wear my costume for candy distribution in my building that goes on for several hours, starting with little ones around 5:00 P.M. and older kids coming around until 8:00 P.M. There were lots of fun patterns...


#DRLegCandy, #Shop, #CBias
It's a tough choice...

 Polka Dots caught my eye...
#DRLegCandy, #Shop, #CBias

#DRLegCandy #Shop #CBias
But then I saw these great chevrons...

It was a very tough pick. I liked the polka dots, chevrons, lace and several others. I couldn't pick just one pair of DR Legwear, and happily I didn't have to. Right now I'm leaning to these incredibly fun tights for my costume...

#DRLegCandy, #Shop, #CBias
  This is my Dance Hall Diva Halloween costume.

But I've got two more weeks to think about which pair is my favorite for Halloween, and I've got fun hosiery for all winter. My next project is buying a black skirt, so I can show off all of my #DRLegCandy. Stop by the the Duane Reade Facebook contest page to learn about the Duane Reade Boo-tiful Legs Contest. You have the opportunity to show off your Boo-tiful legs in #DRLegCandy for a great prize. The contest opens today and runs through November 3.

Does anyone else wear a costume for Halloween? What are your Halloween plans this year?

Hope you're having a great Sunday! As always, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Just Keeping It Real in Manhattan Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday has become a regular stop on my blogging calendar and I look forward to my visits every week. Last week I couldn't get the link to work, but I am optimistic that I can officially join the fun this week. I am always on the lookout for something pink to photograph, and generally find something pink and pretty to share in a post. There are also themes and the last few weeks have been autumn seasonal.

I feel as though I've been striking out on both fronts lately. There's very little pink around. We seem to have moved into full-fledged orange all around my neighborhood. This scene is much more typical, than pretty in pink.

 Yes, friends, it seems to be orange everywhere.

But I kept searching for a hint of real pink. Between the gift card display and the cash machine, not very pretty and especially not glamorous, in the lobby of the drugstore I found pink. 


Gift cards to the left and a snippet of a cash machine to the right -- and pink right in the center. It's not glamorous, but it's pink and it's keeping it real in Manhattan. 

I know that thoughts of Manhattan conjure a scene that's much more glamorous. Whether your mind goes to "Sleepless in Seattle" or "An Affair to Remember," "You've Got Mail," or "The Devil Wears Prada," most -- almost everyone -- who lives here lives a much more mundane life. Some days it's party time and lots of fun and some days our flashes of pink and pretty are glimpses at the drugstore. Buttercup is just keeping it real in Manhattan. 

We're back in our late summer weather. After my drugstore visit I met my college roommate for some neighborhood clothes shopping and now I'm happily blogging. Our shopping trip has inspired me to once again attempt to sort through my closet. I know there are a number of things that went out of style when Ronald Reagan was President -- big shoulder pads, anyone? -- and I will never wear them again. But I've kept them,  just in case I need jackets two sizes too small with shoulder pads. If anyone is planning to dress as a "Dallas" character for Halloween, please be in touch. I may have part of a costume for you. 

I'm now off to go through my closet, put ice on my foot and maybe finish "The Beast." I wish I could say I was going to be out dancing until dawn, but I'm keeping it real on a Saturday night in Buttercup's New York. Thanks for stopping by and take good care of yourself. 

(Quite) Random 5 Friday

Happily it's Random 5 Friday, some of the best fun with no calories and no chance of a hangover.  And on that theme we'll just jump into our Random 5 thoughts.

1) I'm delighted I didn't have to apply to become part of Random 5. There are some terrifically talented photographers in the group and I'm pleased to call them friends. It's been a lot of fun and I am inspired to take pictures and keep an eye out for interesting sights in my daily life.

2) This was my vision one day at Columbus Circle this week. I don't know the television show, but a giant toad stool on the sidewalk is worth a second (or third) look.


3) October 11 is my mother's birthday. She died at 75 in 1990, but she would have been 99 yesterday. Not surprisingly,  a day doesn't go by without thoughts of her. Thanks, Mom, always in my heart.

4) I had my weekly trip to the library and I am just about finished reading Faye Kellerman's, "The Beast." I am a great fan of mysteries and this series was one of my favorites. "Ritual Bath" was the first book in the series and I especially liked the female character, Rina Lazarus, an unlikely detective. Many books ago she married Pete Decker, an LAPD detective. Pete is an interesting character, but the books became more police stories and less mysteries with an unlikely and very likable woman as the lead character. I'm enjoying the book, but definitely would like Rina to have a bigger part. Generally I've come to enjoy mysteries set in historical periods, so this one set in Los Angeles is an exception. I am always interested in recommendations.

5) The weather went from iced coffee to hot coffee -- an odd thermometer, but all mine -- and it looks like it's swinging back to iced coffee with the prediction for 70 degrees next week. I've got a few really fun things next week -- both in Blogland and in New York City. Please stop by and be part of the fun.

Thanks for stopping by and being part of the fun today and take good care of yourself. Sweet dreams! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

No, I Didn't Get to Meet Morgan Freeman or Diane Keaton...

...as much as I would like to. But it was still fun to see the production trailers all set up on and off Broadway. This was the scene after a quick trip to the drugstore. Honestly, my heart beats just a little faster when I realize a movie is being made just a few blocks from my house. I'm a little nosy and not at all shy about asking the name of the production, who's in it and are they around. But the one staff person standing by the trailer was glued to her cell phone and working very hard not to make eye contact, and she succeeded. I didn't get to ask my usual set of questions and decided I couldn't loiter on the corner much longer.




I had good luck getting information later in the day, but alas the filming was over and there were no stars to see. But the staff person was really nice and told me that they were filming "Life Itself," with Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman. The movie tells the story of a New York couple reflecting on their life and marriage. The description sounds great and I think it's a movie I will want to see.

That's my Thursday...the drugstore, getting used to my new shoe, blogging and oh yes, movie filming just down the street. All in a days's life in Manhattan.

Please stop by tomorrow for one of my favorite parts of the week, Random 5 Friday. As always, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself.

Just Call Me Cinderella


There was no pumpkin coach, pulled by mice in livery. I arrived as usual by public bus. There was no castle, just an office building. There was certainly no Prince Charming, though I do think my orthopedist is kind of cute in a bearded middle aged way. I entered his office so, so eager to depart in two sneakers -- a modest request -- and instead I got a new shoe that fit perfectly. Good bye, surgical boot and hello, my new friend, surgical shoe. Shoe, you're an answer to this girl's prayers. You're not the answer I was praying for, but you're the answer I received.

I was so hopeful that I could "graduate" today to two sneakers that I carried my left sneaker in my tote bag. But I'm not there yet, and I am happy to now be the wearer of much more comfortable foot wear. I may be back in two shoes in two weeks or I may not. If nothing else, I am learning patience from this episode.  I can skip the pumpkin coach, a castle is more space than I need, and the time frame is certainly not in my control, but I do want the matching shoes and yes, Prince Charming would be nice, too.

Tonight I'm Cinderella, but tomorrow I'm back to Buttercup. I've got some kitchen cleaning to do, bills to pay and it's time to sort through my turtleneck sweaters. We've finally gotten the fall weather I was waiting for and it's time for long pants, long sleeves and a jacket.

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Fair is Open...Soap Rhapsody

Welcome! The Buttercupland Chanukah/Christmas/New Year fair is officially open. I am delighted to open the fair with my favorite soap collection, made by my favorite soap maker. Yes, my friend, Connie, is the only soap maker I know, but if I knew a dozen soap makers Connie's lovely, creative and handmade soaps would still be my favorites. Three decades ago -- yes, we were twelve -- we worked together in city government. Connie was one of the most organized managers I've ever met and she handled literally  hundreds of details a day calmly and with a smile. After retiring she began Soap Rhapsody, and those of us who are soap fans are the luckier for it.

The wide range of soaps are made with natural vegetable glycerin soap bases and there is something for everyone on your list. Prices are reasonable and this is a great place to look for stocking stuffers that will be fun and useful. I am a soap fan and found so many products that would be fun to give and to keep. I know I would want to keep the pretty acorns pictured above.

I think the Christmas bar soaps would be so cute in a basket with candy canes...


 ...and if you're looking for a Halloween treat for the ten year old boy in your house these soaps might be just the thing. They're not for me -- or probably you -- but this would be a great way to encourage kids to use soap more often.


There are too many great designs to feature them all, but I recommend a visit to the Etsy page. Pumpkin Soap-on-a-Rope would be my first stop. 

I'm so happy to open the Buttercupland Fair this morning. Please stop by again. We'll have some fun gifts to give -- and to keep!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Honeymoon Is Over (Sort Of)

I think the official retirement honeymoon is over. In the last three days three people have asked if I wanted to be working and my answer was maybe. I don't think I want to be working at the job I retired from and I know I don't want to take on the same set of responsibilities, but I like the idea of working. The latter isn't surprising. I liked working and there were jobs I really loved, but I was ready to stop doing what I was doing. To be honest, I would have liked to stay on part-time, which is theoretically possible, but didn't happen for me. I think that would have been a good transition and reduced any financial worries I have.

My focus last June was to take a year, do a lot of blogging and work on a book. I am doing this. I blog almost every day very happily, and the book is one third finished. This puts me on track to complete my book dream by next spring, exactly when I hoped to have it done. But I realize there's a level of anxiety between living my dream and not meeting my expectations. Going back to working would quiet the anxiety, but raise a new set of issues. This is my dream and I am scared and anxious I might fail at it. I think I've got "fear of  success," a term I haven't heard in ages but remember from my college days.

In any new relationship the first days and months are fabulous. We don't see the flaws and if we do, we can generally ignore them. As the days go by, the little habits that were cute become annoying. But if the relationship is solid and we don't get distracted by small issues a solid relationship grows deeper and sweeter. It's the same for a new phase of life, whether it's summer camp and not getting distracted by being homesick or moving half-way across the country to take advantage of a fellowship for graduate school. It was easy to think about how lonely I was and forget the opportunity that was right before me. The retirement honeymoon is over and now to work on making reality of my dreams.

It's another summer day in New York City. I did get to the post office -- despite the tornado (!) warnings -- and in an effort to have a taste of autumn (literally) treated myself to my first pumpkin muffin.

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care of yourself.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Just a Touch of Pink Saturday



I've been on the lookout for signs of autumn, but alas it's still summer in New York. This scene outside a flower store on the Upper East Side was as close as I could come to autumn in New York. Today was a little cooler -- maybe seventy degrees -- but still not autumn. I love pumpkins and autumn leaves, but it still seems too summery to move into full, or even partial, decorating mode. I did eat a package of pumpkin Peeps, but haven't begun sampling hot cider or pumpkin muffins. Love those pumpkin muffins!

I'm hoping to do a linky in the next week. It doesn't look too difficult and I've got an idea that is autumn themed. I've come to really enjoy linky parties and the wonderful bloggers that I've met and I'd like to be part of the linky world. Did anyone have difficulty with their first linky?

Last week was very social and this week looks busy, too. I've got my regular activities -- library and post office visit -- and I've added a movie class on Friday mornings. We're scheduled to see "Showboat" this week. I also have a visit to the orthopedist on Wednesday, and hoping, hoping, hoping my boot will be history. I'll wear it as long as I need to, but I would be so grateful to be back in matching shoes.

I hope you had a great weekend, with lots of touches of autumn. Thanks so much for visiting and take good care of yourself.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Philosophical and Sweet Random 5 Friday

It's one of my favorite parts of the week, Random 5 Friday. There are no calories, I don't have to dress up and the company is terrific.

1) Not to be negative...but at least once a day I look at the newspaper or the MSN homepage and I am sure the world is about to come to an end. Its not just this week. It's not just Miley Cyrus and it's not just the Congress. Anyone else ever feel that way?

2) I love keeping up with my elementary school friends. We have a very active Facebook group and this afternoon we were chatting about our teachers. I can remember every teacher I had in elementary school, but forget half a dozen things I need to do in the next few days. The joy of long term memory.

3) I'm liking the library more and more. This week I'm reading Terry McMillan's new book, "Who Asked You?" I'm about half way thorough and I'm liking it a lot. I don't think it's as good as "Waiting to Exhale," which was terrific, but this book is really holding my interest and I want to know what happens to the characters.

4) I learned a valuable lesson about reading my mail this week. I ignored a letter from the bank -- I thought it was one of the hundreds of privacy notices they send out -- and an account was about to be sent to the state as abandoned. The woman at the bank was really nice about retrieving the paperwork for me, but I was really contrite. I promised her I would read all of my mail, even if it looks meaningless.

5) Now for the sweet! Buttercup was invited to attend #SneakPEEPS, a sneak preview of the Peeps candy for Christmas. What fun! There were Peeps, Peeps crafts and Peeps foods. I promise there will be a Peeps post or two as we get closer to Christmas. They also had Halloween treats and they were yummy. I especially liked the dark chocolate covered marshmallow pumpkin...

  ...and was delighted to find that there were sugar-free Peeps treats.


I'm happy to conclude Random 5 Friday on a sweet note. I hope you had a sweet Friday and thanks so much for visiting.