Thursday, July 31, 2014

Who Wears Short Shorts?

I found myself in Midtown Manhattan in the heart of the business district going to the dentist this morning. It was before eight o'clock and not particularly hot, but I noticed a few women wearing shorts, not necessarily short shorts, but shorts. In a sort of stream of consciousness way I realized I couldn't remember the last time I wore shorts. Maybe last summer visiting friends who live on the St. Lawrence River, a shorts wearing environment. I'm not especially formal at all, but shorts seem -- for me -- a little casual in Midtown Manhattan. The advent of the cropped pants, a little longer and more covered up, have replaced shorts in my wardrobe. It was a transformation that I hadn't even noticed, but it happened. Has anyone else shed shorts from their wardrobe?

  Not my wardrobe anymore

Another item that I have bid farewell to is the sleeveless shirt. I am not a fashion blogger and this is not a Glamour "dos and don'ts" -- remember them? -- but I don't feel comfortable exposing my arms for all the world to see. I'm a sleeves girl. 

But I'm also upbeat and I don't want to do a post that might only be percieved as critical. In the same wildly popular store -- people were waiting at the doors for the store to open this morning -- I found some very cute things that I do like and could be added to my wardrobe. 

The raincoat especially caught my eye and I like the big sweaters. I'm not sure if they're my colors, but I thought the grey would look good with my black jeans and they were the right price.

"Who wears short shorts? We wear short shorts!"

This song has been buzzing through my head all day. I couldn't have told you the year it was recorded or the group that recorded it, but luckily there's Google. It was recorded by The Royal Teens in 1957. "Short Shorts" became a #3 hit in 1958 and lives today in the brains of baby boomers. 

It's farewell to July and on to August. I've got a new project I'm debuting tomorrow. Please stop by and join me for #oneaDayThanks. It previews tomorrow. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take very good care.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Are We in the Last Days of Blogging?

In a long ago and hazy past I made my living typing. I wasn't an especially fast typist, but I was accurate and it really did give me a foot in the door when jobs were tough to get. One skill I did possess was changing typewriter ribbons. I could change a ribbon -- black and red type -- in two minutes and not get a smudge on my hands. It was one of my best skills and it served me well. Little did I dream that someday that wouldn't be a skill and there would be few typewriters in existence outside of museums.

I was reminded of my obsolete skill during my reflections about BlogHer. Though I wrote about the fun aspects, the weekend wasn't just dance parties and delicious snacks. There was a lot of tech discussion and at a number of points the topic turned to the future of blogging. Actually, the topic wasn't the future of blogging, but the lack of a future for blogging. The question that was posed was "Is blogging dead?"

Blogging is alive and well in Buttercupland, but even in the small universe of my blog buddies I see some dimming of the stars. A number of my blog buddies are Facebook friends, too, and that's fortunate, because many of them have stopped blogging. Several weeks ago we had a great chat on Facebook -- not on a blog -- about keeping up both a blog and Facebook. For some people it's even more complex if Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are added to the mix. It's easy to run out of steam and interest when there's so much going on in the social media realm.

I keep blogging because I like it. I like the feeling of sitting down with a blank computer screen and ending up with a post. It's not so different from the days when I changed typewriter ribbons for a living and loved sitting down with a blank piece of paper and seeing the page become filled with my thoughts. Why do you keep blogging? Inquiring minds want to know.

I'm getting back into the home schedule. I started physical therapy this morning for a stiff shoulder and later went to the bank and drugstore. I also bought two summer shirts marked way, way down because in Retail Land summer is over. Considering the forecast for tomorrow is 82 degrees I think I'll get some use out of them. They're both hot pink, my other favorite color next to turquoise.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!   

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Take Your Family to Sonic Giveaway

I was all set to do a post called, "Back to Real Life." But as soon as I wrote the title on the little pad at the side of my computer I realized I didn't want to go back to real life, at least not yet. I want to stay in my BlogHer14 cocoon, enjoying a hotel and clean towels I don't have to wash. Real life will be here soon enough -- Thursday morning at my dental appointment -- but for a little while longer let's stay in BlogHer land.

One of the sponsors at BlogHer14 was Sonic, the place to get some of the most fun food in America. There aren't any Sonic stops in New York City and I had never had a Sonic Slush until last week. It was a tough choice, but I went with the Cotton Candy. I liked it a lot, and it was fun and refreshing. I'm sorry that I didn't try the green apple, too, and that I forgot to ask for Nerds candy in my slush. I did discover that there are Sonics in New Jersey and I may need to make a trip across the river very soon to get the Green Apple or the maybe the grape Slush. It's a tough decision.

Thanks to my new buddy, Madison, at Sonic, I am able to share BlogHer and Slushes with four bloggers. I am giving away four sets of four coupons for medium Slushes at Sonic. Yes, four times four! Treat your husband, your kids, your grandkids, friends and bloggers to Slushes.

Leave a comment with your favorite Slush flavor, and please be a citizen of Buttercupland on Google+, Bloglovin or Google Reader. It's quick and easy and you may be one of the lucky four to win a family night at Sonic and wouldn't that be fun! Please make sure I have a way to reach you, either on your blog or an email address. The giveaway starts now and closes next Wednesday, August 6. I will announce the winners on Thursday, August 7.  

Back to real life...and I'm off to the grocery.

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Turquoise is the New Black and Other Lessons I Learned at #BlogHer14

As I was packing up yesterday morning -- Was it only yesterday morning? -- I made a list of things I learned during my 48-hours at BlogHer14. Between my day in San Jose, the red-eye flight that has me spinning time zones and coming home I have misplaced the list. But I don't need a list for the things that really stand out. In no particular order...

1a) Black has been my wardrobe basic forever, and it will probably stay my wardrobe basic. But in a lighter moment of shopping I bought a turquoise shirt and brought it to BlogHer. It's not quite my new black, but I really like it. I also have turquoise toes, which have been fun, too. Seeing myself in a bright color has opened up a new world of looking at color and not simply turning to black. I'm also wearing white pants with my turquoise shirt, however unseen in this picture. I haven't worn white pants since Lyndon Johnson was President and I was surprised at how much fun it was to be in fun and light colors.

1b) Also on the topic of clothes...I thought I packed light, but I came home with three outfits that weren't worn. Of course the trip was cut short by a day, but once again, I overpacked.

2a) I love a dancing evening, even if I'm not dancing a lot. I don't think I'll be going to clubs very much -- at all! -- but the party with Rev Run was so much fun. I'm sparing you the photograph -- a selfie -- where my hair is flying in a hundred directions and my glasses are tilted. I look like I've had way too much sangria.

2b) My arms are too short to take a good selfie. I may be permanently retiring from selfies after this #Selfiebration.

3) I loved meeting people I'd only seen on television. David Tutera was an especial favorite. He couldn't have been nicer and was even cuter in person than on TV.

Enjoyed hearing from Arianna Huffington, too. She is on the right, autographing her new book.  

4) I like meeting people, but that's no surprise. I met some great bloggers and definitely have made a new friend. 

5) I haven't taken a red eye -- overnight -- flight in over twenty years and now I remember why.

Regrets? I'll quote Frank Sinatra here. "I've got a few, but then again too few to mention." Except for one...

In 2011I met Scrubby, the mascot of Scrubbing Bubbles, one of my favorite products. I was so excited to learn that S.C. Johnson, the company that makes Scrubbing Bubbles would be at BlogHer14 and I could get to see Scrubby again. Alas, Scrubby had another commitment and that was a disappointment. The Scrubbling Bubbles folks were so nice, but I did miss seeing my pal, Scrubby. 

Is it any surprise I lost my heart to Scrubby in 2011.

But I found a new sweet someone, my buddy, PediaCare Bear. 

There were moments during the weekend where I questioned why I was there. The travel was rough this year and expensive and I wasn't sure it was all worth it. On reflection, it was worth it and then some. I got great advice, whether it was about sunscreen, thanks to Merz Aesthetics, one of the sponsors or about blogging, San Jose or any one of a number of topics. I made a friend and a hundred memories. And I've got a few fun giveaways to share with some of my favorite people, the citizens of Buttercupland. 

6) Here's to BlogHer15, wherever we may be!

As ever thanks for visiting. Take care and have a terrific Tuesday. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Call Me Cinderella

Last night I was at one of the best parties I've ever gone to. I heard the music as I walked down the street and the party place looked enchanted. Rev. Run, of Run-DMC was the DJ and the music was terrific.
Today I spent exploring downtown San Jose. I was walking down the same street, but now it was a sunny late morning. The second picture was the site of my enchanted party. Yes, a parking lot. I know how Cinderella felt the morning after the ball.

I've got a flight in a few hours and here's hoping I'm back in New York tomorrow morning.
It's been a great weekend Thanks, San Jose and thanks, #BlogHer14.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Having a Great Time...

...wish you were here!

I had forgotten all that gets packed into one day at BlogHer, and yesterday was no exception. I heard the comedian Tig Notaro, went to a champagne reception and thanks to one of our sponsors, Canadian Lentils, had a room service cupcake delivery. What a sweet surprise. 

There were fun times in the Sponsor Exhibition Hall, too. I met and chatted with Denise Boutte at the Hairfinity booth, who couldn't have been nicer. I had my first Sonic Slushie -- Cotton candy -- and chatted about several giveaways to come. 

But by far my favorite part was meeting wonderful bloggers from all over the country. St. Louis, Los Angeles, Portland and San Jose were just a few of the places where my new buddies live. 

Today there are presentations by Arianna Huffington and Kerry Washington. There will be more time in the Exhibition Hall and I plan to attend two sessions that look interesting, including an afternoon with other baby boomer bloggers. There will be cupcakes and there will be tweets. But the best part will be continuing to spend time with blogger buddies and the discovery of a kindred spirit or two.

Meeting Denise Boutte, who is as nice as she is beautiful.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Lots of hugs from your BlogHer correspondent.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Made My Way to San Jose

After two flights, two cab rides and three thousand miles I made my way to San Jose and #BlogHer14. I'm happily settled into my hotel, where I was welcomed by free Wi-Fi and a tray of cupcakes, definitely a blogger dream come true.

Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Not on the Way to San Jose

My flight to Blogher '14 was scheduled for 6:29 tonight. I was going to leave for the airport around three and was I was feeling reasonably organized. I'd figured out what to pack and was ninety per cent packed. I'd sorted toiletries, taken out the trash and cancelled the newspaper. I still had to sort out my tote bag and take a shower. Not bad, with two hours until I needed to leave for the airport. I decided to check in to my flight online and when I did, I found the ominous note, "Your flight is cancelled."

I shed a few tears for a few minutes while I was on hold to speak to someone at JetBlue. There were severe weather warnings -- I can hear the thunder now -- and if I hadn't checked the status I would have gotten an email ten minutes later. Luckily I called before the notification went out and got a seat going via Boston tomorrow afternoon. I had a direct flight, with an aisle seat today, and tomorrow I first fly east to change planes to fly west, but I am still scheduled to be in San Jose for BlogHer '14. I will miss the Sangria reception, the panel on maternal health around the world which sounded so interesting and the opening night festivities. But in light of all that is going on with flying and cancelled flights I am grateful to have a scheduled flight one day later. I couldn't help but smile when I thought of my post yesterday and learning to go where the wind takes me, literally.

One thing I hadn't accomplished was getting a manicure. My plan was to get one in San Jose tomorrow morning, but since there won't be a tomorrow morning in San Jose I walked over to the nearest nail salon. Generally I choose one of the colors on the far right for my fingernails, but being open to change I had my nails painted light blue, something I have never done before. I'm not sure I'll do it again, but they do look nice and it is a fun change.

Our incomparable blogger buddy, Marie of "The English Kitchen" has been nominated as a finalist in a recipe contest at The Tuscany Now blog. This link will take you directly to the page and with one quick click, you can help our friend win a trip to Tuscany. You will also find great recipes. Marie's recipe is "The English Kitchen Pasta Dish." In truth in journalism I haven't made this dish, but I have made other recipes that Marie has featured on her blog and they are the best. The best! I'd suggest you vote early and often, but in this case just one vote per person.

Here's hoping for sunny skies tomorrow and good weather for flying. I'll do a very quick post when I arrive in San Jose, scheduled for 9:19 p.m. Pacific time.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. To sunny skies, literally and figuratively. 

Lucky Thirteen

The Big R -- Retirement Reflections, Thirteen Months Later

A little over thirteen months ago I signed my last time sheet, completed piles of paperwork and cleaned out my office. That was my prelude to completing forty years of working full-time. I approached retirement as I had approached everything else in my life, with lots of planning. I've always been a planner and my approach to retiring consisted of lots of plans. I reviewed my finances weekly, signed up for social and volunteer activities and thought I knew exactly how I would be spending my time. I didn't take into account whim, chance or how one step in a different direction can change things. 

Fortunately my financial review was accurate, but no matter how worthwhile, I didn't find the volunteer activities I'd chosen engaging. That is still a work in progress. I had also hoped to become more fit, but breaking my foot in September derailed that plan temporarily. I'm not completely where I had been, but I am getting around much better. 

There was one area where I completely followed my heart and that was writing. I knew I wanted to write more and that activity has completely engaged me. Two columns for Manilla -- alas, now out of business -- and a number of Litfuse book reviews, plus hundreds of blog posts later, I now think of myself as a writer and I am loving it. This time last year I hadn't heard of Manilla or Litfuse and they became a big part of 2014.

I've long kept a list of places I'd hoped to travel to and diverged from the list almost immediately after retirement by planning my trip to England, Iceland, Norway and Ireland. Dublin was high on the list, but the other places weren't near the top. I'm glad I diverged from my plans and lists and followed whim and my heart to find adventures I couldn't have imagined when I booked the trip. 

I've learned a few things. I've learned to follow whim and diverge from my plans without regret. I've learned that I get half as much done as I thought I would do, but that I'm having twice the fun. I've learned, too, that it's a good trade. I've learned and relearned that despite all the plans I can make my ship of life doesn't always go in the direction I'm steering. The winds have brought me to places that weren't on my map and I'm grateful for the new horizons I've discovered. It's been a lucky, lucky thirteen for me and I am excited for the new horizons I'm yet to find.  

A toast to new horizons

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ode to the Olive Foodie Friday

Sometimes we go 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to Norway or across the millenia to the beginning of time for the inspiration for a blog post. But sometimes inspiration is just ten blocks away. Yesterday I went thousands of miles and centuries for inspiration for the post and today's post was inspired by a quick stop at Zabar's, my favorite food store, literally just down the street.

I read the post I wrote about Zabar's in April and realized I didn't mention the olive section at all. It's next to the door and usually I'm stepping past it on my way to the cheese or coffee sections. In fact if you had asked me any day before this Tuesday about my liking for olives I would have told you that they weren't a particular favorite food. For no reason I can think of I stopped at the olives. Perhaps it was because I had no special errand to do at Zabar's and I wasn't in a rush. Perhaps it was because it was a rainy day and the store wasn't crowded. Perhaps... I became enamored of the olive assortment and read the descriptions. I decided to buy a small container of the Moroccan mix, an assortment of green and black olives in a lemon and oil marinade.

Like most Americans who grew up in the 1950's the only olives that I made acquaintance with were small, green and had pimentos stuffed inside. We rarely had them in our refrigerator and I never developed a taste for the them. I learned to like broccoli and whole wheat bread, which I didn't especially like growing up, but not olives. But the olives I bought on Tuesday were different. They had a wonderful flavor and as a fan of all things lemon, I was delighted in the taste. I was won over and all it took was a rainy day and a few minutes browsing.

Here's a toast to the olive, and a toast to the foods I think I don't like. This older dog learned a new trick and I am happy to proudly state that I am now an olive eater.

Though most of the time the news in the world seems very grim, but sometimes there are rays of bright light. There was a burst of joyous news in Vermont yesterday. Born yesterday -- I can't resist using the phrase -- was the beautiful Nora, daughter of Julia and Tom, niece of my goddaughter, Jess and granddaughter to my dear friend, K. From her pictures Nora is a complete snuggle bunny and I can't wait to meet her. Let the spoiling begin. I already have a lamb for her that I bought in Ireland, but I think a Madeline doll needs to go with it to Vermont.

We've got glorious summer weather in New York and I am enjoying these sunny days without humidity. They are so rare and so appreciated.

As ever, thanks for visiting. I hope your days are bright and sunny, too. Wishes for a great weekend. 

When the World was Pristine

Let's go back in time, far, far back in time. We'll pick one spot on the globe, Norway, and trace our way back to the world when it was pristine and still. Are you ready to join me?

 We begin at the end of June 2014 at the beautiful Geirangerfjord. We know we are still in our present time from the modern ships that sit in the harbor.  

We quickly go back two centuries to the 1880s. We are waiting for our sea captain husband to come home.This is Old Bergen, a fascinating village of Nineteenth Century wooden houses and shops in Bergen, Norway.   

The centuries are now going fast and we are in the Thirteenth Century in Haakon's Hall. Norway's first complete set of laws was drawn up here. 

Time is moving faster and faster back and in a blink we are now at the beginning of time, when the world was pristine and quiet. 

There was only sky and sea and the fall of water... 

...When the World Was Pristine

I'm joining Castles, Crowns and Cottages for a fabulous tour around Europe. We're going to have a wonderful time and you're invited. Please join this blog travel adventure. I've just discovered Castles, Crowns and Cottages and it's a beautiful blog to visit. 

Thanks for going back to the beginning of time with me. Today has been a sorrowful day and I'm thankful to step back to a time when the world was pristine and still. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Madeline

One of my all-time favorite friends is celebrating her Seventy-fifth birthday and I couldn't miss the party.

So I zipped over to the New-York Historical Society to wish Madeline a very happy birthday. I was happy to find that she is looking better than ever.

And as, Cole Porter would say, "What a swell party this is." I loved seeing my buddy Madeline again, her dog, Genevieve, her friends at the "old house in Paris," and Miss Clavel, who cared for them all. Alas, no photographs were permitted and I had to content myself with the picture above and two others from the gift shop. 

I read a lot as a child and Madeline was one of my all-time favorite book friends. I developed an affection for Paris early on, which I thought came solely from seeing the movie, "Gigi" in fourth or fifth grade. But after seeing the exhibit yesterday I think reading about Madeline had something to do with creating a very young Francophile, too. Not surprisingly, I had a great affection for Babar, as well.

The museum has a beautiful gift shop and I had to be restrained from buying lots of Madeline items. 

 These sweet Madeline dolls were at the top of my list. I had a tough time resisting Genevieve in her own carrying bag, too.

 What little girl wouldn't love a pair of Madeline pajamas!

The show goes on until October 19 and if you are anywhere close, it's well worth a trip. The museum itself is well worth a visit. I especially enjoyed a film about the history of New York City, with the most beautiful photography.

I'm wending through my list of errands. I got my hair cut and colored this morning and spent most of the afternoon clearing out email. My inbox is like a garden. If I don't keep up, the weeds have choked the flowers. I didn't keep up during vacation and there were a lot of weeds. 

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Monday, July 14, 2014

California, Here I Come, Again

In 2011 I used the same blog post title, minus the word "Again" to write about my first time attending BlogHer. BlogHer11 was in San Diego and this year we will be in San Jose. Now I am a veteran -- this will be my fourth conference -- and I am going back to California. I've got my business cards ready, with my twitter handle on them this time @buttercup10024. I've already downloaded the app for my phone and I'm figuring out what to pack. My thought is comfortable, but cute. If this year follows tradition there will be a lot of picture taking.

One of the speakers is Kerry Washington and I am excited to hear her. But I've found what draws me back is the recharge I get for blogging. It's been hard to get back into the swing of blogging. I've been away. The weather is nice and I am not as interested in sitting in front of a computer when I can be out and about. I should be exercising, decluttering, working on a novel, etc. All those thoughts fade away when I enter the world of BlogHer.

I also love the fun stuff. Meeting some of my favorite celebrities....

Love my buddy, the Doughboy... (2013)

...and my buddy, the Lorax. (2012)

I enjoy meeting bloggers I might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet in BlogLand and at this point also look forward to seeing familiar faces. There are moments I do get overwhelmed. Sometimes the discussion is running a little fast and I feel that my little blog doesn't have a place with all the talk of sponsors, monetization and syndication. But I take a breath and remember that the race is not always given to the swift. I also remember why I continue to blog, both for the pleasure of writing and for the great friends I've met.

Please let me know if any of the Citizens of Buttercupland will be in San Jose next week. I'd love to meet you!

On the home front...I'm totally unpacked and I'm even doing a little decluttering. I shredded some papers from the trip and filed others away. One of my goals is not to be overwhelmed by things I bring back from BookExpo, vacation and BlogHer and this week is the time to catch up. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer Time Pink Saturday

I realized that Pink Saturday had become a part of my life when I found myself snapping Pink Saturday pictures throughout my travels. My travel buddy, Sue, often pointed out fun-in-pink sights and there were a number of pretty and fun pink items throughout our trip.

We were in a shopping center in the Faroe Islands when we came across this pink Vespa pillow, one of the first of our Pink Saturday finds.

 I thought of taking it home, but my suitcase space was very limited. 

This jam I found in Norway isn't actually pink, but the color is in the same family and the jars looked so pretty.  

 This may be my best find. I love this pink bike in the main street of the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik. I waited patiently to snap a picture of just the bicycle and the street. It was a favorite place for pictures. 

I couldn't resist. A windblown Buttercup -- in pink -- at Stonehenge. 

Stonehenge has been on my to-see list for decades and the experience far surpassed my expectations. I have no theories on how these massive stones reached the Salisbury Plain, but it was an awesome sight. 

Today I felt definitely back in New York City. I got some of the more tedious errands done that I had been putting off before watching the final World Cup game. What a game! I was exhausted by the end and all I did was watch television and drink iced coffee. 

As ever thanks for visiting and take good care. Wishes for a great week!

Farewell, World Cup

I'm still in the midst of sorting out and editing my vacation pictures and I've got some cropping and fixing of the pink treasures I found. But I would be remiss to neglect a mention of the World Cup games. I watched them before I went away, watched them while I was away and kept up after I returned, even though the U.S. was no longer in the competition. I'm a soccer fan -- to distinguish the game from American football -- and have been for a long, long time.

I'm not a great athlete, but as a gym choice in high school soccer chose me. I had hoped to take archery -- shades of Katniss -- but everyone wanted to take archery sophomore year and I was placed in the soccer section. I didn't know anything about the game, but as I wasn't a fast runner I became a fullback. Playing defense was the perfect position for me and I enjoyed it so much I elected to continue throughout high school. I was in England for the World Cup games of 1966 and realized this was the sport the rest of world played and followed, not baseball or American football.

The rest of America has caught up with my affection for soccer and New York was excited with World Cup energy. I took these pictures during a walk to the library, which is nine blocks from home.

The sign is small, but it has the key information..."All Games Live!!" 

As I type this the games are almost over and tomorrow there will be some great playing. I don't presume to predict the outcome. I do know that I will be settled in with a big glass of iced coffee and a fruit plate -- I've been giving my World Cup final game snacks some thought -- eager to watch the game.

I hope you're all having a great weekend. We had lovely summer weather in New York, clear, sunny and not humid. I'm hopeful we'll have more of the same tomorrow.

As ever thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Faroe Islands Foodie Friday

We're going far, far away for our Foodie Friday this week to the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands are a chain of islands west of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. It is an "autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark." One of the things I most enjoyed about this trip was traveling to places I'd never visited before and in the case of the Faroe Islands, knew very little. The islands are beautiful and people I traveled with said that the Islands looked very much like the coasts of Scotland and Ireland.

One of my favorite parts of the entire trip was a boat ride to the Vestmanna Bird Cliffs. We sailed thorough grottos and saw the nesting places of sea birds. The scenery was fabulous. 

I spent the rest of my visit in Torshavn, the major port city of the islands. I took a lot of pictures of houses with traditional grass roofs.  

I also visited a mall in Torshavn. I enjoy seeing markets around the world and the Faroe Islands didn't disappoint me. There was a great supermarket and I was taken with this refrigerator case with assorted fish products. A major industry in the islands is fishing. Usually my Foodie Fridays focus around ice cream or bakeries, but I thought this made an interesting foodie contribution. 

I hope you've enjoyed our Foodie Friday from the Faroes. How's that for alliteration! 

I'm pretty much back to my regular routine now, sleeping better and I'm all unpacked. I've been on the subway a few times and there's nothing like a subway ride at rush hour to remind me I'm not on vacation anymore.  I took a number of "pink" pictures and I'll be sharing them tomorrow for Pink Saturday fun from Iceland and Norway.

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care. Wishes for a great weekend and prayers for peace.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's All Over Except the Calories...

...Sort of. This is the thought that popped into my mind this morning when I thought of my birthday. I had a yummy dinner last night and this morning the celebration of the day was over, except for the calories that remain with me. My second thought was the "sort of."  The calories do remain, but the good wishes and good feelings are still with me, too. I am going to settle down later today and slowly read and cherish the good wishes, both electronic and paper, and give thanks for the friends and family who reached out to me.

A second thought, as I return to my New York life, was that all that was left of vacation was the calories, but that is a "sort of," too. There are photos, memories and new friends and I cherish those as well. I'm still in a Dublin state of mind this afternoon and I'm going to share another few Dublin photos today.

I would be remiss not to share a photo of the Guinness Stout complex, probably the greatest attraction to visitors of Dublin besides the Book of Kells. In the interest of truth in journalism, I confess that I didn't go on the tour, but rather took this picture from the bus. I'm not a drinker of beer, stout or ale and I thought the experience would be wasted on me, but I know I am in a distinct and small minority.

The Guinness Storehouse, a very popular stop for visitors to Dublin

The gardens at the Beatty Library at Dublin Castle. The Library has an extraordinary manuscript collection. 

Next to the Beatty Library I found a wonderful exhibit by stained glass genius, Dale Chihuly, illustrating James Joyce's "Ulysses." I am a big fan of Chihuly's work and was delighted to find this exhibit. I've never read "Ulysses," but this exhibit may just be the push I need. 

As always thank for visiting and thanks, too, for the comments and good wishes for my birthday. Take good care and please come and visit often. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Today I'm Sixty-Four

Some people may see this title as a shameless ploy for comments -- I might be one of them -- or just an homage to one of my favorite songs by the Beatles, "When I'm Sixty-Four." The song has been in my mind for a blog post title for months, and today, my friends, I am 64. I get to share my birthday with #RingoStarr and I am happy to give Ringo, who happily is still going strong, a birthday shout-out. Happy birthday, Ringo, and here's to many more years that we will share our birth day. Happy and healthy!

I'm home from my travels, and happy to report that my luggage decided to come home, too. I'm slowly unpacking and contemplating the mountain of laundry that is waiting for me. Yes, even on birthdays, there is laundry, if I want to have something to wear when I'm sixty-four. There was also grocery shopping first thing this morning and later this afternoon there will be a few errands, first of which will be taking my ailing iPad to the Apple Store. My body is still on Dublin time and though I woke up at my usual time, just before eight o'clock. But it was eight a.m. in Dublin and, unfortunately, three a.m. here. I'm hoping to make it awake to nine tonight and get myself back on a New York schedule.

I've been an inconstant blogger and it feels good to be back at the computer blogging away. I'm going to share pictures of the trip in no special order. My mind is also back in Dublin and that's where I'm going to start today. I had long wanted to visit Dublin -- maybe forty years -- and see the Book of Kells, and it more than lived up to my expectations. What I didn't expect was the beauty of the Trinity College Library, where the manuscript is housed. I felt as though I'd walked into a scene in Harry Potter, but it wasn't a film.

Trinity College Library, Dublin, founded by Queen Elizabeth I

This is the Ha'penny Bridge, one of the bridges that connects the North and South areas of Dublin, divided by the River Liffey. I was so lucky to be there at twilight. The toll for the bridge was once a ha'penny.

Sunset at Christ Church Cathedral

I had a wonderful long weekend in Dublin. Besides my visit to Trinity College, I visited the Dublin Castle, the Beatty Library and its extraordinary manuscript collection and the National Gallery of Ireland. But I also just enjoyed the city, wandering down medieval and Georgian streets and snapping lots of pictures. It was everything I'd hoped for and I'm already thinking about a return trip to see more of Ireland. 

The laundry calls. Thanks so much, blogger buddies, for sharing my trip, and as always for your friendship. I am a very lucky sixty-four year old and I don't feel a day over sixty-three. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

In Dublin's Fair City

The travel whirl is almost over. I'm beginning to pack for my flight home tomorrow. Dublin has been great, with so much to see. One of my travel dreams has been to see Trinity College and the medieval manuscript, The Book of Kells.  I was there first thing this morning and the experience lived up to my expectations.

Back to familiar places and friends, grocery shopping and bed making and regular blogging. I love to travel, but it's good to come home. Next stop, New York City.