Monday, August 29, 2016

The Things We Knew

It's the last week of August and I've finally come to appreciate the slow days of summer. I've relaxed, stopped trying to do too much and have embraced afternoons of reading and lemonade. Yes, I can keep enjoying afternoons of books and lemonade, but the pace picks up after Labor Day and my scheduled is starting to fill up again. No regrets, but I do love this last slow week.

One of the books I've enjoyed this week is The Things We Knew, by Catherine West. It takes place in one of my dream destinations, Nantucket, and is an absorbing and very enjoyable read. We see the life of a family through the central character, Lynette Carlisle. Her siblings have left Nantucket in the years following her mother's death and the novel focuses on their return. There are family secrets, crises, forgiveness and making peace with the past.

I enjoyed The Things We Knew very much and highly recommend it. It is a wonderful family story and Lynette is an engaging character. It held my interest -- not always the case with so many books I come upon -- and I'm eager to share it with the readers in Buttercupland. It's a perfect book for a giveaway. Please leave a comment on this post, be a friend of Buttercupland -- Bloglovin, Google Friend or Google + -- and on Labor Day I will pick one reader to receive a copy. Please leave your comment by midnight, Sunday, September 4.

Thanks so much, Catherine West and the Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of The Things We Knew in exchange for my review. The thoughts are all mine.

Today is a mostly indoor day and I've been sorting through books, emails and clothes. I've got two bags of things for the Salvation Army and I've started to research where I can sell/donate my college record collection. Definitely time to move on.

As ever, thanks for visiting and happy reading!  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Battle of Brooklyn Pink Saturday

Wonderful exhibits on Life in the Revolutionary Era were part of today's commemoration of the Battle of Brooklyn. 

I've been fortunate this summer and had the opportunity to experience just about all of the goals I had for this summer. I had some great times with people close to me -- always at the top of my list -- traveled, enjoyed beach time and finally got to yoga classes. There are the ongoing long-term goals of doing a little home redecorating and more writing, but it's been a great summer. I was thinking about the summer yesterday and remembered one goal I hadn't gotten to doing. I had hoped to explore sites related to the Battle of Brooklyn -- the first battle of the Revolutionary War -- but the heat had sidetracked some of the excursions I'd planned around New York City.

I turned to my friend, Google, last night and discovered that the 240th anniversary of the Battle was yesterday. Equally fortuitous Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, the site of the battle, was holding a commemoration today. Though it was hotter than I would have liked I made the trip to Green-Wood, one of the most interesting historical sites in New York City.

The main gate of Green-Wood Cemetery. In the far distance is the World Trade Tower in Manhattan. 

Green-Wood was founded in 1838, in area that was rural Brooklyn. It became the burial place for many famous New Yorkers, from Boss Tweed to Louis Comfort Tiffany to Leonard Bernstein. Now a National Historic Landmark, it is still in use and there are areas where present day New Yorkers can be buried. It is beautifully cared for and well preserved. The city of Brooklyn and then the borough of Brooklyn grew up around it and there is a subway stop only a block away from the main gate. I enjoyed both the beauty and the history and am already planning a return trip in the fall for more exploration.   
Sadly, the first battle of the Revolutionary War did not go well for the American troops. Outnumbered by the better equipped British troops, their losses were high and by mid-September New York had fallen to the British. But 240 years and a day ago they took a stand on this hill in Brooklyn.  
I've got a few blog posts lined up for this week. There will be a book review tomorrow and I've got some beautiful pictures of the Thousand Island Historic Park for a post later in the week. There are several other summer experiences I want to share before the days pass and it's all pumpkins and apples. Please stop by at Pink Saturday for more end of summer fun.
As ever, thanks for visiting and take care and savor these sweet last days before Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Up a Not-So Lazy River...

...And having a wonderful time! 

Despite my thoughts about the pleasures of home, I'm glad I made one more summer trip to visit my friends on the St. Lawrence River. The weather has been more than cooperative --  sunny and bright without a bit of humidity. I actually had the good fortune to wear my jacket yesterday.

We've had quiet time catching up, laughing and just watching the river run. It's difficult to imagine a calmer and more peaceful way to enjoy the summer.

I've also enjoyed developing my cat photography skills. Handsome Boo was not an especially cooperative subject, but I'm pleased with my photographs.

We had a wonderful trip yesterday to the Thousand Islands Historic District. The historic buildings were beautiful and will be the topic for this week's Pink Saturday post. I'm eager to share the photographs, but want to include a link to the District.

Now back to my scheduled activity of watching the river, the boats and the clouds. As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a peaceful afternoon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Olympics Monkey Monday

There's been a lot of Olympics enthusiasm in Buttercupland, especially on Pepe's part. He's been doing a lot of jumping -- monkey longjump -- and swimming in the bathtub, but no specific event really matched his unique skill set. Then a package arrived from my sweet blog friend Taryterre. It was probably the best wrapped package I've ever gotten and I asked Pepe's assistance. Pepe thought it was part of the Monkey Olympics and he jumped right in.   

After our hard work I found the most perfect mug I can imagine. Yes, I'm pretty perky most of the time, but on those days when I need a boost, I now have my "Chin Up, Buttercup" mug. I can't wait to make my first cup of coffee and use my new mug. I'll be smiling and thinking of the wonderful women I've met through blogging and their kind and generous hearts. Pepe will be thinking of the gold medal he won for the best package opening by a monkey. We're both very happy!

When you read this I should have arrived on the shores of the St. Lawrence River and will probably taking pictures of one of the most beautiful places I know. No fear, a blog post will be following.

As always, thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

My Day at the Oculus Pink Saturday

This week's Pink Saturday post takes us to the Grand Opening of the Oculus Shopping Center at the World Trade Center. I was very fortunate to receive an invitation to attend the Grand Opening on Tuesday. The shopping center -- it seems too elegant to simply be a shopping center -- is part of the transportation complex at the World Trade Center. Before September 11 the shopping area under the Trade Center was my mall. I worked literally down the street and often stopped in on my way home to run an errand. In the years since September 11 Lower Manhattan has become a thriving residential area and the new shopping center reflects both the greatly increased population living downtown and the many people working in the area. 

The grand opening was an amazing event. We got a gift bag, there were food tastings -- lobster roll, anyone? -- and terrific entertainment. The entertainer of the day was John Legend, who appeared in the evening. I was exhausted by the time he came on, but I enjoyed reading about his performance. 

I did enjoy -- very much! -- a performance by the wildly talented cast of the Broadway musical, School of Rock. It's a fabulous space for music and I'm looking forward to other concerts that will take place there.

I'm still amazed, and moved, and somewhat teary to see the signage at the Oculus.  Next month it will be fifteen years since that September day and despite years when it seemed nothing would rise from the site, Lower Manhattan is being rebuilt. The day is seared in my memory and despite my happiness at seeing the new buildings I remember those who will never get to see them and enjoy what I am so fortunate to experience. As always, #neverforget.
The rebuilding from a different perspective. One World Trade Center is on the left. 

I hope you've enjoyed our visit to Lower Manhattan. As always, thanks for visiting Buttercupland and take good care.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

There's No Place Like Home

I love this beautiful view -- only half a mile from home. 

When I retired a little over three years ago the first thing many people said to me was that now I could really travel. I definitely had travel in mind, but at that time I was still recovering from neurosurgery and hadn't been on a plane in over a year. I had two short flights scheduled, but world travel wasn't at the top of my retirement list. I was diligent about exercise and healthy eating and I was able to plan trips to places I'd always hoped to visit. In the last few years I've added Ireland, Iceland, Japan, South Korea and Peru to my far flung travel list. I was wary two summers ago when I set off for Ireland, but happily it worked out well and I've kept planning trips.

I've kept planning trips a little too well and this summer I've been away almost every other week. The fabulous wedding weekend has long been on my calendar -- and I wouldn't have missed it -- but going to Wellness Weekend was a spur of the moment decision, made not very long before the event. Honestly, I think I've overdone being away. I missed being home. I like being home, even when it's hot and New York in August can be too hot and just a little smelly. I get out of routine when I'm away too often and it takes me days to get back to eating healthy, going to the gym and returning my library books on time.

I've happily been home this week. I returned my library books, decluttered papers and organized my book shelves. I've gotten back into healthier eating and the refrigerator is neatly cleaned out, and yes, I'm back to a longer blog post.   

There's been lots of Olympic viewing -- including getting the schedule and scores on these new kiosks on Broadway.

Last weekend was spent visiting at Breezy Point in Queens. It felt a million miles from Manhattan, but in reality it was just an hour and a half. Enjoyed a great visit with my work colleagues past, two cookouts and this fabulous day at the beach.  It wasn't too hot and the water was delightful.

I loved the bright colored beach umbrellas and the kite circling in the sky.

There was one amazing experience last week and I will be featuring it in a Pink Saturday (on Sunday) post tomorrow.
Tomorrow is planned as a quiet day -- Weight Watchers, the gym, blogging, more book organizing, and yes, packing. I'm off for my last adventure of the summer to visit my dear friend K and my goddaughter.  There's no place like home, but being with Jess and K is where the heart is and I will be home.
I hope you're enjoying the weekend and keeping cool. Prayers for everyone in the Baton Rouge area. As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Going to the Country Pink Saturday

My rule is to only complain about one season and winter is the designated season. But the last few days have been tough for me. Even though I'm in New York City today I'm going back one week in my memory. Last week at this time I was in beautiful Ulster County, two hours north of New York City and this was my view. It was hot, but there was more of a breeze and there was this view. The view could take my mind off heat, humidity and just about anything else that was troubling me.

Our Wellness Weekend site, 95 beautiful acres of peace and quiet.  

The weekend had great activities, including a hike to "Million Dollar View." The Catskills and Hunter Mountain are in the distance.

The Adirondack chairs nestled under the trees made a perfect place to read or simply enjoy the beauty that surrounded us.

The garden next to the house where I was staying.

The weekend flew by -- exercise classes, including a very fun ballet class, good company, terrific food and the quiet and beauty of nature. Before very long, actually much too soon, the weekend was over and I was on the bus back to New York City. We went through New Jersey and this was my view from the window of the bus. I'm looking over the Hudson River and Manhattan is in the distance.  

This summer -- like every summer -- goes by in a blink. I'm trying to savor every sticky and humid bit. Long pants and jackets will return soon enough. I'm fortunate to have an invitation to a few days at the beach and I'm off first thing in the morning. The forecast is stormy, but I'm hoping for some sun. For more summer fun stop by at Pink Saturday.

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Yes, I'm Writing About Christmas

No, I don't think I've gone totally around the bend. Though with the heat, the state of the world, a quirky dental problem and watching endless rounds of volleyball at the Olympics -- I had to turn off the television -- it is entirely possible. Yesterday was my errand day. I went to the dentist -- my ligament issue seems to be healing -- the drugstore and to the bank. At the bank I made a small deposit to an account I call my Christmas Club. While I was at the window I asked the teller when were Christmas Clubs discontinued? I figured it was ten or fifteen years ago. He replied, "Last year." This got me to thinking...Does anyone still have an official Christmas Club?

I thought this would be a good question for a post, but couldn't imagine where I would get pictures for the post. Fate was with me. After the dentist I was walking down Seventh Avenue and came to Christmas Cottage, an all year-round Christmas store.

I first noticed the cute summer decorations in the window and then my eye went to the beautiful Christmas tree. 

The tree was decorated in New York themed items and any of them would make fun memories of a trip to New York. I also liked the reflection of life in New York City in the window, especially the taxi and the American flag.  

I'm back from Wellness Weekend and I've readjusted to my life in New York City. Besides my errands, I've been to yoga, grocery shopped, done a little decluttering and started organizing my fall clothes -- though fall seems far away. I'm about to order magnets -- get ten free -- on Shutterfly for gifts. Now I've got Christmas and Chanukah on my mind.  
As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Unplugged Weekend

A few months ago I signed up for a Women's Wellness Weekend. It looks great. Healthy food, a variety of exercise classes and inspirational talks. What I didn't take into account is Unplugged. We are asked to let go of our electronic devices. So my trusty companion iPad is staying home, which means no blogging while I'm away. I will have my phone -- which doesn't include the Blogger app -- and stay minimally in touch, but no being alerted to new email on a steady basis. 

I'm looking forward to ballet class -- for adults who aren't ballerinas, green hilly vistas and campfires. I'm almost looking forward to leaving my electronic friends for a few days. Blogger has been a little temperamental in the last few days, so I'm hoping after a good vacation it will be rested and friendlier. 

I leave you with a little veggie wisdom for the weekend.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and have a great weekend!