Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Put Down the Mini-Snickers, Now

Halloween Bagged Chocolates says it all.
Your response is that it's not a mini-Snickers. Okay, so it's a KitKat or Almond Joy or M&Ms. We see you indulging in a candy orgy. One mini-Snickers becomes half a dozen and then you add three of the little bags of M&Ms and then you're looking for the back up bag of candy corn and then you're in a sugar daze. But it's Halloween and this is Halloween candy.
Actually, it's Halloween bagged candy. Next week it will be Christmas bagged candy and the M&Ms will be tinted red and green. But it's the same candy, and you can buy it 365 days a year. Somehow when it's Halloween candy it justifies the sugar overload and added poundage. Wrong! A KitKat is a KitKat is a KitKat. Putting a pumpkin on the wrapper doesn't make it a pumpkin KitKat.
When I hear the words "Halloween candy" my memories go to the kitchen in the house in which I grew up. My mother is melting Kraft caramels -- are they made now? -- and we're dipping apples. I think about trick or treating and bringing home a big bag of candy. It was a treat for my elementary school self who never imagined I would be able to eat bags of candy whenever I might want to when I grew up. I can eat all the Halloween candy in every drugstore in New York and I can't bring back the days of Kraft caramels and trick or treating.
So put down the mini-Snickers and leave the candy corn in the bag. Savor the memories and enjoy the little ones in their adorable costumes. You will save thousands of calories and stop the inevitable seasonal slide to a larger size that begins with the first piece of Halloween candy. Your waistline will thank you. 
I was thinking of skipping this post because of today's  tragedy in Lower Manhattan. But as former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said, we are New York Resilient. We are heartbroken and we mourn for those who were killed, but we're tough and even in the most tragic of times no one takes away our ability to enjoy life. No one.
Hold your loved ones close and take good care of yourselves and thanks for visiting Buttercupland.

Monkey Monday Halloween

Pep Le Monkee and Opus in their Halloween finery 
Pep loves Halloween. He likes his bunny ears at Easter and can't wait to put on his Santa suit at Christmas, but Halloween may be his favorite celebration. This year he's wearing his Halloween sweater for a casual trick or treating look. Opus is decked out in the Great Pumpkin costume and he's hoping he finds some herring tidbits in his treat collection. I doubt if anyone is giving out herring bits this year, or any year, and I've got a jar of herring as a Halloween surprise for my favorite penguin.  

It seems that every year there are more and more outdoor decorations for Halloween. These two buildings are less than a block from where I live and in the Halloween spirit. I've never seen this building decorated in past years, but they've a great job this year.


This building is decorated every year. There is also a recording with spooky noises. I wasn't scared. But if you're coming down the street and not suspecting an eerie sound and sight show it may give you a fright, which is of course, the idea of Halloween.

I don't have any Halloween decorations except for Pep and Opus in their costumes. Do you decorate for Halloween, and if so, indoors and/or outdoors? 

I'll be back tomorrow with my tip on saving thousands of calories on Halloween, and yes, candy is involved.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What Are You Reading?


For some reason I can't fathom I've had trouble concentrating when I read. Perhaps it's an offshoot to whatever kept me from blogging when I sat at the computer and stared at the screen. I don't feel particularly troubled. I'm sleeping okay, or as okay as a late sixties woman who needs to get up at least once during the night, and I'm getting a lot of exercise. The next choice for my book club is Paulette Jiles' News of the World. It's historical fiction -- a genre a very much enjoy -- it's short and it was a it was a 2016 National Book Award Nominee. I picked it up from the library a few days ago and I'm going to start reading it tomorrow. I'm not going to let it sit on my shelf picking up dust and lose my momentum to complete it. My goal is to finish it by Monday morning and return it to the library before the fines start clicking away.

I'm eager for more recommendations. I looked over the books I especially enjoyed last year and they were non-fiction and some were tough going. But they all held my interest and gave me something to reflect on. What are books you've particularly enjoyed this year?

I have kept up with my mystery reading and very much enjoyed Ian Rankin's Rather Be the Devil. One of my favorite detectives of all time, John Rebus, steps back into police work from retirement and the for those who like their mysteries darker, this story is well worth reading. I featured this title last month in Coffee Light and Mysteries (Mostly Noir).

It's been a quiet, but productive few days. I've been focused on reading and writing. I completely finished today's New York Times, did a blog post and caught up on some of my favorite blogs.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Wishes for a wonderful Wednesday.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pink Saturday Goes to the Double Dutch

Though the thermometer says it's still summer, it's autumn whenever I can find it. 

I wouldn't say I'm in a rut -- lots of new things on my schedule -- but I do have a pretty consistent pattern. The library, synagogue, Weight Watchers and the gym are all within a mile from where I live. This area includes two movie theaters, groceries and Central and Riverside Parks. But on Saturday I joined friends who live north of my mile area for coffee on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, which is the continuation of Central Park West, north of Central Park.
Per my friend Jennifer's recommendation we went to Double Dutch Espresso. Though it's October we were able to sit on the garden patio -- a luxury in Manhattan -- and enjoy good conversation and iced coffee. Though I haven't written about coffee very often this year, I'm still sampling new coffee places. There's an infinite array in New York City and I have a good dozen new places that I've enjoyed this year.  

I was reading a review of Double Dutch that criticized the array of coffee drinks. The last is more than adequate for me and I had my usual iced coffee. It was a solid B+ and worth the extra travel. My hairdresser is only a block away, so I'm actually in the neighborhood often enough to stop by and enjoy the brick wall ambience.  

I haven't seen "It," but the sign in front of the shop paid homage to the book and movie. 

A semi-selfie on the sidewalks of New York

It was a great weekend. Perfect weather, enough errands to feel caught up, time with friends, services and lots of good coffee. I even checked off flu shot from my list. I stopped at the walk-in clinic near my building first thing this morning and was in and out in less than ten minutes. I hope everyone else had a chance to relax and recharge this weekend, too.
I'm joining my Pink Saturday friends. Please stop by and meet some of the nicest bloggers in Internet Land. As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a happy week.     

Friday, October 20, 2017

Blogger's Block or Not Blogger's Block...

That is the question, though it's actually not much of a question. I've put together photos for two posts and I've sat down at the computer five or six times and stared blankly at the screen. They're good posts -- or at least may be good posts -- if  I can come up with the words to go with the photographs. I've gone blank any number of times, but this may be a new record.  
The Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY in Waterlogue
I thought about when I first started writing and my first memory of any composition that was longer than a sentence or two was a book report in the fourth grade. There have probably been hundreds of times since then -- I wrote a lot during my working years -- when the words did not come quickly, but I can't remember a time when I actually sat down at the typewriter/computer/with a pen when I didn't compose something. This has been my longest stretch in my memory in over fifty years.
I decided to write about not being able to write instead of trying and trying on the posts, and finally there are words marching across the screen. My question to my blogging/writing friends is how do you keep the words coming? I tip my pen to my blogging friends who post every day. Do you have any inspiration or suggestions you can share with the rest of us who sometimes stumble to find words?
It's been a good and busy week. The photograph of a vintage theater in Tarrytown NY was taken during a visit this week. I had the pleasure of meeting two of my colleagues for lunch and window shopping in this lovely town in Westchester, just north of New York City.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take good care and wishes for a great weekend!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mom

My mother on her wedding day, March 1947
I always know what day of the week it is, but I don't always note the date. So it was probably sometime late in the morning when I realized yesterday was October 11. It would have been just another day in October, except October 11 is my mother's birthday. Born, just after the start of World War I in 1914, she would have been 103 this year. 
My mother died in the winter of 1990, so there haven't been birthday celebrations in a long time. Sometimes it seems that my mother has been gone for decades -- and she has -- and the pain of her passing has quieted and is dormant. But on other days, like today, the pangs of missing her are vibrant and very much present. My feelings tonight are a mix of sadness and gratitude. Sad not to have had more years with my mother and grateful for the good times and legacy that I was given.
Thanks, Mom, for home baked cakes and teaching me how to bake. Thanks, for infinite trips to the library and museums and winter afternoons at the Y in Hartford for swimming lessons. Thanks for a million memories. You were the best!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I Dreamed I Had Age Spots as Big as the Craters of the Moon

  But, my friends, it was no dream.
On Tuesday afternoon I went to meet my new dermatologist. I had no major issues, but I wanted to find a dermatologist before I did have major skin issues. I did have a small spot on the side of my nose that troubled me and figured I could have it checked. I expected a very quick and cordial visit. 
Dr. N. took a photograph of the spot on the side of my nose and thanks to the marvels of modern technology this tiny detail of my skin immediately flashed on the computer screen in front of me. In a second there was the spot on my nose magnified four million times along with every age spot I didn't know I had. When I look in a mirror the size of the one in the photograph above I've got a few age spots and freckles, but now I had age spots that resembled the craters of the moon. I let out a noise that was a cross between a scream and the sound of a balloon deflating and just about fell off the stool that I was sitting on. Not as dignified as I'd hoped.
Dr. N. assured me that the spot on my nose looked harmless, but asked me to make an appointment to come back in six months. Next time I'm going to be very prepared -- no caffeine and an hour of relaxation videos -- before my appointment. 
Despite this recent fright, life in Buttercupland is okay. Nice weather, local apples, and lots of walking and time spent with friends.
As ever, thanks for visiting and take care and sweet dreams!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

My Neck's Fifteen Seconds of Fame Pink Saturday

Me, my neck and Rhenotha 

About a month ago I received an email asking if I would like to appear on the Dr. Oz show. They were looking for women of a more advanced age who had concerns about their neck. If we were chosen to appear on the show we would be able to try a new neck serum. I jumped at the opportunity. I have a love/hate relationship with my neck. I love that I have a neck and appreciate the good work that it does holding up my head. But I don't think my neck has worked hard enough keeping lines and sag at bay.

On Eclipse Monday I arrived for my informal on camera test to see if I would be a good choice to appear on the show. There were approximately ten women of more advanced age who had very brief interviews with Rhenotha Walker. Rhenotha, my neck and I are in the first photograph.  Rhenotha was very nice and I enjoyed taking part in the experience. A few days later I received an email letting me know that I wasn't chosen for the show. I filed the experience under "Nothing ventured, nothing gained," and pretty much put it out of my mind.

Rhenotha interviewing another potential participant for the Dr. Oz Show.
Last Thursday I received a text from J, my goddaughter asking if I had been on the Dr. Oz show. My reply was that I had been interviewed, but that I hadn't been chosen. She replied that her cousin had seen me on the show and came back to me with the first picture in this post. Neck and were fifteen second stars. We had our fifteen seconds of fame. I was tickled at the idea, but my neck was totally blasé and went back to holding up my head. Dear neck, I'm glad you have your priorities straight, and thanks for keeping my head straight.     

I'm taking fifteen seconds to share one more beautiful picture of Spruce Head Island, Maine. I can't post too many photographs of Maine.

As happily is my custom, I'm joining the Pink Saturday fun. It's a bright and sunny autumn afternoon in New York City and I hope it's bright and sunny wherever you are in Buttercupland.

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