Monday, December 31, 2018

Hello, 2019

It's bye-bye 2018 and hello to 2019
Dear 2018,
You've been a full year. I celebrated my 50th high school reunion and saved the dates for my 50th college reunions. I visited Australia last January and completed my goal of visiting all seven continents. I walked over 1,000 miles, lifted over 300,000 pounds and became a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers. I enjoyed great theater -- My Fair Lady, To Kill a Mockingbird and Ferryman. I celebrated Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas with friends of long-standing. I met blog buddies in Australia and England and they are now in-real-life friends.
Regrets? I've got a few. I hoped to read more, but am grateful for the books I did read. Heartland and Educated stand out. I hoped to blog more, but I'm happy to have kept blogging through the year. I could have eaten more vegetables, attended more Yoga classes and decluttered more thoroughly.
So here are my goals: Read more, write more, eat more vegetables, go to Yoga and declutter.    
No Times Square for this New Yorker. In a little while I'm joining friends for a quiet evening of Chinese food and television. Tomorrow I begin to carry out my goals. I'm planning a big salad, reading and a blog post about my "word" for 2019. I hope you will stop by and say hello. 
Wishes to all of Buttercupland for a happy, healthy
and peaceful new year.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Miracle on 34th Street

Christmas in New York always includes Macy's
For those of us of a certain age, i.e., most of us in Buttercupland, "Miracle on 34th Street" was the Christmas movie.  My parents and I would spend a very enjoyable evening every December watching Natalie Wood and Maureen O'Hara find joy in Christmas. We didn't live in New York City, but the idea that the perfect store at Christmas was Macy's was imprinted in my mind at a very young age. I don't get to the flagship Macy's store all that often, but it wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Macy's. 
I made my annual December visit yesterday. The decorations were charming and I enjoyed seeing the festive scenes that are displayed on the first floor. Of course, everyone else in New York City was enjoying it as well. My miracle on 34th Street was keeping calm in the midst of the crowds. It was crowded, too crowded for me to do any shopping, but I'm glad I made my annual visit. 
This is one of my favorite decorations. It honors the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
These overhead scenes rotate so you can see all of the details. 
 This year's fun friend is Sunny the Snowpal, who helps Santa when there are mechanical problems with the sled. I think Sunny might make a nice addition to the Snowman Family.
 I see a return to Macy's later this week.
 Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. 
Macy's windows on 34th Street tell the iconic story of  Virginia O'Hanlon's letter to the New York Sun in 1897. The response to Virginia's letter to the Sun was written by a veteran newspaper writer, Francis Pharcellus Church. His words were wise in 1897 and equally wise today, in our own time of skepticism. 
Church wrote: "No Santa Claus! Thank G-d! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now,Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."
I hope your holiday time has been one of many sweet moments, large and small. I loved sharing some of my favorite moments of Christmas in New York with my Buttercupland family and my Pink Saturday family.
As ever, thanks for visiting and take care!

Friday, December 28, 2018

If I Could Turn Back Time

One World Trade Center with holiday lights
This is an extraordinarily evocative time of year. Though I make every effort to live in this time and this place, Chanukah and Christmas bring back memories -- many memories -- of celebrations past and those we celebrated with who are no longer with us. 
Lower Manhattan is filled with memories. I worked in the area for over ten years, including September 11. There are memories of shopping at the World Trade Center Concourse and holiday parties in at least a dozen different places, each one bringing back thoughts of friends and colleagues, some I am still blessed to spend time with and some who live only in my memories.
I had the good fortune to see the bio-musical "Cher" a few weeks ago and the song, "If I could turn back time..." has been stuck in my head since then. There are few occasions when I'd like to turn back time, but seeing the Christmas tree at the FDNY Memorial Wall, across the street from the World Trade Center Site and the 9/11 Memorial, gave me the desire to turn back time.
The FDNY Memorial Wall at Christmas
The Fire Department Memorial Wall is a 56 foot bronze sculpture, at Engine/Ladder Company Ten. It honors the 343 firefighters and volunteer firefighter Glenn J. Winuk, who died on September 11, 2001. It is a deeply moving remembrance of bravery and sacrifice and definitely worth visiting.

 The 343 firefighters are always remembered at Ladder 10 and in our hearts.
Fire Department Memorial Wall Christmas Tree
 None of us can turn back time, but we can honor and remember those who gave so much for our city and our country. May their memories be a blessing.

I spent a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrating with friends in Brooklyn. The time included good conversation, wonderful food and several Christmas movies. I couldn't ask for a better celebration. I'm still writing cards and plan to be finished by Sunday. My goal is to enjoy the snowmen and the Monkey family for a few more days and then organize all of my cards/wrapping/décor on January 1. This is at least two weeks ahead of my usual post-holiday routine, but my goal for 2019 is to tackle a number of organizing projects I've been putting off for a long time. It's going to be a busy year for the shredder! When do you take down your decorations and store them away. I have friends who "undecorated" on Christmas night, but that's too soon for me.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Revisiting "These Gifts We Give"

Merry Christmas from the Frick Collection, New York City
I wrote the original post on the gifts of Christmas in 2013 and reposted it last year. It may be my favorite post of the thousands I've written and I'd like to share it again. A few days ago a friend wrote that she was feeling sad. She had done little shopping, her cards were undone and she felt she had no gifts to give, not unlike the Little Drummer Boy. So untrue in her case, or in the case of almost everyone I know. Donna is one of the most generous people I know. She is devoted to family, to her work and church communities and to her friends, including Buttercup. I suspect that her errands were undone while she was caring for those fortunate enough to be part of her world.
Thank you, dear friends of Buttercupland, for your beautiful and thoughtful gifts this year, and in the almost ten years past. I am once again grateful for comments, emails and the opportunities to meet my blogger friends all over the world. I never dreamed what a world or friendship I would gain with my first post in 2009. Love and thanks at Christmas and all through the year.
   Merry Christmas, and a glad new year!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

It's Snowman Sunday All Day

Happy and merry!
It's been another day of celebration as the Snowman family gathered to celebrate their favorite day of the year, Snowman Sunday. There was lots of fun, lots of snow ice cream and a good time was had by all the group. The snowman ice cream was complements of the freezer as there is no snow in New York City. The snowmen are disappointed, but I am happy, happy, happy. I'm grateful for no boots being needed, no concerns about slipping and relatively balmy temperatures. 
I realize that there may be visitors to Buttercupland that will note that the Snowman family is a diverse group. This year Snowman Sunday invited teddy bears and dolls to the festivities. It was tough to get the entire group into the picture, but everyone snuggled together and we've got a photograph for the ages. 
Somewhere in the last twenty-four hours I shed my anxiety about all the things that are still undone. Presents are bought and almost all are wrapped. I've still got cards to write, but I don't think anyone will be upset if they arrive a few days -- or a week -- after Christmas. I also shed an overbooked schedule and found my concentration again. I've been reading more in the last few days than I have in the last few months. What a great gift to give myself, and all it took was slowing down. 
The Snowman family joins me in wishing happy and merry to our Pink Saturday friends and to all of Buttercupland. Please stop by tomorrow for Christmas Eve greetings and one of my all-time favorite posts.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care, keep cozy and happy and merry wishes!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Angels We Have Heard on High

The Neapolitan Creche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
From time to time I worry that the holiday posts are repetitive. I visit many of the same places every year. But then I remember that it wouldn't be Christmas in New York without the windows on Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center and what may be the most beautiful sight in all of New York City at this time of year, the Christmas tree and Neapolitan Baroque Creche at the Metropolitan Museum.
Yesterday I spent the day at the museum with one of my favorite museum going friends, Nancy. The majority of our visit was primarily split between a vast and wonderfully assembled exhibition of the French artist, Delacroix and a wonderful afternoon of catching up in one of the restaurants at the museum. But our first stop was at the Christmas tree and creche. 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Christmas tree
This annual tradition began in 1957. The link above gives an outstanding description of the history of the collection and the history of Neapolitan nativity scenes. I had thought that the figures put in the same places in the display every year, but learned that they vary from year to year. Perhaps my favorite part of the display are the large angels that are placed on the tree. Each one is exquisite.
I may not make a return visit to Rockefeller Center -- particularly if it turns much colder -- but I am pretty sure I will find an evening to return to the museum and see the tree's lights and hear the music playing in the background.
What are your favorite traditions at this time of year? Are there local sights that are "must-sees" on your calendar?
I spent most of today at my pre-op appointment for next month's hip replacement. After it was over I realized I had a lot more anxiety than I was aware of. I've got three weeks before the surgery and now I'm going to move it to the back of my mind and enjoy the good times of the season. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Keep cozy!

Monday, December 17, 2018

We Wish You a Happy Monkey Monday

Greetings from Pep, looking festive in his Santa hat, and friends!
Today marks one of the happiest days in Buttercupland, Christmas Monkey Monday. We've celebrated Monkey Monday a number of times in the past throughout the year, but each year the entire group of monkey friends join together to wish all of Buttercupland a merry Christmas, a festive season and a very glad new year. 
Some may notice that everyone is not looking at the camera, but please, remember that it's nearly impossible to get seven monkeys to all smile at the camera at the same time. They're a wiggling, giggling have-a-good-time group and yes, as much fun as a barrel of monkeys can be. Traditionally, the snowmen make their appearance on Snowman Sunday, which has in the past has been the day before Monkey Monday. This year they will appear next week to offer their greetings. 
I don't know about you, but I'm not my calmest self. There's no reason to explain my lack of serenity. I'm not working, shop all year round, had my cards ready to address three weeks ago and am fortunate to spend Christmas with friends. But I've yet to finish my cards and there are three packages yet to wrap and mail. I was going great the first week in December, but my energy is fading away. Some of the cards may not get there before New Year's, but I'm hoping I get a second wind in the next few days and get writing. Every year I plan to do better and every year at this time it seems to be the same. But Pep and friends are celebrating and I had a great afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum with a friend. Celebration, friendship and being with those we love are what really matter and all the rest gets done -- mostly!
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a cozy evening. Please stop by tomorrow for a visit to the Metropolitan Museum and the beautiful tree and crèche.    

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Pink Saturday: Icons of Christmas in New York

It's Christmas time in the city...
I found myself one block from this scene at Sixth Avenue tonight and realized it was a perfect night -- clear and not cold -- to brave the crowds and try and see the tree at Rockefeller Center. Actually I think everyone in New York City had the same idea. It was crowded, but I enjoyed the lights and decorations. This is one of my favorite spots every year. It's at Sixth Avenue and 50th Street and Radio City Music Hall and the NBC Studios are across the street. I included this visitor wearing a pink jacket in homage to Pink Saturday.

I made half a turn and there was Radio City Music Hall decorated for the season.
My next stop was braving the crowd and walking one block to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. By the time I reached the tree it was close to gridlock on the sidewalk. I did get this photograph of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. 
The ice rink is to the right. The crowd was too dense to make my way over to
take photographs of the skaters. Alas, that will have to wait for another time.  
In the interest of accuracy, I took one more photograph of what viewing
the tree actually looked like. 

Why is my new unicorn friend part of a post about icons of Christmas in New York?
If you look very carefully at the top right corner of the photograph you will see the unicorn's address, one of the great icons of New York City, F.A.O. Schwarz. The legendary toy store that stood at Fifth Avenue and Fifty-Eighth Street for decades returned last month to its new site in Rockefeller Center. Even at 9:30 on this Saturday night it was crowded, but I will definitely return on a quieter day this winter for a tour and photographs.
I hope you've enjoyed our evening in Rockefeller Center and our visit to some of the icons of Christmas in New York City. This holiday season seems to have flown by more quickly than anyone others I can remember. The days are just racing by. Does anyone else feel the same way?
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a cozy Sunday! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Grab Your Coat and Get Your Hat..

It's a cold night in New York City, but we're braving the wind to visit the New York Stock Exchange.
Christmas at the New York Stock Exchange 

One of my concerns each year at this time is that I'm getting in a rut. I want to show the classic scenes of New York at Christmas -- Rockefeller Center, the windows on Fifth Avenue and Macy's -- but I feel as though I'm showing the same pictures every year. Classics are classic because they are timeless and a joy to visit and show again and again, but this year I want to bring a few new-to- Buttercupland sites in New York City. The first of these is a visit to Lower Manhattan and the New York Stock Exchange.  

The tree at Rockefeller Center will always be "The Tree, " but this beauty at the Stock Exchange is following right behind. For a number of years I worked just a few blocks south and I passed this scene most nights walking to the subway. I may only see it once a season now, and so enjoyed seeing it again. The street was quiet and the lights were bright, and I remembered how much pleasure I had walking up Broad Street.

This is the entrance to the Stock Exchange on Wall Street, and yes, there is a Wall Street. Despite the scaffolding and construction the simple lights and decorations were a lovely sight.
Amazingly, two weeks from tonight is Christmas night. Two weeks! How can I go from feeling ahead of schedule to feeling far behind? I'm in the midst of cards and packages to mail and scraps of wrapping paper all over the dining area table. I'm optimistic there will be some order out of chaos in the next few days, but right now it doesn't seem possible. Does anyone else feel that way?
As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cozy!  

Sunday, December 9, 2018

On the Eighth Night of Chanukah...

Eight candles were lit!

My synagogue celebrated the 100th anniversary of our present sanctuary. It's the fifth building for the congregation, which began in 1825, and the building where we have worshipped for the longest duration. We had a wonderful evening of music and I shared several video clips on Facebook. I'm still working on posting videos in Buttercupland.

I finally ate one of the two traditional foods of Chanukah, the jelly doughnut.
 I actually ate two mini-filled doughnuts and they were delicious.
Chanukah commemorates a miracle of oil and the traditional foods -- latkes/potato pancakes and doughnuts -- are fried in oil. I've had my fill of delicious homemade potato pancakes, but in the interest of fitting into the same clothes I wore last month next month, I skipped the doughnuts until tonight. 
It's been a joyous eight days -- spending time with family, friends who are family and my synagogue family. It's been a yummy, light and love filled time of celebration and I'm definitely counting many blessings this eighth night of Chanukah. Though we are entering the time of year with he least light, I will carry the warm memories of this week into the days of winter.
My happy wishes for light and love to all of Buttercupland and to all of my Pink Saturday friends. I hope your days are filled with family and friends and lots of sweet celebration.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Keep cozy! 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Chanukah, Christmas and My Birthday...

...Arrived today, set in a cooler of dry ice!
I'm not sure if delivery was via Hanukah Harry, Saint Nicholas or the FedEx truck, but I received a cooler of seven pints of the dairy free version of  Enlightened Ice Cream.  Enlightened is a favorite of mine and I haven't been able to find the new flavors anywhere in my grocery store wanderings around Manhattan.
Long time readers may remember my habit of entering sweepstakes. I had a long bout of insomnia for almost a decade. Watching television or reading in the middle of the night didn't work to put me back to sleep, but an hour or so at the computer in the middle of the night, worked best for me. I had a number of wins, but in the last few years I've both slept better and the contest website I had frequented had less contests of interest. Recently I found a number of contests on Facebook and Instagram and I started to enter them again. In October I won 24 containers of yogurt and last month I won this Facebook contest sponsored by Enlightened. I'm thrilled with this win, but my dream is still  a spa vacation win.
Looking at this cooler packed with yummy, my biggest question was which pint to try first. It was a difficult choice, but I guided by my buddy, Pep the Monkey, I went with Monkey Business, in the upper right corner. It's banana with swirls of peanut butter and chocolate chips. It was a great choice and I will be on the lookout for it in the future. Other flavors include Espresso Shot, Cookies & Mint and Candy Bar Crunch.
Thanks, friends at Enlightened! This ice cream lover is very happy tonight.
It's the usual busy end of the year and I'm trying to get all the little errands done that seem to pop up at this time of year and still enjoy New York at the holidays. I thought I had so much done, but I've got a lot of wrapping and card writing to do in the next week to avoid post office disaster. I haven't skipped some holiday sightseeing and I have photographs to share in the next few days. 
As ever, thanks for sharing and have a fabulous Friday! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Buttercupland First: Inflation Celebration

Before Thanksgiving totally retreats into memory, I'm happy to share photographs and impressions of  the Inflation Celebration, aka Balloon Preview for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Despite hoping to get to the Thanksgiving Eve preview for many years this was the first year that I made it. It wasn't the bright and sunny day that I'd dreamed about. It was overcast and windy. I was tempted to leave several times during the walk down Central Park West and around the American Museum of Natural History. But short of telling one of the many police officers along the route that I was physically unable to finish the viewing, I needed to walk the entire route, and so I did.

 I think I look reasonably chipper in my selfie with Paw Patrol...
...but I felt more like Doughboy when I was finally home that evening.
Baby Dino
Two of my favorite characters weren't balloons, but rather balloonicles. I was unfamiliar with the term "balloonicle," but it's a Macy's term for a balloon based vehicle. The Pillsbury Doughboy is a helium-filled balloon, but Baby Dino is filled with cold air and is powered by a driver driving a buggy. Whether a balloon or a balloonicle, Baby Dino is very cute.
Another cutie, and a balloonicle, is the Aflac Duck. I loved his bright  glowing heart and cozy scarf.
I'm glad I was there, but it may be both a first and a last for me. Of course if it's a sunny Thanksgiving Eve, 2019, I may just reconsider.
Though we may get a few warm days and it's not officially winter, it's still winter coat weather in New York. I keep thinking that it's still fall and I don't need a coat, gloves and scarf. But the minute I walk outside and the wind whips up from the Hudson River a block away, I remember why I wear a scarf. I did very mundane errands today and I was grateful for my layers as I waited for the bus. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a cozy evening.   

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Pink Saturday Pink Fifth Avenue Windows

Once again the windows at Bergdorf Goodman are beyond fabulous
I had a totally different plan for this post. I was all set to share photographs from the Balloon Preview for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But the weather today was closer to spring than the rest of the week's winter forecast and I walked over to see some of the Fifth Avenue windows. My first stop was at West 58th Street and Fifth Avenue at Bergdorf Goodman, where I was spellbound by this pink masterpiece. No, it's not traditional, but it is fabulous and the perfect picture for Pink Saturday.

I was still leaning to featuring the balloons when I walked past this pink and white sugarplum fantasy, also at Bergdorf Goodman.

But then I crossed the street and discovered Tiffany's fabulous windows and this pink ice theme convinced that it was pink decorations for Pink Saturday. The balloons will have to wait for later this week.

Down the block, Gucci featured pink purses, sneakers and jewelry against a bright pink background. Again, it was highly untraditional, but very eye-catching.

There's only a touch of pink in this detail from Bendel's window display, but I was taken with the cute accessories. I thought of going inside to check the price, but this is the store where I found $135. hand lotion a few years ago. I just took the picture and kept walking.

The weather doesn't look as co-operative as today for window viewing the rest of the week. But I'm starting early this year and can plan my stops in the weeks ahead. I've got a long list of places to go and Bloomingdale's Grinch themed windows are next on my list.

I hope a happy Thanksgiving was had by all. My goal for this week is organization. I've done a lot of running around in the last few months and I'm trying to declutter, get in some gym time and do all the holiday things on a very long list. Chanukah begins next Sunday and then the holiday season will be off and running. I convinced myself that I've planned very well this year, but the proof ill be in last minute calm.

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great week. Midwestern friends, stay safe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


I know the sign says "pie," and I am a fan of pie, but yesterday my thanks was for cheesecake. The specific cheesecake was made by my colleague, Tom, cheesecake maker extraordinaire. Despite the fact that I have been retired for over five years -- amazing! -- I returned to my former workplace for a Thanksgiving luncheon and somewhat to my surprise I was completely at home with my colleagues. Yes, there were unfamiliar faces and some people sat in different places, but around every turn there was a familiar face and one I was so glad to see.

Tonight I am filled with gratitude. Thankful for family, for colleagues and high school classmates, graduate school friends and those I've met blogging and via Facebook. There were those I met for the first time in far corners of the world after years of comments traded back and forth. College friends, neighborhood friends and synagogue friends. I'm grateful for the "new" friends,  Weight Watcher and yoga buddies. Around New York, New England and England, Australia and Tennessee, we've pondered the universe over endless cups of coffee and shared laughter and conversation. I can't imagine my life without all of you. I can't imagine my life without any of you.  

 Tom's renowned cheesecakes.
The top cake is pumpkin and the missing piece is the one that went on my plate.
 #absolutely delicious

Every wish, my dear blog friends, for a day of gratitude and happiness.
Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Charleston Sunday on Pink Saturday

Pink Charleston building for Pink Saturday 
Last Sunday I was enjoying the balmier climate in Charleston and this Sunday, it's winter jacket and gloves. I'm happy to go back just a week in time to the delicious brunch I had at Poogan's Porch. It wasn't fancy, but downhome and delicious and I'm craving a biscuit -- or two -- from Poogan's again.
I ate biscuits all over Charleston, and yes, I may have overdone it. But they were all so good and not a treat I get very often in New York. It's probably just as well for my waistline, but I don't regret one of them. This batch was especially light and fluffy.
 Poogan's Porch was literally next door to where I stayed in Charleston, Elliott House. We could have walked miles and I doubt if I would have found a better brunch.  
This is the menu I had to pick from. I initially thought of chicken and waffles or one of the omelets, but after a big piece of pecan pie the night before, I opted for the Down Home breakfast, which featured scrambled eggs. As long as I got biscuits I was happy and the eggs were delicious. I guess I'll have to return to Poogan's to try one of the omelets or the Banana Foster French Toast.
I'm starting to take holiday photographs, but no Christmas or Chanukah pictures until after Thanksgiving. The first batch of pictures will be posted on Friday and I promise there will be many more after that.
On a different topic, I've had trouble posting comments on many of my friends' blogs. When I attempt to post I get a note that the site isn't safe. I sent a note to the company that notified me and got clearance for one of the blogs. I hope to get clearance for more in the next few days. I don't want to be a stranger come the holidays. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.    

Thursday, November 15, 2018

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter...

...and I won't make believe that I'm happy about it.
On November 15 I should be wearing my lighter winter jacket and sneakers. I don't expect to need to be bundled up in winter coat, hat, boots and gloves. Luckily, I was prepared for the snow that is presently blanketing New York City. It looks like there is three inches -- or more -- outside and I can hear the snow plows making regular rounds. This snowy wonderland is our local community garden, one of my favorite places in the neighborhood.
Just two hours before I took the snowy picture, I captured the autumn leaves. I'm two hours, two blocks and a season away from the first picture. But I got my errands done -- grocery shopping, the post office and a Christmas gift bought. Once again, I'm resolving to get my holiday errands done in a timely fashion. I've bought about half of the things on my list and have wrapping paper and tape. I've ordered cards -- thank you, Shutterfly for your generous offers -- and bought stamps. Now I just have to settle down and start wrapping and addressing.

 On sunny Tuesday I captured the last rose of summer. It wasn't warm, but it was sunny and twenty degrees warmer. Until the spring, farewell, dear roses. Alas, winter has arrived.

I had a wonderful trip to Charleston last week. Great sights, great weather, great food and great friends. I took a lot of pictures -- even for me -- but I've got them pretty well sorted out. I'll be doing a Pink Saturday post with my favorite photographs of Charleston. It's going to be difficult to choose, but I've got a few in mind.

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cozy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Journey of 1000 Miles Continues

New York goes to the polls, 2018
Voting in New York City is no different that voting across the United States. I voted in an overheated school gym in my neighborhood. It was crowded, actually as crowded as I've ever seen the turnout for a mid-term election. Under a white canopy outside the school the PTA was running a bake sale. There was lots of staff to explain how to scan our ballots and to keep the literally hundreds of Upper West Siders in line. 
The biggest difference about voting in Manhattan and voting in most other places is that I walked to PS 163. There are closer polling places, but for some reason I cannot understand, my building was assigned to a site not quite a mile away. Despite wind and rain, I walked over. My round trip this morning was 1.7 miles, slightly more than half of my daily walking goal. 
Yes, I have a daily walking goal. I don't always make it, but usually I'm close to or above the three miles I try to walk daily. I began 2017 with a goal of walking 1,000 miles. I ended the year with a total of 1,040 miles. I started 2018 with the same goal and in the first week of November I've walked over 900 miles. My thousand miles for 2018 is right in sight. I'm hoping to make it to 1100 miles, but that will depend on the weather. Icy sidewalks are not conducive to long walks.
I've found I love to walk, and I especially love to walk outside. I don't enjoy the treadmill, so I've found that if I'm bundled up in winter or in the right combination of layers in other seasons I can do a lot of my errands via walking. I started slowly. In 2016 my goal was two miles a day, and in 2012 after my spinal surgery I was happy to do three or four blocks. I'm grateful for how far -- literally and figuratively -- I've been able to travel. 
 As much as I'd like to take the journey in 2019 it may not be possible. In the first week of January, I'm going to have a total hip replacement for my right hip. This will definitely sideline my walking journey for several months. I'm hoping by the spring I'll be walking all over New York City again and by April I'll be back on an airplane.

I'm a walker, but I also enjoy my seated yoga classes and strength training machines at the local Y. It has come as a complete surprise how much I like working out on the machines. Is anyone else a fan of weights? Yoga? Walking?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Pink Saturday Goes to the Autumn Farmer's Market

It's finally fall, and I am so excited.
Summer seemed as though it was going to last forever and last week we got a quick taste of early winter, but happily today was a true fall day.  I had planned a quiet relaxing weekend, but out of town visitors and last minute plans to spend time with close friends, made it less quiet. I found myself running around Manhattan -- and my running around included a trip to the Farmer's Market at Columbia University.
  There was a wonderful apple selection, including this assortment from Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, NY, in Columbia County. I was pleased to find my favorite variety, the tart and tasty Macoun.
After buying a few apples, I noticed the pie section, especially the big cherry pie in the right corner. I was tempted, very tempted. But I've had lots of indulgences during October, especially during my visit to Tennessee. It took a lot of will power to resist the call of the cherry pie, but somehow I did. I think it would be a great choice to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not sure, however, that I could buy it earlier in the week and that it would still be whole by Thursday, especially if there just happened to be vanilla ice cream in the freezer. 
 It wasn't just pies that caught my attention. Two Guys from Woodbridge had some of the nicest produce I've seen in a long time. The assorted lettuce and herbs are grown in Hamden, CT, a suburb of New Haven. I commented to the young woman who was working at the stand that it wasn't farm country. She explained that the produce is grown in green houses without soil, or hydroponically. In a relatively small space a lot can be grown. I spent some time tonight exploring the website and was fascinated by the hydroponic process. Everything grown there is organic, too. Connecticut friends, you can find produce from Two Guys from Woodbridge in Guilford, Fairfield, New Haven and Hamden. 
   I enjoyed seeing the one of the green houses in Hamden.
Three busy days ahead and then my last adventure out of town -- that's planned! -- for 2018. I've got the usual collection of errands, yoga and my Weight Watchers meeting. My schedule also includes voting on Tuesday. It's a right, a privilege and a responsibility and I have missed very few opportunities to vote in the last 46 years.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Happy to link up with some of my favorite blog friends at Pink Saturday. Wishes to all for happy autumn days.