Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Radio City Music Hall on a rainy day

As promised, today begins the "City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks" holiday decoration posts for 2019. I'm starting with a favorite, Radio City Music Hall, site of the Christmas Spectacular. I've seen the Christmas show easily a dozen times, beginning in the early 1960's. It was beyond spectacular to my fifth or sixth grade self and it remains a wonderful event. If you're coming to New York City in this season, it's a terrific show, especially if you're bringing children. 

Thanksgiving 1983

One of the joys of decluttering -- besides having more order and space -- is finding treasures. I discovered this photo of Thanksgiving 1983 and I am so thankful. My aunt, now of blessed memory is on the right, my mother is standing next to her and my cousins, who joined us for every holiday are front and left. I'm sitting next to my mother and my cousin, Marcia is sitting across from me. One of my New York friends is next to me. 

I'm sure we had at least one kind of pie, but it's not on the table. I do see what looks like chocolate cake. Despite the fact that Mississippi Mud Cake is not traditional for the holiday, my mother added it to the Thanksgiving menu about this time and it became a regular part of our array of goodies.  

 Time to return to 2019 and  Thanksgiving today. I've enjoyed hearing from family and friends. I love the calls, cards, messages and turkey gifs. In a couple of hours I'll be on route to my friends who are family for turkey, pumpkin bread and gratitude. Hope your day is filled with many happy moments. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Maine Memories

Frances Perkins Homestead, Newcastle, Maine

Frances Perkins was the first woman member of a Presidential cabinet. She served as FDR's
Labor Secretary and we are very proud to claim her as a Mount Holyoke graduate. 

Note: I've been editing and re-editing this post a dozen times. While it's still autumn and before the promised holiday decor pictures begin tomorrow, I'm going to do this post without my usual collection of links and historical notes.

 One of the high points of the fall was my Mount Holyoke College class mini-reunion in Maine this fall. Although it's only slightly more than a month ago, mid October seems to be slipping further and further into memory. Before this wonderful visit slips entirely into memory, I'm happy to share the promised photos. Just for reference a mini-reunion is not a formal reunion at the college. My class has been fortunate to have classmates put together wonderful weekends all over the country and the Maine one last month was superb.

The view from Prout's Neck, Maine that inspired Winslow Homer's paintings. We had the most perfect sunny and clear October day and toured Winslow Homer's studios and also spent time touring the grounds. It was all fascinating, but my favorite part was this view. 

The harbor at Damariscotta

We are very fortunate that one of our classmates lives in Damariscotta, about an hour north of Portland, and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. It is one of the loveliest towns on the Maine coast. We had a very interesting tour of the Damariscotta River and learned about the sustainable oyster farming on the river, and yes, we were blessed with another perfect autumn day.  

I know autumn doesn't end for another few weeks, but as of tomorrow we are officially moving on to Holiday season 2019. There may be a few other posts -- romance is in the air -- but otherwise it's decorations and holiday events from now until the end of the year. Wow! Can't believe I just wrote "the end of the year." But until then, let the lights and decorations begin. 

Thanks for visiting and thanks for all you contribute
 to Buttercupland and your friendship. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2019

This Is Post Number 2001

My first blog photograph -- Miami, as I sailed off on vacation  

Blogger reminded me that yesterday's post was number 2000. Really. In commemoration of a practice that I wasn't sure would last more than a month, let's virtually amble down memory lane.

I wrote my first post on January 12, 2009, "New Year, New Blog." It was about ten lines, had no pictures and received no comments. My second post, "Saturday Morning" still had no pictures, but there was one comment. By my sixth post, "Tagged" on January 26 I had my first follower, and I was so thrilled. I felt as though I was an actual blogger. And I was.

I'm not going to recount every one of the 2000 posts that became Buttercupland, but it's interesting and fun to go back to the very earliest posts. I know that some of my present blog friends have been with me almost since the very beginning and I am so grateful for the wonderful community that I've met -- virtually and literally -- over the years.

As a very small token of my thanks, blog buddies, I am doing a very quick thank you giveaway. The win is a surprise, but it will include one tote bag to carry for holiday shopping. Please be a friend of Buttercupland and leave a comment telling us why you like to blog/read blogs. Comments close on Saturday, 11:59 p.m and I will announce the winner on Sunday, December 1.

It's a perfect autumn day in New York, clear,crisp and sunny. After the usual initial reluctance I got myself to water aerobics. It was a good session for both exercise and seeing friends. I started going to water aerobics last April and I really feel at ease with the regulars in the class. They're not just people in my class, but they're people I greet by name. It's a great feeling and as I count my Thanksgiving blessings I'm definitely grateful for new friends and experiences. What are you especially grateful for this year?

As ever, thanks for visiting and thanks for being part of this 2,000 post adventure. It couldn't have happened without all of Buttercupland.  

Sunday, November 24, 2019

We Could All Use a Little Kindness

I don't think I've ever watched an entire episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. I watched almost no daytime television from 1968-2013, so there are entire cultural trends I am (mostly) unfamiliar with. Mr. Rogers is one of them. I've watched short clips and read articles, but not much more. This has been a cold and rainy few days and in an effort to get some "feel good" I saw "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," a film with Tom Hanks playing Fred Rogers.

I'm a fan of movies, but for some reason I can't quite figure, I've seen very few movies this year. I can barely remember anything I have seen. But A Beautiful Day...will stick in my memory. It's not a great movie, but it's a very engrossing movie and it's a wonderful feel-good movie, and heaven knows we can all use a feel-good movie these days. I'm not a film critic by profession, but by virtue of this blog, I get to be one. I'm reasonably sure my friends in Buttercupland would enjoy this movie very much. I'm rating it G for go and see it, and remember to bring tissues.

For readers of Guideposts -- count me in -- the December/January 2020 issue includes an article with Joanne Rogers, Mrs. Rogers. It was very interesting and gave me some  background about the real Mr. Rogers. The one slight quibble I have with the film is that I would have liked to see more about Fred Rogers personal life and the article answered some of my questions.

Despite the chill and the rain, it's been a good weekend. I've made good headway on my cards and even wrapped a gift. I've continued decluttering -- lots and lots of shredding -- and started my holiday decoration photography. I braved Midtown Manhattan and have photos for at least two blog posts. I will officially begin the 2019 holiday posts on Thanksgiving Day, so please stop by and visit.

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

Friday, November 22, 2019

Fifty Six Years Ago

Ask not what your country can do for you...

Fifty six years ago today I know exactly what I was doing. I was in Miss Naylor's Home Ec class when I heard the news that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. I can pretty much trace every step for the rest of November 22, 1963 fifty-six years later. I don't always remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but that overcast Friday is etched in my mind. 

As I was getting ready to write this post I thought about how I could make this "fresh." I thought for awhile and then I stopped trying. The day President Kennedy was shot is frozen in amber. My memories are those of my thirteen year old self. This day doesn't lend itself to new reflection. I am once again back in Home Ec, I am talking to Timmy Sullivan in the school yard -- now of blessed memory -- and watching television with my parents in the den and crying. Every year for 56 years I have mourned our handsome and inspiring 35th President. I have learned in those fifty-six years that time will go by, but the mourning is never ending. 

"And so, my fellow Americans:
Ask not what your country can do for you,
Ask what you will do for your country.

John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address,
January 20, 1961

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

You Don't Know What You've Got...

It doesn't look fancy, but it's very special to me.

There have been times in the last few years when I've thought about giving up blogging, but no more. Sadly it took the demise of my beloved computer to make me fully realize how much I liked my "on-line magazine" and the community of friends I've made as a blogger. Blogging via my phone was an okay stopgap to let you know that I was still in this world, but it doesn't take the place of a computer and and keyboard.  

I'm sure I've got some things to learn, but with one issue, I'm happily typing away. Most of today will be spent logging into favorite sites and entering passwords, but I couldn't let the day go by without a quick hello and giving many thanks for all of your comments.  

On a different note, not having a computer helped me move along with decluttering. I committed to a bag of shredding every day and have met my target. I'm both shocked and amazed at all the paper that I've managed to accumulate and pleased with the amount I've recycled in less than a week. I'm also happy to report that I've started my cards for this holiday season. 

The last few days have been winter coat days, but happily we're back to autumn again and 48 degrees. I've got a not-yet overdue library book to return and the need for a walk while it's still light out calling my name. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Unexpected Hiatus

I returned home from a long weekend to find a computer that blinked goodbye. It had been slowing down, but now it just blinked at me. Hence, my blogging absence.
I’m doing this post on my phone as a quick update.
My new computer has arrived and in an effort to save my sanity and my blood pressure, it’s scheduled to be set up on Tuesday. To say I’m eager is an understatement.

The photo is one of the few that I could load from my phone and it’s from a coffee visit a few years ago. Still looking yummy a few years later. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and be back soon!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee

This morning included Maine Whoopie Pie coffee

I've been somewhat remiss in my coffee postings. But this morning was a genuine fall morning. The  morning temperature was 39 degrees, a big change from a high of 70 on Halloween. During my trip to Maine I'd bought a bag of coffee produced by one of my favorite coffee roasters, Katahdin Coffee Co. I've never tried one of their flavored coffees and I was intrigued by Maine Whoopie Pie. Despite the name it's not sweet, but has a very nice chocolate accent. It was definitely a good choice.
Katahdin Coffee Co. is named for Mount Katahdin. the highest mountain in Maine. It's not the Rockies -- our peaks in the East are smaller -- but it's still 5,200 feet. It's the Northern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail and 200+ miles north of Portland. I'm still editing my Maine pictures. Yes, I'm slow and really need to get going before I start snapping away at all the lights and decorations in Manhattan coming up. But this photograph of Portland harbor is one of my favorites and I hope you enjoy it, too. 
   The view of Portland harbor from the cruise dock

Before we leave the topic of coffee for this month, I'm also displaying my coffee brewing method of choice, the Melitta pour-over coffee system. I've tried other methods, including a Keurig during my working days, and I returned to my Melitta cone and filters. I don't always grind my coffee daily -- or even weekly -- but for just one person or two this gives me a great cup of coffee. What's your favorite way to make coffee?

We had a gorgeous autumn day for New York City Marathon Sunday and I've got a few pictures to share in a post tomorrow. My schedule for tomorrow is laundry, water aerobics, walking and a blog post. Sounds great to me! What are your plans?

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great week! California friends, stay safe!