Thursday, March 22, 2018

Drum Roll, Please!

A big oops! I missed joining bloggers all over the world in the A to Z Theme Reveal. Yes, the official date of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal was Monday, March 19. But there are still ten days until the Challenge begins and there's time for the momentum to build up. 

After considering any number of ideas -- drum roll, please -- we're going on a subway tour of New York City. Some of the stops will be old favorites. I would be remiss to leave out Times Square or Grand Central Station. But other posts will include stops I've not been to before. There are 469 subway stations in New York City and I've probably only been to half of them, so I'm looking forward to exploring New York, too. We will be in four of the five boroughs, as Staten Island isn't part of the subway system. There will be sightseeing, there will be history and there will be coffee. We're starting on Sunday, April 1 -- no fooling! -- at Astor Place and plan to complete our tour around the city on the Z line on April 30. I hope you'll join me for the ride of the year.

I'd mentioned to friends that I was going to do a post about coffee mugs. I didn't finish the photographs and my friend, Donna, texted me and asked if she missed the the mug post. Donna, I'm sorry to have let you down. I hope to get the "mug post" up tomorrow. There's also a book review coming and a Pink Saturday post featuring spring fashion on Madison Avenue.  

After yesterday's snow and sleet the temperature rose and as you can see from the picture above, not a drop of snow remains on Broadway. There is still patches of snow, but from this picture it's impossible to think that just 24 hours before it was snowing and the sidewalks were icy.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Goodbye, Technophobia!

This sweet little printer may have cured my technophobia.
Yes, friends, technophobia is a real phobia. It's no different than Acrophobia, the fear of heights or the fear of spiders, Arachnophobia. It's not a new phobia, and it can be traced back to the start of the Industrial era. I never thought of myself as a technophobe until I retired. When I had computer/printer issues at work the wonderful Darren came to my assistance. But since I retired almost five years ago  it's me and my computer/tablet/cellphone/printer.
I got my computer and my last printer up and running myself, but I remember it being difficult and a big chore and I've dreaded doing it again. But over the weekend I got a weird message on my printer and I was forced to confront my tech anxieties. After following the online directions at least twenty times I realized that my printhead -- a key printer component -- was totally done. A new printhead was $80. -- maybe less if I spent hours searching for a better price -- and a new printer was less than $100. I opted for a new printer. The lesson I learned from trying to fix my printer was that I needed a lighter and smaller printer. It was too cumbersome to lift my big printer. 
The terrific sales person at Best Buy assured me that the printer he recommended was easier to set up than the one I had. I was skeptical at best, but I needed a printer yesterday for my appointment with my accountant today. Michael at Best Buy was absolutely right. The most difficult part of the process was taking the printer home on a crowded bus. In less than a half hour my new printer was up and printing and not a tear had been shed in the process. I'm not sure I'm entirely over my phobia, but the thought of a new computer doesn't fill me with dread anymore. 
Do you know the most common phobia? I've come across several answers while doing my research, but the one that seems to be the most prevalent is public speaking. It comes before fear of death, flying and enclosed spaces.    
Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building

I took this picture after my appointment this afternoon. It doesn't have anything to do with the post, but for the fans of New York architecture I wanted to share a photograph from one of my walks in Manhattan. It was a cold and gray day, but it was still walking weather. We're waiting for what has been forecast as a winter snow with a foot of snow. Mother Nature, that's not the way to start the spring!
 As ever, thanks for visiting. Friends in the path of the storm, stay cozy. Everyone else, enjoy the spring weather. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Trinity College Library, Dublin
It's a day for celebrating all things Irish and I'm remembering my visit to Ireland in 2014. One of my favorite places to visit was the Library at Trinity College. I'm not saying it's the most beautiful library anywhere, but it may be the most beautiful library I've ever seen. Do you have a favorite library?
Wishes for a very happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2018

The News is Sad Tonight

I was somewhat idly scanning my Facebook feed and came across a post from my friends at Litfuse Publicity Group informing their blogger network that they are closing. I am so sad to see this. I've so enjoyed working with the staff at Litfuse. They offered a wide-ranging array of books to review and were friendly, efficient and all around great to work with. I searched my posts and saw that I started working with them in 2014 and reviewed 29 books, including the beloved classic novel, Christy. I've still got one more title to review later this month -- I'll keep the title for a surprise -- and that will be a review and a giveaway.

Thanks, Litfuse for great books to read, fun genres to explore and hope and encouragement from inspirational titles. You introduced me to new authors --  Sarah Sundin -- comes to memory immediately and you gave us all happy hours of reading. Many, many thanks! I will miss you.

In addition to Litfuse, I received an email this week that Blogging for Books would be closing in April. I didn't work with them as much as I worked with Litfuse, but I had the good fortune to review books for them as well. Thanks, too, friends at Blogging for Books.

I know that the only thing that is constant in life is change, but seeing two book blogging groups closing doesn't portend well. I worry about the future of blogging, but as long as there's a format I plan to be right here in Buttercupland. I will be looking for new opportunities for book reviews and will continue to share titles that I believe my friends in Buttercupland will enjoy. One occurred by serendipity today, but that's a post for another day.

It's still winter, which seems to be lasting eternally. I know that in two weeks it will really feel like spring, but these last days of winter seem endless. I love living in New York, but I have a bit of envy for my friends in warmer climates at this time of year.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.       

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Blue Skies Smiling at Me Pink Saturday

I'm looking towards Central Park, which is only a block away. 

At the beginning of this month I put my hat away and figured I wouldn't see my scarf again until the fall. Ha! We've had snow, we've had rain and we've had some gloomy days. But not Friday. Friday was a totally blue sky day and I walked home from the Y and enjoyed the weather, the blue skies and the neighborhood. It was cold, but I was dressed for it and I took advantage of every sunny afternoon minute I could get. 
I turned down one of the side streets off of Columbus Avenue and stopped to enjoy the sky, the clouds and the architectural details. 

I love this display in front of one of the remaining bodegas/corner grocery stores in the neighborhood. When I first moved to the area, there was probably a small grocery on every other block, but with rents going up they are becoming scarce. They're not fancy, but they are generally open 24 hours a day/seven days a week. When I needed to leave for work very early or if I was coming home late at night, their lights were a welcome beacon.

The blue skies fade into the sunset over the Hudson River. New Jersey is in the distance and on the left is a memorial to the Union soldiers of the Civil War.
Thanks for all the comments and good wishes for the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. While I was walking on Friday I met two friends also out enjoying the weather. Our conversation sparked an idea and I've shifted my theme. I ran it by a member of my "editorial board" last night and it's good to go. It's going to take a lot more work, but I'm excited. I hope you will be, too. Thanks, B. for your input.
It's time for a visit to my sweet friends at Pink Saturday. If you want to meet some of the nicest bloggers anywhere, please drop by, too.
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great week. Wishing you -- and me -- blue skies!


Monday, March 5, 2018

A Rite of Spring: The Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Though New York City is under a second storm watch in less than a week, I'm beginning to look towards spring. Yes, my boots are ready for a foot of snow and I've got hat, gloves and scarf on standby, but March is moving right along. St. Patrick's Day is less than two weeks away and Passover and Easter are both a little over three weeks way.

It's not high up on most people's calendars, but it's one of the big events of the year in Buttercupland, the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Throughout the month of April I join with 1500+ bloggers and post 26 times, one post for every letter in the alphabet. I first joined the Challenge in 2013, and with the exception of 2017 when I completely ran out of steam I completed the posts. It's not mandatory, but it is highly recommended to select a theme. My favorite was the coffee theme of 2016. I'm saving my theme announcement for the official theme reveal day, March 19. It's not going to be coffee again, but for coffee fans in Buttercupland, there will be coffee.

There will also be fun. I've started to do a little exploring and take some preliminary pictures and Citizens of Buttercupland, we're going to have fun. One small hint: O is for Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. 
Today was errand day and I joined thousands of other New Yorkers stocking up before the storm, which is a winter ritual. I am very fortunate, in that I could refresh almost all of my grocery needs by walking literally one block -- not even thinking about delivery -- but like Mother Hubbard, my cupboard was (close to) bare.  I'm restocked for baking, for fruits and vegetables and I have a vat of yogurt.  
As ever, thanks for visiting. Keep cozy -- spring is almost here, for good.  

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Real-Life Romance

Just click on the photo to the right to find the link to the
Real-Life Romance fun!
I know Valentine's Day is long over, but it's always the season for romance. As someone looking and hoping for romance it's a tough world out there. Most love stories seem to focus on the young and the beautiful and often it seems like there's little hope for the still beautiful, but not so young.   
Rhonda Stoppe has put together a book for those looking for real-life love and romance. Thanks to my friends at Litfuse Publicity Group I received a copy of Real-Life Romance and found over a dozen stories of real people who met and fell in love. They weren't all young and they weren't models or actors, but they came through difficulties and misfortunes and with  providential timing found their true loves.

I was especially taken with the story of Byron and Tammy. They had known each other in high school, but married other people. By her late thirties Tammy was divorced twice and she and her children were living with mother. She and Byron crossed paths again and the third time was the charm. I have to admit I'm sometimes a little skeptical when I see movies about finding true love the second or third time around, but these aren't movies and I was charmed and touched by the people I met in Real-Life Romance. Thanks, Litfuse and Rhonda Stoppe for restoring my faith in love and romance.

Our torrents of rain and wind are over and today is a sunny late winter day. Enjoyed a great program at my synagogue this morning and having a good afternoon relaxing and blogging. What's on your agenda this afternoon?

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

Please note: I received a copy of Real-Life Romance from Litfuse Publicity Group for review. The opinions are all mine.