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One Is Silver and the Other's Gold

Silver (tone)

You'd never know that autumn began today by the weather in Manhattan. It was hot and sunny and by the time I made it to my doctor appointment this afternoon, I was kind of a sweaty mess. It was not what I expected for the first day of autumn. 

But my appointment went well -- a miniscule improvement in my retina, but I'll take it to the alternative -- and I remembered that there more cows of the Cow Parade at Bloomingdale's just a few blocks away. I walked over to Bloomingdale's via a stop at the bank and a stop for a Diet Coke. 

Unfortunately I didn't have sun glasses with me and my eyes were still very sensitive to light. It was easy to take photos of the silver cow, but had a tough time when I stepped outside the store and took pictures of what I believed was a gold cow. On the bus home -- still in my blurry state -- I decided that I would title this post "One is silver and the other's gold," after one of my favorite Girl Scout songs. 

As I was editing the photographs in a non-blurry state I realized that the cow gracing the front of the store is not gold. It's a takeoff on the "Big Brown Bag" that Bloomingdale's gave out to customers. 

Not really gold

If you look carefully you can see the words "big brown cow" on the side of the cow formerly known as golden cow (to me). I've thought of changing the title, but "One is silver and the other is a big brown cow" doesn't quite have the same ring to it. 

That's my story of the first day of autumn. How did your day go?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Happy Autumn!

Pink Saturday Welcomes Autumn 2021


I found these cutie pumpkins at Target this afternoon 

My favorite season is spring, but autumn is very close behind. I try not to rush into any season (except spring), even though the commercial world has us racing to autumn and then Christmas at breakneck speed. But the days are growing shorter and there are a few days where I've worn long sleeves acknowledging that autumn is just about here. I still wore shorts today -- a balmy and non-humid 85 degrees -- and flip flops, but when long sleeves are worn can closed shoes and jackets be far behind?

I spent a fun day in beautiful Bucks County Pennsylvania last week and one of the great pleasures of the day was a stop at a big suburban grocery store. I love Manhattan but we have small groceries without the range of choices outside of the city. Yes, we have pumpkin treats, but I found several foods that were previously unknown to me heralding the beginning of autumn on Wednesday, September 22.

I was taken with both the maple creme and the pumpkin spice sodas I saw on display. Both were (somewhat) tempting, but as I have made massive headway on limiting my soda consumption, neither of them came home with me. 

This honeycrisp apple flavored seltzer did come home with me. It was probably as good as any other flavored seltzer, but one bottle was just the right amount to get me into an autumn mood. I kept thinking it would taste like apple cider, and had to remember that it's seltzer and not  apple cider. The upside is that it had no sugar and no calories. 

The product I regret not bringing home with me are the pumpkin flavored tortilla chips. I might be disappointed, but as a tortilla chip fan, these have piqued  (and held) my interest. I'm hoping for another visit to Bucks County next month and if these chips haven't been replaced by another seasonal flavor, they will be coming home with me. Once again I am reminded that seasonal flavors really come and go quickly and the rule is to buy them when I see them. Limited time really means limited time. 

I wouldn't say that life in New York is back to where it was in March 2020, but it's closer than it's been since then. My Weight Watcher meetings are in a different venue at a different time with a different leader, but thankfully they are actual meetings. Tomorrow I'm going to an off-Broadway theater performance. My memory is that the last time I saw a theater performance was February 2020. I will be masked and present proof of vaccination (the rule in New York state) and I'm excited to see a live indoor performance. 

This won't be the only Pink Saturday  post saluting the autumn. I've got several visits to New England planned in October and hope to get lots of fall foliage photographs. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great rest of the weekend.    

Happy Monkey (and Sloth) Monday

I thought we needed a change of pace from the somberness of the weekend and fortunately, our mammal friends came to the rescue. Usually Pep Le Monkee is the star of Monkey Monday, but Pep has chosen to take a hiatus from social media. Instead we're fortunate to have three stars from the windows of the famed FAO Schwarz. 

I made a visit to Rockefeller Center a few weeks ago to see if the construction there was ongoing. I discovered an ongoing construction site, but I also discovered a group of new animal friends welcoming visitors to New York.

Our chimp buddy at the Flatiron Building, front, 
and the Empire State Building, back of the photo. 

Though this sloth is not a monkey or even a primate -- sloths are in the same family as anteaters and armadillos -- I thought he was pretty cute. Sloths are also favorites of my friend, Lonni, who I first met in fifth grade in 1960. My sloth buddy and I are wishing Lonni a very happy birthday (tomorrow).

We've got an adventure (or two) this week, including a great visit to the NY Botanical Gardens. Last year was not the norm for autumn adventures, but this year is looking a lot livelier. I'm hoping to share lots of autumn leaves and pumpkins and apples freshly picked. What are you most anticipating about this autumn?

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a terrific Tuesday. 

Pink Saturday Remembers September 11, 2001

The Calatrava Train Station at the rebuilt World Trade Center,
a hub for subway lines and commuter railroad

I started writing this post on Friday night and got as far as the two paragraphs below. I'm not sure why it was so difficult this year, but, for the first time since my first post in 2009 about September 11, I was at a loss for words. I had many tears, but few words. 
My original post:
For the first time in twenty years I've realized that the day may get easier (only incrementally), but the day and the weeks preceding September 11, will never be easy. I've also realized that in an effort to preserve my sanity I need to turn off the news coverage, which is exactly what I did tonight. 

It's difficult to fathom that twenty years have gone by. I worked in Lower Manhattan in 2001, just a short distance south of the World Trade Center. I often stopped there after work to run errands in the underground shopping center and then took the subway home. And yes, I was on the subway on my way to work when the first plane hit the towers. 

I've been in the World Trade Center area many times since 2001. Our office continued to be down the street from the area until 2005, and in the years that followed I had many meetings in the neighborhood and often met friends there as well. I walked by the smoldering pile and saw it changed to a construction site and then to a site of a museum, office buildings and a memorial. There's still some construction twenty years later, but the destruction of the day lives on in the museum, memory and the retelling of the stories of those who were part of the events of the day. I'm grateful to be able to share some of my recollections twenty years later and will continue to do so for as long as I am able. 

To those who were killed on that beautiful later summer day, twenty years and one day ago: You will never be forgotten. May your memories continue to be blessings.

This isn't my usual Pink Saturday post, but it was all that was on my mind and in my heart. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Delicious and More Delicious

The extraordinary Crown Medjool from Breads Bakery

The amazing cake pictured above was the purchase mentioned in my Monday post. It was pricy and fragile, but also delicious and memorable. It was also so complex that there is no way I would have even thought to undertake making it. 

One of the few series I have binged from season one to season eight (and the holiday episodes) is The Great British Bakeoff. I'm not sure why I found it so fascinating as I do very little baking, but I watched it pretty much from beginning to end in the space of a few weeks. This was done during the time I didn't have an oven, so I definitely lived vicariously. One of the techniques that was usually a challenge in each season was laminating dough. I wasn't familiar with the term before the show, but I marveled at the masterpieces created. 

Laminated dough is made by forming layers of butter and dough, of which puff pastry is an example. If yeast and milk are added to the dough the creation might be a croissant, a palmier, Danish pastry or a Crown Medjool. This was light as a cloud croissant-like pastry with a sweet date filling and absolutely delicious. I've brought treats from Breads Bakery to many other holiday celebrations and this may be our new favorite. I haven't seen it at other times, so we'll just have to wait for 5783.

The holiday isn't only about food, but food plays a big part in the celebration. There were three courses before we got to dessert and they were equally delicious. I am blessed to spend the holidays with dear friends who are talented cooks and bakers. One of the treats was my friend, Nancy's, apple challah. Challah is the traditional bread eaten on the Sabbath and holidays. Generally, challah is braided, but for Rosh Hashanah round challahs are the choice to symbolize the cycle of the year. 

This challah was amazingly delicious and yes, it would be perfect French toast. 
But no surprise,  there were no leftovers. 

The Crown Medjool wasn't alone on the dessert table. There was also honey cake, a Rosh Hashanah tradition, plum tart and almond slices. The bounty of cake led to a discussion of coffee and my next post will be about one of my favorite topics, coffee. 

Our question for this post: What's your favorite cake/pastry to go with coffee? Since I've got laminated dough on my mind, I'm voting for an almond croissant. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

(Almost) Welcome, 5782

Wishes to all for a happy, healthy and in-person new year!

In just a few hours the holiday of Rosh Hashanah (literally meaning Head of the Year) will begin and those who celebrate will welcome in 5782, the new year. Rosh Hashanah has always been one of my favorite holidays. I like the music heard only once a year, look forward to wonderful meals and spending time with those dear to me. 

As the years have gone by the holiday has become more important to me. It's one more formal opportunity to look at the year past and embrace positive behavior in the year ahead. I will be worshipping virtually this year, but will be spending in-person time with friends who are family tomorrow afternoon. I stopped at my favorite bakery this afternoon and picked up, what looks to be, an amazing date and cardamom cake made only at this time of year. I will report here after we've enjoyed it tomorrow. 

Apples and honey are traditional Eastern European Jewish foods for the new year. They symbolize the wish for a sweet year ahead. My wishes to all of Buttercupland a very sweet, healthy and happy year. I will have many hours dedicated to prayer in the next week. If you have anything you would like me to add to my prayer list, please know it would be an honor to pray on your behalf. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and happy and healthy wishes!     

Pink Saturday Salutes Working People

Ralph Fasanella,  1914-1997 
Workers Holiday - Coney Island

This post is a salute to everyone who is working this weekend, especially those who routinely work on holidays. I worked many holidays through my career. Most of the time, especially as the years passed, it didn't bother me. But there were any number of times when I felt that I was pressing my nose against the window and missing the fun I saw inside. When I retired every day is part of a long weekend and I'm very grateful for that, but I still remember my working years. To everyone serving food, keeping America moving and keeping us safe from fire and flood as well as people doing every job this weekend (and every weekend), many thanks.   

Yesterday was bright and glorious and I have lots of pictures for several posts to come. Today was overcast and rainy. I didn't get out as early as I had planned, but I did get to the grocery and had a nice walk through a local street fair. While I was listening to a terrific band, I had the great fun of finding a friend from the Y I haven't seen since March 2020. We shared Yoga and water aerobics classes for years and what a treat to catch up. I know many people think New York is a big anonymous city, but she was the third friend I ran into this afternoon. 

It looks much more crowded than it was and fortunately the rain held off. 

In  tribute to Pink Saturday, the little pink chair caught my eye 
at this display of goods from West Africa

The fall is rushing onward with the unofficial end of summer tomorrow and the beginning of the Jewish New Year -- Hebrew Year of 5782 -- tomorrow night. I'm mostly organized, but still quite a few things I'd like/need to get done in the next day. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care, especially all of Buttercupland in Louisiana.