Powered by Blogger.

Featured Slider

Happy Bastille Day

I seek the sun of my childhood...

Today is Bastille Day, the national holiday of France. I'm not in France today -- alas -- but  I'd like to share few of the treats I enjoyed in while I was there in May. We can have a virtual celebration of one of the joys of France, the food. 

While I tried to eat (relatively) healthy, this wasn't the time to give up all treats. Some mornings I stuck with my usual yogurt and cereal for breakfast and other mornings it was croissants and cafe au lait. Croissants are one of my all-time favorite foods and I generally don't eat them, but I indulged during my trip. 

Croissant mornings are the best

I loved a very leisurely cup of coffee and the indulgence of a crispy croissant. I know that I could do the same in New York, but it really signaled to me that I was on vacation and the experience was something special. 

Mousse and more mousse

On the day I arrived I went grocery shopping in a very large suburban grocery store. I was especially interested in products that I don't see when I'm shopping in New York. I was rewarded with this giant display of dozens of flavors of  mousse and next to the mousse, I found liegeois, another variety of cold dessert. I didn't buy either, and now I definitely have buyer's remorse. 

(Possibly) My favorite meal in Paris 

There were a few rainy days, but after I toured the Louvre the sun was shining and it was the perfect day for an outdoor lunch. I had salmon benedict on a croissant with pommes frites aka French fries. The fries were hot and crispy and I especially liked the way they were served. I'd done a lot of walking in the vast halls of the Louvre and didn't feel a bit guilty for the completely indulgent lunch. It was the best of Paris in the spring. 

I hope you've enjoyed our culinary visit to France and a happy Bastille Day to my French friends. 

Pep and I both enjoyed our birthdays and we are very appreciative of all the good wishes. This is the first year I haven't done a birthday post, but there's one to come this week. I've got a little more birthday celebrating to come and I'm really looking forward to fun times. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool!   

Happy Birthday, Dear Pep

 It's Monkey Monday and it may be the most exciting Monkey Monday post ever in Buttercupland. Today is Pep's 30th birthday and we're celebrating our beloved friend. 

Pep at work, circa 2012
It may be the earliest photograph I have of Pep

Pep was a birthday gift in 1994 and we worked side by side until we both retired in 2013. Pep was a great colleague, always even tempered and started and ended each day with a smile. That is more than I can say for myself.

Pep, the party animal,
at colleague's retirement party 

Pep has loved retirement and has especially enjoyed traveling and making new friends. He weathered the Pandemic well and has gotten over his broken engagement with Nessie. It hasn't always been smooth sailing for Pep, but he doesn't let the storm clouds of life get him down.  

This last year may be Pep's best, with our wonderful get-together in Wildwood and a trip to Paris. It doesn't get much better for our Pep, or for me. 

Pep and friends in Wildwood in September 2023. 

It's a great big wish for the happiest of birthdays, Pep, and many more years of fun and friendship. You're the best captain we could have for our Buttercupland Team. 

It also happens to be my birthday and I've got an iced coffee treat on the schedule. It's not a milestone birthday as it is for Pep, but any birthday/any day I wake up is a special day. I've got some thoughts on turning 74, but that's a post in the next few days. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool!

It's Semi-Spending July


No-Spending June is completed and Semi-Spending July has arrived. I am happy to report that I bought nothing other than a greeting card at $4.95, which I posted about last month. There were two things that I put on my "to-buy" list for July and they both still remain there, a white t-shirt (or two) and a lip gloss. I'm hoping to use my birthday discounts for both. 

My resolution for July is semi-spending. I can buy anything I want, but I have to think about it. I did make a purchase at Macy's a few days ago. I used ten dollars in Macy's cash that was expiring, a 50% discount and then another discount and got a pair of denim shorts for $3.00. Yes, three dollars. I expected the final amount would be about fifteen dollars -- and no complaint there -- but was shocked when the total was less than a cup of coffee.   

My birthday gift from Savor Beauty Spa

One of my favorite local stores is Savor Beauty Spa and once in a very great while for a splurge I get a facial there. I also, as a result, got a lot of email from them, which I do find interesting. One of the emails contained news of my birthday gift which was a very nice lip balm -- featured in the footed vase on the left -- and I chose citrus. A generous discount on products is also offered. But I'm thinking about purchases, and have the entire month of July to decide whether to use it. 

Is anyone else doing No-Spending/Low Spending/Semi-Spending?  

It's been a nice long weekend and despite the heat I've been out and about. I've walked over fifteen miles, spent time with friends and gotten to the gym twice. I've also been reading and am just finishing the ninth book in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope mystery series, The Darkest Evening, and enjoying it very much. I'm going to look for the tenth book and then eagerly await the newest one due in August,  The Dark Wives. What are you reading these hot days of summer? 

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool!

Born on the Fourth of July


Mackinac Island, Michigan

A few days ago I wrote a love letter to Canada and this post is a love letter to my home and native land, America. More often than not, the Fourth of July is a day for the beach, fireworks and barbecues, but its origins are much more serious. It's the  day the Declaration of Independence was adopted in Philadelphia in  1776. It would take seven more years for the former colonies to become a country, but in 1783 the Treaty of Paris was signed and the United States of America had won its freedom. 

As the Marquis de Lafayette wrote: 

Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.

Over a century ago my family found a new home, one without a state religion and with freedom of  speech and the press. It was a haven from the persecution they knew in Europe. It is the country of Liberty and my gratitude is boundless. 

Happy birthday, America and a toast to those who bravely signed the Declaration of Independence and pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and enjoy this great and sacred day.

Buttercup and Canada: Everlasting Love


Halifax Nova Scotia, as seen from Dartmouth Nova Scotia

On a July day in 1960 I fell in love. It's more than 60 years and I am still in love with Canada. It's an everlasting love and Canada has never broken my heart.  Dear Canada, this is my love letter!

One of my favorite cities, Ottawa

I was fortunate that my parents enjoyed travel and while I was growing up chose a different area to visit every summer. Armed with a AAA triptik -- a detailed plan that AAA put together -- and a dozen paper maps we would  go out to see historic sites,  try new foods and enjoy a beach or lake. In the summer of 1960 they planned an epic journey -- for 1960 -- and we drove from Hartford through the Finger Lakes of New York to Niagara Falls and then to Toronto. I would be in another country, Canada.  It was love at first sight. 

Across the St. Lawrence River
Brockville, Ontario viewed from Ogdensburg, New York

Since 1960 I've been to Canada more times than I can count. My parents and I added Montreal in 1967 and in 1973 I made the second of many trips to the St. Lawrence River area. Since then I've added Halifax, Ottawa, Vancouver -- one of the most beautiful cities in the world -- Calgary, beautiful Banff and Lake Louise. I loved Prince Edward Island -- thank you, Anne of Green Gables -- and St. John's, Newfoundland. My travel dreams include a trip/trips to provinces that I haven't visited.

Nacho, who I met in St. John's Newfoundland

With immense thanks to the friends I've made and to the best neighbor ever, Canada. Here's  a belated Happy Canada Day greeting and a wish that your flag will always fly in peace.  

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool.

I'm Running Out of Steam

Blue Skies over Manhattan 

Despite the title, this isn't good-bye to blogging. I like having a blog and I like my blog friends. Sometimes I even like posting. Just not lately it seems. 

I've got three half-finished blog drafts that I keep thinking I will finish, But whenever I sit down at the computer I'm distracted and I'm searching out a dozen topics/reading email/looking at Facebook. I'm not sure what's going on, but I know I don't want it to last indefinitely. I don't want to leave the blog community and I definitely don't want to be remembered as someone who used to blog.    

With some thought on what's going on, I'm overthinking my posts. Right now I'm trying to do posts with too many links and too many pictures and I'm getting myself stuck. Anyone else get into a rut? 

My solution is to focus on posting once a week, without trying to write a post that could double as an article for the New York Times. There will be a catch up on No-Spending June and a post for the first six months of walking for 2024. There will also be a post for Pep's Thirtieth birthday next month. 

Buttercup may not be here as often, but Buttercup is here to stay. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool! 

Halfway to Spending July

Alas, the Star Wars Oreos did not come home with me --
But I was tempted!

It's still June and that means it's still No-Spending June. I stopped into Target today to buy cottage cheese -- their own brand is great and at least a dollar less expensive than anywhere else -- and alas, there was no cottage cheese. I decided to see if there was any quick grocery item I needed and I spotted the Star Wars Oreos in a giant display. Technically all food items are permitted in my own No-Spending rules, but by no stretch of the imagination could I justify buying these cookies, which are barely food. That said, I'd like to try them. I'm pretty sure it would just be another Oreo with more fun packaging. Has anyone tried them? Are they better than non-Star Wars Oreos?

I'm pleased with my lack of spending in June. I've bought food, airline tickets and one greeting card for $4.95. The card was totally irresistible and I have no regrets. I'm keeping a list of things I'd like to buy in July and a lip gloss tops the list, with another short sleeved t-shirt as the second item on my July shopping list, though the latter is only a "want."  Somewhat amazingly, I have used up every lip gloss/lipstick that I could find anywhere in my apartment. I thought there must be at least half a dozen, lurking in makeup and travel bags. It's the only "thing" that I need and my lipstick/gloss need is actually pretty dubious. I am getting by with Chapstick, and will continue to get by until July 1, but I am missing the lip gloss that I so took for granted. I'm reasonably sure that I will  buy a lip gloss on July 1 and will much more appreciate having it.  

New York is about to join the rest of the country in a massive heat wave and I'm figuring out how to amend my schedule to accommodate the predicted 100 degree heat index days. I'm going for more reading, more water and a few more trips to the Metropolitan Museum, where I can  walk comfortably in air conditioning and enjoy the surroundings. What is your hot weather go-to?

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool!