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(Always) the Season for Dogs and Books


If you're a dog fan and you like to read...

...which is about ninety per cent of Buttercupland, I've got a book to  recommend, What We Learned from Fostering Dogs. It's sweet, it's poignant and you'll need to order (at least) two, because you'll definitely want to keep one. 

In the strange ways of the world I met Rusty and his beautiful wife, Elissa, after we shared an obscure medical condition. We met at a conference in 2013 and happily have stayed in touch for the last nine years. Rusty would laugh at being described as a Renaissance Man, but he' got a host of talents and he does all of them well. 

I'm sure you've still got a few gifts to buy for the season and this funny and lovely book is at the top of the Buttercup list for 2022.  I'd love to add to the list. If any of you have published a book this year or in the past and you would like me to feature it on a post, please let me know.  

As Facebook and Instagram friends have seen I've been out taking pictures of New York during the holiday season and the first of those pictures will be posted here on December 1.There will some of the usuals -- the Metropolitan Museum and Rockefeller Center -- and I hope to visit a few new places, too. There will, of course, also be a visit by Pep LeMonkee, and the Snowpeople and friends, but that will be scheduled later in the season. 

Tomorrow is an update on my mileage for the year and then it's the holidays all the time. I hope you'll visit often during this festive season.    

As ever, thanks for visiting and happy wishes for the week.  

It's a Biltmore Estate (Gift Shop) Pink Saturday


Sleigh bells ring at the Biltmore Estate

About a month ago, though I can't believe it was only last month, I had the amazing good fortune to visit the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The weather was glorious and Asheville and the Smoky Mountains were glorious. I've visited the Biltmore years ago, but but it seemed more impressive than I remembered. I also had no memory of a gift shop, though I'm sure there was one, and now there are a number of pretty and well stocked gift shops. 

The house -- more like mansion -- and the gift shops were already decorated for Christmas, though the estate was still in an autumn mode with no holiday decorations. No surprise, I took a lot of pictures, both in the stores and the house. This is the first of the Biltmore posts and I plan to do one on the decorative details of the house and one on the Christmas trees found throughout the house. 

It wouldn't be Christmas without the Nutcracker

I found this pink decorated hippo in the toy store and knew it would
 be part of a Pink Saturday post

Of course, a Christmas post needs Santa 

One of my favorite trees out of dozens

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a good weekend. The week ahead is busy, busy with a number of visitors, so I used the weekend to get going on sorting pictures, getting out the snowpeople and organizing cards. I mailed my first package and bought stamps. I'm pleased to say I even paid a visit to the gym. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too, and a good weekend. Here's to the season ahead!

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

It's a Cranberry Thanksgiving


It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without cranberries

And this year is no exception. I'm not sure when I began to make this cranberry relish with pears and candied ginger, but it was a hit and requested every year. My hands are not so limber anymore for dicing the candied ginger, but it's worth the effort. The result is a delicious and not so sweet blend of cranberries and ginger. 

What are your Thanksgiving favorites, year after year?

So many blessings to count this year, warmth, light and love to begin with. At this moment many moments of thankfulness for my Buttercupland family. You've made my days warmer, brighter and filled with love. Wishing you and your families a bright and blessed day today and every day. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and happy Thanksgiving. 

The Scene Behind the Magic


Holiday decorations are appearing and it is -- as the song says --
beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

In just a few days, the Friday after Thanksgiving, the decorations for the season will be complete and the city will be totally decked in holiday attire. But for the last few days I could still see the building and decorating that will turn the city into a holiday wonderland. The picture above was at an apartment building on the Upper East Side, pretty and festive. 

A sidewalk decoration at the same building

 But before these sights were created this was the scene on the sidewalk.
Before the magic

I took the "before the magic" picture on my way to a medical appointment and the two top pictures after my appointment as I made my way to the bus. The appointment was one of my last of the year and it was a totally uneventful visit to the dermatologist. This was a great gift before Thanksgiving. 

Every year I am amazed at how quickly the year has gone by. It wasn't so fast in the short days and long nights of winter, but once the spring came 2022 flew by. The fall has been going like a rocket and no doubt, December will also fly by. The joy of Thanksgiving, visits by friends from out of town, the annual Chanukah celebration and the familiar pleasures of New York in December make it one of my favorite times of the year. I'm going to focus on the sweetness of the now and not think ahead to the plans of 2023 that wind just around the bend. 

I'm picking up the apple crumb pie -- this year's pie choice -- and making my pear cranberry sauce tomorrow. I'm praying tomorrow is also my last ophthalmologist appointment of the year and my eye treatments are every other month in 2023. That's one 2023 plan I will look ahead to. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and thanks, too, for your friendship throughout the year.  

Happy 50th, Daughters of Dartmouth

Happy to share the official photograph of the 50th anniversary celebration of coeducation at Dartmouth College. Many thanks to the college for this photograph. 

I'm back from my whirlwind tour of New England. I had a great visit with K. in Vermont, where we enjoyed summer weather -- not great for skiing -- and visited bookstores, an art gallery and ate our favorite banana pudding dessert in Stowe. The last was two years in the making and well worth waiting for. 

After my visit we drove down to New Hampshire where I was delighted to join hundreds of Daughters of Dartmouth -- women graduates of the college -- to celebrate fifty years of women at Dartmouth. Though the college was founded in 1769 and is the ninth oldest institution of higher education in the country, women students are a much more recent addition. As I've written before I was at the college before women were formally admitted and only was able to spend one year there. Six years ago those of us who attended before formal coeducation were given the opportunity to officially join a class. I chose my own class, 1972, and have enjoyed being part of the Dartmouth family.  

In November 1971 the Board of Trustees approved the formal admission of women, so technically, it's fifty-one years of coeducation, but last fall wasn't the time for a big get-together.   

It was a wonderful weekend. Dartmouth Hall -- above and below photos was rededicated after a major renovation. It was built between 1784 and 1792, twice destroyed by fire and totally renovated in the last two years. Saturday included panel discussions, an interview with the President-Elect, Sian Beilock, and a festive dinner. But aside from the formal activities I especially enjoyed meeting women who have attended over the past fifty years. I'm delighted to have new friends from the classes of 1976 and 1979 and to spend time with a few of my own classmates that I met at out 50th reunion. 

Dartmouth Hall by green light

After zipping around the east coast this fall I'm both happy to be home and yes, a little forlorn that my travels have wound down. So enjoyed many good times with friends both of long-standing and brand new! But the last weeks of 2022 hold so much, especially the fun of the season in New York City. My goal is to post daily in December and I'm already thinking about places I want to visit. There will be some old favorites and I hope to add a few new ones. Of course, Pep LeMonkee, Nessie and the Snowpeople and Friends Orchestra and Chorus will be making an appearance. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Up, Up and Away Again

 I hadn’t realized how long I’d been absent from Buttercupland until I started this post. But by this Sunday I will have visited/passed through thirteen states. It’s almost the entire East coast from New Hampshire to Georgia. I didn’t get to Virginia, but I did add Tennessee. 

There have been days I have to look at my calendar to know where I’m going — really — but I have no regrets about all I’ve been able to pack in to the last month. I’m now at JFK Airport waiting for the last part of my travels. I’ll be spending time with K. in Vermont and then on to Dartmouth for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of coeducation. 

I saw the first decorations going up yesterday, so very shortly I’ll be posting lots of pictures of New York City in holiday splendor. My goal is to post every day in December. Not sure if I’ll succeed, but will try and share as often as possible.

Time to get to my gate. I hope my Buttercupland friends are doing well and have the opportunity to vote on this Election Tuesday.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

(Belated) Double Fun: Monkey Monday and Halloween


Pep, Little Harry and Baby Yo, dressed up for trick or treating

Yesterday was a big day in Buttercupland. It was Monkey Monday and one of our favorite days, Halloween. We don't do anything super-scary for Halloween. Pep isn't one for spooky or scary. His buddy, Baby Yo is a big fan of pumpkins and candy and their new friend, Little Harry is very shy. But they all enjoyed getting dressed up and the peanut M&Ms I brought home. 

My neighborhood turns into a Halloween extravaganza and this year was especially festive. I'm going to share a few of my favorites, though nothing too spooky. There was spooky and scary and many that were just lots of fun. Since Pep, Baby Yo and Little Harry -- our new friend -- are easily scared, we're going with a few of the fun displays. 

Yes, it's a little spooky, but also bright and fun

Cute and sweet!

My favorite display of pumpkins and flowers

Tomorrow morning I leave for dear Joni's funeral, which even as I type these words I am in disbelief. I'm also going to spend time in Connecticut with other dear friends. The weather promises to be beautiful and it will be the autumn time in New England that I dream of, except for the reason that brought me there. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and give your loved ones an extra hug or two!