Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Return of No Spending (Most of) May


Today's temptations at Target. I'm happy to report I beat temptation. 

In years past I've begun the year with No Spending January. But in the topsy turvy world I've been living in, January, February, March and April marched by and I didn't even think of my usual no spending months. Until today. 

I'd noticed a cute nightgown in a store window a few weeks ago and it's been on my mind.  While I was out and doing errands this afternoon the thought passed my mind that I'd really like to buy it. I didn't even consider that this nightwear was over $100.00 and that I have enough nightgowns/sleepwear/robes to last me decades. In 2019 I bought two nightgowns and was given one as a gift. They are cute and barely worn. About two seconds after this thought went through my mind I realized I was on the cusp of some very irresponsible spending. Though I'm four months late and we're well into 2021, it's time to begin No Spending (Most of) May.

Generally my no spending months have meant not buying things, but didn't include meals out, tickets to events or travel. I amped it up in January 2020 and added tracking spending on eating out snacks and lunches. It had been a "spendy" December 2019 and I was looking at two big vacations later in 2020. I decided I needed to be more prudent in January knowing I'd want to be able to indulge myself later in the year. 

We all know how 2020 went. No big trips, no tickets (except for less than a dozen virtual events) and only one weekend out of town. I tried (and mostly succeeded) not getting carried away ordering online last year. I did go wild early in the pandemic and bought pink hair color. which I've used twice. I bought a few small appliances for that pesky no gas situation in my building and several pairs of black leggings to replace the leggings that I wore out. I haven't made many other "big" purchases, but didn't think about small treats here and there.     

Christmas/Chanukah 2020 was a lot less expensive than in the past. There were  gifts, but no events and the only spending for New Year's Eve was a few treats to perk up the evening. December slipped into January and no spending was far from my thoughts. Until today. 

As life opens up I can see I need to start to return to a greater money mindfulness. I'm back to regular haircuts (as opposed to five months without a cut or color last year), gym membership and last week I bought my first theater ticket (for March 2022) in a year. I'm even thinking of getting a manicure next week for my first in person party of 2021. I've got no complaints about needing to watch my pennies (and dollars). It's everything I hoped and prayed for during the long months past. 

Anyone else joining me in No Spending May? I won't be blogging about it in every post, but will report back on my success at the end of the month. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a fabulous Friday. 


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Almost Wordless Wednesday: T Is for Tulips


(Belated) Greetings from the Annual Tulip Festival at the West Side Community Garden

Alas, the Tulip Festival, tulip time and Blogging from A to Z have come and gone for 2021, but the beauty of this year's festival remains. It was as beautiful as any year I can remember and after going through my photographs a number of times, I've selected my favorites to share. These yellow and red stunners stood out even in a garden of gorgeous flowers.  

While not as spectacular as the yellow and red tulips, purple is one of my favorite colors
 and I enjoyed this mix of purple and white tulips. 

 The magnificent Parrot tulips, or what I believe to be parrot tulips. If I have misidentified them, please feel free to correct the identification. There are 75  species of tulips and this is one of the most eye-catching with the fabulous ruffled edges. Though we think of tulips as being a product of the Netherlands they originated in the Middle East and the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. This fact was completely unknown to me before I began this post. 

One perfect Parrot tulip

I've got two more posts to "complete" my favorite things. One post is a travel post returning us to New England and one takes us back to the Metropolitan Museum. I plan to post both in the next week. There's a giveaway coming up, too, for spring fun. 

It's been a busy week with more of the "regular" activities returning. I was at the gym again this morning and next week in-person Weight Watcher meetings return. I've been attending faithfully on Zoom, but I'm excited to see my friends in person. We'll be in a different location and slightly different times and different days, but I'm grateful to be back to activities I enjoyed. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take time to smell the flowers. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Take Me Out to the Ball Game


...Said Pep Le Monkee
FYI: Pep is pictured without his mask only during photo taking

I'm not sure who was more excited about our first post-Pandemic trip, Pep or me. Pep was  dressed and ready for days before we left. I, on the other hand, was not as organized and forgot to bring my Derek Jeter Yankee t-shirt. There was no monkey business from Pep on this trip. It was his first road trip and he helped out with navigating. He did great until we got to the George Washington Bridge, a challenge for the most experienced navigator, and got confused with the Upper Level and the Lower Level. 

The littlest Yankees fan and one of his favorite places in the museum. 

Pep and I especially enjoyed the Plaque Gallery, where the Hall of Famers who had been admitted were honored with plaques. It's considered "Sacred Ground"  to those of us who love baseball and I was moved to see the tribute to a tiny percentage of the 19,000 players who have been part of baseball through the decades. 

The Plaque Gallery at the Baseball Hall of Fame

Pep wears the same number as his favorite player, Mariano Rivera, of the Yankees. There were so many fascinating areas in the museum, but the Plaque Gallery was a favorite for both Pep and for me. 

My previous visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame was with my parents in 1960. I've wanted to go back for a long time and I'm so glad that my return visit surpassed the memories I had of that first visit. If anyone is a baseball fan, or has a family member who is a baseball fan, I highly recommend a visit to the Hall of Fame and to Cooperstown. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Pep and I weren't. 

I haven't forgotten the letters that I omitted from the A to Z Challenge and while I probably won't post about all of them, I've got a few I'd like to do. In honor of Tuesday, tomorrow's post is "T," and it's a big favorite of mine. 

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

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Happy Pink Saturday Mother's Day


Bouquets of good wishes on Mother's Day

 On this Mother's Day Pink Saturday we're going to celebrate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While our way of remembering our mothers is via photographs that wasn't always the way, especially for those with the means to engage portrait painters. I stopped by the museum on Friday and found several mothers and children who permanently reside there. 

Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan and her son, Charles Brinsely Sheridan

I encountered Mrs. Sheridan and her toddler son in the British gallery. She does have a first name, Heather, but for time and all eternity, here she is the wife of the British dramatist and mother of  Charles.  

Please meet Madame Phillipe Panon Desbassayns de Richemont and her son, Eugene 

Madame de Richemont, Jeanne Egle, and know to her to friends and family as Egle, was the wife of Philippe had a long government career through one of the most difficult periods in French history.  

Latona and her twins, Apollo and Diana

Latona, the Roman Goddess of the Dark, has a much more upbeat look here as she gazes at her beautiful twins fathered by Jupiter, Apollo and Diana. These two sleeping cherubs have big futures ahead. Diana will become the goddess of the moon and the hunt and her brother will be the god of light and the sun. 

Now we're stepping back just seventy years to one of my favorite pictures of my mother and me, some time during my first winter, 1951.

Thanks, Mom. You are always the light and sun to me.  

Even though I was only away for four days it's taken a few days to get back to my regular New York life. Pep and I had a fabulous time and we're both ready to travel again. I've got a few more pictures of Pep enjoying the Baseball Hall of Fame for Monkey Monday tomorrow. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day and week.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

On the Road Again


The Plaque Gallery at the Baseball Hall of Fame
Cooperstown, New York

I’m on the road again and this trip is to a place I’d long thought about returning to, Cooperstown, NY. It’s a quick trip, but so enjoying the fabulous scenery and today’s visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I took a lot of pictures and will do a fuller post when I get back.

Cooperstown is located on beautiful Otsego Lake. After my visit to the Baseball Hall — fabulous! — a drive around the lake was the perfect follow up. This is Glimmerglass, as James Fenimore Cooper described it.

My favorite baseball fan, Pep, joined me on this field trip. I forgot to pack my Yankees t-shirt, but Pep was in full Yankee regalia for our visit. He loved his visit and is now a very tired (and happy) monkey.

Tomorrow is another day of fun and sightseeing. I was a little rusty making plans, but I’m quickly getting used to being on the road again. Thankfully!

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Blogging from A to Z: Z Is for Z


Please meet the adorable Z, my doggy niece

Yes, I know it's May and the challenge is officially over. I've walked my first two miles of the month, been to virtual services this morning, the bank and did a little grocery shopping. I even got to the library to pick up a reserve book, only to discover that I'd reserved it for a branch across town and left the library empty-handed. 

I wrote the paragraph above yesterday and fully intended to finish this post earlier today. But I got completely and happily sidetracked when I got a text from my cousin who was in New York City for the day. He asked if I wanted to get together for lunch and I opted for a lunch with my cousins. 

I swapped blogging and the gym for lunch with family at Katz Deli
home of the best pastrami anywhere. 

If you remember the deli scene in "When Harry Met Sally," you've seen Katz. It's not fancy -- actually it hasn't been renovated since Truman was president, if ever -- but the deli meats are fabulous. They've installed great protocols for this era and for a beautiful Sunday afternoon it wasn't a long wait. I loved Sunday lunch out, the pastrami, walking on the Lower East Side and especially spending time with Trish and Jay. 

Speaking of family, I want to introduce my doggy niece, Z. My introduction to Z was, "Z, meet Aunt C." It was love at first sight for me and could you find a cuter doggy niece in her chic raincoat? She's the sweetest and a great addition to the extended family. 

As May progresses, I'll be posting some of the "missing" letters of the challenge. But I'll also be posting new activities as we move forward, beginning with my next post. Pep and I are taking our first post Vaccination trip and we're both very excited.  

Pink Saturday is back -- computer issues last week -- and we're happy to be part of the fun. Please stop by and spend time with some of my favorite bloggers. 

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

Friday, April 30, 2021

Blogging From A to Z: P Is for Paris and Pep LeMonkee


With thanks to Cole Porter, "I love Paris every moment..."

Several years ago I decided to analyze my affection for the city of Paris. I remembered that my interest in visiting Paris (and especially seeing the Louvre) began even before I started to study French in seventh grade. As I pondered I realized that I saw Paris in images from the movie, "Gigi," which was released in 1958.  I loved the music, the colors, the clothes and the wonderful cinematography of the film. In retrospect it was probably not a great choice for an eight year old. In addition there were any number of inappropriate topics in the movie. But they went right over my eight year old head and what remained was my love of Paris. 

Nine trips later, I still love Paris. I haven't been back to France since 2001, but I'd like (at least) one more trip back. I'm sure it's changed, and as New York has, changed a lot. But Paris is on my list of five places I'd like to return to. I've got no set plans, and despite American tourists being permitted to travel to France after June 9 (if numbers are under control) I'm not quite ready for a trip quite yet. I think next spring may be just right.

Now going from the sublime of Paris to the (not quite) ridiculous of everyone's favorite monkee, Pep. When I began to think about my favorite things that started with "P," pizza, Paris and Pep came to my mind first. I am a huge fan of pizza, love Paris, but Pep and all of his pals helped get me through the Pandemic. I couldn't post about my favorites without a shout out to dear Pep. 

Pep's got Carolina on his mind, remembering our visit to Charleston

Though Pep's enjoyed driving through New York City in his new red car, he's eager for a trip out of town, too. Pep will be joining me on an adventure next week and we're both getting excited for new scenery.   

We're coming to the end of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and clearly, I will not be completing it this year. Last year I extended into May to post "Y" and "Z, and I will be posting "R" for Rhode Island and "W" for Washington, Connecticut, as promised, in May.  Now that I'm totally out of order I'm posting "Z" tomorrow -- it's a fun favorite! -- and "T" on Saturday. It was relatively easy to do the challenge last year, as I was in my apartment almost all of the time. But this year, thankfully, so many things outside of my apartment were doable and I did them. I was back to the gym, visiting museums, getting together with friends and catching up on medical appointments, some long delayed. Tomorrow night I will return to my first in-person synagogue service in thirteen months. It will be socially distanced and there won't be the opportunity to socialize before and after the service, but I'm so excited to be part of the in-person service

As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a fun weekend.