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What Will They Think Up Next?

 

I'm at Sweet Pickle Books -- Selfie on the right

I took a field trip with a few friends over the weekend and one of our stops was Sweet Pickle Books on Orchard Street. Once one of the first neighborhoods where the great wave of immigrants settled at the end of the Nineteenth Century, it's now a very hip  neighborhood. The tenements and street vendors -- yes, lots of pickle vendors -- have been replaced by upscale restaurants and stores. I don't get there often -- it's on the far east side of Manhattan and two train lines away -- but when my friend suggested it I was happy to add it to my day. 

Sweet Pickle sells used and rare books and pickles. Yes, it's an odd combination, but it's a quirky neighborhood and somehow it works beautifully. They also sell cute merchandise and it was very tempting to think about a Sweet Pickle hat or tote bag. 


Merchandise and great book shelves for browsing!


Here are the famous pickles. 

I was not only tempted by the books and shirts, but the pickles called my name. I definitely need a trip back here. 


Pep and Baby Yoda friends

This get-together was coordinated by one of the group of friends I met in Wildwood in the fall. Our next stop was the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown and the Baby Yodas and Pep were wearing bow ties created by my very talented friend Melissa. They all look so festive. I never thought of Pep as a bow tie guy, but he does wear it well. 

I'm not sure where I've been for the last few weeks, but realized it's almost two weeks since my last post, possibly my longest gap in blogging. All is well, just real-life good busy. I've had lots of company -- no complaint -- and I've got my first adventure of 2024 approaching with some planning yet to do. I hope all is well with my Buttercupland friends. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and a cheer for spring -- right around the corner.  


(Belated) Monkey Monday: Valentine Edition

 

Pep Goes to the Plaza Hotel 


We got an early start to our Valentine's Day celebration over the weekend. Pep and I met visiting friends and after a sumptuous breakfast stopped by the Plaza Hotel to see the Valentine decorations. We were not disappointed. 

Just friends -- Pep and the glamorous BeBe

We met Fashionista BeBe during the weekend we spent in Wildwood in September and happily have kept in touch. Both BeBe and her family are so much fun and I was as delighted as Pep to be able to spend time with them.  


It's hearts and flowers for BeBe and Pep

I have no green thumb for orchids, but I am a big orchid fan. I loved seeing the beautiful display at the Plaza. The security staff at the hotel was very easygoing about our photo session. Though who wouldn't be easy going when the photo subjects are as cute as these two? 

Pep at the Iconic Carnegie Deli


We had breakfast at the legendary Carnegie Deli, a first visit for Pep. He was enthralled by the cake display, including the New York cheesecake. We opted for a Valentine sweet treat of carrot cake, but it was a difficult choice.  

We enjoyed hearts, flowers, sweet treats and the best Valentine gift of all, friendship. We send our wishes to all of Buttercupland for a very happy and sweet Valentine's Day with all the treats your hearts desire. Thank you all for the gift of friendship. 

As ever thanks for visiting and lots of hearts, flowers and love. 

Asking for a Friend: Cool Grandma Name


I'm not looking for a cool Grandma name for me -- Alas! -- but for a dear friend, who will become a grandmother in July. I don't have any creative ideas, but I know there are good suggestions out in Buttercupland. 


My family was not especially creative in grandmother names. I called my mother's mother Grandma and my father's mother was Nana, though I often referred to them as my grandmother in Hartford and my grandmother in New York. Neither of these would work for my friend in Atlanta. My aunt was called Bubbe, the Yiddish word for grandmother and eventually became Bubbe Mimi to her grandchildren. In time we all referred to her as Bubbe Mimi.   


But I know the citizens of Buttercupland have some creative and cool names and we'd love to hear them. A grandmother to be is waiting in Georgia.  


As most people know I am not a fan of winter and when ever possible choose to spend at least a short time somewhere much warmer. But that isn't the schedule for this year -- at least not until next month -- and happily the winter is both mild and going quickly. Today is a gorgeous blue sky almost spring day and I started the day with an early visit to the Metropolitan Museum of  Art. It was blissfully uncrowded and it's inspired me to return to early weekday visits to the museum. I did this for several years after I first retired and loved it, but then drifted away from it. It's definitely time to return to this.


I find I frequently see a familiar painting or sculpture in a new way and my familiar painting for today is Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte. Without the usual crowds I enjoyed standing in front of the painting and just taking it in. What a treat!




As ever, thanks for visiting. Wishes for a great evening.

Day at the Museum



Almost fifty years ago I worked at the American Museum of Natural History. Yes, the museum made more famous in the movie franchise, Night at the Museum with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. I often worked well past the time the museum closed and to exit the museum I walked through the deserted halls. Initially I found it both confusing and scary. There were big bugs, dinosaurs or the giant blue whale waiting for me, depending on what route I selected. But during my two years there I came to enjoy my eerie evening walks and the extraordinary adventure of night at the museum. 


It wasn't quite the same when I was there last week, but it was a relatively quiet day during my visit last week. There were moments when I shared a museum hall and the exhibit hall at the Planetarium with just a few other visitors. It wasn't going back in time to my years of evening solitude, but it was as close as I've gotten for the last four decades and what a treat. 



This amazing display at the Planetarium didn't exist when I worked at the museum. It's part of the extensive renovations and new buildings that have been added in the last fifty years.


One other addition is the Butterfly Vivarium, a habitat for butterflies. I first visited here last summer and was happy to return for another visit last week. I learned something new with both visits and it even piqued my interest in becoming a "butterfly volunteer."  Unfortunately there are no openings for volunteers in the Vivarium, but will keep an eye on the museum website. 


One of the butterflies that intrigued me


As promised last week we have a winner of the Buttercupland Fifteenth Blogaversary. It's Myra, from Respice, Prospice, a long time blog buddy. There will be some fun socks -- picture to come in another post -- and a few little surprises. Thanks, all, for the blogaversary good wishes and for being part of the Buttercupland community.  Much appreciated!

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

The Journey of a Thousand Miles (Plus One Hundred)

 

The Tiny Doll House, which I discovered during one of my January walks

Yes, you read the title correctly. It's another year and another thousand miles to walk, but this year, it's a thousand miles, plus one hundred more. After seven years and at age 73, I'm shaking up the Journey of 1000 Miles. It's time for a challenge. 

For the last three years it's been a relatively easy thousand miles. I ended 2023 having walked 1,070 miles. I realized with a little more initiative I could walk eleven hundred miles in 2024 and set a new record for myself. It will take a little more planning, a little more energy and a lot of good luck. The good luck are the things that I can't control, e.g., icy weather, extreme heat and the aches of older age.  

Unless I do a lot of walking in the next half hour, I will have completed January with 92 miles. Not bad for a month that had a stretch of freezing weather. I walked almost all of this out of doors, but I did use the treadmill, which I am so not a fan of doing, during the coldest days a few weeks ago. 

Where will I be walking this year? Of course, I will be walking in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. I have a trip planned for March back to one of my favorite places ever, Sedona, Arizona, but with a number of new sights on the itinerary. I plan to be back in Maine in the summer and hoping for a visit to Vermont, too.  One of my hopes is to visit somewhere I've never been before. I've got some thoughts, but all of my paths seem to be leading me to familiar places. But the year is young and some of the best memories of 2023 weren't even a thought in my mind in January, 2023.

As ever, thanks for visiting and happy walking 2024. 

All You Need Is Love and KC Football


 

I'm not the biggest fan of professional football. Actually I'd pretty much stopped following it when the Giants fell off the Superbowl radar. But that changed when I went to Kansas City in the fall. Though I haven't stopped hoping for a Giants resurgence, I kind of/sort of shifted my allegiance to the Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs-abilia was everywhere and pictures of Travis Kelce and Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift were everywhere I turned. Though their relationship was in its early phases I predicted that it would go the distance.  


Three months have gone by since I made that bold prediction. In not quite two weeks the Chiefs are going to the Superbowl and Taylor and Travis are still together. I'm still predicting that this golden couple will get married after the Chiefs win the Superbowl. Just remember, you read it here first. 



From the (blurry) Buttercupland Archives 


Back in 2014 I got to meet Justin Tuck, former defensive end for the Giants. It was part of a blogging promotion sponsored by our local drugstore chain. Amazingly ten years have gone by. The Giants haven't been in a Super Bowl, Justin Tuck has retired, but Buttercup keeps happily chugging on in Blogland.  


In non-sports news, it's cold, but not icy and there's been lots of walking on my schedule. I've been remiss on posting about my 2023 Journey of 1000 Miles, so that will be my next post. It was a good walking year and I'm hopeful that 2024 will be equally energetic.   


Thanks for all the good wishes on the Buttercupland Blogaversary. Much appreciated! 


As ever, thanks for visiting. Keep cozy and take good care.  


Now We Are Fifteen


I wouldn't have gotten to Biddestone (Wiltshire, England) 
without my dear blog friend, Sybil

 

On Monday January 12, 2009 I came home from work and decided to start a blog. It was a very spur of the moment idea, but I found "Blogger," thought of a title, "Buttercup Counts Her Blessings," and wrote my first post, "New Year, New Blog." It was all of nine lines. I didn't know how to post a photograph, so it was just text. I didn't get a comment. I posted six more times that January and by the end of the month I had figured out how to post photographs. I received seven comments all month. Despite the lack of response I decided to keep blogging. 




By my one year Blogaversary, I had made lots of blog friends and by April, 2010 I had gone to Maryland for my first blog get-together. I still am in touch with a number of the bloggers I met during the weekend. I can't count the number of blog buddies I've been able to spend time with all over the world, and I am grateful for all the good times that we've shared. 

Fifteen years have gone by since that first post in 2009.  My world has been enriched beyond anything I could have imagined when I wrote the first lines. None of the good times, friendship and connections would have been possible without all of the Citizens of Buttercupland. Dear friends, you've visited, commented and reached out by email and by the postal service, and I can't imagine my life without all of my Buttercupland friends. 

I can't send out party favors to all, but I am doing a giveaway to celebrate my fifteenth Blogaversary. Just leave a comment by Saturday night, February 3 and via Random Number Generator, I will choose one person to receive a surprise. I'll do the post next Sunday, February 4.   

The dancing animals at the top of the page are my Blogaversary tradition. I used this for the first time in 2010 and have just kept using them for each celebration. I hope to use them for at least fifteen more years.

As ever, thanks for visiting and thanks for your friendship through the years.