Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saybrook by the Sea Pink Saturday

One of my goals for this year was to visit the beautiful Saybrook Point Inn in Old Saybrook, Connecticut in all four seasons. I was there yesterday for my winter visit. I haven't fully gone through all of my photographs, but I think winter may be my favorite time to take pictures there. My original plan was to visit there on Thursday, but it was a stormy day. Yesterday turned out to be a perfect day and the light could not have been more conducive to photographs. The boats are gone in December, but the beauty of the setting remains.

This is a close-up of the same scene, but the details of the little lighthouse guesthouse are clearer.

Because I am totally in love with the Waterlogue application I had to try it on every picture I took. I loved this "watercolor" of the lighthouse guesthouse.
The Christmas decorations were very simple and so pretty. Here are the wreaths in the dining room as captured by Waterlogue. I'm still getting used to the app, but I am enjoying it so much.

My best wishes to all of Buttercupland -- and to my Pink Saturday friends, too -- for good health, happiness and peace in our world. A special thanks to Beverly, who so ably posts Pink Saturday every week, for choosing to feature last week's photograph of a tired Santa Claus on her post this week.

As ever, thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year's!


Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Cottonwoods Will Always Whistle

I think I sang the song, Tammy, a thousand times when I was growing up. With a few of my neighbor friends we would put on talent shows on my front steps. I can't remember almost any of the other songs, but "Tammy" was always in the lineup. I loved Debbie Reynolds and followed her life through Screenplay and the other movie magazines of the day in detail. I wrote about going to see her speak in 2013 and after seeing her speak. 

I wrote that she was "funny, quirky and still so adorable." I enjoyed the evening immensely and I am so sad to write about Debbie Reynolds in the past tense. So many of the people I admired in childhood have passed from this earth and to my sorrow, Debbie Reynolds joins the list. But in my heart and thoughts the first words to Tammy drift through my mind and with them Debbie Reynolds is still and always with me.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas Wishes

Yes, Santa has come to town. He's a little weary. It's a hectic few months and a lot of travel, and Santa's not a kid anymore. But he still has hope and he brings that hope wherever he goes. I'm hoping Santa's sack holds peace on earth, good health and good wishes to all of Buttercupland. Joining with my Pink Saturday friends to send my greetings.
Wishes for a bright and blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pray A to Z

The words "I will pray for you," are often part of my posts on Facebook or when I'm visiting a friend in Buttercupland. But there are times when I am beyond words. Amelia Rhodes' Pray A to Z gives us the words when we are struggling to find them. Each letter of the alphabet has several entries -- Bullying, Bankruptcy, Bulimia and Eating Disorders, are part of "B" -- and include a quote from scripture, a description of the issue and a prayer.

So many of the topics gave words to concerns that I have and met a need that friends had shared with me. The prayers for Job Seekers, Refugees and Lack of Medical Care spoke specifically to issues I have been praying about. I also found the prayer for Ordinary Life -- the place where we spend more of our days -- beautiful and touching. I'm grateful to Amelia Rhodes for putting this collection together and giving words to the prayers of my heart. I'm also grateful to the Litfuse Group for the opportunity to review not only this book, but others throughout the year.

I didn't see a prayer for blog friends -- if I wrote a book on prayer there would be one -- so I offer this one. My prayers for all I've met on my blogging journey. Prayers for you, your families and your good health. I pray that the year ahead gives us all and our world the gift of peace. Let us say Amen.

I've enjoyed taking a few minutes out of the whirl of busyness to read, pray, and to reflect on G-d's place in my life. Deeply grateful for this opportunity and for all of you.

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

Please note: I was given a copy of Pray A to Z by the Litfuse Group in exchange for my thoughts. My opinions are all mine.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Waterlogue Love

I haven't finished this year's cards, but I'm already thinking about cards for next year.
A couple of days ago I posted a picture of Stowe on Facebook.  One of the comments was the photograph turned into a "watercolor" via the app, Waterlogue. I was taken with it and quicker than you can say $3.99 I had visited the app store and Waterlogue was mine. I've spent the last few days turning photographs into watercolors and I am hooked. I love my photographs, but I also love my watercolors. I quickly learned that every photograph doesn't translate well to water color and some very average photographs look great as water colors. It's one of my favorite mediums and one that, alas, I have no talent for.  
This is the window of a restaurant in the neighborhood. I find myself drawn to simpler decorations this year and a wreath with red ribbon catches my eye, whether in Manhattan or snowy Stowe.

The winner of "Winter Sky" is my blogger buddy, Missy. Missy, I'll be sending your copy to you right after Christmas and things are a little calmer at the Post Office. I wish I had copies to send everyone who left a comment on the post. Again, many thanks to my friends at Shadow Mountain for the opportunity to share "Winter Sky" with Buttercupland.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Have a cup of tea, keep cozy and look for light in the winter sky.  

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Beautiful Vermont Pink Saturday

The view from my friends' house in Stowe

This Pink Saturday we're going to leave New York and go to another picture perfect holiday setting, Vermont. I had the wonderful fortune to visit my dear college friend K. and family in Stowe, Vermont. My last post shared my flight delay in the airport in Burlington on my return trip. Fortunately it was a short delay and I was home that evening. The last few days have been more hectic than I anticipated. I realize that every year this week is busy, very busy. It's been happy busy, but there are packages to wrap and mail, and cards to write. My dining room table is covered with cards, wrapping and all the accoutrements of the season -- tape, tags and ribbon.  

The Community Church in the center of Stowe.
The town is lovely and picture perfect.  It was a great visit and I loved exploring "downtown" Stowe. I did a little gift shopping, made a visit to the library, and sampled fabulous coffee.
I fell in love with The Country Store on Main and stopped there both days I was exploring Stowe. I picked up several gifts for events in January and wish I could just move in to this lovely and cheerful place. I don't need one more dish, but there were a few serving pieces that are still calling my name.  

I especially enjoyed my visit to the Library and the Festival of the Trees. This is the Library's own creation for the Festival and the ornaments are made from pages of books. The Helen Day Art Center on the second floor of the library building is a wonderful gallery. If I had an inch of wall space left in my apartment I know I would have purchased several pieces.

This beautiful house graces Main Street. The decorations are so simple, but so lovely. I love the bright lights of New York and the glitter and glow, but I also love the greenery and red ribbons of New England. And yes, the sky was really so beautifully blue.

 One task I didn't get to was choosing the name of the winner for the "Winter Sky" giveaway. I am remiss, but I will get to it tomorrow and post it with a few more Vermont pictures.

As ever, thanks so much for visiting. Take good care and enjoy the ribbons, the wrapping and time with those you love.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

My Middle Name is Flight Delay

Not really, it just feels that way. After a virtually idyllic three day visit to Stowe, Vermont, I'm spending a few hours in the Burlington airport, hoping to get back to New York today. I've got great pictures to share -- sadly they wouldn't load from my phone to my iPad while I was in Stowe -- and you will see them in blog posts to come. 

I brace for the worst -- the possibility of flight cancellation --when I get to an airport. So far the worst is a thirty minute delay because of wind and traffic conditions, and I hear encouraging murmurs from the loudspeakers. Burlington is a small, but very pleasant airport, and my egg sandwich included an excellent serving of Vermont cheddar cheese. I'm optimistic that the next hour will hold good flying news.

I've missed my blog buddies, but I'm hoping to be home, safe and warm tonight, ready to share some of my photographs of Christmas in Vermont.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

                                        My present view of Burlington Airport

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Winter Sky

I'm happy to continue our Buttercupland Book Week with a novel by New York Times best-selling author, Chris Stewart, Winter Sky. Winter Sky is especially poignant this time of the year. It's a Christmas story, but with an unusual setting.

Winter Sky takes place in Poland, in the waning days of World War II. The German Army is retreating and the Russian Army is advancing. Lucas is a young Polish resistance fighter, a member of the "Devil's Rebels." An injury has taken his memory and he is alone in the midst of winter and the war. He has one photograph of the time before the war and is searching for a home and family with so little to help him. His situation couldn't be more bleak in the dark days of December, 1944.

But, without being a spoiler, this is a Christmas story, and while things seem and were, dark and tragic, there was still hope and light.  I enjoyed this novel very much and am pleased to be able to share it. I enjoy reading fiction set during the Second World War and the setting was one I was less familiar with. The author, Chris Stewart, is a U.S. Congressman from Utah and a record-setting Air Force pilot.

Thanks to my good friends at Shadow Mountain Publishing, I have a copy of Winter Sky to share with one reader in Buttercupland. Please leave a comment -- perhaps your favorite Christmas book -- and be a friend of Buttercupland on Google+, Google Friend or Bloglovin'. I will choose one name and post the winner next Sunday, December 18.
It's beginning to feel and possibly, look, like winter in New York. We're expecting the first snow of the season later today, though I'm hoping it's only a dusting. I'm not a fan of walking on slippery sidewalks.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and keep cozy.   

Please note: I was given a copy of Winter Sky by Shadow Mountain Publishing for review and giveaway purposes.  All opinions are mine.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Breakfast at Tiffany's

I didn't actually eat breakfast outside of Tiffany's, but I couldn't resist using the movie title for this post about the holiday décor at Tiffany's. The weather has started to turn to winter today, but last Sunday it was still late autumn and I paid a visit to the Tiffany windows with my college roommate, Jane. Jane is often scouting both holiday décor and coffee shops for Buttercupland and has contributed some great ideas. When she said "You've got to see the Tiffany windows" I knew that was the walking destination for the day. I love this miniature festive tablescape set with gems and silver.
This beautiful window gives us two watches -- perfect for Christmas giving -- and the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in miniature. The windows are relatively small, and every detail is perfect.

This window holds a beautiful castle set in jewels. Yes, that's me in a semi-selfie reflected in the window. We were here before noon last Sunday to avoid the crowds. Tiffany stands at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street and it's one of the most crowded shopping areas in New York City.

This is the jeweled décor on the exterior of the building. 

I'm still planning to write about two more books this week, but I am in the midst of a writer's block that reminds me of term papers in college. I'm not sure why, but I am having a difficult time putting my post together. In the meantime I want to share pictures of New York while I continue to struggle with my book post.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Keep calm, take care and savor the season.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Celebrating Monkey Monday

We had a great celebration in Buttercupland for Monkey Monday. Pepe received his Christmas presents early, blue jeans and a fun sweater. He gathered his friends, Socko (on the left) and Sockettte (on the right), Lucy and Ricky for a monkey portrait. A few other friends joined them and there was a lot of monkeying around before the group would properly pose. 

The snowpeople also got together for their group picture. Unlike Pepe and friends, there was no monkey business. They had lots of fun, but they assembled and stayed in place. There's still a collection of bears that will be getting together and I will share their picture later in the season.

Last summer when I was visiting St. Lawrence County in Northern New York I came across these so-cute monkey ornaments and snapped their pictures for this post. This sock monkey poses next to St. Lawrence River lighthouses. The candy stripes go nicely together.
This little guy would make a fine addition to anyone's tree or Monkey Monday celebration. Alas, I left him in Clayton, but I hope he's found a good home for Christmas fun.

I spent a wonderful afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum. Tomorrow I've got a dental appointment, but I'm following that with another post for the Buttercupland Book Fair. That post will include a giveaway, so I hope you'll stop back tomorrow.

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

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Moravian Stars -- Night and Day -- and Book Week

I am entranced by the Moravian Stars at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. The changing colors are beautiful and if you time it just right -- and I did last night -- Christmas music plays. The night sky makes a wonderful background to the stars.

But they are equally delightful during the day, as I discovered as I stopped by this afternoon to make a quick visit to Whole Foods. Night and day, they are a treasure!

I am declaring this week "Book Week" in Buttercupland. There will be reviews and at least two giveaways. Books always make great gifts and I will be featuring books that would make your gift shopping a little -- or a lot -- easier. I'm beginning today with P.J. lePooch and the Magic Notebook, by Morri Mostow.

I've got a guest reviewer, my dear friend Nancy Beal, who comes by her review credentials after a long career as an art teacher and literally wrote the book on teaching art, as the author of The Art of Teaching Art to Children.

Nancy's review: P.J. lePooch & the Magic Notebook is an engaging narrative for elementary and early teen girls, especially if they like dogs. Millie McTwitter is determined to keep her dog while other interests push against her. Her mother, her aunt, her friend and her friend's father are wonderfully drawn. When money "disappears," there is a turn-about and several subplots are tied together in a loving resolution. The book is lively, modern, quick paced and gently laced with French words. Also, bits of magic appear in just the right places. A charmer.

This definitely looks like a fun read. Dogs, magic and a charming star to the book. Thanks, Nancy, for sharing it with Buttercupland.

I hope you'll stop by for more fun during Book Week and more photographs of New York City lights and decorations. There's a lot more fun to come.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Wishes for a great week!


Friday, December 2, 2016

Bergdorf Goodman Pink Saturday

Our Pink Saturday excursion for this week takes us back to Fifth Avenue. We are visiting Bergdorf Goodman to see their extraordinary windows. Each year this department store has my favorite windows and so far it looks like 2016 will be no exception. I have a few others to visit, but my heart is with Bergdorf's. It's not a store I often shop in. They have beautiful things, but a little pricy and high fashion for me. Happily, window shopping is free, and I am a first class window shopper.    

The windows don't need much commentary. This year has an animal theme and each color is beautifully coordinated. Make a cup of tea, settle in your chair and enjoy some of the most beautiful holiday window displays on Fifth Avenue. There are no crowds -- unlike real life in New York City -- and you can gaze as long as you like at your favorites. I'm partial to the silver Pegasus. What's your favorite window?

My spell of misplacing things seems to be on hiatus. The book I was looking for turned up and I made another card list. I bought another pair of scissors at the dollar store. When I went to put the new pair away I found the old pair neatly tucked into the pencil cup where it belongs. I'm not sure how I missed it, and now I have two pairs of scissors.

As ever, thanks for visiting and enjoy the holiday windows!


On Broadway

I walk along Broadway almost every day, and almost every day I pass the Courtyard of the Apthorp.
The Apthorp is a "historic condominium."  That's the Wikipedia description for the apartment complex completed in 1908, and named for a 300 acre farm that was in the area in the eighteenth century. During its long history Nora Ephron, Al Pacino and Cyndi Lauper have been among its distinguished residents. There's scaffolding all around the building and I don't generally pay the building very much attention. But I noticed the beautiful wreath in the picture below and then I gazed into the courtyard and saw one of the prettiest and least storied Christmas trees in New York. 

As I continued my walk I found what may be the cutest gingerbread houses in all of New York City waiting to be packed into a truck at the curb. They were on their way to a school fund-raiser auction. All of the details were lovely, but I was especially enchanted by the pretzel roof on the right. I've suffered an almost infinite number of cake decorating failures, so I am in awe of anyone who can make candy, gingerbread and pretzels into a perfect gingerbread house.

This last photograph is also about Broadway, but this photograph is about the theater life on Broadway. My wildly talented actress friend, Deborah Templin, has created a one-woman show about her family's history on a dairy farm in Minnesota. I had the good fortune of being asked to a preview of the show in a rehearsal building in the theater district, just off Broadway. What a treat! I was engaged from the moment I entered the building -- this is the sign in the elevator -- and throughout the show, Singing for the Cows. I was transported to rural Minnesota, about as far from Broadway as I could go, and enjoyed the journey immensely.

This is my review:

 SINGING FOR THE COWS captures American life. We meet five generations of an extended farm family from the first moment they arrive in America. We share their lives, stories, songs, recipes and the moments that tell about their life -- and America's life. It is moving, engaging and funny.
Theatre not to be missed

I hope you've enjoyed our walk down Broadway. I've been snapping pictures at just about every ten feet, so I promise there will be many more photographs to come.
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a wonderful December.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Greetings from the Empire State Building

Actually, the greetings are from me at the Empire State Building. But for some reason I'm all turned around and the title pretty well describes my state of mind. I'm not sure why I'm more turned around this week, but I've misplaced a book I need to do the post I wrote about on Saturday. I've misplaced my scissors and I've misplaced my card list. I decided instead of trying to sort myself out, I'm going to do another post from my walk down Fifth Avenue last Friday and hope everything magically turns up. I know they're here somewhere, and when somewhere is three rooms I'm optimistic everything will be found.

I can't remember the last time I was inside the Empire State Building, possibly the summer of 1965 when I came to New York for a week of sightseeing with my parents. By the time I moved to New York in 1975 the World Trade Center had been built and that's where I took friends who were visiting New York and wanted to see the tallest buildings in the world. I love the Art Deco look and the gold and glittery Christmas tree in the lobby.  

I also admire the beautiful decorations and the windows to Fifth Avenue. I definitely think it's time to explore other New York treasures that I haven't visited in decades. There will be some beauty waiting for me to rediscover.

For the first time in a long time we got a good soaking of rain today, and more is predicted tomorrow. Usually I'm not a fan of rainy weather, but we're in serious need of rain and I 'm grateful for the blessing of a good rainy day. I'm especially glad there was rain in the south and heartsick about the fires in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. I spent a lot of time in Sevierville visiting friends when I lived in Tennessee and came to love the area dearly.

Now I'm off to search for my scissors and my book and my card list. If those are the worst of my mishaps I'm a lucky woman.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take very good care.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saks Fifth Avenue Pink Saturday

There's nothing like jumbo bright candy to catch my eye at the doorway of Saks Fifth Avenue  

I've got a long list of places I'd like to visit in the next month and I started yesterday with a walk down Fifth Avenue. I walked from 59th Street to 30th Street and got to see almost all of the sights along the Avenue that I hoped to see. I do want to return to Saks Fifth Avenue for a few more pictures -- the lines to see the windows were a little overwhelming -- and I will stop by Rockefeller Center after the tree lighting to get the full effect of the decorations. But yesterday was a spectacular day to start my expeditions. It was sunny and warm (for November) and it seemed everyone who lived in New York and everyone who was visiting had the same idea that I had.

I decided to begin this year's holiday pictures with these windows at Saks -- because I couldn't think of a more perfect picture than the one above for Pink Saturday. These are the "fashion" windows, but they are pretty enough for holiday decorations.
This one featured red with candy décor, too. I love to look at the clothes, but even in my most fashionable days I don't think this would have been my look. Now my idea of dressing up is a tunic dress over my "good" leggings, and I go most places in my sneakers.
Visions of sugar plums and lollipops for the well-dressed New Yorker. 

This beautiful scene is part of the holiday display. The reflection in the background is Rockefeller Center.
Today was another perfect day for enjoying New York. I took a subway trip to Queens and made a few fun discoveries and had some very good coffee. I'm going to be doing a series of posts in the next month about visiting New York City at Christmas time and my journey today will be featured early next week.
Please stop by tomorrow for a visit to the New York Public Library, some book chat and a giveaway. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a great rest of Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy! 


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Today and every day,
Thankful for family, friends, faith and our country 


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

'Twas the Day Before Thanksgiving...

And all through the town, pies were lined up, so tomorrow there won't be a frown.

I'm not expecting we'll be eating pineapple pie tomorrow, but the pie stacks -- yes, there are pumpkin, apple and pecan, too -- caught my eye.

This picture seemed to sum up Thanksgiving -- minus the turkey and pie. I've got two bags of fresh cranberries in the refrigerator and will soon begin to make cranberry relish. It's made with two kinds of ginger, fresh and candied, pears and a little orange juice and it's requested every year for the last decade. It takes a lot of chopping, but it's so worth it.

I'm going to be back every day over Thanksgiving weekend and we'll be doing a quick giveaway on Friday. I hope to post the first of the annual Christmas in New York photographs on either Saturday or Sunday. Stay tuned, we're going to have fun in Buttercupland.

I'm off to cranberries. Whether you're in cranberries, pie or in the midst of turkey time, my best wishes for a great day before Thanksgiving.

As ever, thanks for visiting. I'm thankful for everyone in Buttercupland! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It's Thanksgiving in Buttercupland

I realize Thanksgiving came and went in Canada last month and the rest of the United States won't be celebrating Thanksgiving until next week, but thanks to my friends at Dunkin' Donuts it is officially Thanksgiving in Buttercupland.
The Dunkin' Donuts Turkey Feast Sandwich...turkey, stuffing, Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce on a ciabotta roll. The presentation wasn't elegant, but it made the perfect quick lunch.

I generally write about companies that are local to New York City, but I also try to keep up with national trends. As a New Englander I grew up with Dunkin' Donuts. There is a branch just a block from where I live, as well as many throughout New York City. They've added some specialty coffees to the menu -- yes, macchiatos that are really good -- and tasty sandwiches that make good lunch treats.

I love Thanksgiving and can -- and do! -- happily eat turkey and cranberries any time of the year. I bought cranberries today to make my cranberry ginger relish for Thanksgiving dinner. I was a little skeptical when I was asked to sample the Turkey Feast Sandwich for Buttercupland. But I found it a very nice taste of Thanksgiving when I'm too busy/on the run/savoring the flavors of Thanksgiving. Thanks, Dunkin' Donuts friends for a delicious lunch and a great start to Thanksgiving. 
I save doughnuts for a treat, but it's hard to resist the display at my local branch of Dunkin'. The Candy Cane Crunch Doughnut is calling out to me.

Today we're still in autumn in New York. Actually it feels like early autumn today. Tomorrow is supposed to turn cooler and I will take out my gloves for real. I plan to be out in the next few weeks with scarf and gloves taking pictures of New York decorated in holiday splendor.  

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a lovely Saturday!

Please note: I was given the Turkey Feast Sandwich by Dunkin' Donuts for my review. The opinions are all mine.