Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Best Breakfast View

Good morning! I’m blogging via my phone today. It doesn’t make the prettiest posts, but does permit me to keep in touch. I’m far from home in one of the most beautiful places on this planet, Sedona, Arizona. I returned to one of my favorite cafes, Wildflowers Bread Co. I’m so grateful to start my day with delicious Wildflower bread, coffee and this fabulous view. I’ll be back to New York in a blink, but hope to have a few adventures and photographs to share.

I started the day with a somewhat sensible egg sandwich, but these goodies were calling my name.

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a wonderful Wednesday.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Return of the Journey of 1000 Miles (Part III)

Spring flowers from my morning walk via Waterlogue

It's only been in the last week that I realized that it would be feasible to once again do the Journey of 1000 Miles. I first did the Journey in 2017 when I responded to a Weight Watcher challenge to pick a fitness target. I wasn't sure I could do it, but I broke the challenge down to walking an average of 2.8 miles every day and by mid-December 2017 I had walked 1000 miles. I once again decided to walk 1000 miles in 2018 and had completed my goal by the end of November. 

2019 was a different story. I had my hip replaced in early January and knew it wouldn't be possible to walk 2.8 miles daily for at least several months. I had a rocky recovery and it wasn't until the fall that I got closer to my daily average. I figured 2019 would be the Journey of 500 Miles, but I ended the year with a total of 850 miles. 

I didn't even think about mileage for 2020. I've had a series of walking issues that have been problematic for the last year. But in January I changed my gym routine, which really helped with the pain I was experiencing. I also saw a spinal specialist and will be returning to physical therapy next month to develop a home-based exercise program. I've got chronic issues, but right now they have become manageable. They have in fact become manageable enough that I've been able to walk more.

Great weather, less pain and my new Fitbit to prod me along and amazingly I'm almost back to my pre-surgery mileage. So far in 2020 -- Drumroll, please -- I've walked 140 miles. My goal is twenty more miles in February which is ambitious, but not impossible. I hope to report in December that I've once again walked 1000 miles in a year. 

The only change between past Journeys and 2020 is the addition of my Fitbit. I tracked my miles on an app on my phone. It was good, but I needed to be carrying my phone to count steps. I wear my Fitbit all the time and I'm counting every step as well as counting minutes of swimming in the pool. Counting all my steps when I'm at home does give me more steps. I can easily walk three quarters of a mile without leaving my apartment.  

If you remember in January I wrote about having a cold. I took the sound medical advice I was given and rested. I skipped all of my gym activities and realized that the pain in my leg that made walking difficult was significantly better. When I felt better I returned to Yoga and swimming, but the pain didn't return. The difference was the strength training I'd been doing regularly, and had stopped doing. I'd been doing strength training for five years and had really come to like it. But it's goodbye to the machines I'd come to like and hello again to the miles that I can do without pain. I've learned that in exercise, like in most other activities, moderation is the best course.   

What are you doing to keep active? Walking? Swimming? Yoga? Any runners in the group?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.  

Saturday, February 22, 2020

(Another) Pink and Blue Saturday for 4ocean

Thanks, Pat, for my beautiful 4ocean bracelet!

My 4ocean bracelet is blue, but the beautiful card that accompanied it is pink and that's what inspired another Pink (and Blue) Saturday post. 

In just a week New York joins the other states and cities where plastic bags won't be given with a purchase. I generally carry my own tote bag and an extra shopping bag, too, but there are times when I make unanticipated stops. I reuse plastic bags for trash bags, but I'm sure over the years I've contributed to the waste that's filling our rivers and beaches.  Because of the all of the information that's been given out about this change I've been thinking about ways I can do more to help keep waterways and oceans clean. 

4ocean has been doing just that. Each bracelet that's bought provides for pulling a pound of trash from the ocean The profits go towards cleanup operations and donations to ocean-related non-profits. Their work is in Bali, Haiti and Florida and about to start working in Guatemala. Over eight million pounds of ocean plastic have been recovered since 2017. I found the website fascinating and discovered events in Florida that look great. The next one is Sea Turtle Day on March 7, in Boca Raton, FL. 

Again, dear Pat, thanks for my bracelet and thanks for introducing me to 4ocean. I definitely see  birthday and graduation presents in the future to help save our seas. 

Great sunny almost spring day in New York City today. I walked to the library to pick up my reserve books and then back home. On the way home I stopped at the fruit stand and did a quick errand at the drugstore. It wasn't exciting, but relaxing and productive. How did you spend Saturday?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Thoughtful Spending February


I've morphed from No-Spending January to Thoughtful Spending February and so far I'm pleased with the results. Until this afternoon my only spending for "things" in February was $3.99 for organizers for the bathroom. But I started to have a list of "needs," and decided to see if I could visit Dollar General and not go wild. How thoughtful would I be? 

My list of "needs" was comprised of toilet paper, gum and greeting cards. I figured I would add sugarless candy if I found a variety I liked. My estimated spending for this visit was eight to ten dollars. 

I explored a different branch than I usually shop at and happily found it closer to home and much less crowded. The card selection was extensive and well stocked. I bought a dozen assorted birthday, get well, sympathy and Easter cards. I found gum, sugarless toffee candy -- not easy to find -- and toilet paper. I added the two packets of tuna fish -- $2.49 each in my neighborhood -- cheese and the vanilla coffee I received in my Valentine package. I've really come to like it and I was happy to find it. The food purchases were $7.00.

I added two packages of padded mailers -- always useful to have on hand -- and no regrets here. The only purchase I can describe as not-so-thoughtful are the Coffee Time oven mitt and dish towel. If it had been January I would have headed directly to the checkout counter without those two items. But it's February and I'm really enjoying using my Coffee Time dish towel. 

My biggest regret is the cheese. I didn't look at the package very carefully and I found tonight that it's a bad sign when the notice on the bag says, "This product is not formulated to melt." My lesson in thoughtfulness for February is to read the label before I put the product in my shopping cart. 

My next challenge comes next week. I will be on a vacation in a great shopping destination. I've been there several times before and probably bought the usual tourist purchases, but that's never stopped me in the past. There are a few gifts I'd like to choose, but I'm keeping my spending budget for splurges for me to  $25.00. I will report on my success in March. 

Is anyone else No-Spending or Thoughtful-Spending? Any tips or lessons you'd like to share?

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Next Stop, Central Park West

It's an underground aquarium at the subway stop for the American Museum of Natural History 

In April 2018 I did an A to Z series on New York City subways. I only got to "R" for Rector Street, but even if I had completed all 26 letters of the alphabet, it wouldn't have begun to cover all of the 472 subway stations in the city. I've enjoyed writing about bagels and cookies and assorted New York City goodies and that prompted me to add posts about some of the most popular sites for visitors to New York City. A spur of the moment visit by my sweet cousin Hillary and her friend, Chris, brought me to the stop for the American Museum of Natural History at 81st Street and Central Park West last week. I haven't been to this stop in quite awhile and I loved seeing the beautiful tile work. 

A different view of the station and the beautiful tile work

My view coming out of the station. This the area where the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade begins. Central Park is on the right side of the photograph. 

The American Museum of Natural History

I don't get to the museum very often lately, but I worked there from 1976-1978. It was definitely one of the best work experiences imaginable. I often worked late and one of my favorite memories was leaving when the museum was closed to the public. I never noticed any of the exhibits coming alive, but it definitely had the feel of "Night at the Museum." If you're planning a visit to New York City, especially if you're bringing children, schedule a visit. I think it's time I made a return trip, too. The Blue Whale is calling me. 

It wasn't an too-busy week, but it's just zipped by. Movie, Yoga, time with friends, Weight Watchers and lots of little errands. I'm still keeping track of spending and will be doing an update of Thoughtful Spending February tomorrow. How was your week?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Allure of the KitKat

My favorite KitKat, Wasabi

My friend Melissa's son and daughter in law recently returned from their honeymoon, which included a visit to Japan. Melissa shared that they had brought her a box of peach KitKats. That brought back memories of my trip to Japan in 2015 and my fascination with the many varieties found in Japan. I didn't try the soy sauce KitKat, but I did try every flavor that was new to me and became enamored with the wasabi KitKat. It seems like a strange combination, but really no stranger than chocolate with chili powder.

While putting this post together I found that I had written about discovering wasabi KitKats while I was in Japan, but hadn't yet tried them. I hesitated because all I could find was this package of eight. I'm not sure if I took the KitKat plunge and bought eight or found a single one for sale, but wasabi became my favorite. 

The visitors' center at Mt. Fuji featured Mt. Fuji candy and to the left, 
souvenir boxes of strawberry cheesecake KitKats. 

KitKats were introduced in Japan in 1973. In the decades since over 300 regional and seasonal flavors have been produced. The very popular green tea flavor was introduced in 2004 and in 2017 the melon and mascarpone flavor was introduced. One flavor I found especially interesting was the sake flavor (2016) which combined sake and white chocolate. 

Before I explored KitKats I took my first step on Mt. Fuji

Per yesterday's post I had a very interesting evening last night that I will post about this week. I need to spend a little more time getting the photographs ready to post. So far they are not cooperating very well. 

I had a fun day today and enjoyed "Knives Out," with my friend Jane and a leisurely coffee time after the movie. I enjoyed "Knives Out" a lot and especially liked seeing one of my favorite actors, Daniel Craig, in a totally different role. It was a lot lighter than most of the movies I've been watching lately and a welcome relief. How did you spend your day?

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

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Pink -- and Blue -- Saturday

Pink Saturday Sky at Night

I was in Lower Manhattan this week and as I turned west -- towards the Hudson River and New Jersey beyond -- this perfect pink sky was my treat for the evening. There is no filter, no editing except for a little cropping to focus the picture. I knew this moment in Manhattan was this week's Pink Saturday photograph. 

It's not just Pink Saturday this week, but we're also celebrating Blue Saturday. Blue Saturday is my own creation, created to share a few pictures from the basketball game I attended last night. The Columbia University Women's team played Harvard and won the game. I enjoy basketball, but I was there to see my friends' daughter cheer for Columbia. I've known Rachel, cheerleader extraordinaire, pretty much from the day she was born and it's been a joy watching her grow to be a talented, kind and accomplished young woman. So glad she chose Barnard College and has literally just been a mile away. 

Columbia cheerleaders on the left and dance team on the right

Always enjoy seeing Roary, the Columbia mascot

Yesterday was super busy and I'm enjoying quiet time today. I've got a big plan for this evening and right now I'm loving blogging, drinking coffee and catching up with my blog buddies. How are you spending this long weekend?

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

Friday, February 14, 2020

All We Need Is Love

True in 1967 and still true today, All You Need Is Love

It's late in the day for my Valentine's post, but I've been busy chatting, texting and being in touch with friends and family, a sweet way to spend the day. But I couldn't let the day go by without sending love and hugs to my Buttercupland friends on Valentine's Day. 

These are "real" cards that brightened my day. The one on the left was made by a very talented artist friend in my synagogue study group. She took a photograph of long, long ago and turned it into a very thoughtful Valentine. I'm in the picture, but tucked under the purple card. The Peanuts card is from dear K. We have a long history of exchanging Peanuts cards and Charlie Brown generally comes calling at least once a year. The card on the right is from my dear friend Donna in Tennessee. What a pleasure to see her handwriting on the envelope and know there was love inside it. 

I was reading an article -- somewhere in the vast land of the internet -- about the popularity of greetings cards on Valentine's Day. Though people send fewer cards in general today, on Valentine's Day cards are still very popular. The author of the article attributed it to the idea that we like to actually have something to hold on to. I still enjoy sending and getting cards and I save my favorites for quite awhile. Are you a card saver, too? 

I hope your day was equally sweet and that the long weekend ahead is full of good times and good friends to share it with. I've got lots of plans, but I will back for Pink Saturday tomorrow. Please stop by for a visit. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and love and hugs on Valentine's Day and every day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Best Bagel in Times Square...

...Probably isn't in Times Square

I was asked by a friend who will be visiting New York this weekend for a recommendation for the best pizza in Times Square and the best bagel in Times Square. I'm not an authority on pizza, so I'm not going to make a recommendation. But I do know my way around a bagel store and I feel able to say that the best bagel in the Times Square area isn't in Times Square. There are places where you can buy a bagel in the area around Times Square and I'm sure some of them are good, but based on my decades of bagel eating in Manhattan, nothing came to mind. 

When I consider great bagels I think of places where bagels are made on the premises. Though it's not a sophisticated food, a fresh, hot bagel with cream cheese or butter is a treat. The photograph shown above is from my local bagel shop, Tal Bagels, Broadway and 90th Street and two miles north of Times Square. 

I did a search for the best bagels in Times Square and not surprisingly, the bagel store and cafe that I had in mind was number one on the list. It's Pick A Bagel at 891 Eighth Avenue, at West 53rd Street, nine blocks north of Times Square and definitely worth the walk.   

Sesame or everything? Cream cheese or butter?

Schmackary's for the best cookie in Times Square

As long as we're on the trail of the best carbs in the Times Square area, I present Schmackary's cookies. This cookie lovers treasure is at 362 West 45th Street, just a few blocks from Times Square and so worth a visit. I've written about my love for  Schmackary's and I'm still a fan. I don't go often, but if I'm in the neighborhood and the line outside the door isn't too daunting, I stop in for a cookie. I've never been disappointed. 

I've been very fortunate to be able to meet so many of my blog buddies in New York City and I love finding fun places to visit. If you're visiting and New York and would like to meet up, please don't be shy. I've had great times getting together with my blogger friends and the coffee is my treat! 

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

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Lights Are Bright on Broadway

Times Square, looking South

In the last few days several people in my extended circle have let me know that they are planning to visit New York City in the next few weeks. This is in addition to two friends already scheduled to visit this month, in March and April. With one exception, a Broadway show is on the itinerary for all of the  visitors. Love that folks are coming to New York and definitely want to encourage the trend. This week I'm going to do at least two posts, possibly three, on spending time in the Theater District. Today's post shares pictures of the Times Square area and a spot for theater-oriented souvenirs. 

Looking uptown from Times Square

My show of choice on Saturday night

Even after almost 45 years in New York City I still get excited going to the theater. The moment of excitement when the lights go down never goes away. I've been fortunate to be able to see a lot of shows. Some have been okay, some have been less than okay and some have been very good. Some have been extraordinary and I feel so blessed to be able to have seen them. Girl From the North Country was the most recent show and it was very good. It had a talented cast, great music and a captivating story.  Yes, tickets are expensive, but I shop around, look for deals and sometimes see the show from the very top row in the balcony. 

After the show I walked on from Sixth Avenue on West 44th Street to the bus on stop on Eighth Avenue. I passed a restaurant that's been a long-time favorite in the Theater District, Cafe Un Deux Trois, at 123 West 44th Street. It's a fun French cafe and a good choice for fixed price pre-theater dinner, that is good until midnight. 

Theater Circle, 268 West 44th Street, near Eighth Avenue

On my way to the bus stop I passed a (large) number  of places selling souvenirs. But Theater Circle stood out from the rest. Here you can find sheet music, programs, books and t-shirts from past and current Broadway shows. 

I hope you've enjoyed our visit to the Theater District. Tomorrow we ponder this question: Where can you find a good bagel in Times Square?

As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a terrific Tuesday! 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

I Love You Berry Much Pink Saturday

I Love You Berry Much!

I was just about ready to write my Pink Saturday post for this week. I'd taken the pictures, cropped them and had them downloaded. As soon as I got back from the library I was going to write my post and it wasn't about meringues. But on the way to the library I passed Mokum, a local restaurant, and saw these amazing meringues. It took every ounce of willpower to keep walking to the library. The meringues were definitely calling my name. 

I liked the look of the berry meringues, but I'm not a fan of strawberry flavored sweets. I'd much rather treat myself to the chocolate variety I saw in the next window, and I'd like a touch of the chocolate sauce, too.

My choice for sweet treat of the week!

However, it was the third window that got my vote. I'm a fan of almond and butter pecan and best of all, pralines and cream, in ice cream flavors and in meringues, too. I still made my way to the library without a detour, but one day I will definitely return. I think I will save my treat here for a birthday outing for a friend or a visit with an out of town guest. Come and visit soon, my friends! 

I enjoyed my walk and my coffee treat on the way home. It's cold but clear and sunny and a great day for February. Looking forward to blog visits and catching up on the news in BlogLand. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a pretty in pink Saturday. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Go Red!

Please meet Miss Fluffy, the ChairBear of Buttercupland's Go Red for Women post

February is American Heart Month and the first Friday of every February is National Wear Red Day. I wore my red winter jacket -- alas, forgot to take a selfie -- to attend a great  Go Red for Women event at Lenox Hill Hospital. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association's initiative to end heart disease and stroke in women. I think of myself as up to date on health information, but I didn't realize until today that heart disease is the #1 cause of death for women, more than all forms of cancer combined. The staff of the hospital shared lots of good information about staying heart healthy. I particularly enjoyed talking with one of the nutritionists and members of the physical therapy staff. 

But I was most intrigued by the exhibit about emotional well-being. In addition to good nutrition and exercise, here are a few tips that we can all try to include in our daily routines.  

I enjoy listening to music, but I am delighted to know that it's doctors recommended. 

I'd add not just to avoid negative people and places, but to seek out positive people and events.  

Living in New York City it's easy to walk to many of my errands, but I don't move enough 
when I'm home. This is a good reminder to move around my apartment or even take a quick
 walk in the hall of my building every hour. I'm going to put this one right by my computer to remind me to get my seat out of my chair!

Miss Fluffy was the perfect choice to be Chairbear for Go Red for Women. Besides her stylish red attire, she's always smiling and upbeat. She's also always ready for ice skating. There's lots of exercise in Miss Fluffy's day. 

I think of February as Valentine month and I love all the cute Valentine goodies. Candy and flowers are great, and I really enjoyed my Valentine vanilla coffee this morning. But the best Valentine gift we can give to those we love is to keep our hearts healthy.  

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care of your heart!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Long Live the Blog!

My treasure trove of Valentine goodies from Jodi's Creative Corner.

It's been gloomy and rainy, but I had a burst of sunshine when I received my Valentine's swap package from Jodi of Jodi's Creative Corner. I haven't taken part in a blog swap in ages, but I saw a post on Colletta's Kitchen Sink and decided to jump in. We were asked to share our interests and no surprise, coffee was at the top of my list. Many thanks, Jodi! You did a fabulous job putting my treats together and I'm feeling very spoiled. 

Tomorrow's going to be a vanilla coffee day.

I've mentioned previously that I've gotten a second wind in blogging in the last few months. For several years I believed that blogs were going the way of the rotary phone and I was part of a dying breed. I began to see a number of blog friends stop blogging for an array of reasons and I, too, had lost a lot of steam. I kept up with my long-time blog buddies, but didn't reach out as I had in my early years of blogging. But then in December, like magic, I'd be visiting a long-time blog friend and see a link or comment that was intriguing, and leave a comment and become a follower. 

The more I visited, the more interesting blogs I found. It's been almost like my first year of blogging  when I was reaching out and "meeting" new blogger buddies almost every day. I discovered Colletta and Jodi and a wonderful host of blogs in the last few months, and what a pleasure it's been. I'm peeved at myself for believing that the best days of blogging were behind me, and delighted to realize that the best days of blogging and writing may well be ahead of me. 

Not infrequently I hear from my peers that the greater share of our best days are behind us, and there are days when I am especially creeky that I may agree. But 70 is looming right ahead and, if I'm going to use the time I am blessed with, I need to remind myself every single day that the best days are still ahead. As Robert Browning wrote, "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made." 

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a bright and blessed Friday.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

In Memory of Mary Higgins Clark: An Act of Kindness

It may have been the simplest obituary in today's New York Times. It was succinct, with simply a name, dates of birth and death and the details of the wake and funeral. It was a little lost among the longer obituaries that had a number of paragraphs and a photo.

This was the woman known in life as "The Queen of Suspense," Mary Higgins Clark. Beginning in 1975 with the publication of her first suspense novel, "Where Are the Children," she published over 50 suspense books that sold an amazing cumulative total of over 100 million books. All were bestsellers and all are still in print.  

Mary Higgins Clark left the world and us, her readers, with a legacy of decades of reading pleasure, for which I am most grateful. But it's the final sentence of her obituary that may tell those of us who never met her, her true legacy. We are asked to "perform an act of kindness for someone in need." If the millions of us who read one of Mary Higgins Clark's novels performed just one kind deed in her memory, that kindness would light the world.

My prayers are with Mary Higgins Clark's family and with her family of readers in Buttercupland and throughout the world.  Is anyone else a fan of her writing?

I spent the morning figuring out some of my orthopedic woes and the afternoon enjoying the fifty degree weather. Tomorrow I'm back to Yoga and grocery shopping. It's not a thrilling schedule, but I  appreciate every day in February that's not slippery.

As ever, thanks for visiting and let's do a kind deed!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Money (and Monkey) Monday

Target -- and temptation to spend -- are coming to the neighborhood

No-Spending January has come to an end, but I'm optimistic that the healthy spending habits I've cultivated will go forward with me through 2020. I've learned a lot about myself and money and it's been relatively easy to change my every day use of money. 

I ended January with "savings" of $169.16. To be clear, I didn't put that amount aside, but rather tracked what I would have spent. I know I went to the bank less and literally bought nothing that wasn't food, medicine or household supplies, e.g., paper towels. I spent $173.00 for groceries, using the Fetch app to track purchases and get points. I've never tracked grocery spending before, but this doesn't seem out of line for one person in Manhattan, eating most of my meals at home. I'm also going to track groceries in 2020, now that I have a baseline. 

Did I feel deprived? Not consciously. There was nothing that I wanted to buy that I felt badly not being able to buy. Absolutely nothing. There were days I still had snacks, days I went to lunch with friends and more days than not that I had coffee while I was out. I went to a movie, bought theater tickets -- "paid for" by my savings -- and despite my cold, had a nice month. 

What did I learn? I learned that I buy things to make myself feel better. It's not unlike eating a cookie to cheer myself up. Neither of which is awful, but too many cookies aren't healthy and it's the same for purchases I don't need. I'm happier having two theater tickets than a dozen impulse purchases.  

I also learned that being thoughtful about spending and eating ultimately makes me happier. My membership in Weight Watchers has taught me to plan my treats. I get treats, but not all the time. Some days it doesn't work, but other days like today, I find a pear is a fine dessert. 

The first month I retired in 2013 I found myself going out to dinner frequently. When I looked at my bills for the month I 'd spent around $300. for dinners out. They weren't special occasions, no one was visiting from out of town and none of them were memorable. I knew that had to stop. If a retired friend asked me to go out to dinner I suggested another activity. I was happy to have coffee, lunch, see a movie or visit a museum. A few people didn't join me for other activities. They told me that dinner out was their recreation. It wasn't mine. 

Last month as part of my thoughts on No-Spending January I did the calculation for my "dinner savings." By not going out to dinner once a week for 80 months, my savings are, Drumroll, please, $12,800. I actually think this is a conservative estimate. New York restaurants are expensive and $40.00 is a relatively modest dinner. That $12,800. bought a good number of plane tickets in the last six years. 

Is there going to be a No-Spending February? No, but I've embarked on Thoughtful-Spending February, and Decluttering February. My only purchase thus far in February is a set of baskets to organize my makeup, for a total of $3.99.   

Happy early Valentine's Day!

These cuties called out to me. But there really isn't room for one more monkey (or bear or sloth) in my apartment. I'm happy to share them as a fine addition to Monkey Monday in Buttercupland.  

Thank you, all, for your encouragement and thoughtful comments about No-Spending January. From time to time I'll be doing Money Monday posts to keep me accountable and to share information about living the Thoughtful-Spending life. 

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

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Primrose Pink Saturday

This Pink Saturday is Primrose Celebration Day

We're raising a toast to the bright and cheery primrose. One of the earliest perennials to bloom it's a sure sign of spring. Even though one month of winter is gone -- hip hip hooray! -- signs of spring are still a good six weeks away. Since I won't see any primrose growing outside for awhile I went with an alternate plan and found this group on one of my grocery shopping expeditions. With the help of the waterlogue app I turned my photograph into a watercolor. Is anyone else starting to get spring fever?

Happy February, blog buddies! The month started with a great lunch with friends -- home cooked corned beef and homemade rye bread -- lots of walking and a Valentine surprise package. Though No-Spending January has ended I'm still being very thoughtful about buying things. I don't know if the changes I made in January are permanent, but I'm not rushing out to buy anything. I'll be back tomorrow with a longer post about my thoughts on Np-Spending January 2020.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Every wish for a happy month.