Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

The balloons get ready for today's parade!

Whether your day is spent with Power Ranger or power turkey eating, I'm wishing all of Buttercupland a happy Thanksgiving Day. When I count my blessings, Buttercupland is high on my list.

Happy, happy wishes to you and your families!  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Yes, I Know It's Tuesday

One thing I've found since retiring is that while I know what day it is, I don't always know the date. I had planned to do a Maker Monday giveaway and a feature for Monkey Monday and had a slight problem loading the pictures yesterday. So we're just moving right ahead and doing our Monday giveaway on Tuesday. I don't think anyone will mind.


 
Thanks to my friends at Maker Media I'm happy to host a giveaway of Make: Musical Instruments by Kathy Ceceri. The Maker Movement encourages innovation, creativity and learning. This fun book has hands-on projects for family time to make musical instruments. They include the Pizza Box Radio and the Thumb Piano. There are photographs and step-by-step instructions for each project. Kathy Ceceri is a home school parent and educator who has put together a number of hands-on activity books on topics as diverse as robotics and geography. These are great activities to encourage non-screen time for long winter afternoons. 
 
This is an easy peasy to enter giveaway. Just leave a comment -- favorite musical instrument -- and I will choose one person to receive the book. Please leave your comment by Sunday, November 26, 11:00 p.m. and be a Citizen of Buttercupland/Google+ friend/Bloglovin friend.
 


Pep joined a brunch party on Sunday. He wore his winter fleece -- holiday attire coming up -- and showed a definite preference for apple pie pancakes. They looked fabulous, but in the interest of wearing the clothes I already own I went with a more sensible choice of eggs.
 
We begin holiday pictures tomorrow. I've got my first photographs ready to post and I'm hoping you will enjoy them. 
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care! 
 
 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Pink Saturday Tours the Golden Circle

We're going back to bright and beautiful Iceland. Actually it was bright for only one day, but it was beautiful every day. Fortunately our one sunny day coincided with the reservation for the Golden Circle Tour. The Golden Circle is not a circle, it's not a formal itinerary and the only gold is in the beauty of the natural scenery. It is a tour that includes the three most popular sights in Iceland. I took the same tour in the summer of 2014. It was warmer, but overcast and rainy and I was thrilled to see  the same sights, but in sunshine.


The first stop was Thingvellir, the site of the Althingi, the 930 AD first Icelandic Parliament. The buildings don't remain, but the signage was extremely informative and gave a great sense of this early representative governing body. The physical site, shown above, is magnificent. Besides the historical importance, it's an area of great geological significance, here the tectonic plates of Eurasia and North America meet. After taking the photograph above I turned to the right and this was the vista that greeted me.
 

 

The next stop was at Geysir hot springs. If you're a fortunate visitor the geyser -- Strokkur, a successor to the Great Geysir -- looks like Old Faithful. I was not quite so fortunate, but I still was still very happy to experience this moment. There were several false starts -- not quite as explosive as this one -- but not quite the scene I hoped for.
 

The third part of the Golden Circle is the Gullfoss waterfall. As I look at each photograph the same words come to me to describe the sights -- awesome, magnificent, extraordinary. Gullfoss is extraordinary and perhaps more so, because of its unspoiled setting. There are no billboards, concession stands or parking lots to detract from its natural beauty.

My visit to the Golden Circle was all that I had hoped for. Besides the beautiful setting I was fortunate to have chosen a small local tour company for our trip, Go to Joy Iceland. Our guide was thoughtful and extremely knowledgeable and it was a treat to ride in a comfortable mini-bus with five other people.

 For the next forty-two days Buttercupland enters a festive state of mind. There will be a giveaway (or two) and the first one is tomorrow. There will be a few book reviews and the rest of my posts will be celebration time in New York City. I walked through Rockefeller Center today and the tree is in place waiting for its lights. There will be lots of pictures, lots of fun and I hope you will visit often.

This week's post joins our friends at Pink Saturday. Please stop by and share in the blogging fun.

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Caring Kind Walk


My new buddy, Patches, dressed for the doggy costume contest and looking sharp.
 
For the second year in a row I've been part of a team -- the Wednesday Walkers -- for the Caring Kind Manhattan walk. Caring Kind is a fabulous organization that supports those who are caregivers for people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. We were a small team this year, but we raised over $700. for this very worthwhile cause.    


The beginning of the walk at Riverside Park, along the Hudson River
 
I became involved in the work of Caring Kind after agreeing to do a walk with my friend, Helen. This was over two years ago and I was barely walking two miles a day. I had had surgery for a spinal cord tumor two years before and my walking was still limited. The idea of the New York City Marathon or even a ten mile walk wasn't feasible. I needed a short walk -- Caring Kind is two miles on a mostly flat surface -- for a cause I believed in. I entered "walks 2016 Manhattan" into a search engine and I found my answer. My walking has improved significantly in the last two years, but I am happy to keep walking for this organization.  


The Wednesday Walkers at the end of our walk. 


There were several well-known personalities and here is Mary Ann with retired hockey star and present day television hockey analyst, Ron Duguay. He couldn't have been nicer and meeting him was an added fun note to the day.
 
We walked a month ago, but I've got several posts from past events that I will be publishing -- including more photographs from Iceland -- in the next week. Once Thanksgiving comes around I will be featuring holiday décor in New York City. I will also be doing several giveaways and once again showcasing the talent of friends with Buttercup's Fair. Please stop by often, we're going to have a lot of fun.   
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!
 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pink Saturday Visits the Blue Lagoon


The beautiful Blue Lagoon

This Saturday Pink Saturday goes to Iceland for a visit to the Blue Lagoon.  Yes, the Blue Lagoon is as beautiful and relaxing as these pictures depict. Actually, on reflection, it is more beautiful and even more relaxing as the pictures show. The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa formed in 1976 after the Svartsengi power plant was built. People began to bathe in the waters and realized the very positive effect on their skin. People with psoriasis were especially helped after bathing in the waters. The Blue Lagoon opened to the public in 1987 and has continued to expand. A hotel on the site is now under construction.


The temperature of the lagoon is approximately 100 degrees and the day I was there the air temperature was approximately 35 degrees. There were a few chilly moments getting into the lagoon, but they were quickly forgotten. This is the swim/walk up bar. I had a banana skyr -- Icelandic yogurt -- smoothie, but there are stronger spirits available, too. Besides the refreshment bar there was also a silica facial bar, which left my skin feeling very smooth. 
 

Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and Ice and it is an area of great volcanic activity. Eighty per cent of Iceland's energy is geothermal made by heat inside the earth's crust. It is clean and sustainable.


I had a wonderful lunch in the Lava Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon. I had fresh Icelandic mussels and a glass of sparkling wine. It was a perfect pre-relaxation for the perfect relaxation to come.

This was my view from the restaurant. It was winter coat weather outside and bathing suits for my time spent in the Blue Lagoon.
 
I'm back from Iceland and slowly adjusting to life in New York. I've been surprised at the jet lag I've experienced. I fall asleep early and wake up at 4:00 a.m. I'm hoping that the worst of the jet lag is done and I'll be on a New York sleep schedule very soon. A little lost sleep is a small price to pay for a great visit to Iceland. The scenery was spectacular -- a word I don't use often -- and I will be posting several more times with some photographs from my visit. 
 
As ever, thanks for visiting. Thanks and remembrance to all those who served and who serve our county today. Very grateful for the sacrifices you all make for our freedom.  


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Put Down the Mini-Snickers, Now


Halloween Bagged Chocolates says it all.
 
 
Your response is that it's not a mini-Snickers. Okay, so it's a KitKat or Almond Joy or M&Ms. We see you indulging in a candy orgy. One mini-Snickers becomes half a dozen and then you add three of the little bags of M&Ms and then you're looking for the back up bag of candy corn and then you're in a sugar daze. But it's Halloween and this is Halloween candy.
 
Actually, it's Halloween bagged candy. Next week it will be Christmas bagged candy and the M&Ms will be tinted red and green. But it's the same candy, and you can buy it 365 days a year. Somehow when it's Halloween candy it justifies the sugar overload and added poundage. Wrong! A KitKat is a KitKat is a KitKat. Putting a pumpkin on the wrapper doesn't make it a pumpkin KitKat.
 
When I hear the words "Halloween candy" my memories go to the kitchen in the house in which I grew up. My mother is melting Kraft caramels -- are they made now? -- and we're dipping apples. I think about trick or treating and bringing home a big bag of candy. It was a treat for my elementary school self who never imagined I would be able to eat bags of candy whenever I might want to when I grew up. I can eat all the Halloween candy in every drugstore in New York and I can't bring back the days of Kraft caramels and trick or treating.
 
So put down the mini-Snickers and leave the candy corn in the bag. Savor the memories and enjoy the little ones in their adorable costumes. You will save thousands of calories and stop the inevitable seasonal slide to a larger size that begins with the first piece of Halloween candy. Your waistline will thank you. 
 
I was thinking of skipping this post because of today's  tragedy in Lower Manhattan. But as former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said, we are New York Resilient. We are heartbroken and we mourn for those who were killed, but we're tough and even in the most tragic of times no one takes away our ability to enjoy life. No one.
 
Hold your loved ones close and take good care of yourselves and thanks for visiting Buttercupland.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monkey Monday Halloween


Pep Le Monkee and Opus in their Halloween finery 
 
 
Pep loves Halloween. He likes his bunny ears at Easter and can't wait to put on his Santa suit at Christmas, but Halloween may be his favorite celebration. This year he's wearing his Halloween sweater for a casual trick or treating look. Opus is decked out in the Great Pumpkin costume and he's hoping he finds some herring tidbits in his treat collection. I doubt if anyone is giving out herring bits this year, or any year, and I've got a jar of herring as a Halloween surprise for my favorite penguin.  

It seems that every year there are more and more outdoor decorations for Halloween. These two buildings are less than a block from where I live and in the Halloween spirit. I've never seen this building decorated in past years, but they've a great job this year.



 

This building is decorated every year. There is also a recording with spooky noises. I wasn't scared. But if you're coming down the street and not suspecting an eerie sound and sight show it may give you a fright, which is of course, the idea of Halloween.

I don't have any Halloween decorations except for Pep and Opus in their costumes. Do you decorate for Halloween, and if so, indoors and/or outdoors? 

I'll be back tomorrow with my tip on saving thousands of calories on Halloween, and yes, candy is involved.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!
 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What Are You Reading?

 

For some reason I can't fathom I've had trouble concentrating when I read. Perhaps it's an offshoot to whatever kept me from blogging when I sat at the computer and stared at the screen. I don't feel particularly troubled. I'm sleeping okay, or as okay as a late sixties woman who needs to get up at least once during the night, and I'm getting a lot of exercise. The next choice for my book club is Paulette Jiles' News of the World. It's historical fiction -- a genre a very much enjoy -- it's short and it was a it was a 2016 National Book Award Nominee. I picked it up from the library a few days ago and I'm going to start reading it tomorrow. I'm not going to let it sit on my shelf picking up dust and lose my momentum to complete it. My goal is to finish it by Monday morning and return it to the library before the fines start clicking away.

I'm eager for more recommendations. I looked over the books I especially enjoyed last year and they were non-fiction and some were tough going. But they all held my interest and gave me something to reflect on. What are books you've particularly enjoyed this year?
 

I have kept up with my mystery reading and very much enjoyed Ian Rankin's Rather Be the Devil. One of my favorite detectives of all time, John Rebus, steps back into police work from retirement and the for those who like their mysteries darker, this story is well worth reading. I featured this title last month in Coffee Light and Mysteries (Mostly Noir).

It's been a quiet, but productive few days. I've been focused on reading and writing. I completely finished today's New York Times, did a blog post and caught up on some of my favorite blogs.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Wishes for a wonderful Wednesday.
 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pink Saturday Goes to the Double Dutch


Though the thermometer says it's still summer, it's autumn whenever I can find it. 

I wouldn't say I'm in a rut -- lots of new things on my schedule -- but I do have a pretty consistent pattern. The library, synagogue, Weight Watchers and the gym are all within a mile from where I live. This area includes two movie theaters, groceries and Central and Riverside Parks. But on Saturday I joined friends who live north of my mile area for coffee on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, which is the continuation of Central Park West, north of Central Park.
 
Per my friend Jennifer's recommendation we went to Double Dutch Espresso. Though it's October we were able to sit on the garden patio -- a luxury in Manhattan -- and enjoy good conversation and iced coffee. Though I haven't written about coffee very often this year, I'm still sampling new coffee places. There's an infinite array in New York City and I have a good dozen new places that I've enjoyed this year.  
 

I was reading a review of Double Dutch that criticized the array of coffee drinks. The last is more than adequate for me and I had my usual iced coffee. It was a solid B+ and worth the extra travel. My hairdresser is only a block away, so I'm actually in the neighborhood often enough to stop by and enjoy the brick wall ambience.  

I haven't seen "It," but the sign in front of the shop paid homage to the book and movie. 

A semi-selfie on the sidewalks of New York
 

It was a great weekend. Perfect weather, enough errands to feel caught up, time with friends, services and lots of good coffee. I even checked off flu shot from my list. I stopped at the walk-in clinic near my building first thing this morning and was in and out in less than ten minutes. I hope everyone else had a chance to relax and recharge this weekend, too.
 
I'm joining my Pink Saturday friends. Please stop by and meet some of the nicest bloggers in Internet Land. As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a happy week.     
 
 
 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Blogger's Block or Not Blogger's Block...

That is the question, though it's actually not much of a question. I've put together photos for two posts and I've sat down at the computer five or six times and stared blankly at the screen. They're good posts -- or at least may be good posts -- if  I can come up with the words to go with the photographs. I've gone blank any number of times, but this may be a new record.  
 
The Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY in Waterlogue
 
I thought about when I first started writing and my first memory of any composition that was longer than a sentence or two was a book report in the fourth grade. There have probably been hundreds of times since then -- I wrote a lot during my working years -- when the words did not come quickly, but I can't remember a time when I actually sat down at the typewriter/computer/with a pen when I didn't compose something. This has been my longest stretch in my memory in over fifty years.
 
I decided to write about not being able to write instead of trying and trying on the posts, and finally there are words marching across the screen. My question to my blogging/writing friends is how do you keep the words coming? I tip my pen to my blogging friends who post every day. Do you have any inspiration or suggestions you can share with the rest of us who sometimes stumble to find words?
 
It's been a good and busy week. The photograph of a vintage theater in Tarrytown NY was taken during a visit this week. I had the pleasure of meeting two of my colleagues for lunch and window shopping in this lovely town in Westchester, just north of New York City.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take good care and wishes for a great weekend!
 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mom


My mother on her wedding day, March 1947
 
I always know what day of the week it is, but I don't always note the date. So it was probably sometime late in the morning when I realized yesterday was October 11. It would have been just another day in October, except October 11 is my mother's birthday. Born, just after the start of World War I in 1914, she would have been 103 this year. 
 
My mother died in the winter of 1990, so there haven't been birthday celebrations in a long time. Sometimes it seems that my mother has been gone for decades -- and she has -- and the pain of her passing has quieted and is dormant. But on other days, like today, the pangs of missing her are vibrant and very much present. My feelings tonight are a mix of sadness and gratitude. Sad not to have had more years with my mother and grateful for the good times and legacy that I was given.
 
Thanks, Mom, for home baked cakes and teaching me how to bake. Thanks, for infinite trips to the library and museums and winter afternoons at the Y in Hartford for swimming lessons. Thanks for a million memories. You were the best!
 
 


Thursday, October 5, 2017

I Dreamed I Had Age Spots as Big as the Craters of the Moon

 
  But, my friends, it was no dream.
 
On Tuesday afternoon I went to meet my new dermatologist. I had no major issues, but I wanted to find a dermatologist before I did have major skin issues. I did have a small spot on the side of my nose that troubled me and figured I could have it checked. I expected a very quick and cordial visit. 
 
Dr. N. took a photograph of the spot on the side of my nose and thanks to the marvels of modern technology this tiny detail of my skin immediately flashed on the computer screen in front of me. In a second there was the spot on my nose magnified four million times along with every age spot I didn't know I had. When I look in a mirror the size of the one in the photograph above I've got a few age spots and freckles, but now I had age spots that resembled the craters of the moon. I let out a noise that was a cross between a scream and the sound of a balloon deflating and just about fell off the stool that I was sitting on. Not as dignified as I'd hoped.
 
Dr. N. assured me that the spot on my nose looked harmless, but asked me to make an appointment to come back in six months. Next time I'm going to be very prepared -- no caffeine and an hour of relaxation videos -- before my appointment. 
 
Despite this recent fright, life in Buttercupland is okay. Nice weather, local apples, and lots of walking and time spent with friends.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take care and sweet dreams!
   

Sunday, October 1, 2017

My Neck's Fifteen Seconds of Fame Pink Saturday

Me, my neck and Rhenotha 

About a month ago I received an email asking if I would like to appear on the Dr. Oz show. They were looking for women of a more advanced age who had concerns about their neck. If we were chosen to appear on the show we would be able to try a new neck serum. I jumped at the opportunity. I have a love/hate relationship with my neck. I love that I have a neck and appreciate the good work that it does holding up my head. But I don't think my neck has worked hard enough keeping lines and sag at bay.

On Eclipse Monday I arrived for my informal on camera test to see if I would be a good choice to appear on the show. There were approximately ten women of more advanced age who had very brief interviews with Rhenotha Walker. Rhenotha, my neck and I are in the first photograph.  Rhenotha was very nice and I enjoyed taking part in the experience. A few days later I received an email letting me know that I wasn't chosen for the show. I filed the experience under "Nothing ventured, nothing gained," and pretty much put it out of my mind.

Rhenotha interviewing another potential participant for the Dr. Oz Show.
 
Last Thursday I received a text from J, my goddaughter asking if I had been on the Dr. Oz show. My reply was that I had been interviewed, but that I hadn't been chosen. She replied that her cousin had seen me on the show and came back to me with the first picture in this post. Neck and were fifteen second stars. We had our fifteen seconds of fame. I was tickled at the idea, but my neck was totally blasé and went back to holding up my head. Dear neck, I'm glad you have your priorities straight, and thanks for keeping my head straight.     


I'm taking fifteen seconds to share one more beautiful picture of Spruce Head Island, Maine. I can't post too many photographs of Maine.

As happily is my custom, I'm joining the Pink Saturday fun. It's a bright and sunny autumn afternoon in New York City and I hope it's bright and sunny wherever you are in Buttercupland.

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


 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Just in Case You Missed National Lobster Day

In the past we've celebrated National Licorice Day and National Milk Chocolate Day. Except for the vagaries of my tablet and Blogger, we would have celebrated National Lobster Day yesterday. But the technical details seem to be working and we are happily celebrating National Lobster Day tonight with a visit to McLoon's Lobster for what may be the best lobster roll on the East coast.


I know there may be people who will debate that statement with me, but after my lobster tastings in Connecticut this summer, I'm choosing McLoons for best lobster roll of the summer of 2017.  All of my tastings were in nice seaside settings and all of the lobster was good, but McLoons tipped the balance with the quantity of lobster, the perfect arrangement of the lobster in the roll -- I prefer the toasted hot dog bun -- and the weather worn picnic tables.

This was the view as I ate my perfect and delicious lobster roll.



The menu -- I'm tempted by the Maine crabmeat roll or perhaps a crab cake, but when there's fresh lobster the temptation quickly evaporates.

I'm now back from Maine for a little over a week, though it feels like I've been back a month. Rosh Hashanah was lovely and spiritually inspiring. I got to spend time with dear friends and eat way too much. But between the holiday and being in Maine I'm not easily back in the routine of walking, yoga, reading and blogging. I think the ninety degree weather on the first day of fall totally threw me off and I've been taking refuge in front of the air conditioner.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. My heart and prayers are in Puerto Rico tonight.
 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy 5778


"For the Lord thy G'd bringeth thee into a good land...a land of wheat and barley,
and vines and fig trees and pomegranates."
 Deuteronomy 8 7:8 
 
The Jewish new year -- 5778 -- begins at sunset tonight. With this celebration begins ten days of prayer, repentance and reflection. It's a time to recharge, reflect and grow closer to G'd and those we love. It's also a time to pray. As I've written before my congregation's services are long, from three to four hours. The prayers and music are beautiful, but despite my very best intentions my mind wanders. I've found that bringing a list of prayer requests is the best way for me to refocus during the service. I would be honored to bring any requests you have with me tomorrow morning, Friday and next Saturday on Yom Kippur. 
 
My wishes to all for good health, happiness and a sweet new year, and a heartfelt prayer for peace on earth. 


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I'd Love to Go to Chase's Daily Every Day

My visit to Maine was fabulous. Whether it was a wooded walk to a private beach -- first photograph below -- or blissfully watching the sunset from the sun porch -- second photograph below -- I had a wonderful visit. The only problem was blogging, or lack of blogging. I was for the most part off the grid and blogger was highly uncooperative. There's at least one more Maine post to come with additional pictures of the land and seascape.
 


Besides visiting, sitting on the porch and enjoying the view, eating was a prime activity. There were several lobster treats, but also a trip to the very fabulous Chase's Daily in Belfast, Maine. Family run and focused on vegetables, I had one of the best meals of the summer there. During the summer season there is always a line to be seated, but after Labor Day it wasn't as crowded when we arrived. However, by one o'clock every table was taken.    

Choosing my meal -- I was joined by two college friends -- wasn't easy. Everything looked good.
 
We all started with the soup of the day, tomato spinach. The spinach and the seasoning took this bowl of soup a long way from the classic red can. It was sophisticated and delicious and one of my goals for the fall is to try a variation at home. We followed the soup with tacos and ended our meal with a dessert buffet -- chocolate crinkle cookies, raspberry tart and an apple blackberry tart. If you have the good fortune to be in Belfast, Maine -- about two hours north of Portland -- I strongly suggest scheduling breakfast or dinner at Chase's Daily. 
 
There were beautifully displayed vegetables and flowers for sale in the back of the restaurant.
 
Maine is slipping back into memory now that I'm home. It's back to laundry, grocery shopping and doing my daily walking. I neglected the latter while I was in Maine and it's time to enjoy the almost autumn days outdoors. 
 
Sadness continues and my heart is in Mexico City and Puerto Rico tonight. Prayers for safety and recovery for both areas. 
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

My View



Blogger is being very temperamental, so let's have the photographs tell the story.This is my view in mid-coast Maine. I'm two hours north of Portland visiting a college friend. Enjoying the view, the company, the snap of autumn in the air and feeling very grateful. 


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sixteen Years Later

 
Remembering and honoring the memory of those who died on a beautiful September morning. You are never forgotten.
 
I did my first post about September 11 eight years ago. I included the notes I sent to family and friends after I got home on that tragic day. I can remember the day, but I can't do a better job of describing my feelings and my experiences.  
 
Sixteen years after later I still can remember where I was at almost every moment of the day. I don't think about it often, but it's not that I've "moved on." I have been able not to think about it as often, but it remains an enormous piece of my life.
 
I'm sharing this post with my friends at Pink Saturday. I'm out of town -- leaving tomorrow morning. I hope to be able to post, but I will generally be out of internet range. If I don't get to post I promise great pictures of a week in Maine.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Prayers for all, especially those in the path of Irma.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Autumn for the Save


I can't say that I've been perky this week. Actually, I've been as sad as I can remember. Yes, I've prayed, I've walked, I've eaten healthy foods, done good deeds and reached out to friends -- all the things one is advised to do to overcome sadness. But to little effectiveness. Until this afternoon.

I stopped into TJMaxx for a rest stop before grocery shopping and found the autumn décor displayed. It's still summer and I'm not one to push the seasons, but I dived headfirst into autumn and Halloween. The folks at TJMaxx were very nice and no one reprimanded me for rearranging the displays. I moved pumpkins, I moved signs and I spent time creating arrangements that made me smile. I think we all need a smile and if I need to rush head long into autumn, I'm going to autumn.

I loved this Halloween display. I spent most of my time at this table moving the owl around. I am tempted to go back to the store and bring the owl home with me, but I resisted today. I think the owl looks best surrounded by all the Halloween decorations and I don't have space recreate this tableau in my teeny tiny apartment.

 
This is not a great picture, but I couldn't resist this tablecloth showcasing dogs in Halloween attire. It's for a 70" round table, if anyone else can't resist it. 

I then moved on to Whole Foods, where it was full autumn. First I saw the mums...

...Then I came to the Halloween jack-o-lanterns. It's too early to buy a pumpkin, but pumpkins always make me smile. 

Finally, the first McIntosh apples of this season. These were the apples I ate most often when I was growing up. As a side note, I just googled them to get the correct spelling and found that they are the national apple of Canada.
 
I'm not forgetting the sorrow all around us -- or those afflicted -- but I'm going to find things that make me smile and I hope, will give you smiles, too. Here's to apples and pumpkins and autumn!
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care -- especially citizens of Buttercupland in Florida.