Wednesday, March 29, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

The calendar tells us that Spring has officially arrived.  We have reset our clocks to Daylight Saving Time.  March is just about to yield to April.  

In some ways, time has seemed to move quickly.  In other ways, as I have continued the healing process after my fall in late February, time has been measured not in days or weeks, but rather in intervals between applications to my forehead of my makeshift ice packs.  I have seen my facial bruising patterns change colors, perhaps mimicking the aurora borealis.  My lacerated finger has had its stitches removed, and I have heard the hand specialist doctor tell me I could stop using Neosporin and no longer need to use non-stick gauze pad bandaging.  He advised me to keep moving the injured finger.

Even as these gradual improvements were taking place, I admit to retaining a certain sense of fragility.  When I ventured out for neighborhood errands, I was extra careful to watch where I was headed and to check the streets and sidewalk surfaces for dangerous uneven areas.  I never before was so wary.

It's been cold and I have spent lots of time indoors, reading 



several good books and lots of articles from The New Yorker,


or knitting, 




or watching Congressional hearings regarding either the Russian investigations or the questioning of various Presidential appointments to his Cabinet.  I haven't been to any more marches or rallies, but have been keeping up regular email correspondence with my elected governmental representative.

I've had the pleasure of getting together with old friends for lunches and phone calls.  On days with temperatures above freezing it has been a pleasure to take some walks in Central Park.




Some time has also been devoted to doing a draft of my Federal and also my New York State and Local taxes.  Naps have been part of the healing regimen.

Finally, today's bright sunshine broke into a recent pattern of damp, grey, cold days.  It was time to take the subway downtown to Union Square to replenish my apple supplies and to see if any flowers might be on offer.



How grand to discover quite a colorful selection was available at several of my favorite stands.



I'm showing you all just a small sampling of the flowers I saw.


If I had some sort of garden space, or terrace, or some such area to give plants a chance, I suspect that I would make many purchases at this time of year.


However, my small apartment has no garden or terrace.


I do have several windows, but they provide what might be termed limited sunlight, definitely not full light.  The larger windows also have at their bases steam radiators.


And so, even when I admire displays such as those I saw today at Union Square, I limit myself to very minor purchases.


Part of the fun of visiting the green market at this time of the year, is seeing what other folks are selecting and vicariously sharing their enthusiasm for the season's potential.


Today, I bought this pretty potted primrose and also a small rosy red ranunculus plant.  It is my hope to keep the duo alive and in bloom until late April  We shall see.


It has now been a year since I retired.  I have thoroughly enjoyed having made this change in my life and am now looking forward to adding even more interests to my already full days.

Blogging may remain intermittent, but I don't want to give it up altogether.  I so appreciate our community, and as always, thank you all for your visits and comments.  See you soon!

35 comments:

  1. What a treat, Frances, to find this post and to see more photos of the flowers in your midst. It's been snowing all day here in Anchorage. School was cancelled. There are no flowers in sight, except grocery store tulips on my dining room table. I love your little primrose. It would make a great little painting as it sits on that rug! Glad you're mostly healed up and walking carefully. xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Carol. Good that while that snow is on the ground, you are still able to bring home some tulips. Having some colorful flowers is such a boost to the spirit! xo

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  2. So happy to see another post you and hear that are continuing to heal. That must have been a dreadfully frightening experience; no wonder you still feel fragile and tentative. The flowers are full of promise as are you. Cheers.

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    1. I appreciate your kind comment very much, Wilma. xo

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  3. It sounds like things are getting back to normal slowly but surely. Taxes, reading, etc. I really love the colors you're using on the knitting project. I am trying to wean myself from CNN as I just, well, really don't know, except for I hope we make it four years. I can't stand to see the repubs and White House double speak. Spring is just starting here and I need to be busier outside. Need to follow your lead and stay busy. Are you enjoying those books? I am watching my favorite tv shows - Homeland in particular and trying to buy a new truck. You know it is funny. I dislike car buying immensely. I know I am rambling, but I like to ramble to you. Ha. Keep us posted on your city living. I miss hearing about it.

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    1. Ramble on, Donna! It's fun to be able to chat with you. I forgot to mention in the blog how many times I have made soup during the past month while the cold weather (and snow) kept me indoors.
      I do recommend those two books. They are very different and the first I've read by either author.
      Cannot imagine what it might be like to buy a truck!
      I admit that the only times I ever saw any Homeland programs was while in London. When the Emmy Awards are given out, I usually have not seen any of the nominated shows. I guess I am more of a reader and watch tv mostly for news.
      Well, there's my ramble. xo

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  4. The Spring Flowers are just so beautiful. It must be a great treat to walk among all the blooms and colors.
    I love violets and the violas (?) the primroses are lovely but I really like the fairy primroses.
    I think next week I will go look around at my favorite nursery.
    Happy to hear you are feeling better.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Parsnip, there was also a delightful scent from the flower stands...daffodils and hyacinths wafting in the slight breeze. Delightful!
      I'm already looking forward to my next market visit. xo

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  5. I think Spring has arrived here too Frances in terms of blossom and flowers. It can still be very cold though. We also changed the clocks at the weekend. I am enjoying my three day week and perhaps I will give up altogether in 6 months. If I do I fear that there will be no going back on my decision at my age, my biggest fear of all if I miss work and it is the wrong decision.
    It is much better to embrace love than hate; negative is so much stronger than positive and saps the strength uselessly. Good luck with the continued healing of the fall.x

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    1. Thank you, Rachel. When I reduced my workweek to three days, I also thought of it as an experiment...a sort of gateway to actually retiring. The three-day week served me well and I was completely comfortable with my decision.
      I think I disagree with you about negative being more powerful, but do think it is always lurking. A Tibetan friend of mine gave me a book by the Dalai Lama and I found wisdom in his writing that worrying and negative thinking was powerful, just as meditation is a positive spreadable force.
      As an example, when folks asked me about my recent fall, I preferred to tell them about how helpful many people were to me afterwards. That is the memory I wish to nourish! And...I am so glad to be just about all healed. xo

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    2. Yes, see the positives and not the negatives. I get a lot of my thoughts on the power of negative force from one of my brother's who sees only the negative of everything. x

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  6. Watching my step is something I do now more than I did before. Staying vertical (after earlier falls) is my main goal. It is good to read that you are healing and getting around.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I am so enjoying having the weather warm up, and being encouraged to get out and about. xo

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  7. So pleased you are feeling a lot better Frances and what a lovely selection of flowers, my garden in the UK is overflowing with spring flowers and blossom, it was a joy to sit in the garden today with all those flowers around along with a few butterflies.
    Enjoy the weekend.
    Hazel c uk

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    1. it's so good to read your comment, Hazel, and to picture you in your garden with the flowers and butterflies. I count myself very fortunate to have just about completely recovered from my fall. It's grand to have this recovery coincide with the arrival of some proper springtime in New York. Happy weekend to you, too! xo

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  8. The flower stalls are so vibrant. I'm glad you're on the mend, and that you've been able to continue that gorgeous knitting.

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    1. After months without many appearances by these fabulous flower and plant stands at the farmers market, it was fabulous to see them back with a bright "flourish!" Yes, Su, the day when my right hand was ready to return to knitting was another big recovery step. Thanks so much for your visit and comment. I will be back with another post pretty soon...touch typing flexibility has also returned! xo

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  9. What a beautiful selection of flowers. Spring has arrived!
    So glad that you are healing. I can understand how careful you now feel you must be when you are out walking.

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    1. Aren't flowers wonderful messengers of just how great an artist nature can be? Since we have had to wait a while for this warming, I am now hoping that our days won't get much more warm for a while so that we can enjoy a gradual procession of spring blooms. Those colors!
      I am taking care to watch where I am going and to be sure to truly "pick up" my feet when walking around town. Happy Weekend to you and yours. xo

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  10. So pleased to see this post and to hear that you are continuing to heal. I had some knee surgery last week and can relate a bit to your feeling of vulnerability - it's an odd sensation. But like you I prefer to dwell on the positive, everything went well, friends have been so very helpful and accommodating and I have been gifted with some lovely tulips and beautiful pink roses! They are certainly welcome as we are back to grey, gloomy, and a few snow flurries today - so not very Spring like!

    Those books look interesting. I am currently reading the 50th Anniversary Edition of M.F.K. Fisher's "The Art of Eating". She writes about food - but it's more the history of food, from a social & cultural perspective and it's also very auto-biographical - and really a series of essays that you can dip into. I also found an interview with her on YouTube and she was certainly a fascinating character and a marvellous raconteur.
    I have been "retired" since Sept. (laid off but to be retired at the end of my settlement time) but I am actually looking forward to going back to work and I am hoping to find something for 3 days a week. I'm not quite ready for full retirement and I think this will allow me to adjust more easily. But it has been an interesting few months and has allowed me to do some soul searching and think about what I really want to do.
    It is always a pleasure to find a new post from you so please continue to blog as you feel able - you always have such wonderful photos and I find the pictures of your knitting to be so amazing - you have such a talent!
    Take care and continue to heal.

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    1. Margie, I really enjoyed reading your comment and thank you so much for taking time to write.

      I do hope that your knee surgery healing process will proceed steadily and that soon you will be quite comfortable venturing out and about again. Today I met up with a dear friend for lunch and then we took a nice long walk on NYC's brilliant High Line park created above ground level on dis-used railroad tracks. It was grand to be just walking along, enjoying the views and the chatting.

      Maybe 20 years ago, I got quite caught up in MFK Fisher's writing and books and borrowed and read all that my library held. She was a Very interesting person. I don't know that I would have wanted to know her, but found reading about her and her cooking fascinating.

      Your plan for a 3-day work week sounds good. I quite enjoyed that feeling of being "on holiday" for half of each week.

      I do plan on continuing to blog. There are many more city views to share! Happy weekend to you. xo

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  11. Always love visiting your blog and have a glimp of the big city!
    Love from a grey countryside and Titti

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    1. Thank you, Titti. We also have plenty of grey days here...but even then seeing such bright spring flowers can lift the spirits! xo

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  12. Such beautiful flowers! Something about seeing them in masses is so very nice. I know just what you mean about the feeling of fragility after an accident. Feeling fragile and NOT wanting another injury is what causes me to creep about as if I were at least ten years older than I am.

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    1. I appreciate your comment so much, Vicki. What is difficult for me to adjust to now is trying not to gaze around me as I am walking along, but rather to take time to stop occasionally for a good look. I feel as if I am missing just a bit of what I love about long walks.... So it goes. xo

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  13. I remember that so well...watching the street carefully step by step. They say women are better survivors on Mount Everest for just that reason. They look at theor feet rather than their ultimate objective...the peak.

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  14. wanted to add the Essex Serpent is being read every night this past week and next on BBC4
    BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime, The Essex Serpent, Episode 5
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08kylx4

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    1. Oh Carol, thanks so much for the Essex Serpent tip...I often listen to Radio 4 and 4 Extra while knitting or drawing or painting.

      I'm trying to sort of keep an eye on the general surface ahead of where I'm about to walk, which seems to be working out well. Mt. E will have to wait! xo

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    2. I wonder how the book is...the storyline was a bit hard to follow but the reader was wonderful...just listening to her voice was soothing..a hot book evidently. Beautifully written anyway.

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    3. Carol, I haven't yet had a chance to listen to the BEEB version, but found the book well written, from the points of view of quite a few characters. xo

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  15. I just found your blog today, and am delighted by your thoughts and pictures. I too have been in a healing phase of life, and I resonate strongly with the healing power of naps, walks, flowers, and sunshine. xo

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    1. Thanks for your visit and comment. I hope to be posting more blogs soon. Nice weather is keeping me outdoors more than during our chilly late winter.

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  16. Happy Easter Frances!
    I am missing your comments on the same blogs we read.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Happy Easter to you and yours Maria! I have been a very lazy blogger recently. Our weather has at last become more spring-like, and it's been grand to spend more time outdoors. Later today, I will be going over to take a look at the Fifth Avenue Easter Parade/promenade, and hope to take some photos for a blog.
      It's always a treat to hear from you! xo

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