Sunset past 7pm

Spring isn’t quite officially here yet, but we’ve been feeling the shift for a couple of days now, just don’t pay mind to the freezing temperatures.  Yesterday was another cold day and my bus took forever to come.  So I pulled out the bigger blackberry and snapped away.  Mind you, this was at around 6:30pm.  The sun hung around for a half hour or more afterwards.. quite a change from when I’d walk out at just after 5pm and find it pitch dark outside.  During the summer months, sunset is at 8pm.

Glass Canvas - Empire State Building reflection

I can never tire of taking pictures of the building reflections on this glass canvas.  Even without any variety, the way the light hits it or the colors that the Empire State Building are wrapped in are worth taking the snapshot every time.  Enjoy the rest of the pictures…Sun still up at past 6pm

This is what I see when I look up… It’s a good study of how things change through the seasons.  Soon the leaves will sprout anew and there will be a bit of green instead of the bare branches shown here.It's THAT COLD.. all bundled up while having coffee

It was THAT cold… all bundled up and having coffee…

Chrysler Building Reflection on the glass, NYC Taxi Cab
I was taking a picture of the yellow taxi cab which is an icon of NYC… then realized I had captured quite the reflection of the Chrysler Building. Gorgeous as always.

The week has been very exhausting — maybe I got spoiled because the boss was out almost 2 weeks before Tuesday.  Next week is another busy week but I have my lulls.  I stayed up late last night finishing a new technique for an all-black background ATC.  I don’t want any spoilers so I’m waiting a bit.. also did a handmade postcard which I’m hoping my partner will like.

Happy Friday everyone!

Smoking buses and school choices

Smoking Express Bus I was busily drafting a blog post on the bus when traffic ground to a slow crawl not even halfway through my usual sojourn into Manhattan.  When it finally eased up and it looked like we were well on our way again, the driver pulled up to the service road, stopped, and told us to get out of the bus.  The rear portion of the bus was spewing out smoke.. horrors!

We had to wait for another bus to pick us up and as luck would have it, I landed on the other side of town (East side), necessitating another ride to my side of Manhattan — one hour late.  My morning adventure of a commute has caused me to defer the post I had been drafting for another I had thought of writing last night, but I was too tired to sit with the laptop at the end of the day.

We often find ourselves aiming for something we don’t get, a goal we don’t achieve, and we are broken and discouraged as a result of it.  A case in point would be the young hopefuls who are eyeing schools/universities to enter this fall, or in the case of Manila, the opening of classes in June.  The big universities have already announced early acceptance, and in some instances, final results — and while some are victorious, many end up heartbroken.

The son of the executive I support right now had hoped to get early acceptance into a prestigious university in Chicago, but early acceptance had already come and gone and they did not get a notification.  While there is hope for the remaining slots still open, the young man was reportedly crushed.  Picture a teen ager with AP (advanced placement) credits, with no cultural or financial restrictions as to the university he can go to, now faced with a possible other choice which technically isn’t really at the bottom of the list — I’m talking about New York University.  (Dad can afford to send him to any school of choice that accepts him.)

It reminds me of my own experience with the nerves way back when — and how things worked out (or did not work out).  Looking back 30 years laters, it makes me understand the anxiety felt by these young people, and I can totally relate.

I had, of course, taken the entrance exam to the University of the Philippines,  with Diliman as the campus of choice because why would I want to go to UP Manila?  I also took the entrance exams at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) with bff Donna (where she eventually went.  I was kind of worried, though, why each part of the instruction was first read in English and then in Tagalog.)  In addition, I took entrance exams to Ateneo and Miriam, and my school of choice, De La Salle University.  My father had violent objections to De La Salle, being that it was located in Taft Avenue where the Light Rail Transit was then under construction and was to be under construction for a number of years.  (“The driver would get stuck in traffic  trying to get me and not be able to get the siblings who were still both in high school,” “It’s much too far,” etc., etc.,)  Obedient daughter that I was, despite having taken the entrance exam, I did not pursue my application to DLSU.

Miriam College interviewed and accepted me.  Ateneo took me in.  And when the UPCAT results came out, I was unfortunately not one of the lucky ones.  My father moved heaven and earth, though, with the help of a friend to help me appeal for admission to UP Manila — which was but a short jeepney ride away from my school of choice, DLSU.  I endured and survived the traffic and pollution of Taft Avenue through my college years — but my father got his wish.  His daughter went to UP.

Waiting for acceptance to a university is not easy, more so when you are moving from one phase of life (high school) to the next (college or university).  While shifting courses is an option when you don’t get accepted to the program of your choice, you still need to get into the university first to be able to maneuver your way to your dream.

My bigger disappointment was not having been able to go to DLSU — forget that UP said no initially.  But as it turns out, things have a way of working out despite what had appeared to me as my not getting into the dream school I had pictured myself going to.  My years in UP Manila turned out to be some of the best years of my life, both academically and personally.  I found myself liking it so much that I never even tried to transfer to Diliman.  I would visit DLSU, sometimes even trying to get in by flashing an ID which wasn’t mine to visit friends.  It was a world apart.  I felt it was where I belonged, but I wasn’t misplaced in UP.  Sure the facilities were a world apart, too, more so since there were no cracking marble staircases in DLSU and UP Manila’s windows were broken and in disrepair.  But I found many friends who accepted me the way I was and who moved in the same world I did, as well as friends from a totally different life, and to this day, I count them as my dearest friends.

I know things would have turned out differently had I landed in DLSU like I had wished so hard for.  And I know, too, that a lot of who I am today was because I spent my college years in UP Manila. 

When it was finally time to take the law entrance exams, I told myself it was UP, Ateneo or San Beda.  That was that.  I would be happy to go to any of the three.  If none of them took me in, then it wasn’t meant to be.  (I was a few years older and a quite a bit more wiser at this stage, so my expectations were more practical and less emotional.)

I found myself in the old HV De La Costa Campus of the Ateneo School of Law in Makati — and yes, that was that.

I won’t say that it doesn’t matter which school you find yourself in because it does.  (But that’s another blog post.)  But getting into your university of choice is not the be-all and end-all of life.  Life has taught me that it doesn’t hurt to go with the flow, or to be a little OC about it and have a plan A, plan B, plan C, plan D, etc.  There is much in life that we don’t know because it hasn’t happened yet.  There is only so much that we can control, too.  You do have the power to make the most of what you’re given, and that is what is expected of you.

One of my “bestest” bestfriends had landed in Ateneo Law but had left and taken a leave of absence on the verge of being booted out after his first year to concentrate on a job the needed a lot of brown-nosing.  He paid his dues.  He never went back to law school, but he now occupies a position of power and success many envy and covet.  He always wanted to be a lawyer, and I know that he never thought he would enjoy the success and power he now has — it hasn’t been without its challenges, but I take my hat off to him for taking things in stride and adapting to any situation that was thrown his way.  He was assigned to far-flung places in undesirable positions.  He did his best.  He waited it out. He performed.  That’s why he survived and succeeded.

Disappointments are a part of life and life gives us permission to feel the pain and sulk — but then we cannot let it rob us of our faith in ourselves.  We cannot let it take our self-confidence down.  Just as everyone tells us to move on from the heartaches of life — we must learn to overcome our disappointments and keep going.

So what if you didn’t get into your school of choice?  Perhaps it’s in the stars for you to go some place else where there isn’t that inordinate amount of flooding, or where biases are not as strong.  To paraphrase what some people say, God is not saying no to you — He is simply saying “Not yet” — or in this case, “Not there.”

When UP Law didn’t accept me, I didn’t even bother to appeal.  When I passed the Bar exams with a cursory review, I told myself that’s one passer that UP doesn’t have because they gave me to Ateneo. 

There will always be a lot of challenges, there will always be disappointments.  But let us not forget that there are also the joys of life — the blessings that come our way — that if we only bothered to stop and count, we will find we have two of the good for each of the bad. 

This morning, as I alighted from the second bus and finally found my way to the last bus stop that will take me to my side of Manhattan, I looked up. I saw the Chrysler Building, my favorite icon towering above me.  I have been at this spot many times before but was usually in a rush , so I have never taken a picture from this perspective.  I did and it made me smile.  I wouldn’t have been at this spot had things not gone totally awry on the way in.  I can look at it as a morning commute from hell, or a morning commute that didn’t quite go right but which was not a total loss if only because I got to take this shot.

Right below the Chrysler Building

Monday, Monday…

I hope everyone had an uneventful weekend and that we start the week on a positive note. I’ve taken to Twitter (@GothamChick) and am slowly getting the hang of it. I’m still trying to “learn my way” through it, though. (No pressure — I have but 5 followers.). I’m in more for the people I follow which, again, is a very, very short list.

Monday and the sun hadn’t fully risen yet although it was already 7:30 when I started drafting this post on the bus. It’s not as bad as it was last week — we’re at “freezing” instead of “below freezing” temperatures. Still, it’s cold,

My Kindle is still acting up, but I’ve managed to update the inventory on the device as well as make the fonts a little larger. I am trying to get going with Grisham’s “The Associate” but my device seems to be in that “just woke up” mode we find ourselves in when we literally get out of bed. I have suddenly lost interest in A Game of Thrones , so I’m putting aside the third installment which I have been stuck with for the past year. Too dark a story for someone trying to find the sunshine in the everyday things we encounter. All that death and gore resonates of pain and heartache. It brings me memories I’d rather not dwell on. Might as well make up for all the Grisham novels I’ve missed.

Every year, I end up saying I will read more this coming year. I envy those who can finish a book in a day or who have the luxury to sit through a book overnight. I’m hoping that toting my slimmer and lighter Kindle will give me that chance.  (I love the iPad but it’s just too “precious” an item and too cumbersome because you can’t exactly just slip it in and forget about it…).

I did a lot over the weekend..  Made some progress with the Art Journal… =)  More tomorrow.  It’s been a busy day at work for me… stayed in because of the snow outside.. praying for warmer weather please.

 Still cold in NY



Cold in Bryant Park

Yes, it’s freezing cold in New York today.  These pictures will tell you just how cold it is.  I made it a point to look out towards the fountain when my bus pulled over to drop me off at my stop and I grabbed my camera and snapped away despite the cold before I went into my building.  I can only imagine how much worse it’s gotten since. 

The Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain Freezing up

It’s supposed to get even colder the next couple of days with a (possible) snow storm in the horizon.  Until it comes, it doesn’t faze us.  So we dress up in layers, sleep in layers, and snuggle up close.  My son, however, seems impervious to the cold as he insists on keeping the fan on.  (It can get warm under the comforters, indeed!)

Brrrrrrryant Park

Days like this make me yearn for the warmth of Manila… even at its worst, the storms somehow seem more bearable than the onslaught of winter.

Freezing Cold in Bryant Park

Glorious Fuschia Pink Empire State Building

You’ll have to forgive me for the fuschia overdose.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw that the Empire State Building was in fuschia pink last Monday.  Gorgeous!

The Empire State Building in gorgeous Fuschia Pink

I always make it a point to take a peek when I can before I walk out the door, but this was one of those days that I had no chance to.  When I saw it as I looked up as I walked onto Avenue of the Americas, I had to cross the street away from my bus stop to get a good vantage point for a picture.  Not quite as crisp as I would want, but I took my time and experimented.

If there’s one color that makes me happy, it’s fuschia pink.  I wear it practically everyday.  Oh, correction, I DO wear it everyday because I have at least 4 coats in that color.

My printer just “ate” a 32gig micro SD memory card.  I saw it slip into an outer paper tray when I lifted the paper in the feed, and it somehow found its way into the printer, somewhere I cannot dig in to get it out.  I will worry about that tomorrow.  I have another memory card to put into the adaptor for the camera.  The fog is so heavy I don’t think I’ll get the chance to shoot any pics tonight, but you’ll never know.  (Reaching into my stash of spare 2gig micro SDs in my purse.)

My Christmas Tree and other holiday trimmings are all boxed up and ready to be put away for good until next December.  This year, I’m getting the holiday cards together and recycling, and what I cannot recycle or repurpose before the month is up will be disposed of.  I get all sentimental about holiday cards and have promised myself to do this the last 2 years but I haven’t been too good with that.  The good news is that I am participating in a Recycled Christmas card Artist Trading Card swap which should give me an excuse to get started on this “project” tonight.

And I did finally get to put up a listing in my Etsy Shop.  This lovely Freshwater Pearl Bangle Trio is available at the shop for $45.00.

Pastel Freshwater Pearl Bangle Trio

“You are looking at a set of three bangles (hence, the “trio”) with alternating quartets of pastel blue, pink, yellow and beige set on gold-tone memory wire. The ends are fastened with a tiny gold tone clasp. The round potato freshwater pearls are approximately 8-9mm each. There are 27 pearls in each bangle and this trio is made up of over a strand of these pearls. The circumference of the bracelet is at approximately 8″ which makes it hang nicely below the wrist. I love the sound of the pearls when they give off their own unique “jangle” as you move.

The inside diameter of the bracelet is 7 1/2 inches. I can extend this bracelet by adding gold-tone chain links on the end to which the lobster clasp attaches to.”

I think I’ve finally ticked off my list over the weekend.. a few days late, but did them all!

Time to head out.. into the cold rain.. or maybe even some snow.  First, I have to change attire — don the jeans and the pretty fuschia pink puff jacket. =)  Another day done..

I almost forgot — new “ABOUT” page here

Feeling All Christmassy

So I changed my theme yet again. =)

Makes up for not posting, even if I have a ton of things to post.  I had a good pre-holiday Friday yesterday, cleaning up at work as I got ready for the week and a half break.  (Don’t you hate how your last day at work before a long holiday always turns out to be a never-ending clean up?)  Mine was relatively lighter than usual with the boss away a day ahead of our mutual break.  Still, I found myself wishing I didn’t have a hair appointment at 4.  I managed to pry myself away from the office in time to catch the subway (1 to Houston) to get to Arrojo Studio.  With time to kill, I was pleasantly surprised to find the Wafel & Dinges truck parked right outside my subway exit across the street from the salon, and it was simply irresistible.  I had a mini wafelini dipped in chocolate (or was it topped with chocolate?) which, thanks to the almost freezing and windy temps, I think, was one crispy chocolaty taste of heaven.

Alas, my hair appointment was fast approaching and we couldn’t afford to miss Michelle.  This is just my second appointment with her but she does such a lovely job of it that I don’t mind the commute down to Varick and back to Midtown.  I actually enjoy exploring new or unfamiliar routes on the Subway.  This was an uneventful trip on the 1 train which gave me the idea of trying to do an end-to-end subway ride one of these days on an unfamiliar route (so no 7-line for me).

I had planned to do an errand or two before meeting up with Alan for the ride home, and I finally got to do something I had planned to do Christmases ago: photograph the store displays of Bergdorf-Goodman, Tiffany’s and a few other interesting storefronts along Fifth Avenue.  Here’s a teaser:

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Display 2012

Gorgeous, gorgeous layouts!  The theme this year is BG Folies of 2012.  The photo above is just one of a set I had taken showcasing such glamour and painstaking detail

Tiffany’s was equally impressive with miniature showcases like this:

Tiffany's Holiday Display 2012

Here’s a close up shot of the chair to the right of the door:

Tiffany's Holiday DIsplay 2012


New York City IN COLOR

The Empire State Building in Blue

The Empire State Building has been standing proud bedecked in various colors night after night after being in it’s plain white glory.  I take some of these pictures 41 storeys above street level, and some when I walk out of the building at the end of a workday.  They’re not as crisp as I’d like them to be because my indoor lighting reflects on the glass windows as I shoot the view outside so it needs some major retouching.  But breathtaking is an understatement.  I should be so lucky.

The other night, it was a glorious red.

The Empire State Building in red

So I try to do my part as the forever tourist here in New York, admiring this architectural icon of the big apple.  Sometimes, being a New Yorker robs me of the perspective and I forget just how majestic is stands to the right of my cityscape.  Of course the Chrysler Building remains my favorite.

I’ve been bogged down by asthma again, but my tree is up.  I’m just trying to ride things out although the deep coughing is getting exhausting.  Today I went to the drug store to pick up some meds and stopped by my usual doughnut stop, DOUGH, at the park — trying to make the most of their being just within arm’s reach.  Until the shops disappear and they retreat back to Brooklyn where their bakery is.

If it wasn’t so cold, I would’ve loved to just sit down and enjoy the park.  But there’s work.
Bryant Park Decked out for the holidays

The holidays aren’t so bad here in NYC after all, even if we are split  given the diversity of the local population.  We all have our bit of the holidays to celebrate and enjoy.  Mine is busy counting his Christmas goodies.  I’ve been asked to buy myself a gift which he will reimburse me for later.  I said make up will make me happy, then the tyke puts his hands on his hips and berates me for asking for something he knows nothing about.  (He will learn.)

I have to get going with the Christmas card next.  First, let me trim my tree pretty.

Pecan Pie.. maybe next year

So Thanksgiving is officially over and we must now get busy preparing for the next big holiday — which, at least as far as my family and I are concerned happens to be Christmas. Funny that I should be writing about this exactly a month to the date.

My four-day weekend went rather well.  Quiet, eventful (meaning I accomplished a lot), but allow me to skip the “What I am Thankful” boiler plate post.  While I had done this in previous years, I am now taking on the mantra that we should be thankful all year round — and not more thankful on certain occasions than most.  Thanksgiving, after all, with all its trimmings, is a pagan holiday.  It is perhaps one of the only holiday besides the Fourth of July which is celebrated across all religions and races in this great country.  I do wish to declare that my next big project for Thanksgiving 2013 is to be able to bake Pecan Pie from scratch.  An absolute favorite of mine, I am trying to sparingly dive into a delicious full-sized pie delivered to me by FreshDirect today along with the rest of my groceries.  (Tip: Their Thanksgiving related goodies are all 50% off.  Grab your pie now!)

My signature leche flan gets better with each year, although I need to nail down the exact number of multipliers I need to do to produce enough llaneras of my famed flan.  I follow Nora Daza’s recipe with a slight twist, replacing the last cup of condensed milk with a cup of evaporated milk, and more lime zest than she recommends.  I actually went down to the city on Wednesday to drop off some with my former Millie, a Cuban by birth who swears by my flans as to-die-for.  Plus I had to get the usual haircut since my hair was literally getting all frumpy and out of control.

I also cooked the leche flan a while longer than usual to toast the top, and while I had hoped to make some calamansi ice cream (experimenting with some vanilla ice cream flavored by honey calamansi concentrate), I was too exhausted by the time I got on the bus for the trip home to stop by the grocery to pick up the pint of ice cream I had planned to get.  (Next time..)

I cooked through Thanksgiving preparing my usual Foolproof Standing Rib Roast courtesy of Paula Deen — never fails!  The great thing was that Angelo insisted and cooked the Apple Sausage stuffing I did from scratch which resulted in semi-cooked onions and a slight burn or two which my young chef took in stride.  Steamed veggies, potatoes au gratin (just the boxed variety) plus my macaroni salad and we were all set.  The wine was a perfect pairing to the beef and we sat down to have our feast.

The highlight of my weekend, though, was the trip into the city with my little guy on Black Friday.

He obliged me with my stop at Victoria’s Secret  on 34th street (free tote with qualifying purchase.. I couldn’t let THAT go by!) and then we walked to the Toys R’Us flagship store on Broadway and 44th in Times Square.  We spent a good hour or so there as he browsed the racks of action figures, and the unbelievable deals.   By the time we walked out, we were carrying a huge bag thanks to a two-box set at a total bargain price of $20 (and each box was priced regularly at between $30-40 each) — but my office was just a short walk away.  We deposited our things there and headed for our usual date at McDonald’s for lunch, but only because STK Out was closed.  I was looking forward to having Angelo sample their savory burger and absolutely heavenly truffle cheese fries — but that it was closed wasn’t a complete surprise considering half the city was on holiday.  (Well, the other half went to work like those working in the service industry like Alan.)

The Empire State BuildingFrom the office on 42nd, we walked to 36th, and then Angelo said, “It’s too early to go home.  I want to do something fun.”  We went back to Bryant Park 42nd and walked around to check out the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park.  There’s also the skating rink at Citi Pond (the ice skating rink running through to March 3 next year),  and while I knew he was itching to try and skate, I wasn’t.  I told him we’d have to wait for when his Dad was available to go with him because he wouldn’t be able to catch me if I fell.  My personal choice is to stay by the sidelines and watch and click away.  Besides, there was  a long line of would-be renters.  Entrance to the pond is free you’re okay if you have your own skates, or you can rent from the organizers.  There are also coaches available for those who want to learn (although I don’t know if coaching is for a fee), and a portion of the pond towards the center is cordoned off for younger and novice skaters.  The rink moves in a single direction and is policed by skate guards.  (What else?)

It was midday and I was really (for once) hoping he would tire of walking and tell me he wanted to go home.  Instead, he came up with the bright idea of heading out to Central Park.  “I haven’t been there for so long!” — and while I was afraid he’d give in to fatigue before we could head back to the bus stop to take the ride home, I thought the worst thing that could happen was I’d have to grab a cab.  So off we went.  Took the M7 up to the 80s and then walked.  And walked.  And walked.

My feet were ready to give in before the tyke’s, but I wasn’t about to be cowed.  He wanted to climb EVERY rock we came across, and it took some stern warnings to prevent him from walking up the taller and seemingly more steeply inclined rock formations — but I felt like I had to let him go and do it.   More so when we got to the Gill in the Ramble, a mini-forest in the forest that is Central Park.  We had been looking for the Conservatory Water hoping to rent a remote-controlled model sailboat, but alas I figured out on the way home we were on the wrong side of the park.  (I have always been more familiar with the attractions on the West Side than the far side.)

Where the stream flows through: Central Park, The Gill

We must’ve gone into three playgrounds in all as we went walking through the various areas, climbed atop a dozen rock formations, but we spent the longest time in this meandering rock formation with an actual flowing stream.  There were many children here when we arrived so I felt it was safe to let him go up.  Plus one of the Dads was actually going up and down — playing along with kids who were Angelo’s age as they went through their bit of forest in this concrete jungle.  And when everyone else had left, my boy begged me to stay a while longer, even trading it for the quest to find the rent-a-remote-controlled-model-sailboat portion of the park.  So I relented.

The view was magical.  They had stone benches at the foot of the stream as it joined the lake, and while I tried not to take my eyes off Angelo as he walked up and down the rocks holding a twig in one hand, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the view below.

The view from the Gill as the sun begins to set

By the time he agreed to leave, I was running after the last vestiges of light as the sun began to set.  The tricky thing being that the sun can run down and disappear on certain days, and there we were in the midst of a the Ramble.. The lights hadn’t turned on yet, but for all the boasting about the safety of NYC and its parks these days, there are still those one-off incidents when someone bumps into some bad luck, and I wasn’t about to risk that with an 8-year-old in tow.

We walked again and climbed more rocks and took more beautiful pictures.

Central Park as the sun was setting

The boy was exhausted but beaming, and still begging to stay.  Even when the sun was already in the horizon, ready to bid the city goodnight, and the lamp posts of Central Park turned on in unison.

My boy amazed by the rocks of Central Park

It was well worth all the walking and the time in the cold.  This on a day when I decided to forego the leggings under the jeans thinking I wasn’t going to stay outdoors long anyway.  Lesson learned: never brave the cold under-dressed.

I finally get to chalk off one of my “to-dos” on my list — Central Park, and I actually intend to go back, hopefully before the last hints of fall disappears into winter.  I am sure Angelo will insist on going with me.  There aren’t many opportunities to do this — but I have promised to bring him back to Central Park in the spring.

It was a most heartwarming date with my little guy.  He’s grown so much.  I could see the priceless smile on his face — I felt like a real rock star in his eyes.  I wanted to write there and then — to capture the moment in words.  But that would’ve distracted me from enjoying watching him figure out ways and means to go up and down the rocks.. and see him flash me a smile every now and then.  So I folded my arms and hugged myself, tucked my scarf as high up my neck as I could, and I didn’t let the cold get to me.

He napped on the bus ride from the park to my street Midtown.  By the time we got off to grab what we had left in the office, he was re-energized.  I got some treats from the shops in the park and he tried some Kettle Corn NYC, then we hopped on the bus home.  I hugged him close to me as he dozed off again.. smiling.

It was, indeed, a happy, happy Thanksgiving.

In Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool (Happening right now)

Woke up with pain in my throat and rode to the city with my sinews aching.  Downed two Dayquils and will hopefully survive it through the day.

When my bus drove by Bryant Park to let me off, look what greeted me… CAMPAIGN FOR WOOL.  I was late — as in REALLY late — but I couldn’t go up without snapping away.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

My favorite Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain has been “dressed to the nines” in wool and surrounded by all this warm and fuzzy garb.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

The public is actually allowed to sit in these beautiful lounge chairs in different shapes and sizes.  Even the ever-present park chairs have been all dolled up!

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

Not to be spared, the trees were also outfitted with colorful wrappings of wool.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

And look who’s standing guard?  I thought it was the real deal but turns out it was a mannequin.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

They’re even giving THIS away!

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

The wool looks so soft and plush and just huggable, but the asthmatic in me would think twice of diving into all that goodness.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

Happy thoughts

I seem to have found a new routine which sees me writing on the bus.  I’m getting the hang of typing on the iPad and then posting later in the day.

Bryant Park - 13 Sept 2012
Bryant Park - 13 Sept 2012

Gorgeous weather in New York today.. makes me smile and look forward to the rest of my Thursday with optimism.  It helps when I go in armed with a cheery countenance because it helps me to deal with whatever challenges come my way.  And it’s going to be a busy day… and there are moods to tiptoe around.

My Altered Book: A Happy Life - Happy ThoughtsMy Altered Book is already working its magic as I opened it to my “Happy Thoughts” page.  I tried to think of other things that make me happy for additional blurbs on a “captions only layout I’m working on.. I managed to put two in yesterday: “How can you go wrong with CHOCOLATE?” and “Sleep in”.  While on the bus, I thought of “Butter Pecan Ice cream” and “Make up”.  (Made me smile again….).  And just now, “Paris”.  (That thought literally made me pause… and smile.)
I realize now that that is the essence of being able to go back to the “happy” in one’s life — it helps remind you that you have been blessed so many times to have felt happy.  And that is a gift in itself, in good times or bad.  I’ve decided I will do random layouts of “Happy thoughts” to reinforce that.  Both the creating and reading parts help me to focus on the positive, from the mundane to the profound.  We often tend to forget the things that brought a smile to our face, or that gave us that warm and fuzzy feeling of joy in our hearts. Sometimes it can be something as simple as a food we crave and love, or something else in our every day lives that lifts our spirits up.

My Altered Book: A Happy Life - All about my Little GuyI work on bits and pieces of the altered book, sometimes putting things in place permanently, and sometimes playing around with the layout by temporarily affixing the embellishment on the page.  On the layout to the left, the picture is already pasted (isn’t he gorgeous?) but the caption which I printed out on brown paper bag scraps is being held to the page by some teeny-weeny masking tape.  I keep going back to this page and see my bundle of joy smiling at me.  That is reward enough.

I want to go about my day today with a smile on my face and a light heart.  I am vowing not to let myself get aggravated by anything inconsequential.  Well, I will try. =)  (Trying to be reasonable here.. Life happens..)