15 Ways You Know You're Living With Kids (And other Holiday Ramblings)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

So here we are....Christmas is over and the New Year is fast approaching.  I hope your holiday was joyful and filled with the company of family and friends.  Ours was certainly joyful - a bit chaotic and messy, but definitely perfect because we were surrounded by our family and granddaughters.  It's funny how, as we age and spend our golden years, we fall into a slower rhythm.   With it being just the two of us, the house is quiet, the pace is slower, we just take things as they come.  That calm, quiet, slow pace is cast to the wind when a five year old and a 16 month old come to stay for two weeks.  The house is no longer quiet, or slow, or tidy.  It is full of life, full of giggles, full of fun. There's no leisurely sipping of morning coffee; kids have an automatic 'on' switch, unlike us retired folk.  It takes me a few days to acclimate to the change in lifestyle, but once I work through the first few days of adjustment to the disruption of  my routine, I stop obsessing over the mess and just focus on how wonderful it is having everyone under one roof and spend the rest of my days focused on the chubby cheeks and baby giggles.  But thinking about this process of adapting to a change in our day-to-day routine inspired today's post.....

    15 Ways You Know You're Living With Kids:

  1. Your morning Today Show is replaced by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  2. Your bathtub is littered with bath toys
  3. Stairs that are normally accessible are now gated
  4. The dish drying mat is covered with sippy cups and divided plates
  5. Your day begins when the first baby feet touch the ground BC - before coffee
  6. Being able to see the majority of the living room floor is optional
  7. Cameras are kept up high and out of reach
  8. The fridge and cabinets are filled with toddler-friendly snacks
  9. The garbage can seems to always be full
  10. The dishwasher runs almost daily instead of twice a week
  11.  Naptime and bedtime are the only quiet times of the day
  12. American Cheese is present at nearly every meal, and raisins, grapes and cookies are staples in the house
  13. the "Loot Pile" under the tree never really stays a pile
  14. Sophie has become an expert at averting baby hands and can retreat under the Christmas tree in less than 60 seconds.  (Braelyn is obsessed with her paws and I think Sophie equates any paw attention to her monthly manicures which are not her favorite outing.)
  15. There is always someone to talk to and someone who wants your attention!
Yes, having 4 house guests for two weeks creates a bit of a wave in our normally placid ocean, ok.....some days it feels like a small tsunami, but I wouldn't trade a moment of it for anything.   I'll embrace the mess, the laundry, the early mornings and even the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse because there is nothing better in life than being able to spend these precious days with family.  I've said it from the start, being a grandparent is the biggest blessing and greatest joy there is. Being able to have these two weeks to watch Braelyn's funny disposition, hear her giggles, and feel her hugs was the best gift Santa could deliver.  Spending time with Elena doing crafts, enjoying her complete awe in everything involving Christmas, seeing her enthusiasm over learning new things.....well, let me say, it sounds biased, but our grandkids are the best.  

I may love retirement and the quiet life with just the two of us, but as any of you grandparents and parents can attest.....there's nothing better than having your whole family together anytime, but especially at the holidays.  Hope you don't mind, but here's a little glimpse into our special holiday time.........

From biking in 60 degrees on Christmas Eve.............to sledding today, Grandpa is a girl's best friend!

Is it any wonder I savor these days?
Note bottom middle photo - Braelyn wearing a crown of Grandpa's 55 yr. old Tinkertoys! 
I told you he was an antique!

My older daughter Katie and son-in-law Mike (top left), my daughter Laura, Braelyn, Katie, Elena, Me and my Mom on the top right, and Laura, son-in-law Eric with Elena & Braelyn, bottom right.

Finally had an extended number of days home which allowed time to have Braelyn christened!  She wasn't a fan of being confined, but when it came time for the water....she was A-ok!

So, that's been my holiday!  Thanks for letting me share a glimpse into my world and the people I love.  And thanks to you all for reading my blog, sharing your stories and giving me an outlet that will undoubtedly get me through some sad days when this crew heads back to Indiana this weekend.  My house and routine will be back to normal, but we will sure miss the laughter and fun.  It's been a great couple of weeks!

If You Just Believe..............

Thursday, December 24, 2015
The Christmas season is  jam packed.  It's packed with activities, shopping, decorating, wrapping, meal planning, socializing.  Everywhere we go, the halls are decked with lights and tinsel and shiny balls..... all the things that visually remind us of the holiday season.  Christmas music has been playing on the radio and in stores since before Thanksgiving.  We frantically shop for the perfect gifts for everyone on our list, hoping to keep the spending within reasonable limits, or at least within our budgets.  Our calendars become a road map of social commitments as we try to see as many family and friends as possible in just a few short weeks.  No matter how consistently Christmas arrives each year at the same time, year after year, somehow we seem to be caught off guard with having to be ready in time.  By the time Christmas arrives, we are frazzled, short on cash, disheartened with the inability to find that 'perfect present' and exhausted.  It's a shame really, but what I think is the saddest part is that in our quest to make "the perfect holiday" we miss out on really enjoying and experiencing what should be the happiest of seasons.  I believe that in all this hectic chaos, we lose the magic, we lose our sense of wonder, we turn a season of joy and wonder into a season of commercial chaos lacking everything Christmas is meant to be.

I think this process begins to take place right about the time we stop believing.  It is at that moment that we lose the magic and Christmas becomes just another holiday.  I remember when our oldest daughter reached that point.  She was about ten.  Katie was a believer - in everything.  She clung to the magic of Christmas for as long as she possibly could, despite her truthful friends.  She knew how important that magic was.  Our youngest daughter figured it out much sooner and then it seemed, the magic was gone for all of us for a time.  But we humans want to believe, not just in Santa, but in mankind.  We need things to believe in.  Heck, just look at Joel Osteen's congregation!  His positive message beckons thousands every week who want to believe in something bigger than themselves.  In this time of world unrest and mass shootings, poverty and homelessness, we all need something to believe in.  Yet, it is because of these things that we have all become so cynical, so hardened, so unbelieving.  Life can get pretty depressing, especially on the nightly news.  It's no wonder Christmas has lost its magic and its meaning.  It has become such a commercial holiday leaving us all just a little overwhelmed and unimpressed.

Tonight I was watching my favorite Christmas movie, The Polar Express, based on the 1985 award-winning children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.  In case you are one of the few who might be unfamiliar with its story, it is about a little boy who has reached the point of not believing.  He hears his parents say it will be sad if his days of believing were over. "It would be the end of the magic".  Naturally the little boy doesn't want the magic to end, so when a steam train arrives in front of his house and the conductor invites him aboard to come along to the North Pole, the little boy hesitantly climbs aboard.  Once in the North Pole, the boy (who is never actually named in the book or movie) meets Santa and is chosen to receive the First Gift of Christmas.  I don't want to spoil the ending, but after a tragic turn of events, Santa saves the day and the little boy's belief in Santa is restored.  It sounds like a predictable story, but it is magical, beautifully done in computer animation and may be one of the most heartwarming and magical Christmas movies ever made.  As juvenile as it may sound, the Polar Express is not just about believing in Santa.  It reminds us that we have everything we need if we just believe.  Josh Groban wrote, Believe, a beautiful song for the movie.  Take a moment to listen click the link and listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDoRPbsfJE0     Here are some of the lyrics:

by Josh Groban

Children, sleeping.
Snow is softly falling.
Dreams are calling,
Like bells in the distance.
We were dreamers,
Not so long ago.
But one by one, we
All had to grow up.

When it seems the magic slipped away...
We find it all again on Christmas Day.

Believe in what your heart is saying,
Hear the melody that's playing.
There's no time to waste,
There so much to celebrate.
Believe in what you feel inside,
Give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need, if you just believe.

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/

I think that little boy in the movie was not named because that little boy represented all of us.  I think what we all need is a little Christmas magic.  I think we all want to believe.  We need to believe.  Maybe not in Santa exactly, but we need to think like kids again and think about Christmas from the heart of a child.  We need to look at the season with eyes of wonder - at the joy of giving, the magic in our children and grandchildren's faces, in the pure and genuine gift of love that used to be behind each and every gift we gave.  We need to give with that sincerity again - not as a frustrated chore of finding a perfect gift, but as a heartfelt expression of our care for the person who receives that gift.  Santa may not be a real man in a red suit, but he is an expression of the magic of the holiday.  He represents the magic we all need to feel during these hard times.  He represents the love and compassion we need to have for our neighbors, our family, our friends and even our enemies.  He represents the joy, the love and the sense of wonder we should be feeling during this season, rather than the negativity that can sometimes overtake us in the quest to provide the "perfect holiday".  Like the little boy in the Polar Express, we need to Believe! 
 So this season, whether your kids are too old to believe in Santa, whether someone you love is missing from the holiday, or whether finances have prevented you from purchasing the special gift you wanted to give, try to go back to those magical times and think about Christmas with the heart of a child.  Think about the true meaning of the season - the birth of a child - and the miracle of that birth.  And when you stop and remember that, remember to BELIEVE.  And just maybe, the magic will return.

My 'Best Of' List for 2015 - Businesses & Contractors You Won't Want to Live Without

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wow, thank you for your amazing response to my last post and thank you for welcoming the Vischer Ferry General Store.  I have one more post I've wanted to do before the year's end and that post is to give a little nod to some of the local businesses that I've had the privilege of doing business with that have not been subjects here in my blog.  One of the big reasons I blog is to share with all of you places we've discovered, some new, some established.  It's been my way of Paying it Forward and giving some great people and great businesses a little publicity.  That is why I always ask you to share my posts!  We tend to hear the horror stories about business gone bad, but not often enough do we hear about those businesses that go above and beyond for their customers.  So today I want to share some businesses we've had the pleasure of working with, some I hope you might think about using should the need arise.

The first business I want to tell you about is Home Evolution.  I normally prefer finding contractors through referrals from family and friends, but when I can't, my go-to resource is Angie's List.  That's where I found Home Evolution - one of the highest rated companies, for installing our new roof last year.  I'd never heard of them but with an A rating and over 100 reviews, I knew they were the company for us.  From the moment we placed the call for an estimate, Home Evolution was top notch. Not only did they come out quickly to give us an estimate, they did the job soon after and got it done in one morning.  Their entire crew was polite and efficient.  Special care was taken to protect our property and everything was cleaned up thoroughly when they were finished.  If you need a roof, insulation, windows and more, Home Evolution is a great company to work with.
The fact that they sent a Christmas card that did not worry about being politically correct just made me love them even more!

Another business I've been anxious to tell you about is DF Construction.  Another Angie's List find, Donald Frame is the owner and operator of DF Construction in Clifton Park.  We hired Don and his team a couple of years ago to replace the aluminum siding on our home.  From the get-go, Don was a great guy to do business with.  His no-pressure approach with a genuine interest in not draining your bank account, Don and his guys were professional and courteous and did an amazing job from patiently helping us select siding color right till the end of the project.  He gave us a long list of addresses of houses in the area he'd done in colors we were interested in which was a huge help in deciding on a color.  They arrived each morning and put in a full day and each day his crew cleaned up from their day's work.  They also replaced a garage window for us.  I'd definitely recommend them.  You can reach Don at 383-0900 or donframe@nycap.rr.com
Before (l) and After (r)

Need some hardscape work done?   I've got just the guy for you.....Mark Petrecki & Son is the best around.  I've used Mark on several occasions and there's just no one in the business who is better.  Mark has a vision for what is aesthetically pleasing.  I've learned that when I have a job, I leave the design up to him because I know whatever he dreams up will be far more beautiful than anything I could imagine.  He's a little OCD in his work and will not rest until each stone laid is laid perfectly.  He is thorough and considerate in his business and so are the men he employs.  Over the years I've had Mark build a retaining wall, a patio, a drain in front of our garage door, repaired a chimney, resurfaced our foundation, and laid a sidewalk.  Each and every time, Mark has done an outstanding job.  On top of that, he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.   To contact Mark, find him on his Facebook at :  https://www.facebook.com/petreckiandson/  or call him at 858-6809.  Here's a few examples of Mark's work......
Retaining Wall
Front Walkway

Next on my list is my Contractor Extraordinaire - Barry Katz of BK's Custom Services.  Barry is an old neighbor and friend and over the years has remodeled my kitchen, foyer and bathroom, taken down wallpaper, and a laundry list of other smaller jobs.  But.....Barry's real expertise is in Custom Designed Cabinetry Solution and Built-ins.  Like Mark, Barry is a perfectionist.  He shows up early in the morning and works tirelessly all day, cleaning up at the end of each day.  He's honest and trustworthy and immensely talented.  You can reach Barry at 581-5900.  Here's a glimpse of some of his work:

Next on my list of awesome businesses is Advanced Power LLC, a company that specializes in power generators for home and business.  We used this company about 4 or so years ago to install a whole-house generator by Generac.   They did a wonderful job and come once a year for an annual service.  It's no wonder they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.  I can't tell you how wonderful it is having the security of a generator which comes on automatically within 30 seconds of the power going out and turns off once power is restored without any help from us.  No more loss of food after power outages.  We always have heat, power and security during outages whether it be from a winter storm or a summer thunder storm!    To reach Advanced Power LLC, check out their website at http://www.advancedpowerllc.com/ or call 895-2884.

Just as important as home repairs, car repairs are probably life's biggest headache.  For maybe 20 years, we've been using Dave Crawford for all of our car repairs.  Originally with Borst Tires on Vischer Ferry Road and now in his own business, Dave is an honest and fair-priced mechanic who we trust to do our repairs in a timely and affordable fashion.  It's great never having to worry about being 'taken' when it comes to car repairs.  Dave will never sell you something you don't need and when you drive away, you have the confidence to know your car is repaired right.  Dave is located on Bruno Road in Clifton Park and can be reached at 368-6302.

If it's lawncare you need - mowing, spring and fall clean up - I depend on Saratoga Turf Care.  Doug Smalley and his guys do a wonderful job.  We've used them in the spring for our spring clean up and our neighbors use them for both spring and fall clean up.  Watching them the first time we hired them, I was so impressed by their thorough job.  When I mentioned to them how impressed I was, Doug's response was, "well, I'm doing it like I'd want my own yard done"!  To reach Saratoga Turf Care, call 371-0508.

Need some gutters, gutters cleaned or gutter covers?   We depend on Todd Pilgrim of Malta Seamless Gutters.  Todd and his men have installed half of my gutters, installed covers on previously installed gutters and cleaned out my gutters.  Prompt, thorough and courteous service make Todd our go-to gutter guy!  You can reach Todd at 899-1100.  Check out his website at:  http://www.maltaseamlessgutters.com/

If it's computer help you're after....I have just the guy.  Steve Bleznyk of Capital Region Tech has been our computer guru for the past four years.  Forget about the Geek Squad!  Steve comes to your house and fixes your computer right, the first time.  If the job is too lengthy, he'll bring your computer home and return it.  With over 10 years of experience Steve will do:  computer and laptop repairs, Iphone and Ipad support, spyware and virus removal, software solutions, networking and security, hardware installation and computer lessons.  Got a new computer you need set up, call Steve.  I'm telling you, for extremely reasonable rates and outstanding service, you'll never find a better computer tech than Steve.  Check out his website, read some of his very informative blog posts, and keep him in mind the next time you need computer support.   He can be reached at Bleznyk1@yahoo.com or 518-701-9058  https://capitalregiontech.wordpress.com/

And then.....sometimes life calls for repairs of a more personal nature.  For instance eye care.....this year we found a gem of a business to provide our eye care.  Burnt Hills Optical on Route 50 is the best!  Kris and Dave Cameron are the owners and opticians at Burnt Hills Optical.  Not only do they provide friendly service, Kris is the best gal on the planet for helping select just the right frames.  When we walked into the shop for the first time with John's prescription for new glasses, she looked at John, listened to his preferences when it comes to his glasses and before we could try on 3 frames on our own, Kris walked over with a pair she suggested he try on.  They were spot-on perfect for both appearance and in meeting his needs.  I thought this might be a fluke - her talent for picking so perfectly in one try, but after just a few tries, she found me the perfect frames.  I've worn bifocals (progressive) glasses for about 20 years and have hated every pair of glasses I've ever worn.  For the first time in 20 years, I love my glasses and don't feel self conscious in them or fidget with them constantly.  Kris knows how to adjust your glasses perfectly and make you look great and see great!  After years of getting glasses in those big box stores, I am so thrilled to finally have an eye glass vendor who makes wearing glasses not feel like a disability.  I also took advantage of  their optometrist, Dr. Craig Murcray, for my eye exam!  Burnt Hills Optical participates in several insurance plans, including CDPHP, Davis Vision, MVP and many more.  Give them a call today at 399-6130 or check out their website at http://www.burnthillsoptical.com/.  From the moment you arrive, everyone at Burnt Hills Optical will make you glad you chose them!
I'm never in front of the camera, much less do selfies, but these new glasses make me a bit more willing!
While I use this blog for promoting businesses I sincerely love (and rarely accept requests for posts), I also maintain a non-sponsored blog, meaning I don't carry ads and therefore don't make an income from my blog.  However, there is one exception to that rule and that is my ad for Beekman 1802. Since I've begun my blog, I have covered the Beekman Boys (Josh Kilmer Purcell and Brent Ridge). In addition to being totally smitten with the Beekman 1802 estate, Farmer John and his many goats and a number of the Beekman products, I am over the moon impressed with these two men who have created a small empire that began with goat's milk soap.  From that product, they have grown and grown and now have products in Target, online, on Evine, and in their Beekman 1802 Mercantile in Sharon Springs. They have written cookbooks, and have recently published the premiere issue of their new magazine, Beekman Almanac.  No prettier publication exists!  This is one magazine you will not want to throw away.  Despite their fame and success, Josh and Brent have remained humble and genuine and have used their platform for the good of all the local neighbors, farmers and artisans in and around Sharon Springs.  So while they are nationwide celebrities, they live their lives like the humble local neighbors they are.  I recently contacted Beekman 1802 with a question about a product I'd purchased.  Not only did I receive an email from customer service, I received a personal email from Josh and one from Brent!  I have never had that experience with any other large company - ever.  If you aren't yet familiar with the Beekman 1802 company.....you don't know what you're missing.  Click on the ad on the sidebar of this blog to check out their website, view the Live Goat Cam and check out their quality products!  http://beekman1802.com/

Just to list a few more of our favorites:
  1. Tree Services - David's Tree Topping Service - 371-0361
  2. Lawncare (fertilizing,  tree trimming, etc) - Davey's Tree - 785-9417
  3. Best in Hair Care - Joeann Carman - Studio D in Clifton Park - 371-1010
  4. Best Pharmacists - Bob and Sonny at Rite Aid in the Price Chopper Plaza - 371-6155
  5. Best Shop From Home Servicehttp://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/2015/01/grocery-shopping-in-my-recliner.html
  6. Best Kids' Fun - Huck Finn's Playland
Well, I'm sure I may have missed someone, but in a world where the negative can sometimes outweigh the positive in the news and even our minds, I just wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to some of the folks that always provide us with great service each and every time.  Keep them in mind next time you're looking for headache free,  dependable service.  If you know of anyone who is looking for any of these services, share this blog post with them.  
Thanks for reading and come back to for more Life As I See It.  Stay tuned for a very special Christmas post next to help you keep in the true Christmas spirit!  

The Vischer Ferry General Store - Where History Meets Present Day and Friends and Neighbors Come Together

Saturday, December 19, 2015
Ok.......one more new post before the holidays.  As much as I love blogging, there's something I love even more and that's spending time with my family and my grandchildren.  This morning my out-of-town family arrived for Christmas - complete with our two granddaughters, so I plan to be preoccupied for a time savoring each & every sweet moment with them.  While they are nestled all safe in their beds though, I have a few moments to share a very special new friend in the neighborhood - the Vischer Ferry General Store!  I know when you see the photos, you'll want to make a trip to welcome them and do a little holiday shopping, followed by a warm beverage and some delicious homemade baked goods.  It's just what the doctor ordered to help you catch your breathe during the holiday rush.

Located at 357 Riverview Road in Rexford, NY, there are so many things I love about the Vischer Ferry General Store, especially its historical significance to our community.  Their website gives a wonderful historical accounting of both its origin and the community of Vischer Ferry, (link will be included later) but I'll try to give you a short synopsis.  The original general store was built by Benjamin Mix in 1787.  The store passed through several owners in the 1800's and for a time even operated as a post office.  The hamlet of Vischer Ferry was growing thanks to the construction of the Erie Canal, and during the 19th century the area was thriving.  In 1930 a garage was added to the property when it was owned by Ordie Shippee.  It again changed hands and was eventually owned by Nels Olsen who operated it as the Vischer Ferry General Store in 1953.  He was the last to run it as a general store, but later it became a bike shop, a realty shop and later a tack shop.  After the building was damaged in a fire in 2013, it was purchased by a group of neighbors eager to restore it to it's natural glory.  Joanne & Paul Coons. Karan & George Donohue, and Louise and Tom McManus own the current property.   The renovation was led by Paul who took great care to make sure the renovations were historically accurate while utilizing modern, energy efficient technology.  What resulted is a beautiful structure that has the charm of the 1800's but shines like grandmas's silver!  From the moment you step inside, it's almost impossible to know where to look first.  From the ten foot high beadboard ceilings to the light fixtures, the revival of this historic structure is nothing short of a masterpiece.

When I heard about the impending opening of the store, I contacted Louise to ask if I might feature the store in the blog.  Preparations for opening continued right up to the last minute, so I wasn't able to visit prior to its opening last weekend, but on Thursday John and I took a chance and dropped in hoping to at least get a glimpse and check out the baked goods.  What I first noticed about the Vischer Ferry General Store is that the hospitality is as welcoming as the atmosphere!  Both Louise and Anouk greeted us warmly, as they did each and every customer that entered.  Anouk admitted she'd been reading (stalking as she said) my blog which of course made me love her instantly!

 Louise manages the retail aspects of the store and Anouk manages the culinary end of things.  Louise and Anouk are neighbors and best friends and obviously a match made in heaven.  Louise explained that their intent for the store is for it to be a place where people in the community come together to relax, have a cup of coffee or tea, flip through a magazine or catch up with a neighbor.  It is not about being a neighborhood deli, in fact, their menu will be limited to baked goods, a daily soup, a daily sandwich or two and beverages.

 This particular day Anouk told us about her sandwich of the day - an egg panini which was served with cheddar cheese and dijon mayonnaise and optional bacon and roasted tomato.  Although we hadn't planned on lunch, we quickly decided, "why not"?   We decided to share a sandwich and a bowl of the soup of the day, Tomato Cheddar.  The cooler is stocked with a wide variety of specialty water, soda and juice in addition to coffee, latte and tea.  We opted for root beer, one of John's favorites.  Anouk's egg paninni was to die for.  I normally don't love paninni's because they're often too tough and hard to chew, but this one was just grilled enough but still tender and the perfect texture for the delicate egg souffle inside.  And what a genius idea to use dijon mayonnaise -- OMG amaaazing!  The soup had a rich tomato flavor with a hint of cheddar and that too was quite delicious.  Occasionally being 'press' (even with my tiny blog) results in special treatment and today that special treatment involved a plateful of baked samples.....which if you know my husband, was like winning the lottery.  Anouk's baked goods were out of this world - every one of them.  I ate a 1/4 of one cookie and a bite of another and John enjoyed the entire plate...and I mean - enjoyed!

In addition to the wonderful food, the store offers a wide array of unique and fun gifts for everyone of any age.  This is where Louise's talent comes in!  I knew immediately that I was going to love this shop because one of the first things I saw upon entering was a selection of merchandise from Beekman 1802.....including autographed copies of the premier edition of their new magazine, Beekman Almanac.    From gourmet food items, to fair trade clothing items, to children's books and toys, stationery and jewelry, the General Store has it all.  Here's a peek of some of the great selection of merchandise awaiting you.....

The birdhouses above were built by the carpenter who worked on the General Store. He built the beautiful long table and counter, and built these bird houses with reclaimed wood from the original structure!  What a great gift for history buffs, especially natives to the area!

Louise found the notepads above in her home, which is next door to the General Store and decided to recreate them as notepads as a fun reminder of the store's origins.  The pads are printed exactly as they were back when Ordie Shippee ran the store in the 1930's.  You'll also find a large array of books featuring local history as well as merchandise made by local aritisans.  Mustard Seed, a mother/daughter company that produces natural products using essential oil, has created two signature scents for the Vischer Ferry General Store for their dish soap, hand soap and hand lotion - a winter and a summer scent.   This is just a tiny example of what you can find when you visit......there is so much to see and so much you'll want to buy.  I promise anything you buy will be unique and appreciated by anyone on your gift list.  What is so nice is that Louise has worked hard to incorporate local history, local craftsmen and the feel of an old general store into a new and modern shop.  It's the perfect mix of old and new.

Take time out of your busy holiday schedule to stop in and say hi to some of the nicest shopkeepers you'll meet.  Try some of Anouk's delicious treats and sit a spell and enjoy the old time feel of a local gathering spot.  I know that before long the Vischer Ferry General Store will be just that - a place for locals and visitors to sit a spell and enjoy the company of friends, old and new in a piece of Clifton Park's history born again.  What a beautiful way to restore and honor this magnificent piece of history.  Thank you to all those who poured so much love into this project!
To read more about the Vischer Ferry General Store, check out their website where you can read more about the history of Vischer Ferry (thank you John Scherer), Louise & Anouk, and more about the products they sell.  And don't forget to like and follow their Facebook page too!  Link below!

Thanks for reading and come back soon.  I'll be bringing back some of last year's holiday posts and might even find a minute to bring you a little peek of our holiday times here at Life As I See It.  

Christmas 1830's Style at the Pruyn House

Thursday, December 17, 2015
Oh boy....it's creeping closer.  No matter how long I live or how old I get, I will never comprehend how Christmas manages to arrive year after year, catching us unprepared, hurried and frantic despite the fact that it comes at precisely the same time every year!!!  Crazy stuff!  I'm pretty ready, however, just a few last minutes details to finish up before my Indiana family arrives for two weeks of holiday chaos (translated - Bliss).  Before that happens though I have a couple more blog posts to share.  The first is in keeping with the historic theme of my Stockade post and features a place I've featured before - the Pruyn House in the Town of Colonie.

From the town's website:  This beautifully restored home situated on 5 1/2 acres is a connection to the Dutch heritage of this area.  Built by Casparus Pruyn in around 1830 as a country home for his wife Ann and their 8 children, it is a blend of Federal and Greek Revival architecture.  Over the years the property had many owners, the longest being members of the Henkes famly.  John and Carrie Henkes purchased the property in 1983, the Town of Colonie purchased the home later and began extensive repairs and opened it to the public in 1985 as a historic and cultural center.

Normally I enjoy visiting in the spring and summer when I can enjoy their beautiful flower gardens. You can see them in my previous posts (links included at the end of this post), but today I'm here to give you a tour of the Pruyn House all decorated for Christmas.

Feel free to click on each photo for a better look.  When you're done, click on your "Back Arrow" to return to the blog.

Music provided by the American Recorder Society

Whether you visit Pruyn House over the holiday season, or in the summer for their 5-week concert series, or just to sit in the garden and enjoy the view,  this property is truly a treasure.  Check out more about Pruyn House in the posts linked below!

Thanks for reading.  Good luck with your final holiday preparations and come back soon for more Life As I See It!

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