The Speckled Hen, Where Christmas Spirit Comes from the Heart

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
I don't know how Santa is feeling right about now, but I'm ready for a little hot chocolate and a nice long nap!  Does this feel like a marathon to you?  It's beginning to feel like one to me but there is a method to my madness.  First of all, I can't believe how many people have already decorated for Christmas.  I mean, really, we haven't even eaten the turkey yet!!  Clearly you folks are excited to let the festivities begin!  Besides that, in most cases I've been rushing these posts in order to get them to you in time for shop open houses.  That is definitely the case with tonight's post about an all-time favorite - The Speckled Hen.  What would a Christmas series be without this reader favorite??  The Speckled Hen's Open House is being held this weekend, Friday-Sunday so I HAD to give you a preview of what awaits.  Personally, if I were to go anywhere on Black Friday (and I don't), this would definitely be the place I'd go.  I think once you get through this post, you'll agree.  I must confess - or brag - I've been really good this year and have managed to only come home with a few new acquisitions from the 10 shops I photographed.  And I came home with nothing from the Hen - make a note of that!!  May never happen again, but in all honesty it had nothing to do with self restraint.  I was coming down with a cold and could barely focus the camera.  Editing the photos I see plenty of things that might have tempted me on a good day.  What about you?
I think that as you browse through the photos of Maureen Culver's amazing shop, the one word that will keep coming to mind is 'cozy'.   Maureen has the ability to group items together in a way that makes you believe the various vendors had just that grouping in mind the whole time.  The other great thing about Maureen is that she'll help you put together your own perfect vignette.  Who couldn't use that help?  And this room above......take a close look at the walls.  One day, out of the blue, Maureen decided to dry brush the walls for a new look.  The last time I had such an impulse.....well, let's just say my impulses don't look anything near as beautiful as hers.

Penguins are Tammy Jias Originals

Aside from how great I feel after spending time in the Speckled Hen - among this beautiful atmosphere and Maureen's company, I love how Maureen lives her life and how she gives back to others.  You may remember that a couple of years ago Maureen collected money to purchase a piece of equipment for Ainsley's Angels.   Last year was another cause and this year Maureen's huge heart has come through again.  In fact, if she had her way, this post would mostly be about this year's endeavor because as Maureen puts it, "Christmas is about giving."   So, this year Maureen is collecting money to help a family in need.

You see, Kathy Hastings, was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  Kathy has been married to her husband Randy for 28 years.  They have a 10 year old daughter, Jamiee Lynn.  During a time when most shopkeepers might be focused on making record sales during the holiday rush, Maureen is focused on raising money to help Kathy Hastings and her family as they wage war on ovarian cancer.  Not only is Maureen collecting donations - she's matching them up to $500.  This is why I love this gal.
So, make it a point to visit the Speckled Hen - this weekend for their open house, or some time later and save a little money to drop in Maureen's donation jar.  Because, that's how Maureen wants it.  The Speckled Hen is located at 38 Saratoga Road (Route 50) in Scotia NY.  She's open this weekend from 10-6:00 on Friday, 10-4:00 on Small Business Saturday and 12:00-4:00 on Sunday.  Check her Facebook for normal hours after that.

Thanks for taking time during your Thanksgiving holiday to read this post.  When you bow your head at the Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, know that I'll be bowing mine in gratitude of all the blessings in my life - including all of you for helping make this blog what it is today so that I can have an audience to share stories like Kathy's with the world.  Keep Kathy in your prayers - and Maureen - and all the people like her in your life.  Then have a wonderful, and delicious Thanksgiving meal.  See you soon with three more shops!

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