Hiatus Off.....Spring On! Catching Up and Moving Forward!

Sunday, March 24, 2019
Hiatus on?  Hiatus off?  The answer to that is about as definitive as the weather and the arrival of spring.  Seriously though, I'm back from my hiatus and I want to begin by thanking all of you for taking the time to share your support of my time away and your own personal feelings about social media.  As nasty and negative as it sometimes gets, I must say I would be lost without it and the ability to connect with all of you.  So like most everything else in life, we'll take the good with the bad and I hope when you visit the blog or my Facebook page that you'll find what you see to be uplifting and encouraging.  That's always been my goal.

So since my last post I've done a few things I'd like to share.  Most of my time, aside from almost daily time with the grandkids, has been devoted to our new kitty, Simba.  It's been almost ten years since we've had a kitten and I will admit I'd forgotten how much fun (and work) they are.  This ball of fur is as playful as he is cute and when they say Ragamuffins (and Ragdolls) are like puppies, they aren't kidding.  This cat greets us at the door, shadows our every step, sleeps between us, waits for me outside of the shower and is the most attentive and loving cat I've ever met.  He treats visitors with equal love and attention.  There is such a negative stigma about 'buying' pets today, I had a real anxiety about admitting we chose a reputable breeder instead of a shelter, but the fact is.....people everywhere buy purebred dogs from breeders.  No one scrutinizes them.  All of our previous cats - four of them - were rescues.  This time I wanted a proven health background, and a breed of cat that was known to be docile and friendly and I am so happy we found our dream cat.  We're so happy, in fact, that we have decided Simba needs a playmate so we're adding another Muffin to the mix in May.  I know....call me crazy, but two cats hardly qualify me to be considered a crazy cat lady.  Some people consider me crazy even without cats. LOL

During my hiatus we've spent a lot of time 'KonMaring' the house.  If you have Netflix, you're probably familiar with Marie Kondo, the queen of Tidying Up. Marie's new show has been called a cultural phenomenon!  I pride myself on keeping a tidy and clean home, but 40 years of married life has a way of accumulating 'stuff'.  We have some things tucked away in the attic and closets that we haven't seen or used in years, even decades. Marie Kondo teaches her followers to sort through their belongings, keeping only those things that spark JOY.  At first it sounds a bit hokey, but after a few episodes of her show ....and a drawer or closet later....it's pretty easy to pick up an item you haven't seen in decades and figure out that it probably isn't sparking anything but dust and would be better off in someone else's closet.  We've unloaded several carloads of household items and clothing at the local thrift stores and my tidy and sparsely filled closets are definitely sparking joy for me. Ridding ourselves of the clutter (even though it was behind closed doors and drawers) is so cathartic and definitely is a great way to enter a new season.

Just in time for our cleaning, we came across a shop in Schenectady that accepts donations of sewing, art and craft supplies.  The shop is called Her Treasure Box and it was founded in 2015 by Debbie Fowler and Patty Carly.  The proceeds from the store go to support Eyes Wide Open, a mission to assist and empower women and girls victimized by human trafficking.  It's a really wonderful shop filled with all sorts of well organized and very well priced craft and sewing supplies.  It's located at 1775 Van Vranken Avenue, Schenectady NY.  If you, like me, have a bunch of yarn or miscellaneous craft supplies you'll never use, this is the perfect place to donate them.  For more information:
On the way home from there, we stopped by one of our favorite local venues, the Vischer Ferry General Store.  It'd been a while since our last visit so we really had fun browsing all the latest merchandise, including a large variety of Beekman 1802 products.   I snatched up some bar soap, hand wash and cologne of one of their MacKenzie Childs signature fragrances, Morning Glory.  Ohhh it smells so good.  Of course we had to have some lunch too.  I had a tuna melt on onion rye (yummy) and John had the most amazing combination - ham, goat cheese, red onion, arugula and apricot jam on a ciabatta.  O...M...G.  Delish.   We took half of each home for later so we could have dessert - a slice of chocolate pecan pie for me and carrot cake for John.  If you haven't been to the Vischer Ferry General Store yet...what are you waiting for?  I've written about it a few times here on the blog.  What a great community gathering spot for great food, great activities and unique merchandise. Check it out: 

We've also visited a couple other favorite shops.  Bluebird Home Decor moved from Troy, NY to State Street in Schenectady.  Bigger and better than ever, Bluebird is filled with some of the most unique merchandise from rugs to home goods, bath and body products, books and amazing artwork by the talented Shelly Broughton, re-purposed vintage lighting and so much more. I've talked and blogged about Bluebird many times because it's truly wonderful and just keeps getting better and better. It's too amazing to describe, you just have to check it out for yourself.  I never leave empty handed! Bluebird is located on the corner of State and Lafayette, right next door to Slidin' Dirty.  Check out Bluebird's social media:

It wouldn't be the start of a new season if I didn't pay a visit to the Speckled Hen.  Although Marie Kondo has been pushing me to eliminate things that don't spark joy.....visits to the Hen are a guaranteed joy-filled way to spend time - and money.  Always filled with the most beautiful home decor vignettes, the best part of shopping at the Hen is owner, Maureen's ability to help customers curate the most amazing arrangements and vignettes for their home.  How many times have you walked into a store and drooled over merchandise but thought you didn't know how to incorporate a piece or pieces into your decor?   Maureen helps customers fill a vessel, make a vignette, make a statement that will leave you speechless.  She did that for me today.  I handed her a bunch of faux foliage and she arranged it perfectly, ready to pop into my vase when I got home. 

Don't have a vase?  No worries, she has so many beautiful pieces.   Aside from having the coziest, most lust-worthy items, (that definitely spark joy) Maureen is maybe one of the most charitable people you'll ever meet.  Always collecting for a cause, Maureen has rallied behind and collected huge amounts to several causes including Ainsley's Angels, Kathy Hastings (an ovarian cancer patient), and this year's pet drive, just to name a few.  Maureen always looks for ways to help others and her customers never let her down.  Stop by the Speckled Hen on Route 50 (38 Saratoga Road) in Scotia.  Check out Maureen's Speckled Hen at: 

So, that's what I've been up to.  The forecast hints of warmer days and the calendar promises a new and gentler season ahead.  We took a road trip today with my mom and visited our favorite rural parts of Amsterdam and I'm feeling back in the swing of things, anxious to capture the emergence of new life through nature.  I always find spring to be such a reawakening, a reassurance and a reminder that life is full of second chances and new growth.  I hope that's the promise you're holding on to too!  Thanks for your patience and for sticking around for more Life As I See It!   

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