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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Visit to Blairstown


I took a little drive up to Blairstown today. 

I needed to get to Nature's Harvest to pick up some miso and nutritional yeast for a couple of recipes.

This interesting little town of approximately 6,000 people was incorporated in 1845.  I'm generally not good in small towns even though I grew up in one.  

Blairstown is not like any other small town I know.  There's a vibe; a good vibe.  And, once you talk to a couple of shop keepers, you get a pleasing sense of culture and intellect.

As I parked, I took note of Historic Blairstown Theatre across the street.  

I haven't attended any events there yet but some coming attractions caught my eye.  Check out their calendar.

I popped my head into Gallery 23 first.  I'd visited a few months ago, bought a small watercolor and had a good chat.  

The gallery today was with filled with gorgeous things by a variety of artists and artisans:  paintings, custom jewelry, pottery, art glass, hand-made notecards, Christmas ornaments, shawls; beautiful, beautiful things.  I didn't want to take time to chat today; I saw the bookstore was open and hadn't been there before.  

The BookNest is a small, well packed store with new and used titles in a variety of categories.  There are also collectible dolls and a variety of gift items by local artisans.  

Today there were well-displayed Christmas books and some interesting Christmas ornaments.  I had a good chat with Herman, the proprietor. 

I buy a Christmas ornament every year for my son and granddaughter; it's a tradition my mother started in our family a long time ago.  I found this year's ornament at The BookNest.

I finally got over to Nature's Harvest Natural Foods Store.  I'd been there before too, when I was just trying to start this business, back in the fall.  I'd taken a quick spin around the store then but this time I was there for some specific things.  

This is one of the best natural foods stores I've seen in at least a decade.  They have everything.  Packed into this small market are shelves crowded with just about every and any natural and organic ingredient you can think of:  flours, nuts, extracts - everything.  They have fresh produce, lots of personal care products, vitamins and minerals, teas, and a variety of things like canned soups, breads, and pet foods.  

They've always been friendly and helpful when I've contacted them. Today we had a quick chat about possibilities of substitutes for sesame meal which isn't as readily available as it had been several decades ago.  I don't need a huge supply; it's just me and one recipe.  I think we came up with a good possibility.  

I was so impressed with the extent of what's available at Nature's Harvest that I'll be visiting Blairstown more often in the future.

It's a beautiful drive to Blairstown, relaxing.  The town is petite and unique and there are wonderful shops there.  

(photos here were not taken today and are from the sites of the featured businesses without permission and will be removed on request.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Times Flies

Christmas is a week away and I'm hardly ready.  I think many feel the same.  As usual I haven't even approached what I'd like to accomplish before then nor will I have by then.  Still, I have all my shopping done.  If you're in the same situation, just relax, do what you can, relax, accept what isn't finished, relax, enjoy the day as it will be.

It could be depressing but I refuse to let myself go down that spiral.  I got a wonderful CD yesterday.  I try to buy 1 more Christmas CD each year.  I love Christmas music.  It's an old album but a wonderful one:

I highly recommend this album.

Still waiting for certain people to finish what I've paid them to do so I can figure out what to do, if anything with this business.  I'm on hold for the time being.

But, before I go:

If you're in Phillipsburg, visit or investigate these local businesses:

Star Light Farm

Ariel's Massage Therapy

Paul Davis Emergency Services

Aunt Lee's Antiques and Hobby Center

Serenity BodyWorks

Robert A. Parr IV Photography

Makoto Japanese Restaurant

Hopefully, the new year will bring good things for us all.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, Happy New Year.  I won't be back before then.