chal-lenge: noun a calling to account or into question

Follow along as I challenge the tricks, tips, clever craft and decorating ideas and "simple" recipes that we clip, bookmark, and "pin" for trial at a later date.

Are they really worth the effort? Time (and I) will tell!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Staying Close to Home

Wow! What a week-end. My challenge? To entertain myself for an entire week-end within a 30 mile radius of home. As those of you who live in my area know, that isn’t really much of a challenge. There is so much to do here that it is just a matter of getting yourself up off the couch or in my case, stepping away from work for a few days. I often feel guilty for not “getting enough done” over the week-end. Maybe the real challenge is how not to work all week-end!

Anyway, here’s how it goes. I started my day on Saturday with a hearty breakfast on
the deck. It’s so nice to get outside early on these hot summer days. While I thought about the day ahead, I enjoyed watching this butterfly take nectar from my flowers. There were lots of honey bees getting their fill, too. I’m part of something called the Sunflower Project where we count and report on the number of honey bees we attract. I don’t have sunflowers this year but will make a report anyway. After my report, it was time to hit the road.

My first stop was to a new gift shop in downtown Clifton Springs called Off the Beaten Path. It’s kind of a new age shop that reminds me of Woodstock, New York. You get the idea. I’ve been looking for new pillows and found this one.
I don’t have an African or even animal d├ęcor but liked the colors in this one. It’s a nice mother/child image. Isn’t it amazing how such a small purchase can bring new life to your home and make you happy?

I had received a post card earlier in the week from the Phelps Arts Center alerting me to an exhibit called Temples & Towers from Toothpick City II. What? Toothpicks you say? The Phelps Arts Center is less than 5 miles from my house so off I go. I have to admit to being a bit cynical about this exhibit. Well shame on me. It was crazy amazing. The exhibit includes 55 toothpick replicas of towers and religious buildings around the world from the Stratosphere in Las Vegas to St. Peter’s Basilica & Square in Rome. The detail was incredible. The more I looked, the more I discovered. A definite “thumbs up” on that one.

Next stop was a consignment shop a few miles down the road from the Arts Center. I have passed this shop many times on the way to somewhere else but have never taken the time to stop. That ends today! At Gabriella’s Consignment Shop there is quite an array of interesting “stuff” to be found. It’s the kind of place that you just know holds a treasure that has been waiting just for you. I was casually looking through the used clothing rack when voila! I made a super exciting find! Way back in the day I worked in an upscale clothing store that carried such things as
Pendleton suits. I was just crazy for them but they were way out of my price range. I had come to think of them as just the ultimate luxury. Over the years I have looked at these suits with the thought of treating myself but they either didn’t fit well or were not to my taste. At Gabriella’s I found a navy blue, classic style Pendleton wool blazer that fit just perfectly. It was tagged at $6.25! I grabbed it like I was at a Filene’s basement sale in NYC, sure someone would tear it out of my hands. I rushed to the register to seal the deal only to discover that it was 60% off. The final price was just $2.50! I am so super excited that I almost can’t wait for fall to get here so that I can wear it.

The last stop for the day was at a little shop called Chickadee Lane. This is a cute little shop owned by the woman who used to do all my floral arrangements in Clifton Springs. The shop has dried flower arrangements, antiques, hooked rugs and supplies. She wasn’t in the shop but a friend from another lifetime was. Its sad how you can move through your life without keeping connected to people you really like. Life, kids, work, etc. all seem to conspire against me. Finding an old friend: Priceless!

I’m not religious and don’t attend any religious services but I think of Sunday as a family day or a day of reflection. That being said, I decided to go hang out at the beach. What better way to reflect upon the week than to lie in the sun and watch the water. On my way to the beach, I decided to stop off at the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum.
I was met at the door by a lovely gentleman who was just so pleased to be there showing people around. He walked me through the first few exhibits with such pride. I climbed to the top of the lighthouse, squeezing myself through the small hatch at the top. What a pretty view.

A band was setting up for their summer concert series so I decided to stay a while. I found a nice bench in the shade overlooking Lake Ontario. I ate my lunch, read my book and gazed out at the sailboats. Several nice people came to sit with me on my bench and I enjoyed some pleasant conversations.
The breeze was so nice and the music so soothing that I never made it to the beach. The thought of sitting out in the sun compared to my idyllic location had lost its appeal.

So I’m home again reflecting on my wonderful week-end. I challenge you to find fun and adventure in your own neighborhood. Enjoy the scenery and the people you meet along the way. Take notice of the things around you and appreciate what they have to offer. Happy wandering!

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