Do you attend a yoga class regularly?
Well, you’re missing out.
Well, actually, I’m missing out, too. I used to take a yoga class every day.
Then, life happened and I really just never got back into the daily morning yoga groove. But, it’s okay. I found Carolyn Abedor. So, now, I take a morning yoga class at 9:30 every Thursday.
What can I say? With Carolyn Abedor teaching our class, I feel better than I’ve felt in years. What’s her secret? Carolyn takes her class time seriously. She focuses on our spines so that we stand straighter. We breathe better. Our balance improves.
I feel more confident when I have a class with Carolyn because my body is rejuvenated. I know this reads redundantly but it’s true. I know that my chance of falling is smaller after a class with Carolyn.
So, after a class with Carolyn, I stand taller, with happier shoulders. I walk straighter on stronger legs.
But, that’s not all. An hour with Carolyn and yoga is an hour promoting homeostasis which is all important. I leave the class more grounded. I feel that I have offered my spiritual body a chance to harmonize itself through Carolyn’s instruction.
During the hour, wellness is all important. Joint health stays on the agenda. Emotional balance is part of the routine.
Okay, you’ve got the picture I think. Where is Carolyn? She’s in the yoga building at Access PT on Route 212 next to St. Gregory’s.
And, what makes Carolyn so fancy? Well, it’s her experience and her credentials. She’s a physical therapist AND a yoga teacher. This combination of education and training and experience make Carolyn an exceptionally wonderful teacher.
I LOVE Carolyn!
I look forward to seeing you on Thursdays at 9:30!
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Sometimes I’m just grateful for kind words and surprises. I don’t ask why I got selected. I just enjoy. And, that includes ice cream!
I feel that way about Nancy’s Ice Cream Parlor in the brick building across the street from the library. I don’t know why she chose to bring her fabulous ice cream to Woodstock instead of a hundred other adorable communities in our area. And, frankly, I don’t care. I’m not even bothering to ask her.
I just show up and order the ice cream, eat the treat, get blissed out and return home smiling.
Nancy uses only the purest ingredients to make the many flavors of ice cream on the premises. They are sourced locally. Her chocolate, for example, comes from Fruition. The result is a product which, when eaten, has the potential to be a spiritual experience. What more can I ask for?,
Specials, that’s what. Just the other day it was blueberry pie a la mode.
Nancy’s Ice Cream was open over the winter, too. For some strange reason, I just never noticed it until this July. Well, now that I know about Nancy, I’m hoping she’ll stay open over the winter this year.
If you haven’t tried Nancy’s Ice Cream, go on over and enjoy the best milk shake you’ve ever had…or the best sundae you’ve ever had…or the best…….you name it.
And, spread the good news. Nancy’s come to town!
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Everyone’s getting excited because, well, it’s Christmas. And, we pretty much all get excited around here for the holidays.
Tinker Street and Mill Hill Road are busy this year with tourists, relatives of tourists, friends of tourists, neighbors of tourists, enemies of tourists. They’re walking around with colorful shopping bags in their hands.
Upscale shoppers and shopping abound.
While people shop and visit, I look to see if there are lots of shopping bags, or even some shopping bags, or even a few shopping bags.
When there are no shopping bags, I know we’ll have an empty store or three over the winter. And, this is important. Our business district has been expanding this year. We’ve got growth on Mill Hill Road down by the intersection of 375.
Dr. Longmore’s old place has been transformed into a tap room. A new tattoo artist has moved in next door. Abbe is back behind EvolveD. This part of town is looking safe.
At the other end of town, there’s expansion toward the post office. A new deli, a new tattoo parlor. The turquoise shop is now down by the new hotel. Gossip has it that it’s called the White Dove Hotel. But, further gossip has it that it’s sold and is now called something else. Who knows?
The big event in Woodstock this year isn’t downtown. This year, the big event is out off of 212 at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation which is celebrating Christmas Eve with Chinese food, latkes and a reading of “Oy!” by Rich Orloff.
This event, which is totally free and open to all, is the place to be on Christmas Eve this year!
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Blog posts have been kind of empty these past few months because I’ve been working on “A Healer’s Handbook”. That project is now completed so I’ve got more time for other things. “A Healer’s Handbook” is available on Kindle and Nook and will soon be available in the paper version. Hope you enjoy reading it.
Artwork is by Jennette Nearhood.
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When the forsythia blooms, I always rejoice. I’ve survived another Woodstock winter. It’s not that winter here is bad…it’s just that we always lose some plants and some businesses.
We lose people, too. One winter my peers were dying at the rate of about one a week. It made for some depressing chats at Bread Alone, for sure.
So…when the forsythia blooms I walk around the town and see what plants and what businesses have survived. To put it another way, I’m looking for the casualties. This winter has been very mild and the casualties have been few overall. Woodstock is ready for its annual rebirth. As are the residents.
Provisions is still open. Hurrah!
The T-shirt parlor is actually sporting a Help Wanted sign in the window. We don’t see many of those in Woodstock, so it’s a welcome diversion. Hopefully this will be the start of a new fad and we’ll see more Help Wanted signs around town as business picks up.
There are some empty buildings, though. Down in the financial district, Dr. Longmore’s office is still vacant. Some neighboring store fronts surrounding his old office are also vacant.
On Rock City Road, there are a couple of empty buildings. One shop was open for years and years. Our community will miss this store.
The space behind the Bank of America is still available.
Several months ago Not Fade Away moved into the old Mid Hudson Valley location so the old Not Fade Away store is available now.
The Turquoise Lady has moved into Christine Varga’s old place. So, that means the old Turquoise Lady storefront is vacant.
And, over on Tannery Brook across from the world famous Wooden Kazoo store, there is a new concept being born. The old sign is gone, as is the row boat which, I think, is being replaced by a bathtub. There is a large white flag flying outside.
As I walk around, I see that Fiona is open and filled with wonderful things we can all bring home. I’m suspecting people will be coming from all over the globe to spend a few minutes getting a reading at Fiona’s. It’s certainly worth the trip. After all, when you’re good, you’re good. And Suzan Saxman is good.
And…Pegasus has sandals in the window! Now, that’s a step in the right direction! Sandals mean the summer is going to be here any day now. We can all enjoy life a little more with sandals.
Storefronts tell an economic story about Woodstock and are important to us all here. But, sandals cut right to the soul as they prepare us to play in the stream, shop at the flea market on Saturdays and pick up a bangle at Gwen’s Gems.
Last summer’s dreams have long since been forgotten so the need to fill the gap in our hearts is strong about now. This is the spiritual awakening we all look forward to experiencing.
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When you walk in the space, Fruition feels like it’s been there forever. Even though it only opened last April. Somehow, Fruition belongs in this town, in this building which it shares with Jarita’s Florist.
Each day in Fruition is different from the last. The chocolate bars are different. The sample flavors are different because it takes about 10 days to make a batch of candy bars. For one thing, they are handmade in small batches using only organic, fair trade cacao beans personally selected by Bryan and Dahlia ….. These beans come from Peru, Ecuador, Trinidad, Dominican Republic.
The beans come directly from the farm to Fruition with no stop along the way for e processing by anyone else. Even though the cacao is imported, the other ingredients, fruit, maple syrup, honey, spirits, dairy are sourced locally.
Each candy bar is signed by Bryan.
Brown Butter Bourbon Caramels
Hazelnut Gianduja Truffle
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sourdough Truffles
Crystalized Ginger with Matcha Couverture
On the shelf recently were certificates explaining the awards Fruition has received:
Milk Chocolate Bars with an Infusion
Plain Milk Chocolate Bars
Toasted White Chocolate
Strawberry and Toasted Cashew Guindija
On another shelf I saw over a dozen different candy bars assembled in a Curated Craft Chocolate Collection. These bars, jewels all, are chocolates that Bryan and Dahlia have found in their travels throughout the world
But, not all of the chocolate found in Fruition is in a bar. The hot chocolate mix comes in a beautiful tin as do the chocolate covered cranberries.
The Chocolate Tasting Party kit comes in a box.
Small jars of pink Peruvian Sea Salt are found on another shelf.
Do you love chocolate? If so, visit this store…unlike any other you’ll find anywhere else. It’s dedicated to the results of a search for the very best cacao beans on the planet. The final product is a spiritual experience for the consumer.
Thanks for reading this blog. The stories are true. The people are real.
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On weekends, Woodstock is one crowded place. This famous little town has much to offer:
Mowers Meadow Flea Market
Woodstock Artists’ Association Museum
The Woodstock Drum Circle
Assorted festivals, and other weekend events throughout the year help boost the crowd.
Once you hit town, it helps to know where the restrooms are…especially because there aren’t that many and they aren’t that well advertised. And, if it’s a gender neutral restroom you’re looking for, you may be disappointed.
The Sunflower has a restroom located behind the produce department. It’s used by employees, grocery shoppers, residents, and tourists alike. This is one busy place.
There is a public restroom in a cinder block building next to the Chamber of Commerce information stand. This building is located right at the beginning of Rock City Road. On busy days, you may miss it because this is where the famous tie dyed Woodstock T-shirts are sold. The T-shirt display is actually in front of the entrance to the women’s room.
If you’re looking for a restroom during the winter…forget this one. It closes every year after November 30th and doesn’t open again until April 15th.
The Town Hall has a restroom although the location in the building is not that easy to find. It’s there, though.
The Woodstock Free Library has a restroom located just past the children’s area. This is actually a nice one but the library isn’t open everyday.
And, that’s about it. The whole thing can be a bit discouraging if you have bought into the attitude Woodstockers seem to have about being on the cutting edge of every trend and attitude.
Of course, if you are eating at Landau, or Oriole 9, you don’t have to worry. They have facilities for their customers.
But that’s a bit of a challenge for the rest of us. A good thing to do is to buy a cup of coffee and a pastry at Maria’s and use the restroom there. While you’re shopping for your coffee and pastry, you just might catch sight of a local celebrity which will make for a good story when you return home.
Another option is to ask to use the restroom at the CVS. It’s not a public restroom but the employees are sympathetic to your cause and, if the cash register lines aren’t too long, they’ll unlock the private restroom.
Please note: Try to leave it as clean as you found it. If it gets dirty too many times, they may suspend this service.
I’m really hopeful for our future here. Trends in the area are toward gender neutral bathrooms and this is just the kind of thing Woodstockers can understand. Gender neutral bathrooms are turning up in some neat places.The new Honest Weight Food Coop in Albany has a spiffy gender neutral restroom. The Whitney Museum in New York City has a gender neutral restroom also.
Hope springs eternal here. And, actually, we’ve got a better chance at a gender neutral restroom than we have at additional sidewalks.
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Photograph donated by Renee Ruwe
Remember now, Woodstock is a small town. It’s the most famous little town in America with probably no more than 10,000 residents and over half of them are here on weekends and holidays only.
Woodstock knows how to do chocolate – this small town in Upstate New York. And, why not? Chocolate is, after all, extremely nutritious. It contains antioxident flavinoids which help ward off high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks.
Something everyone in Woodstock knows: no one should go not even 1 day without eating chocolate. That’s why it’s sold all over town.
We begin our tour at Nana’s Creative Cafe, located near the intersection of 212 and 375 – right as you enter town. Nana’s is in the same complex with Venus Adorned, EvolveD, Ed Dempsey Tattoos, and Fringe.
While Nana’s has no candy bars, it does have a bakery specializing in 10 different desserts on any given day. This is a chocolate lover’s dream come true. The choice is difficult here:
gluten free chocolate dipped macaroons
white chocolate tarts
flourless chocolate macadamia nut cookies
gluten free chocolate cookies
chocolate chip cookies
chocolate filled sandwich cookies
oatmeal peanut chocolate chip cookies
flourless chocolate walnut cookies
chocolate cupcake with coconut cream cheese frosting
chocolate hostess cake.
There are other cakes and cookies without chocolate also. You get the picture here. Nana’s is a real sin palace.
Cross the street and walk into the Sunflower. There you’ll find a good supply of chocolate bars…enough to satisfy any need:
Not Your Sugar Mamas
Organic Andy Dandy Candy Bars
Green & Black’s
You’ll also find chocolate ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and anything else organic and chocolate you can think of here.
Moving back across the street to the CVS, you’ll find a complete selection of chocolates. For starters, Hershey’s Candy Bars are on sale: 12 bars for $7.00. That actually sums it all up. If Hershey’s Candy Bars don’t work for you, CVS sells many other less expensive chocolates to include, for example,
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
If you want to bring a gift to a friend, CVS has gift boxes of
Chocolates are so important at the CVS that they have their own aisle. And, truth be told, chocolate bars, and chocolate candies take up as much shelf space as shampoos. Over in the grocery section of the store, CVS has displays of chocolate covered raisins, cranberries, almonds, etc.
Back across the street again, the Cumberland has its own chocolate candy aisle also. It’s much smaller than the CVS but the Cumberland store is also much smaller than the CVS. Inch for inch, the Cumberland is a great supporter of garden variety chocolate candy.
Up the street to Woodstock Meats, you’ll find a small selection of chocolate candy bars:
They’re more into meat than chocolate. However, the people at Woodstock Meats know that sometimes when a customer is waiting for a sandwich or a few pork chops, life is easier with a chocolate bar to ease stress of the wait.
Next on the tour is Catskill Mountain Pizza which has not one candy bar. But, if it counts for anything, the cafe sports a brand new gelato bar. It’s most popular flavor is chocolate.
Next up the street is Maria’s Bazaar, an important eating establishment and tradition in Woodstock. Maria’s is a watering hole for many famous locals who come to meet and socialize without anyone being the wiser. Not even 1 chocolate bar can be found at Maria’s. Don’t be put off by this. Her restaurant is famous for its chocolate cupcakes, fudge, and cookies. One cookie, her chocolate thumbprint, stands out among the assortment as a chocoholic’s dream come true.
Back across the street again, Bread Alone offers a small selection of Fruition bars in addition to their staples of chocolate cakes, tarts, croissants, and muffins.
Moving along the street about a block is an entire Chocolate Candy Bar store operated by Fruition. In this lovely establishment you can find over a dozen different varieties of Fruition bars. In addition, they have a section of the store devoted to Curated Craft Collection Chocolates. These chocolate bars are very special. You probably won’t see the Curated Craft Collection anywhere else.
About 5 stores farther along the street, the Woodstock Emporium sells much chocolate. Like Maria’s there isn’t a chocolate bar in the place, but there are 4 different flavors of fudge and a generous display of gigantic peanut butter cups.
Go along 2 more storefronts and you’ll come to Taco Juan’s. Again, no candy bars. But, Taco Juan has a perfectly legitimate excuse. Taco Juan sells Jane’s Ice Cream which definitely comes in chocolate. In the summer, crowds form on the sidewalk out front getting their chocolate fix.
Just beyond the bridge, cross back over to Peace Love and Cupcakes where you’ll find special chocolate cupcakes with a very Woodstock flair. They have other flavors, too but the chocolate ones are always popular. Four of the most popular chocolate cupcakes include:
Blood, Sweat, and Tears
Back across the street next to the liquor store is a new delicatessen, Provisions. Again, there are no candy bars but there are house made, sinfully delicious chocolate cakes and cookies. The choice is difficult here in this new establishment open only a few months.
One block farther up the street is Village Apothecary which, though smaller than the other pharmacies carries its share of upscale chocolate bars:
Earth Circle Organics
Lake Champlain Chocolates
This may not be the largest selection of chocolate in town but the quality is superb. That’s how Village Apothecary works.
Moving up the road toward Bearsville, Upstate Films opens daily with excellent movies and the usual picture show snacks…with a twist. The popcorn is made on the premises and, among the movie theater candies is a nice selection of Lucky’s chocolates. You can now go to the movies or the Sunday morning Jam in Woodstock confident in the knowledge that, if you have a sudden yen for chocolate, you won’t go wrong with Lucky’s.
Right at the entrance of Bearsville lies the Cub Market. This tiny island of perfection sells only the best of anything it offers. Produce, cleaning products, baked goods, breads. Whatever it is, it’s the best available. You can buy with confidence at the Cub Market. Does the Cub Market offer chocolate bars? Of Course! Here, you will find:
Green & Black’s.
The Cub Market also has a bakery department with mouth watering cakes.
There’s got to be a moral to this story somewhere. And, here’s my take on it. Woodstockers love the good life. They love good food, good music, good books, anything that is special. That definitely includes chocolate. In Woodstock, chocolate is its own food group.
So, my question is this: Why don’t we have a Chocolate Festival?
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It seems only yesterday that we sent you an appeal for support. We were a band of 4 people who barely knew each other, embarked on an adventure, a quest. None of us mentioned it, not even to each other…but you were our only hope.
We were processing a 501(c)3 to open the Reservoir Food Pantry. And, until it came through, we needed a sponsor willing to share theirs. So, you got the letter, and invited us to lunch at Zen Mountain Monastery so we could meet and make our appeal. We joined you at your table on Sunday, October 27, 2013.
We begged, really, but you never let on. We went away that afternoon energized by your openness, professionalism, interest, concern. Eventually you did what you did and we received the support from your group.
You gave us a raft on which we floated until we got our own 501(c)3 and gained acceptance with the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
So, today, as a result of your efforts, there is now a pantry on Route 28 in the Ashokan Reservoir area of Ulster County in New York serving over area households every Monday afternoon at 2 and every Tuesday morning at 9.
The majority of these people are seniors. For the most part, they have worked and lived all their lives in this area. They paid their taxes, raised their children, and contributed to their community. And now, in the 21st century they are finding they don’t have the resources to feed themselves. They constitute the senior citizen faction of the new 21st century Struggling Class.
The pantry volunteers look forward to serving the hungry for many years to come. They’ve had the last year to become a very dedicated and close knit group. The community appears to accept the services offered by these very special people.
IN CONCLUSION: Thank you Konrad Ryushin Marchaj for all you have done for yourself and your fellow man. I saw you change the world around you for the better. That counts for a lot in my book.
I wish you well on your continued journey of spiritual growth. I am proud to have been touched by you. On behalf of all the hungry people volunteers feed weekly, I offer gratitude. It is an honor and a pleasure.
I cannot thank you enough for your trust, your support, and your confidence in our humble venture
Thank you for reading this blog.
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Every year about this time, Woodstock finds itself losing some old friends and maybe getting new ones. Sometimes the new ones move in right away. Other times it takes awhile to fill the vacant storefronts.
I have a small year end ceremony in which I take several special walks through Woodstock to identify, and say goodbye to closing businesses. For Sale signs are scattered all over town this year.
My first goodbye trip around the loop this fall reminded me that the entire cluster of storefronts in the buildings across from the Woodstock Playhouse appear to be for sale. To all prospective buyers: this cluster of buildings has tenants in every space but Dr. Longmore’s old office.
I notice the sign advertising the space behind the Bank of America is down. “Is this a positive move?” I ask myself.
There’s office space available in the CVS building.
A bit further up the street, Not Fade Away has a sign. Even the vacant lot next door has a for sale sign.
The old Mid Hudson Valley space is still available. They appear to be making the best of things with a pop-up store.
The Then and Now Hair Salon has vacated its space next to Woofstock. They even took the sign with them.
Every vacancy is a story. Some happy, others not so.
The White Gryphon must empty soon because Bob wants to sell the building. According to a recent Facebook posting, the White Gryphon still has about 2 weeks left. Now is the time to get one last item from one of Woodstock’s favorite shops. Please be sure to stop by before it closes for good.
In Woodstock this winter, we’re going to love hating the building owner, “Bob” who we got to know in Susan Saxman’s book “The Reluctant Psychic.”
Suzan and David are splitting the store up. He’s moving across the street to #68 and she’ll do her famous psychic readings in the building where Headstock is located. You can find David behind Walkabout at the bright yellow staircase.
Even though they appear to be making a go of it with two locations instead of one, this proposition sounds challenging. What we all know about Woodstock is that it’s easy to sell anything in the summer and almost impossible to turn a profit in the winter. David plans to have the winter White Gryphon open daily from about 11:30 to 5.
Fortunately, Suzan Saxman’s book “the Reluctant Psychic” offers them an extra layer of recognition which should help overcome the empty building people will be seeing in coming months. I heard recently that the Golden Notebook has sold out her book eight times already. If you’re not in the area, you can also get a copy at Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.
Have you read Suzan’s book? I did. It’s a different take on the psychic memoir. Suzan’s story is well organized, interesting, and filled with answers to questions that people always want to ask.
I loved reading the book and found that it has much more depth than I ever expected. Each chapter answers questions:
Do animals have souls?
Are we the agents of our own destiny, or are there forces bigger than ourselves at work?
How does death change us?
Are unhappy people still unhappy after they die?
Why are we born?
How does karma work? Can we change our karma? How?
How difficult is it to be a healer? a psychic?
Is reincarnation real? How does it work?
What is it like in the after world?
What carries over from our past lives?
How hard is it to move from the past to the present to the future?
Does anyone remember deciding to come back?
How hard is it to be an old soul?
What about finding a soulmate?
And on and on and on. There are many answers in this book. The wisdom found on the pages of “The Reluctant Psychic” is unique, special, and deep.
Thanks for reading this blog. The stories are true and the people are real.
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