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Shaking-Up The Apple Tree!

October 14, 2012 7 comments

I’ve been known to shake-up the apple tree — on occasion.

My kids do too.

Every now and then.

After all….

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

So “they” say.

Actually, “they” are right. The apple, when it falls, usually lands right below the tree or very close to it anyway and if it sits there too long, without being picked up and taken home to be turned into a delicious pie, turn-over, sauce or eaten as is, it gets mushy and eventually stomped on and smushed. I know this to be true because I spent a glorious afternoon at Barton Orchards, picking apples with my family last weekend.

We’re blessed here in the Northeast with fantastic, fall foliage, spectacular autumn views and orchards open to the public for picking farm-fresh, delicious eats. Like cutting down your very own Christmas tree in December, it’s tradition around these parts, at this time of year, to pick-a-pumpkin, grab a gourd or avalanche a cascade of apples into your bag with a few good shakes of the tree.

Not only does Barton Orchards in Poughquag, NY offer palatable produce for the pickin’, they also have a petite petting zoo and playground, a crazy corn maze, walking trails, a bouncy house, live entertainment, magnificent mums, amazing apple-cider doughnuts, smiles galore and quality time with your kids. For the older goblins in your group, you can go for the scare, if you dare and take a tour of the Rotten Core Manor.  There’s something for everyone!

I love spending time with my kids but as they get older, it gets a little harder finding something we can all enjoy doing. This was a fun-filled, family day that lent itself to all kinds of opportunities for talking, walking and laughing together. Even the weather cooperated! It was the perfect temperature; just heart-warming enough to take the chill out of the cool October air.

What kinds of things do you do with your family?

Photo Credits: ©Karen Szczuka Teich & http://www.Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

What the… Bindlestiff?!

August 12, 2012 16 comments

I went to the circus this weekend.

Well sort of.

Actually, it was a Cirkus.

A friend of mine won tickets at an auction to see the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at a venue called a Spiegltent which is temporarily situated on the lush campus of New York’s Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson. She asked me if I’d like to go with her.

My new mantra:

Just.  Say.  Yes.

…wouldn’t let me turn down the offer, even though I’d never heard of the Bindlestiffs and had no idea what a Spiegltent was.

Besides, I truly enjoy my friend’s company. So, after a delightful dinner in the Tavern Restaurant at the Beekman Arms Inn in Rhinebeck, the country’s oldest operating Inn, we continued to head north in search of this mysterious venue.

A Spiegltent, I discovered, is a traveling tent constructed in wood and beautifully colored canvas and decorated with mirrors and brilliant, stained glass. Primarily used for entertainment purposes, the Spiegltent was originally built in Belgium during the late 19th century and there are only a handful of them that remain in the world today.

It truly is a spectacular venue, worth seeing, regardless of the show playing inside.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the circus. As a kid my Dad took us once a year and it always seemed, noisy and smelly to me. I’d spend most of my time craning my neck, trying to see the main event in the Big Ring and wondering if the clowns were really sad or the animals really happy.

The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus it turns out, is no ordinary circus. First of all, “Family” refers to those persons who are at least 18-years or older. The Ring Master is a Ring Mistress who not only gets dangerously, drunk during the show, she can do disturbing things with her nose and a latex article used for well, clothing; kind of. This Cirkus has one kinky, krazy, sword-swallowing clown named Kinko, two nearly-naked but quite amazing acrobats; one of whom wears a fury G-string and monkey-ears and the other whose tantalizing tassels are sure to tease please. Their acts are accompanied by a three-piece band including an accordion player and a violinist.

Are you getting the picture here?

If it seems a little fuzzy or bizarre, you’re on the right track. Even though the “show” is billed as a Cabaret, it has a bit of a Burlesque-ish feel to it. Add a disco ball and dance music at the end of the evening and it becomes an all out party!

My mantra is:

Just.  Say.  Yes.

And I’m so glad I did.

Many thanks to The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus for re-posting this on their Facebook Page.

You can check it out here:  The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and for re-tweeting @Bindlestiff

It really was a fabulous show!!

Have you ever seen The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus or been inside a Spiegltent?

Photo Credits #1-4 Google Images

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